Summer, beautiful and scary hot summer is nearing the end. With the last breaths of summer, I begin to dream of vacation. Vacation on an island! Because it's the only island I have visited, for myself it's the most beautiful in the world. Thassos from northern Greece.
Well, the logic and the knowledge of geography tell me that it cannot be the most beautiful in the world. Of course! However, I like to think that it is the most beautiful because the impact of my first visit there was a shock...
Because I found everything I like best, the lifestyle and the landscape that perfectly matches my dream of a happy life.
This is far from the brightness and opulence of large resorts and hotels. It is about the simple life that the inhabitants live on the island and that is exactly the life I would have liked to have.
Some general data about the island: it is located in the North Aegean Sea and is a large island. Of the thousands of islands Greece has, Thassos is the twelfth in size. The capital is Limenas and is 10 kilometers from Keramoti, the place on the continent from where we embark on the ferry to reach the island ... so a sea crossing of about half an hour.
To reach Keramoti I traveled by car almost 900 km from Bucharest, Romania, crossing Bulgaria and part of mainland Greece. It's a pretty tiring trip, especially since I'm not young anymore, but that doesn't stop me from starting every year on this route. You can also arrive by plane to Kavala and cross the ferry from this city, but the journey by sea is longer in this version.
Keramoti - Feribot - Limenas
Our destination is Limenaria, a small town about 20 km from Limenas. From the speed of the car I admired what the island had to offer, I mean the beach. Oh, exactly what I want! A small example:
Limenaria - our destination
Limenaria, a small town, is the place where we come every time. What I like the most here is the warmth and friendship that you received from the hosts.
Every year we go to the same host, a small hotel on the outskirts of the city, near a pine forest. From here we start every morning in long walks through the forest, to the nearest localities. That's because we used to drink coffee in another city, Pothos and take a bath and beach in another, Pefkari. A perfect argument for long day trips over ten kilometers.
Limenaria - Pefkari - Potos
Every day this route is obligatory for us. We are in the category of those who prefer vacations with a lot of movement. We consider this is beneficial for health. This is part of our trip and I noticed that many tourists choose this route. Many are looking for isolated beaches.
Part of the walk that can be done between these localities. In order to be as specific as possible, I have to tell about each place. Because Limenaria is where I lived during this holiday here are most to present. Thus I will present the last of this triplet.
Potos is a larger and more developed city and resort than Limenaria. Because of this, it is much more crowded, we visit it daily because here we drink coffee. Right on the street, in front of a small bakery. We became friends with the owner who offered us every time small gifts, pies and, sweets. This is a widespread custom on the island of offering small gifts to customers.
Well, this place has become our daily destination, this is to show you things and places that are absolutely normal but made our stay happy on the island. At the same time, Potos is full of small shops and stalls with souvenirs, clothes, and products specific to the island. It is absolutely impossible to resist so many temptations, especially women are enthusiastic buyers!
If Potos is a place where you can have a very good coffee and eat fresh and extremely tasty pastries, spend all your money on souvenirs and clothes ... Pefkari is different!
Pefkari is a perfect place to admire the sea, sunbathe and swim in the sea. Rest in the shade of a terrace and drink soft drinks and beer.
Last but not least, Limenaria. We can say our house. It has everything we saw in the other places but for us something extra.
A small port, a promenade, the endless shopping street ...
What is different about Limenaria for us is that we ate here. Every night! In Greece, the best food is offered by the small family restaurants, the famous taverns. Anyone who wants to meet a people must eat the specific food. The most authentic food is the one offered at taverns, it is the same food that every Greek eats at home.
Learning to eat, learning taverns. As a newcomer to the island, in Limenaria you do not know which taverns are best. So you have to try as much as possible ... So did we.
It is not difficult to choose a tavern because if you happen to pass by it then the employer appears as though it is clear and pulls you inside. Very difficult to resist and only if you didn't like the food you have to bypass the place the next day.
These are the classic taverns. Quite rustic and cleanliness is not really the greatest concern. The advantage is that the food is very good. The seafood products are fresh and with a unique taste. For example: octopus!
For a while these places were favorite for food until our host recommended us the place to eat best in Limenaria. I don't even know what it's called because it doesn't write anywhere.
It is the place where locals eat in the evening after the day's work is over. They eat and talk in front of a glass of wine. The tables are placed on the street and the cars pass through the middle of the street.
No one is in a hurry and is not upset that the delayed meal is brought. There are no waiters, the food is brought by children from the family. If they see you looking forward, they tell you that the order will arrive in five minutes, then don't forget to specify "five Greek minutes" ... which are not equal to the minutes known to us. The food does not look very good but it is extremely tasty, the portions are large and not expensive. Besides, you get something from the house. Finally, you do not have to be very pretentious about cleanliness or appearance ... if you have such desires then you must go to the three-star restaurants.
It may not look good this food but I tell you it's extremely tasty. From the moment we discovered this place we only ate there. In my opinion, this tavern is one of the main attractions of Limenaria. Late at night we finish eating and go to our hosts for a well-deserved rest. Now the cats remain masters!
All this and many others make me wait every beginning of September to start the trip to the island. To live a while on an island! I am reminded of the island from different images running through my head more and more often as September approaches.
There are hundreds of hundreds of images to show but it has to end. After spending some time on the island we must learn to relax and love our time as the Greeks know how to do it.
This is also an invitation. When an island calls you don't hesitate, you must go. It will definitely change the way you think about your life priorities!