Monday, 30 April 2018

Holel Elevi (Xenia) update ...

Time to start calling it the Hotel Elivi ...



Thanks to 'Steve in Skiathos' and 'Skiathos Island News' for very kindly, allowing us to share the following final update, and photos of the ongoing works ...

Steve has been out and about, with the camera, once again, and yesterday had a peek behind closed doors ...

We had a final look round today ahead of the new season to check the access to the two banana beaches. 

There is currently no sign of any form of gates/barriers to prevent anyone from wandering through the new development to gain access to big banana beach. 

There is a new road towards the beaches that runs up alongside the old Village Taverna; opening this year as a pizza restaurant (photo A). At the top of the road turn right and follow the new road (photo B) to where it forks 3 ways (photo C). Track 1 leads down through the new development to big banana beach. Follow track 2 for 50 metres and – at the moment – there is a small path down to the left which takes you to the old track to small banana (photo D). Track 3 will eventually take you to small banana but it is a very long and steep route so don’t bother. 

There is no longer a bar or watersports on big banana but the new development has a large cafe area set just back from the beach. It seems too big for the number of properties in the new development so maybe it will be open to the public.








As for access to small banana, there are 4 options:

1. Walk through the development to big banana via track 1and go round the rocks – still an easy climb today.

2. Follow track 2 for 50 metres and down the path to the left.

3. Turn down beside the Golden Beach Hotel and head towards Aghia Eleni beach. Before the road on the right which has a dead end sign, there is a path to the left. 

Head up until the path forks (photo E) and take the left track (the right one leads Aghia Eleni beach). 



The path levels out with great views of the lake at Koukounaries. Further along it becomes narrow and loose underfoot for a while (take care!) until you reach the top where, turning right (photo F) will take you down to small banana.



4. Go to Aghia Eleni and head to the far left of the beach where there is a path over the rocks to small banana (a bit tricky in places).

We have been told that a decision as to whether Bananistas will reopen will be made in about 10 days but, looking at the state of it, it will be a surprise if it does. However, should access through the development be restricted in future, there is a steep concrete track that leads to Bananistas which would provide access to big banana (hell of a climb back up so hopefully it will not be needed!).
If things change we will let everyone know.
Hope this all makes sense! Happy holidays!

To read more about the Hotel Elivi, which opens on June 1st, see the Daily Telegraph travel section article, click the link here ...

Previous Blog: Cruise liner in port ...

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Cruise liner in port ...

The MS Europa has arrived from Volos ...


According to the cruise programme, it should be here until 15:00hrs before departing for Piraeus ...


18 Apr Departing from   Limassol, Cyprus 
19 Apr 07:00 - 21:00      Haifa, Tel Aviv, Israel 
20 Apr 06:00 - 20:00      Ashdod, Jerusalem, Israel 
21 Apr 09:00 - 19:00      Paphos, Cyprus 
22 Apr 19:00 - 18:00      Rhodes Island, Greece 
24 Apr 07:00 - 22:00      Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece 
25 Apr 08:00 - 18:00      Chania, Crete, Greece 
26 Apr 08:00 - 17:00      Naxos Island, Greece 
26 Apr 20:00 - 17:00      Mykonos Island, Greece 
28 Apr 08:00 - 28 Apr    Volos, Greece 
29 Apr 06:00 - 15:00      Skiathos Island, Greece 
30 Apr Arriving in          Piraeus, Athens, Greece 

Previous Blog: May Day - Strikes (Updated) ...

Saturday, 28 April 2018

May Day - Strikes (Updated) ...

Workers day ...

On Tuesday 1st of May the Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) has declared that there will be a 24 hours strike from 06:00am


Please get in touch with your ticket office for more info if you are booked to travel on this day ...

The Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) is striking for better working conditions for seamen/women. A clearer/better pension system, more support against unemployment and payment of salaries that they are owed ...

If you are in Athens:

On Tuesday 1st May, museums and archaeological sites will be closed to the public.

