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August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Komotini, Greece
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August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Here's what I'm looking for:

- an island or a place that has island-like qualities (know what I mean?)

- must have archaeological/historical site(s)

- must not be really expensive everywhere, because I am planning a dozen trips this year and don't want to spend all my money (haha) in the first two months!

- reachable with a minimum of fuss from Thessaloniki, rather than Athens (by whatever means)

We're two people (28 & 34) with very low standards, who, by this point, are going to be very tired and hot, and will need some relaxation, but beaches are not required. When in August is entirely flexible, anywhere from Aug 1 to Sept 1, and the length of time is flexible, from one week to over three weeks, I just have to work out what makes the most sense. We'll rent a car or bring ours with us if necessary; otherwise, we'll leave it at home.

I don't mind crowds but I'm hoping to avoid really high prices if possible.

Last summer we went to Limnos for our "summer beach trip" and that was perfect (although we went second half of July).

Currently considering: Lesvos, Samothraki (I've been before though), Skyros, Chios (these last two I may save for a very long and involved trip I'm planning in December though), Evrytainia, Parga, Kastoria....

Looking for more ideas... or opinions on these places.

Incidentally I will spend all of July in Athens and environs with no air conditioning so I really am leaning toward someplace COOLER (Samothraki?). Does that rule out places like Lesvos, Chios, Skyros? I've already ruled out Thassos. Ikaria? - too hard to get to from Thessaloniki and too hard to find a place to stay? Not sure...

Athens
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1. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

If island is not a must...Have you ever tried the beaches of Xanthi prefecture? Porto Lagos, Fanari (this belongs to Rodopi if i am not wrong) and all the villages there are quite, by the sea, cheap. You can stay in the city of Xanthi. Several monasteries around. Avdira and their (VERY interesting) archaelogical museum. Pomakoxoria and the most ancient forest in Europe, the one between Xanthi and Drama. River Nestos and activities there, Stavroupoli, a city by the river.... And day trips to Kavala and Drama and maybe until Alistrati and its magnificent cave....

Athens, Greece
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2. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Panosath, you've decided the same direction as me!

I would also suggest going east of Thessaloniki, The Alistrati caves are amazing, Kavala is interesting-it has a good museum, you must see the Aqueduct, it's amazing how it just straddles the roads in the centre! Walk up the hill of the old town, see the Imaret with all it's domes & stop there for coffee. There's the Byzantine fortress too.

A visit to Philippi is a must for you, although I wouldn't be surprised if you've already been! The site is large with some on either side of the main road.

This area is on my revisit list because it's been a while since I was there & I still have a lot to see.

Thessaloniki, Greece
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3. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

xaroula said:

"Here's what I'm looking for:

- an island or a place that has island-like qualities (know what I mean?)"

Ehm...no not really! However here's another idea:

How about Florina region? I suppose you can spend a week's time.

Not much on the archaeology field (i think) BUT:

- Florina city has a couple of museums and some charming areas especially by the river. At least you can use it as a base for day trips.

…agrotravel.gr/agro/…

-Nymfeo. A beautiful, peaceful place with old houses, mansions and churches. Several traditional mansions offer rooms in decent prices. And if you are into hiking or horse riding the surrounding nature is wonderful.

…agrotravel.gr/agro/…

You can spend at least one night there and the next day you can visit...

-Arcturos Environmental Centre. Bear and wolf sanctuary.

http://www.arcturos.gr/en/default.asp

-Prespes lakes. You can catch a boat to the small island in Mikri Prespa and visit the byzantine church and the ascetic caves.

Overall it's easily reachable from Thessaloniki, relatively cheap and certainly cooler than Athens and Thessaloniki.

Komotini, Greece
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4. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Pano,

I have to look at a map to see where these places you mention are (except that the problem with this area is that I think I have been to all the archaeological sites & museums there, Avdira, Makri, Mesemvria-Zoni, Maroneia). I've never been to ANY of the beaches there though - also have not spent enough time in Komotini so that might be a place I could visit if I went there. Last time I was in Komotini I was running late and only had time to see the archaeological museum but missed the historical center. Never been to Xanthi city either. My travel partner has a lovely house in the mountains of Drama, so it's certainly not out of the question that we could reduce our costs by basing ourselves there for part of the trip; but on the other hand, I have been there a lot of times and kind of want to go someplace farther afield.

