Halkidiki – love at first sight
Going to Greece, I, confess, did not experience any special enthusias about the upcoming trip. Well, this Mediterranean country can surprise me, and even in early May? Shubami? Ruins? Greek salad? Neither one nor another nor third me is especially interesting. And more interesting facts that could be interested in a tourist, I could not remember.
During a short flight from Moscow to Thessaloniki (less than 3 hours), I talked with a girl who was just in love with Greece and at any convenient case, at any time of the year flies to rest. Straight intrigued with their stories. And in winter, says there is good. Weather +10 – +15. You can see all the sights not under the scorching sun, but in a comfortable setting. Yes, and the people are somewhat less. And in the summer just wonderful. Sea, Sun, Friend Greeks. All this, of course, sounds attractive, but also tell me 99% of all countries that invite to relax our tourists. Well, in fact, for this I came to make my opinion about this country.
Immediately make a reservation that I traveled with Mouzenidis. This is a difficult-to-my name – the name of the founder and the owner of this travel agency. He is Greek by nationality. Very rich and successful person. In addition to the tourist company of a full cycle with several offices in Greece and Russia (which means that it is directly belonging to in addition to sales offices, also hotels and buses), he also owns a real estate company, but more beautiful – vineyards! Thus, resting with this company, you will probably try wonderful wines of our own production.
In fact, traveling with a company that is widely known, you get a number of advantages compared to minor firms offers. And it’s not even in price. There are things that can not buy even on MasterCard map! And I really made sure. But more on that later.
- Duplicate Greek landscapes
- Sunny Beach Peninsula Halkidiki
- The city of Thessaloniki
- Spring Chalkidiki
Some introductory information to reflection. Greece is a large enough country. Vehicles for tourists – Mass! But tours on the Halkidiki Peninsula are most popular. By the way, to put emphasis on the last "and" In the title. Peninsula itself resembles round trident. Each of the teeth there is its own unique biosystem and cultural and entertainment program. Wishing to spend most actively spending Recommended for visiting the first clologist – Cassandra. On the third tooth, the rest is the most calm, pacifying. This is the proximity of the sacred mountain Athos. On the middle tooth, respectively, something mean. In general, choose your own – not a problem.
I have a first-point program for the program, the third clologist was listed. The road by bus from the airport takes 2-3 hours. The road is quite picturesque, loops between hills and olive groves. In general, not some soulless German autobahn. Looking at the beauty outside the window, slowly starting to catch the Fluids of Greece.
In the last time, find ourselves at the Eagles Palace. This is a magnificent boutique hotel. Single hotel 5 * on the third tooth. Probably it makes no sense to say that everything is simply flawless. Starting from the thoughtful design of every interior to the sun lounger very liked, on the spacious terrace of the room. I will only say that in this hotel often satisfied their meetings of Greek billionaire Aristotle Oressis and opera diva Maria Callas. I think they had a lot of options for meetings, but they chose this place.
What really amazes is the silence and smallness of the hotel. And the point here is not in some frighteningly high prices for accommodation. With this, everything is fine for this level of service. According to some incomprehensible misunderstanding it is believed that mid-May is not a season for the resorts of the Mediterranean. Well, let these people go further go to Greece hot summer. And I fully enjoyed the juicy colors of the richest vegetation; not hot, and refreshing sea and, in fact, just the lack of people! In mid-May, daytime temperatures are steadily located near 30 degrees. At the same time, the sea – +20 – +24. Of course, in contrast with air to enter such water at first, it is not very comfortable, but plunging with might and we enjoy a pleasant freshness. Of course, I do not persuade anyone in any way! Someone needs a hot sea and hot evenings, and someone calm tan without unnecessary fuss. But here someone is a pork cartberry, and someone is watermelon. In Greece, you can find both!
- Beach on Athos Peninsula
- Eagles Palace Boutique Hotel
- View from the terrace of the hotel Eagles Palace
Being on the tooth of Athos, sin not to see these holy places. However, there is a small "but". Mount Athos is located on the territory of the monastic republic – this is a special legal education in Greece, with its own rules. First, in the territory of this republic is forbidden to be women. Even finding female animals is prohibited. Secondly, men are allowed the entry exclusively on pass-visas. The visa is issued, mainly on the recommendation or to the right of some monk. The decision on issuing is accepted within 3 days. In general, it is possible to look at local monasteries only from the boat, not approaching the closer than 500 meters to the shore.
Since other options were not envisaged, we arrived in the extreme village, where you can still be tourists and plunged on a boat with a multinational crowd of other travelers. Boat sails 3 hours. On the way, the guide on all unthinkable languages so that no one disappoints, talks about the monasteries. On board the ship there is a small cafe, where you can, if you wish, drink something and eat. Those who wish can take sunbathing on the go. As a result, we have a pleasant maritime walk with elements of history. Monasteries are diverse in their beauty and degree of destruction. There is a Panteleimon monastery with Russian monks in the republic. It should be especially noted that the Greeks with us are uninimens. Therefore, people experiencing allergies on the addition of Arabs, Greece is shown in clinical indications! Here you will calmly relax in the European country, surrounded by decent people who share your values. In the Greeks, surprisingly combines a tremendous sense of self-essentially to service to her guest.