Also, there will be public transportation strikes in Athens:
- No suburban railway
- No trolleys
- Blue and red metro lines will operate from 9.00 - 18.00 (it will not be running to the airport)
- Green metro line will operate from 9.00 - midnight
- Buses will operate from 9.00 - 21.00

Finally, there will be no OSE trains on that day either ...

Previous Blog : Parking Restrictions ...

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Parking Restrictions ...

Starting on the 1st of May ...

On the new port, the port police will be out with their whistle, and their triplicate carbon - parking fine log book. As they celebrate the start their ticketing season.

You have been warned ...

The Hellenic navy are in port. For the 2nd day the Navy have a boat located in Skiathos overnight. During the day it carries out  patrols in the Aegean Sea ...

On this day ...

26 April 1943 | A transport of Greek Jews deported by Germans from ghetto in #Thessaloniki arrived at #Auschwitz with 2,700 poeple. During the selection SS doctors sent 2,062 people to be murdered in gas chambers. 445 men & 193 women were registered in the camp. #Θεσσαλονίκη

Lest we forget ...

Previous Blog: Σκιάθος Skiathos Greece 1964 ...

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Σκιάθος Skiathos Greece 1964 ...

I wonder what became of this beauty ...

The eyes suggest a story, whoever she is, I wonder what happened next.


Σκιάθος Skiathos Greece 1964
Photographer Constantine Manos via @OldGreekPhotos

Previous Blog : The most popular of Name Days ...

Later Update:

Its not Skiathos according to Constantine Manos website ...

Constantine Manos 1964
GREECE. Karpathos. Olympos. 1964. Watching the dance.

Would still love to know what happened next ...

Monday, 23 April 2018

The most popular of Name Days ...

Happy St George's Day.


Xronia Polla to all the Yorgos out there, and of course the patron saint of Skiathos St George ...

Hopefully all the Yorgos went to church this morning, at the chapel by the lake. Its just a great shame the horse race, no longer takes place to celebrate the day ...

Quote of the day ' Skiathos Palace - is that the one above the Vareli' #ohdear

If you are in the UK ...



Update: Still Advert free and the 'The Man in the White Hat' remains strangely quiet ...

Previous Blog: Enough to drive you potty ...

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Enough to drive you potty ...

What do you make of this ...

Looks like the Pottery on the ring road, is taking on a new life. More than a spattering of Greeklish from the signmaker ...


Seems the island is truly international now, Send your translation answers on a post card to the comments section at the foot of this post ...

Talking of which ...

I get a lot of folks after 'free plugs or wanting to share their world' with embedded links via the blog comments. Of course there are wild promises of how good this will be for me, and its actually about them advertising for free. Thats why I check any comment before publishing. Most of the dross, get directed to Spam and reported via Mr Google.

Some we have a banter, off page and I offer them an advertising space, where the funds raised, will go to old people on the island, who cannot afford to pay their electric bills. Needless to say we remain advert free on the blog, as no-one to date has ever taken up the option, with parting with their cash.

However 'The Man in the White Hat' has left a new comment, so here is a suggestion ...

On the Right hand side, is a link - Contact the Skiathian

Get in touch, pop us a (signed) copy (gratis) and we will decide - If its worth sharing with the wider reading public. After all its nearly sunbed time of the year, and we all need something to read under the sun umbrella ...

Our panel of expats, will thumb over the copy, before the season starts, and you can have your island based feedback on here ...

Over to you ...

Previous Blog: Are you feeling the heat ...

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Are you feeling the heat ...

In London, Meteorologists have recorded the hottest day in April since 1949, with temperatures reaching 29.1C (84.38F) in the capital.

Skiathos just made it to 22.2 degrees at 14:30hrs ...

The Met Office recorded the highest temperature in St James's Park in central London on Thursday afternoon. Which means it's officially time for the great British tradition of park sunbathing, BBQs and saying oh its too hot ...

