June 29, 2015
Travel PR’s Sue Ockwell and husband, Noel Josephides, are in Greece to see exactly how it is on the ground and hopefully prove to people that a holiday in Greece is just as great as ever this year AND huge value to boot. They report that the ATMs are working (and no long queues in evidence), the cafés are full – and the low prices still offer great value for money; “…potato and olive pie, frappes (iced coffee) and baklava for two, €7.50!”
“We arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city – on the NE coast – yesterday lunchtime. The BA flight from Gatwick was littered with trunkies (fun children’s suitcases), pre-school youngsters duly attached, along with their well-heeled parents, probably heading for Sani Beach resort.
“We were met and driven the 20-minute transfer to our seafront hotel. So far, so normal. Apartment blocks have mostly replaced the beautiful 19th century villas that lined the main road, but some remain, doubtless awaiting the attention of developers if the many disparate arms of the family which inherited the property can agree to sell. Meanwhile, the land appreciates in value as the property itself deteriorates.
“Hungry, we headed to the terrace restaurant of the Makedonia Palace Hotel, which specialised in seafood. Despite it being late (3.30 pm), we were welcomed, ordered ouzo and enjoyed a sushi amuse-bouche and some cleverly fashioned olive-shaped tapenade-filled goodies and taramosalata. Then whitebait and potato salad plus Greek salad (tomatoes so wonderfully flavour-filled that the taste exploded in your mouth). Then spaghetti with seafood… all was absolutely delicious, and cost just €34 for two, including ouzo and two large bottles of water. In a five-star hotel, with sea views and birdsong thrown in free of charge, not to mention charming and attentive staff who spoke very good English. #greekvalue, for sure.
“Next it’s on to a late supper in Thessaloniki’s Liberation Square area to catch up with Sunvil Holidays’ agent of many years’ standing, Kostas Doukas.”