Yiassas, Kavala is another place I have been but not for very long. I went there on the way to Thassos and only managed to stay one night and to see the castle, aqueduct and archaeological museum. Philippi and Amphipolis - been there already, great sites both of them, definitely! (I recently realized that Xena the Warrior Princess is from Amphipolis.)

One option that is now occurring to me as I write this is some sort of city hop, where I would see the cities Kavala, Komotini, and Xanthi (and maybe start with Serres, skip Drama as have been there enough I think, or stop off there for a night). The cities are bound to be quieter in August, and we could even use buses to get between them. But I would not get my archaeological sites :( I really need some of those. Beaches aren't necessary and quiet cities might be a good way to go.... this is an interesting possibility - inland eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

Komotini, Greece
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5. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Cinefun,

What I meant by island-like quality was a place that is relatively self-contained... although I will admit that what I just posted doesn't fit that too well, but I often start out with good intentions and end up road-tripping. I mean a place like the Pilio peninsula, or Mani, or someplace that has a distinct identity in the way that an island does. Sorry for not being more specific initially!

Florina is an interesting idea... I have wanted to visit the archaeological museum there, I hear it's been very well done, and the city also. Nymfaio is also a very intriguing idea.

Prespes/Kastoria/Florina maybe? For 15 days or so? Maybe? The cool temperatures sound very tempting. I suppose the best way would be to drive from Thessaloniki, as we would definitely need a car, correct?

Thessaloniki, Greece
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6. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

That was fast! (considering it's 3:00 AM)

Yes you will definitely need a car and the idea to include Kastoria is great.

Komotini, Greece
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7. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

hehe no I'm in the USA right now... I had to leave or risk overstaying my visa :( I'll be back in Greece in June!!

Philadelphia
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8. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Hey, listen to the lady who steere you to Kea.

You write about a lot of places, but I haven't seen you mention Samos yet. Have you beeen there so many times that it bores you?

Actually it can be VERY cheap, they tell me, if you go west -- even in August, it is NOT crowded.

Today on the thread "Is Samos the Right Choice?" a new Ta person Soumakolada (FUNNY PUN! Souma is the Samos version of tsipouro) from Germany posted amazing links!!! his basic website is

http://www.samos-media.com/ but u drill down, down

He recommended starting with "Ready for Samos?" on this page http://www.samos-media.com/inhalt.htm

and I fell under the spell of his pictures... taken late May & June mainly ... people are seen swimming so I know it's at LEAST June. Except for fotos of Pythagoria & Samos Town, VERY unpeopled. West Samos is full of little towns N & S that are totally untouristed cheap-cheap-cheap. I would suggest actually that you PM him and specifically ask where to stay for, like 20€ per nite.

OMG, it is SO beautiful. He has photos of walking paths that are bowers of Green.

Komotini, Greece
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9. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Janet that was you? I thought Diana was the one who sent me to Kea. And that thread is so long dead. Well, whoever it was, you have my eternal gratitude.

I've never been to Samos. In fact, YOU were the one who suggested Chios to me, but I am thinking that I will go there in December for about 8-10 days (I will start a thread on that later in the year, I suppose, unless I can't help myself and do it sooner. At any rate, it will be me and my mom Dec 1-10 or so, most likely - she and I are day-hike fanatics). I have never seriously considered Samos, but did you see Ikaria on my list?

Samos definitely fits the bill for archaeological sites. I may have to struggle a bit to get there from Thessaloniki (haven't checked that yet) but that is of minimal importance, and I probably shouldn't have mentioned it initially. I don't really mind the hassle. I will check out those links you gave me, thanks.

Do you think Samos would be expensive? When I say low standards, I mean running water for at least 2-3 hours per day, electricity, and a horizontal surface. We might camp, although I don't have any camping supplies and don't know if I want to go that route right now (can be more expensive if you have to get good stuff anyway).

Also - in your experience, would we need to rent a car on Samos to make the most of it? Say we went for 7 days, and rented a car for 2 days, to explore, but for the rest relied on buses (?), taxis, and walking - does that sound about right?

Any thoughts on booking? We can't actually book anything until end of June (work scheduling stuff) and I don't want to run into stress - is it the kind of place where I can get August accom a few weeks ahead? This is something that attracts me about places like Florina, Komotini, etc - I'm relatively confident that it won't cost me very much stress to deal with that.

Komotini, Greece
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10. Re: August in Greece for hot, poor, tired me

Haha. Somehow I skipped over the paragraph about how "Actually it can be VERY cheap, they tell me, if you go west -- even in August, it is NOT crowded. "

Right, so feel free to NOT answer that question again LOL!!