Even Paddington Bear got in on the act - 'Mrs Bird says that for the first time this year, it's definitely a duffle coat off kind of day. Two weeks ago I was wondering if my duffle coat would ever be dry again, and today I’m wondering if I’ll ever need my duffle coat again.' #Heatwave

... and he is from Darkest Peru

The only food to be consumed today should be crisps, ice cream and of course ice lollies. Ladies that means its legs out day. Floral patterns are of course encouraged.

So if you need some practice, before your May adventure, down to the rock - Get some in ...


Temp anomaly map for Europe for the next 10 days: up to ~10 °C warmer than average for this period.  Feels more like June than mid-April! Temperatures will be above 25 °C for large parts of the region, locally up to and maybe over 30 °C ...

Which is probably why David C, from Scotland has sent me & Mr M this, his choice for todays sundowner ...


I have suggested, 'Good choice, suggest well chilled and view the sun through a frosted glass' ...

Previous Blog: Ferry Strike ...

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ferry Strike ...

Its silly season ...

If you are planning to travel by boat on Wednesday April 18th, you'll probably have to reschedule.

PNO (Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation):  has announced another 24 hour strike from 06:00 of Wednesday April 18, to 06:00 of Thursday April 19.

All ships will remain docked once again ...

Delayed post - Matt explains it all beautifully ...



Previous Blog: Καλό Σαββατοκύριακο ...

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Καλό Σαββατοκύριακο ,,,

Good Weekend ...

Wonder what the odds are on the Flying Dolphin appearing on Monday. According to Marine traffic, its still in the boatyard in Volos, where its been having new engines fitted.

New engines area a substantial reinvestment, so a commitment to the service it would seem. However the return to service has disappeared from the online timetables. The Flying Dolphin is my favourite way to travel, closely followed by the chuggy ferry - ANES Proteus ...

If you are a betting man, the Grand National may be a better option today ...


Matt seems to have had the mood last night, before the missiles started getting airborne, early this morning ...

FOG ! ...

Or as someone described it this morning - Sea Smoke ...



Previous blog: Greek Fighter crashes off Skyros ...

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Greek Fighter crashes off Skyros ...

A search was under way after a Hellenic Air Force fighter jet crashed into the sea off the coast of Skyros.

The Mirage 2000-5 jet fell some nine miles northeast of the island which is part of the Sporades group near the central Aegean, according to a statement issued by the Hellenic Air Force.

According to Greek defense sources, the Mirage had been one of Greek two jets on a mission to intercept Turkish jets in the Aegean earlier in the day.

The same sources said they did not believe any hostile activity was involved.

The Hellenic Air Force said the authorities lost contact with the jet some 9 miles northeast of Skyros at 12.15 p.m.

Navy vessels were dispatched to search the area. It has since been reported that the 34 year old pilot, died in the accident (Greek Reporter - Link here) ...

Previous Blog: Χριστὸς ἀνέστη χρόνια πολλά ...

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη χρόνια πολλά ...

The greeting is ...

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη χρόνια πολλά” Christos Anesti Chronia Polla! “Christ is Risen!”
You respond with Αληθώς Ανέστη! “Alithos Anesti" Truly he has risen ...

Now its time to eat, and the boys at Stamatis are ready and waiting ...




Agelos has the spit rotating, the Kokoretsi is sizzling, and the Makrinitsa soup ready to go ...


Friday, 6 April 2018

Holy Friday – Megali Pareskevi ...

Καλημέρα σας  Καλή Ανάσταση ...

Good Morning all, Good Resurrection ...

Head down to the church, or up to the Monastery, the Epitaphos has been decorated ...

Evagelistria Epitaphos
Panagia Limania Epitaphos

The mourning bell will start its solumn pealing in the next few hours. All work must have stopped by midday all cleaning completed, and certainly no hammering of nails ...

It reminds us of the special meaning of the day, shops and businesses normaly close from midday.

Tries Hieraches church will be very busy as smartly dressed locals, visit to view the decorated Epitaphos, which has been prepared for tonights candle lit procession.

