ROAD TRIP to Thassos, Greece

 

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I’ve always found myself more attracted to Arabic countries than to European ones, spending my past summer holidays in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, thus the decision of traveling this summer to Greece was more a compromise for me. Confrunting with a massive fear of plane crash following the events this year, I came to the conclusion that the only way I’m having a holiday abroad this summer is if I’m traveling there by car. My boyfriend agreed and soon I began looking for accommodation in Thassos – one of the nearest holiday destination I could reach in less than 12 hours by car – and two weeks after, off we were.

We got in the car on August 29th, at 7 in the morning, and reached our destination at about 6 pm, after driving via the Giurgiu – Ruse – Biala – Veliko Tarnovo – Gurkovo – Stara Zagora – Dimitrovgrad – Haskovo – Kardzali – Makaza – Komotini – Keramoti route (about 600 km) and taking the ferry from Keramoti to Thassos.

Once arrived in the Thassos harbour, there was only a 15 minutes drive left to Skala Potamia, the settlement where our accomodation was located (Nama Apartments), so as soon as we got off the ferry, we felt incredibly relieved that we were almost there. After 8 hours spent on the Bulgarian roads, looking at nothing else but massive trucks passing with agonizing speed and weed fields, our morale was quite down, so you cannot imagine our joy when we stepped on Thassos ground.

The studio we’ve rented was decent. It included one bedroom with balcony, one bathroom, a large kitchen and another balcony and I was happy to notice that it was placed downtown, being very close to a Carrefour Express, a medical center and a lot of souvenir shops and restaurants, while the beach was only 100 meters away. Definitely worth paying 50 euros/day for accommodation!

The food from the local taverns was affordable (Greek salad ~ 5 euros, lamb chops ~ 7 euros, grilled octopus ~ 8 euros, tzatziki ~ 3 euros, pizza ~ 9 euros, gyros ~ 2.5 euros, souvlaki ~ 6 euros) and the portions were huge, since every main course included garnish. However, despite the fact that I stayed in Skala Potamia for 9 days and ate everyday at another tavern, only two taverns made a good impression on me – Krambousa and Aphrodite – so if you ever go to Skala Potamia and want to enjoy good Greek food, you should give these taverns a try.

As for entertainment, we went swimming to a different beach every day – my top three beaches in Thassos being Paradise Beach, Marble Beach and Aliki Beach – climbed to Giola, which is Thassos’s natural pool, went on a cruise with Zeus (which I do not recommend though – the staff was poor, few stops for snorkeling and swimming, terrible food), drove to Potos and Panagia, went shopping for authentic extra virgin olive oil, visited The Ancient Theatre from Thassos, discovered some of the aquatic creatures from the Aegean sea (plenty of fish species, sea urchins, octopus) and walked the streets of the surrounding settlements.

However, being a destination primarily for families and seniors – since it lacks in nightlife and the only fun thing to do in the evening is to eat at a taverna or sip a drink at a cocktail lounge – a holiday on the Thassos island may seem a bit boring for the young folks, but if you plan your holiday in detail and make the most of every day by having a lot of activities during the day, all you’ll want at 8-9 pm is a comfortable bed.

As a conclusion, my spontaneous road trip to Thassos turned unexpectedly good. The total cost for a 9 day holiday for two people, including the total gas spent during the trip, ferry tickets, vignette, highway taxes, accommodation, cruises, meals, sun beds, medical insurance, small souvenirs and other stuff was 1120 euros and funny, yet quite intriguing, this amount of money wouldn’t suffice to a similar holiday in Mamaia.