Posts tagged: Thassos

Leaving Thassos

By , 12/08/2014 00:43
Φύγαμε από την Θάσο σήμερα το πρωί.

Φύγαμε από την Θάσο σήμερα το πρωί.

As the end of my ‘Grand Tour of Greece’ approaches, the journey back to Gloucestershire has started.

After breakfast we said our goodbyes at the hotel, got in the car and drove to Thassos Town / Limenas, and took the ferry back across to the mainland.

We’re now in to August and the ferry back was much busier than when we arrived – much busier than the ferry to Kavala on Saturday.

Arriving in Keramoti (Κεραμωτή), it took hours for the cars to empty off the ferry. By the time Dad had got the car off and parked up at the side of the road for us to get in, I had been to the kiosk and back, and finished topping up my Greek sim card!

Philippi / Φίλιπποι

Philippi / Φίλιπποι

From Keramoti to Thessaloniki is 192km, so it’s quite a drive. We stopped at Philippi (Φίλιπποι) on the way back for some lunch and a walk around the archaeological site. It was interesting, but we couldn’t stop for long, as we needed to get back on the road.

We arrived back in Thessaloniki not long after 17:15. The hotel we’ve got tonight is not too far from the airport – it’s the Ambassador Hotel, near Epanomi. From the hotel (up on a hill) we get some excellent views over the city. Even with the airport being between the hotel and the city, it doesn’t detract from the views. The hotel swimming po0l is great!

After a quick dip in the pool and a drink from the pool bar, I took the bus in to the city centre for some last minute shopping and a photo by the White Tower, which I did not manage to do when I was last in the city a couple of weeks ago.

In hindsight, it may have been better to go straight back to Thess/iki and then we could all have gone out in to the city for the evening (I would have liked to take them to one of the tavernas I enjoyed when I was here on my own last month). As it was, Mum, Dad and Corrie just wanted to stay in the hotel, and I went to the city on my own. In order to get the photo by the White Tower I was desparate to get, I stopped a Greek couple and used my best Greek to ask them to take my photo – just as I had to do before the rest of my family arrived.

White Tower of Thessaloniki / Ο Λευκός Πύργος Θεσσαλονίκης

White Tower of Thessaloniki / Ο Λευκός Πύργος Θεσσαλονίκης

Ξενοδοχείο Ambassador

Ξενοδοχείο Ambassador

For dinner we ate in the hotel restaurant – sitting at a table next to the swimming pool, which made it quite nice. The prices are higher than you’d get in tavernas, but the setting was lovely. Three of us enjoyed Spaghetti Bolonese while Mum enjoyed a rizotto.

And so my Grand Tour of Greece now has come to and end. Tomorrow, we drive to the Airport (5 minutes away), drop the car off at Departures at 09:15, check-in, and our flight back to the UK departs at 11:45.

I expect I shall write one more time on here once I am back in Gloucestershire – but for now… a message to everyone in it who I have met over the last 6 weeks – including the staff in all the hotels I’ve stayed in; the waiters in the tavernas, bars and restaurants; taxi drivers; Dimitris and his family in Leivadia; Antonis in Galissas; the family I met on the train to Kalambaka; to Kosta, Maria, Eleni and everyone else in Potos; and anyone who I’ve stopped in the street to ask for a photo to be taken…

Ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ για την φιλοξενία σας εδώ στην Ελλάδα.

I’m off to bed.

Good night,



By , 07/08/2014 20:47
Thymonia - Θυμωνιά

Thymonia – Θυμωνιά

The main beaches on Thassos – the likes of Aliki (Αλυκή) and Psili Ammos (Ψυλή Άμμος) are packed with people and sunbeds at this time of year.

So we gave gone “off the beaten track” a little bit in search of quieter beaches.

Thymonia (Θυμονιά), located on the South coast of the island, is one of those places. It’s only a short distance from the main road, with plenty of parking, but the lack of beach bars and tavernas makes it less attractive for families: and more attractive to us.

We stopped in Thymonia for a swim for a bit this evening. It’s a good beach – it does lose the Sun quite early though, as it dips behind the mountain shortly after 7.

Other beaches we’d like to try include Astris, and there’s one not too far from the ‘pool in the rocks’ at Giola.

Off out to dinner now though.

Bye for now.


Skala Marion

By , 05/08/2014 08:56
Skala Marion

Skala Marion – Σκάλα Μαριών

It’s Tuesday today… I have been in Greece now for 5 weeks, the rest of my family for 6 nights. 1 week from now we’ll all be flying back to the UK from Thessaloniki. It’ll be strange being back in the UK after so long.

Mum drove abroad for the first time yesterday. Dad normally does all the driving in Greece! We went yesterday to the beach at Skala Marion (Σκάλα Μαριών), a small fishing village the other side of Limenaria.

Skala Marion has a nice big beach, but it is without the tourists of the other beaches on the island. It is mainly Greeks who use the beach there, and it’s therefore quieter in the afternoon during the siesta time. As Nikos at the Makedonia Hotel said the other day, the siesta in Greece is like a national religion.

The sea has been calmer the last couple of days but there’s still lots of debris floating about, left over from the storm we had on Friday night. It’s still swimable though, you just can’t see your feet when you’re standing knee-deep in the sea.

One change from last time: There are now sunbeds on Skala Marion’s beach; but it’s still much quieter than the beach at Potos; the sunbeds when we were there were half empty. As seems to be common in much of Greece now, sunbeds are free if you order a drink from the café. We took three of the sunbeds, and ordered our drinks.

