Great place to get away from it all... but consequently rather cut-off, even from Naoussa. We came in from Thessaloniki by train, which was about 1.5 hours journey. The hotel is situated just off the highway, between the Naoussa Railway Station (@ 4 km) and the town proper (@ 2 km). There was a bus from the railway station that dropped us right outside Esperides, and continued on to Naoussa.
The hotel staff was very kind and polite, and did quite a lot by way of trying to make arrangements for sightseeing for us. But it seemed that they expected us to know what to do, where to go and how to get there. Which would normally be fine, except that their website claims that they can make all the arrangements. We were depending on the fact that they would have some trips and tours for us to choose from, but we had to ask specifically for everything and they seemed to have some trouble organizing what we thought were rather basic needs (vineyard tour, car rental). Perhaps such arrangements are only common at certain time of year.
For us to get to town from the hotel, it was a 30 minute walk either along the highway (no pedestrian path or shoulder) or via steep, winding byroads (very pretty). The bus supposedly passes every half hour or so, but the only time we decided to try it, we waited for over an hour at the bus stop, with traffic roaring by us leaving us in clouds of dust. A taxi ride to town costs about 13 euros, if ordered to the hotel from Naoussa. But the return journey (catching the taxi in town) costs half that.
Opposite the highway from the hotel are vineyards, and mountains in the distance.... very pretty. Behind the hotel is a steep hill. The hotel has no restaurant, but offers a petite menu of a couple of salads/sandwiches (which they readily made for us, but insisted we eat in the dining room). There are 2 tavernas on the highway right by the hotel, but we never saw them open in the 3 days we were there. We hiked into town for our meals.
By the second day, we decided to rent a car to see the area. We had to take a taxi to Veria to find a car rental. The hotel apparently couldn't reach a car rental by phone. But they managed to arranged for us to visit to the reknowned Boutari wine estates, where we got a short tour for free. We had to get to the estate ourselves.
To sum up, Naoussa and the area has a lot to offer, but it's best to pre-arrange your own mode of transport and do your research beforehand. The hotel has lovely big rooms, with wonderful views and pretty bathrooms. Sound insulation isn't the best, but we were only disturbed for a few minutes by a late arrival one night. The cable tv had english movies, and the room had a fridge and mini bar. The hotel gave us free use of the jacuzzi by appointment. The breakfasts were great by Greek standards. There was free internet access in the reception area. We weren't disturbed by traffic even though our room faced the highway (across another plot). If I were to go to Naoussa again to enjoy the region, then I would prefer to stay in town. But if I wanted a quiet holiday spent hiking, relaxing, soaking in an outdoor hot tub, etc, then Esperides is the place to go.
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- Also Known As:
- Esperides Hotel Greece/Naousa