Greece

Glimpse of Greece in Afytos

When I was young and still attended primary school ancient Greece was one of my favourite topics of all. I used to imagine living in a Greek house, going to baths. I read myths and imagined the wonderful temples. When I grew a little bit older I imagined philosophers walking among olive trees and talking about life and universe, having raving disputes on corners of streets and agoras.

So finally I got to Greece. Journey to Afytos took us about 16 hours. We landed in Thessaloniki International Airport and took bus 78 which took us to KTEL. It was the wrong KTEL as it turns out. We got to Macedonia Suburban bus terminal and it took us over an hour in the traffic, just to find out that we have to take city bus to get to another bus station.  The building is really impressive and I could see it from the airplane while landing. So then we took a bus from platform 13 that got us to KTEL Halkidiki coach station. It took another hour.

At least we were able to see a bit of the city and get a feel for it. However if you would like to avoid it take bus 45 (via IKEA passengers terminal). The first ticket cost us €0.90 the second €1.00.

The ticket from KTEL Halidiki to Afytos cots €8.70 and the journey takes around 1h 15mis (watch out the seats are designated). Telephone number to bus station to check what time the bus arrives in Afytos 00302374022214

afytos greece sea of blue

Athitos or Afitos is Halkidiki’s stone-built “balcony”, offering breathtaking views to Toroneos Bay. It has a cute town centre with cobblestone streets or rather alleys and mud brick houses. The village square hosts the church of St. Demetrius which was built around 1858. I will let you enjoy the pictures but first a couple of things. We were very happy with our stay in Eden Hotel. Staff was friendly and the bed comfortable, we had nice little balcony where we sat with our friends enjoying drinks and food. The nicest restaurant we dined in was recommended in our hotel. I lost the map and the name of the place but I found it on streetview here it is:

Afitos restaurant greece

But we had the most filling and meaty meal in Amvrosia. Mixed grill and gyros recommended although our friends were happy with different dishes. It was more expensive than Italy. They always charge you for the bread. The amounts on bills don’t add up and sometimes you are charged for something you didn’t order. They think that if they write it in Greek you won’t notice. Olives and oli of olive were quite expensive but the taste of tomatoes priceless! You must be careful not to step on sea urchins.Metaxa is cheap and yummy.

Oh and Greeks have a very weird sense of humor. Pay attention to the signs on umbrellas and let me know if you find them funny!

It is common for rural Greeks to have religious statues and images in their homes, together with holy oil, holy water, and a special kind of lamp.

 

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Ireland – Greece – Italy September 2014

Here is the overview of my last trip. We flew from Dublin to London Stansted and after a night spent there flew to Thessaloniki in Greece. We were to attend a wedding in Afitos. After a couple of days we flew from Thessaloniki to Rome and rented a car. This time we decided not to spend each night in a different place but to stay put and do day trips if any. Our first night in Italy we spent in Pitigliano and the remaining three in San Gimignano.
Overview of the route

More details coming up in the next post!