What a privilege it is to incorporate holidaying with friends on a Greek Island in the Aegean Sea into our routine narrowboating life!!!!
When our friends, Jim and Chris from NB Sylph, invited us to join them on their planned two week holiday to the Island of Thassos, it took us about 3 seconds to say yes. And on top of that, they did all the planning so we just had to pack a bag and collect our passports. Of course, that meant I forgot to change money, remember beach towels, ensure that I could legally return to the UK…….
But I’ll give you all the highlights.
A very early 3.00am start to catch the taxi to Manchester Airport, where we sadly said farewell to our crew for the last five weeks, Denise, and excitedly boarded our plane to Kavala Greece where we were transported by coach to the ferry across to Thassos Island and then to our hotel.
We had a half-board booking (includes room plus breakfast and dinner) at the Four Seasons Hotel about 4 km out of Thassos Town. The benefit of this accommodation was that so much was included, but the drawback was that we were too far out of town to spend evenings enjoying the many taverns there.
However, the food at the hotel was absolutely plentiful and in the main very delicious. They also introduced us to Frappe coffees – made with lots of ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to be enjoyed over a long period of time by adding water as its drunk. Had one everyday!!!!
We also hired a car for 9 days of our 14 – a Suzuki Jimny – which gave us the freedom to go sightseeing around the island and experience the many beaches on offer. Bob kindly volunteered to do the driving which enabled the rest of us to enjoy a wine, cider or beer with lunch.
We visited several beaches but agreed that Golden Beach was our favourite, with plenty of sunbeds and beach umbrellas provided (mostly) free by the cafes and restaurants provided you bought a drink, as well as beautiful sandy beach and gentle waves to swim and play in. There was also a wonderful masseuse whose services I availed myself of.
The very old town of Megalo Kazaviti was also great to explore and the fresh orange juice at the taverna was very refreshing.
Driving around the coast and witnessing the changing array of blues and greens in the Agean Sea was awesome. I never tired of seeing another blue and it did remind me a little of my colour scheme on Celtic Maid!!!
My favourite highlight was our yacht trip. Along with another couple from Denmark, the four of us and the 2 crew, we took a seven-hour cruise on S/Y Archangelos. Despite there being not enough wind to actually sail, we had a brilliant cruise with lovely company, a sumptuous lunch and the opportunity to go swimming off the stern in the amazingly clear waters. Even I went in (with life jacket) and didn’t want the day to end. When it did we caught up with the others in a cafe and had a lovely girl serving us who encouraged our lively mood and raucous singing.
Everywhere we went the people were friendly and the service excellent. They were only too happy to tell us of the sights we might like to see and places to explore.
And of course there was loads of time to sit by the pool or on the beach sipping a cold drink and wondering what the poor people were doing – working probably.
On the negative side.
It was a trifle too hot to sleep well.
Being stung by a wasp and attacked by the many insects was a little tedious.
Sunburn was a given.
Both Jim and Bob had ear problems from too much early morning swimming in the pool.
The Greeks loved me so much they didn’t want me to leave. A bit of a frightening moment at the airport on the way back because I was travelling on my Australian passport and had no official documentation that confirmed I could stay in the UK on my return because I was in the middle of applyng for it. They finally let me go.
All in all a wonderful time and huge thanks to Jim and Chris for inviting us to share this relaxing adventure.