For our remaining days on Thassos, we’re planning to do a day trip to Kavala one day. Kavala is the capital of the county we’re in at the moment, over on the mainland. Back on the island, there is an Olive Oil Museum which we’d like to visit… and to keep Dad and Corrie happy there will be plenty of beaches we’ll go to as well.

Not quite sure where we’ll go today, but I’m getting hungry, so I think my first stop is the village bakery. Fresh bread and maybe bougatsa (cream filled pie) for breakfast: delicious!

Bye for now,


Fires of August

By , 01/08/2014 09:46


The daytime yesterday was a swimming pool and beach day; the first few days of our family holidays we are usually very lazy. Naturally, I am tuned to Greek time more than they are, and I am up hours before the other Harts, and am tired in the evening when they are still wide awake.

In the evening yesterday we went along to Kalyvia (Καλύβια), a small village on the island, inland from Limenaria (Λιμενάρια), for the local Φωτιές του Αυγούστου (Fires of August) festival, organised by the local council.

It was a table for 13: We went with Kosta (the barman from our hotel) and a Greek/Russian family who live in Germany – and we were then later joined by another two couples, one from Slovakia, and one from somewhere, but I’m not sure where. I haven’t really spoken German since I left college in 2011.

My Greek is definitely better than my German, and it doesn’t help that I’ve forgotten the German verb endings, but know the Greek verb endings perfectly well. Unfortunately I don’t think «Mein Vater δεν sprechει Γερμανικά» is quite the way to communicate in two languages… It is gramatically correct to me, but you sort of need to know both languages well for this form of communication to work. Note to self: When asked a question in German, the answer is Ja, not Ναι.

The tavernas were very busy – the road was closed off and all the tables were out in the middle of the road. For the early part of the evening we sat and had our drinks at the taverna, while in the small square there was traditional music from all over Greece and traditional Thassos dancing, by local school children. Λουκουμάδες (donuts in syrup) were being given away on the street and we all had some.

Φωτιές του Αυγούστου, Καλύβια Θάσου.

Φωτιές του Αυγούστου, Καλύβια Θάσου.

Later in the evening, the hay bales in the middle of the road were lit and everyone jumped over the fires. We returned to our table, where we then had rather a lot of food – souvlaki, gyro meat, chicken, bread, tzatziki, feta cheese, beef burger etc – and we all tucked in to our evening meal – the whole thing accompanied by live bouzouki music from the taverna.

By the time we got in the taxi to head back to Potos, it was well after midnight, and Dad had maybe had one too many ouzos. Or four too many.

Today: Beach and pool again during the day I think.

Bye for now,


Back to Thassos

By , 31/07/2014 08:19

Leaving Keramoti

It is 8 years since we last managed to get here; but I am pleased to say that as I write this morning I am sitting on the balcony in exactly the same apartment we had during our first stay in this particular hotel/our second stay on Thassos. Thassos (Θάσος) is the most Northerly of all the Greek islands, and it lies just under 230km from Thessaloniki.

I met Mum, Dad and Corrie in the arrivals hall at Thessaloniki Airport, and once our car rental was sorted the journey from Thessaloniki to Thassos was really quite simple: Take the Thessaloniki Ring Road until the Egnatia Odos (Εγνατία Οδός), then follow that motorway until you get to the sign labelled KERAMOTI – THASSOS – ΚΕΡΑΜΩΤΗ – ΘΑΣΟΣ. There are 2 toll booths along the route: It’s €2,40 each time for a car.

From the motorway junction, the road goes down to Kavala Airport and on to the ferry at Keramoti – it’s about 10 miles. The crossing to Thassos takes about 45 minutes, with ferries leaving almost constantly throughout the day. It’s €3 per person and €16 for a car. They’re drive on-drive off ferries: you don’t need to reverse on as you do for some ferries. From Thassos Town it was just a case of taking the coastal road down to Potos (Ποτός); a journey which took us about 45 minutes.

It is brilliant that even after 8 years, the hotel staff still reconise us. Potos has changed slightly since the last time we were here: the number of English tourists has dropped dramatically, and in their place lots of tourists from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Serbia. No one bring UKIP here! The result is that a lot of the tavernas/restaurants don’t have their signs in English now – they use Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish or Serbian.

In a way, I am almost disappointed that I’m in a touristy area – everywhere else I’ve been, I’ve effectively manage to avoid tourists completely: I’ve managed to find places catering for Greeks and Greek tourists. The village seems very small (much smaller than I remember): but I think that’s just because I’ve been used to life in Athens and Thessaloniki.

I’m off to the bakery to go and get some breakfast, then I think I need a swim, as I haven’t had a swim since I was on Syros a week ago.

Bye for now,


Introducing… Fred Hart’s Grand Tour of Greece

By , 11/01/2014 17:40

As we approach the final term of my final year at university, I am being a typical student and not thinking about what job to do when I leave, but I am instead thinking about how I can spend a month in my favorite country: Greece.

I’ve been thinking about it since I got back from Syros last year; but it was not until the beginning of this week that I finally booked it all.

So, I am now proud to unveil my plans for…

Fred Hart’s Grand Tour of Greece
Tuesday 1. July to Tuesday 12. August 2014

In six weeks, I will stay in five different locations (Athens, Leivadia, Syros, Thessaloniki and Thassos); and I will use 6 different types of transport (plane, bus, train, Athens underground, ferry and car).

Take a look at my itinerary – I think you’ll agree I’ve managed to come up with an interesting/varied trip, which I will get a lot out of!

Hurry up, July 1st. That’s all I have to say now…


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