After small negotiations of the team leader with the owner of our hotel, it turned out that he agreed on an unplanned visit to the monastic republic, if we, of course, would we want. We, of course, wanted! Once again, I note that it is very difficult to get on the closed territory, and we were greatly honored by inviting us. Moreover, we resigned in advance with the impossibility of visiting these places and did not even insist on our desire.
- Holy Mount Athos
- You can see monasteries from the boat
- Monasteries of Afona
Crossing the checkpoint turned out to be one minute. The passage itself is very narrow – only for hiking. For the fence we were waiting for the car, and we went further. Rising a little bit in the mountain, we were able to evaluate a beautiful view of the sea and olive and grape gardens. As it turned out, our driver worked as the main agronomist in the House of Tsindali, which rents the Earth’s monastery to grow environmentally friendly grapes and olives. In the whole household employs about 20 people, although most works are carried out by hand. The use of any kind of chemicals is categorically prohibited. The only fertilizer is the manure that shipped ships through the only marina in the territory of the monastic republic. Employees of the economy help monks clear the old olive groves that came to the launch at the beginning of the last century. The result of their labor – exemplary landing, without a single weed.
The most interesting story about the history of cooperation Tsindali and the monks, we continued to listen to a small disk on one monk, which is now serving farming workers. Here we saw the preserved preserved press for grapes, as well as things and utensils from monastic life.
It should be noted that the best wine from the farm Tsindali, known under the brand "Kormilitsa Gold", Fits in the Kremlin on the table to our President and Patriarch of All Russia. It is extremely magnificent wine. It is so small and it is so good that even the main agronomist of the farm has no bottle of this wine in his collection! More simple wine brand "Nurse" can be seen in some expensive restaurants and shops.
But in fact, wine and olive things are not exactly what is worth visiting the monastic republic. Hundreds of years these places are saints for Orthodox believers. Special spirit of rest and peace penetrate consciousness. It was interesting to communicate with Russian monks who live in these communities out of 6 people in these places. Very pleasant people, without the slightest commerce raid, which is usually present in our churches and scares many from visits to temples. Seeing our lively interest, the monks gladly showed us the holy relics, which they worship, told about their life, the history of monastic life. All this has made a very strong impression. Once again I wanted to express my gratitude to the company Mouzenidis for organizing this even not excursions, but something more!
- View of the skete and vineyards of Athon
- Monastic cell in Athos
- Wine cellar in Monastic Skece
The next day we moved to the hotel on the first tooth of Potidea Palace. This hotel belongs to the Mouzenidis group. Formally, the hotel is marked with 4 stars, but as I was told, in the summer there will be a retestation on which another star will be added, which is quite deserved. Hotel makes a pleasant impression. Me alone settled in a two-room number in which a family of four people can easily accommodate. On the territory there is your restaurant-acropolis, swimming pool and, which is especially pleased with a simple Russian person, system "all inclusive". I would like to say that drinks on this system are very worthy. Let’s start with the fact that local cognac is Metaxa. The remaining drinks were no less worthy. Personally, I did not see this even on steep "Ultra all inclusive" in Turkey.
Separately I want to dwell on food in Greece. First, I want to celebrate olives. Them are thousands of different options! Best of course buy them in the market where you can try. But in any case, you can easily understand what the difference between Spanish and Greek olives. Secondly, the freshest local seafood. Honestly, was surprised when he saw local fishermen, fishering royal shrimps from their networks. I for some reason thought they were found in more southern seas! Well, in addition to shrimps, in local seas there is a huge variety of all sorts of marine fish and reptiles. Thirdly, it is dried tomatoes. They are added to various dishes here and therefore they can be appreciated. In general, I will say that Mediterranean cuisine has pleased with its ease and taste. Probably something like I expected from this wonderful country.
- On the Cassandra Peninsula
- Freshly shrimp
- In local taverns delicious seafood
- Beach in Sani Bay
For lunch, we were lucky to try culinary delights from chefs of a group of hotels Sani. The fact is that at this time there is a high-cuisine festival there and therefore two more, one of which has them already have two more than two more! If you have the opportunity to participate in this festival, do not deny yourself the pleasure. The magnificent view of the beautiful bay with several arrivals for first-class yachts and boats is still worthy of seeing him to see. And the gastronomic experiments of the best cooks will complement the atmosphere of sophistication and exclusivity.
As you know, everything that likes most of all, usually ends very quickly. So it happened this time. In the morning we were waiting for a bus to return to thessaloniki and reverse flight to Moscow. As always, not expecting anything good from a tedious tour of the city, as it usually happens, was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The weird situation is complemented by the fact that something separate and I cannot allocate a single and memorable. All elements of the mosaic called thessaloniki individually are quite simple and do not claim some exceptional cultural or artistic value. But all together, complemented by the bright sun, which pleased us all the time and, probably, the Greek air, impregnated with some special fluids left in my memory a pleasant replay of memories.
Now I understood the girl with whom I talked in an airplane on the way here. Greece is a beautiful country worthy of visits. At the same time, it is not possible to single out something separately. It’s like air – when he is, you don’t notice it, and as soon as he ends, it becomes immediately clear that you lost. So with this country. Only already sitting in the plane, I realized how much I was in Greece.
Once again I express my gratitude to Mouzenidis Travel for a great opportunity to fall in love with Greece!