Friday, 14 July 2017

MY FIRST VISIT TO THE GREEK ISLAND OF THASSOS


Anne C here. I have been holidaying on the Greek Islands for more years than I care to remember, having visited Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Lesbos, settling on Santorini, where we have been holidaying for the past 16 years.  Friends of ours have an apartment in Thassos, and this year they invited us to travel with them - and if I'm honest, it is an island which did not have any immediate appeal.  How wrong I was!



It didn't bode well when we arrived in torrential rain during May Bank Holiday weekend, and for the first couple of days the weather was a little chilly and overcast.... so much so that I had to go out and buy a heavy fleecy to keep warm. But miraculously on the 1st of June, everything changed - the sun came out, the cafes put out their al-fresco dining chairs and the whole island was transformed!




The first few days saw us sightseeing - and what a beautiful island it is, matched only by the warmth and friendliness of the people.  Of course it helped that our friends had been several times and knew lots of locals, but they welcomed us all with open arms and that innate Greek charm and friendliness which makes us return each year.







TOURING THE ISLAND


On our first day we visited the pretty town of Panagia, high above sea level, where the spring waters are alleged to make you look younger - so of course I made sure I had a good drink of that!  The beautiful local church was being re-painted, all in lovely Wedgwood blue and white, both inside and out.  Typical of Greek houses, they often paint their homes in blue and white, dating back to various occupations when the Greek flag was banned.  They painted their houses in the colours of the flag to signal their defiance of the occupation.



Our next call was to Golden Beach at Skala Panagia - which was utterly deserted the first time we visited but was crowded just a few days later when the sun came out.  I loved this chocolate box hotel (pictured below) just off Golden Beach, though we didn't stay there. Instead, we enjoyed a coffee at Viglis Restaurant (terrible TripAdvisor reviews but coffee was perfect!) , with a fabulous view of the beach on one side and a beautiful small cove on the other.

*The beach resorts begin "Skala ...." with the name of the nearest village - though in reality they can be several miles away.




From there it was just a short ride to Skala Potomia, a wonderful long beach with a small harbour and museum at the end, which was utterly transformed in just a few days, with sunloungers, paragliding, snorkling and jetskis available. 


There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, but if you're looking for somewhere quiet and peaceful - this is probably not the place, although the local wildlife (below) didn't seem to mind!





Thassos is a very mountainous island, so fabulous if you enjoy hiking.  It also has wonderful beaches, lots of small intimate deserted coves - and even a nudist beach.

We visited the resort of Limenaria, which has a new harbour, like most of the new harbours on Thassos, paid for with EU funding,  overlooked by a ruined mansion, which our friends told us is really creepy - allegedly a former war-time German-owned property which housed workers to a nearby mine. Then it was onto Portos which is the liveliest resort on the island - much more of a party town and great for the youngsters, but perhaps a little too lively for us oldies.


No visit to Thassos would be complete without a visit to Iris Gold, where you can take a tour and watch jewellers creating beautiful pieces in gold and silver with precious gemstones, or simply browse in the shop and choose your pieces, which were very reasonable! (Yes of course I bought a couple of items!!)


There is one main road which goes right around the island and we came across a fabulous new hotel - the Blue Dream Palace Hotel in Tripiti, where an enthusiastic greeter offered to show us around.  And what a fabulous hotel in a lovely spot - though in truth, you could have been anywhere.



It was certainly lovely, with plenty to do - tennis, water sports, restaurants, two pools a private beach for swimming, and a gorgeous spa with a water bed which changes colour for treatments! Then there was a small museum on site, and specially themed evenings and cocktail nights. However, if you are looking for authentic Greece, then maybe this wouldn't be the best place.  However, I wouldn't say no to sampling the beauty treatments!







Look out for more information on Thassos, as we explore Thassos Town on next week's blog.
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2 comments

  1. It was fabulous, Susan - I wasn't expecting it, if I'm being honest. Turned out to be a treasure and will definitely go back again !

    ReplyDelete

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