The coffee shops and bars will be full, and the ouzerias, and tavernas serving just fish and shellfish dishes today, If you have never tried a Skiathos oyster, or sea anemones, they will be freely available today.

Tsipouro and coffee are the drinks of the day. However the weather forecast is not promising, for the day and nights activities on this holy day...

Here in Skiathos they follow the old tradition, and its magic to be here with your neighbours, walking the town tonight in a candlelit procession at 4am.

Kαλό Πάσχα!

Previous Blog: Μεγάλη Πέμπτη -Holy Thursday – Megali Pempti ...

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Μεγάλη Πέμπτη -Holy Thursday – Megali Pempti ...

Knock Knock - Who is there ?

Today it will be children with their hand made cross, decorated with flowers, after the communion service this morning. Some are quite simple affairs, made from bamboo tied together with wire. Others are apparent family heirlooms decorated with beautiful displays that any interflora florist would be proud of ...

The children will be touring the streets, this morning, knocking on neighbours doors, and hopefully gaining rewards for their efforts decorating their cross, with flowers representing the crucifixion.

Tsoureki, is a Greek plaited Easter bread that's so delicious you may be at risk of eating the whole loaf, I rather like it toasted, its sweet like a hot cross bun.



On Holy Thursday the bright red dyed eggs that are symbolic of Easter in Greece are prepared.

Tradition says that the Virgin Mother, Mary, dyed eggs this color to celebrated the Resurrection of Christ and to celebrate life. Every Greek family prepares these eggs as part of the Easter Sunday Resurrection Table.

You save the egg from the bread for Greek Easter Sunday, and play a version of egg conkers, but without the string ...

Previous blog: Holy Week (Megali Evdomada) ...

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Holy Week (Megali Evdomada) ...

Holy week has started ...

There has been a church service on a Friday evening, which has been packed and the parishioners in fill voice. Sunday was  Palm Sunday, and like every Sunday -  the church was packed as the last week of lent began, in earnest.

This week the church bells will be ringing out early, and every day for communion, and very well attended evening services. The churches will be full, standing room only, the singing from within, can be heard out in the streets and squares. The heady waft of incense as you pass by, many candles in the entrances for parishioners remembering absent friends and family.

Cant help noticing how the church bell ringing is getting slower as time passes by. Pappa Yorgos is a lovely man. Greeted me with a friendly smile and a wave.

This week those who are not fasting, tend to avoid eating meat anyway. But its not compulsory and its up to you what you do as you plan for next Sundays feast day.

This is the best week of the year, to be with Skiathos friends, and the weather knows it too ...

Previous blog: Beach cleaning update ...


Monday, 2 April 2018

Beach Cleaning update ...

For friend of the blog Dennis N ...

Who suggested more recognition, for the beach cleaning teams ...

Teo Tzoumas of the Skiathos Cultural association, has posted the following update.

Cleaning of Lalaria Beach and Agios Floros, on the island of Tsougria by the Cultural Association 'Skiathos' and Cleaning Service of the Municipality of Skiathos. 
They removed more than 60 cubic meters of heavy waste 'forgotten' or hidden by traders active in recent years on the beaches. The clean ups involved 32 volunteers and four workers of the Service, the boat 'Calypso', the Trehantiri 'Ag.George-Theodore ' ...


Before and after ...




In addition the bottom of the harbours are cleaned as well ... 


Underwater cleaning ot the port of Skiathos, Undertaken by Panagiotis Diolettas (Tourism minister) owner of the Skiathos Diving Center and representatives of the Municipal Cleaning Service. 

The collage of activities ...


All photos courtesy of the Skiathos Cultural Association/Teo Tzoumas ...

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Καλό μήνα - Απρίλιος & Holy Week in Skiathos ...

Καλό μήνα - Απρίλιος ...

The programme from the Monastery at Evagelistrias ...


If you are a seasoned Pasca traveller, then you know this is the best week on Skiathos all year - If not then you know what you should be doing ...

Previous blog: Beach Cleaning, Airport news and the Oscars ...