Recently I took a trip to Greece to see some friends. As someone who has travelled to many of the Greek islands – I often forget just how good the mainland is. Once I had tallied up how much I had spent over my long weekend, I realised there were a few things I could have done a lot cheaper and thought that maybe it would be a great idea for a blog.
Getting there – CheapOair: £80
I will literally never book with anyone but CheapOair.com. My hand luggage only Ryanair flight to Thessaloniki only cost me £80 return which was amazing. I got a deal through them and I did actually check on the Ryanair website as they always claim to be cheaper if you book direct but that’s 100% a lie. Obviously, going with a budget airline means that you don’t get any frills, but with a just over 3 hour flight when it is low season you can probably make do. Try and get a flight on the Friday morning for your long weekend to start early.
Transfer from Thessaloniki – Suntransfer or Holiday Taxi’s: £25
I got a private transfer which was unnecessarily expensive. Get a one way with a transfer company as you won’t need it on the way back on Monday. There are loads of companies that do transfers from Thessaloniki airport and all of them are about the same price.
Where to stay – Kiwi Hotel: £143 for 3 nights
Kiwi hotel is always my first choice when I go to this area. The price is right and it is a small family run hotel which makes it super friendly. There is a swimming pool for those hotter days and all of the rooms have a sea view. The great thing is anywhere good is about 8 euro in a taxi – but all of the hotels in these places are double the price. Setting up New Fokea as your base camp is a great way to save those pennies.
Get A Gyros In Nea Fokea: £2
Nea Fokea town is relatively small, but it is a short walk from Kiwi and no doubt you will be hungry from your flight. Wander up to the gyros shop and grab a traditional Greek kebab for about 3 euro. While you are there you can wander and get your bearings. There are some lovely little restaurants and bars on the actual beach and if you brave the climb up to the old castle you be able to see miles of the coastline from the top.
First night in Kalithea: £40
Get a taxi into Kalithea and enjoy dinner and a couple of drinks in one of the bars. Kalithea has loads of rooftop bars with beautiful views so if the weather is pleasant enough you can spend hours here people watching.
Day 2 in Afitos: £4
I really can’t remember how much the bus actually is to Afitos but I know it is 9.50 euro to Thessaloniki to Afitos and New Fokea is much nearer. Afitos is a beautiful, traditional Greek town with plenty of nice views and things to do. Again, it is quite high up so you can enjoy very panoramic, Instagrammable views from some of the rooftop bars. There is also a Greek folklore museum if the sort of thing takes your fancy.
Dinner in New Fokea – Ta Kymata: £15
Ta Kymata in Nea Fokea is a cute little fish restaurant with tables right by the sea. It does loads of different things if you do not like fish and the wine is pretty good here too. Depending on what you have a meal here really does not need to be expensive – the spaghetti napolinita is only 8 euro.
Day 3 – A bus trip to Sani: £40
Sani is the home to the world famous Sani resort and a return bus journey will set you back about 6 euros. Although the marina is reserved for guests, there is a beach bar called Anemos. Once you have had a drink at Anemos and maybe even some food you are able to wander up to Sani Marina which is more or less the focal point of the resort. It isn’t uncommon for celebrities to moor their yachts on the marina and have dinner i
n one of the restaurants. There is a great place called Mojitos which is quite inexpensive for where it is. It has wonderful views of the marina and a lot of the time they have live music.
Last day – Thessaloniki and the airport: £50
Get up early and crack on with going to Thessaloniki for the day for your last day. It is where the airport is anyway, so this is the best day to fit it in. It’s advisable to take a small bag to travel with if you are going to do this on the last day – rather than a suitcase. The bus into Thessaloniki is around 13 euro and it takes you into the bus station that you will need to use to get the bus onward to the airport later on – so it’s easy to get your bearings. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and it is jam packed with things to do. There is a shopping centre called Cosmos if that is what floats your boat and plenty of places to eat and drink. If history is your thing there are plenty of archaeological sites like the forum and the Byzantine walls of the city. Thessaloniki is known as quite a ‘hip’ city in Greece, which means there are plenty of restaurants and bars to pass a couple of hours in if you get bored of all of the things to see and do.
Total Spend: £399