Greece from Kharkov on your own, 2021

23 July 2021 Travel time: with 14 June 2021 on 07 July 2021
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It was a cold rainy June. And we were preparing for an unreal journey. Traveling by car… to Greece. Daily assault on the Internet, where, what and how, planning a route, booking apartments, issuing insurance, documents, etc.

Initially, we were going to Albania, because we don’t need to take a test for coronavirus, but we thought about it and decided that since there is such a dream, we need to fulfill it, especially since Greece has opened its borders. We decided to go along the E-75 high-speed autobahn through Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia to Greece itself, since it was reluctant to trudge through Romania at 50 km / h.

But! We need to take a coronavirus test and we will have 72 hours to get to the border! Twisted this way and that, nothing came out. They called the laboratories in Kyiv and Lvov, where you can take this test cheaper (after all, there are 4 of us!

), but we were always given different answers: it turned out that from the time of taking the test to getting the result 24 hours, i. e. we lose 24 hours out of 72, there are 48 hours left to get to Greece. Will we succeed?

As a result, the husband proposed a plan, and the puzzle was formed: we leave at night, go to Lviv and take the test in the Lviv laboratory in the afternoon (until 17.00), walk, rest, spend the night there, pick up the test the next day, and immediately hit the road. In the evening we pass the border, cross Hungary in transit, we can sleep a little in Serbia, and further to the border with Greece. We easily fit in 72 hours, we even have a supply. On Google and the site "Cordon. yua” we look at the congestion of the Ukraine-Hungary border - it shows that there are no traffic jams. And we, encouraged that everything will work out for us, set off on the road.

Day 1.

We left at 22.30 on June 14.2021. The main obstacle is Poltava. There is constant road repair.

So it is, the navigator shows you to take a detour somewhere. But! We obeyed him last year and lost 2 hours for a detour, and now we are in a hurry to get to Lviv before 15.00, and in a night cafe we ​ ​ asked truckers if it was possible to drive straight through Poltava, to which we received an affirmative answer and drove straight. In general, with regard to the novigator, this is such an infection that all the time lets you go on some secondary roads, despite the fact that there are good direct roads, through the center, for example, and he leads along chenukhs.

Thus, the short June night ended quickly, around 3.30 it got lighter and it became quite good to drive: free road, good speed. True, around 5 o'clock I began to sleep, I had to sleep in turn, then I, then my husband, but we drove continuously. As a result, at about 12.00 we drove up to Lviv.


The apartment has been booked for a long time. The one we lived in 2 years ago.

I really wanted to go back there, to look at Lviv from a height of 8 floors, and close to the laboratory, and to the ATB (I had to buy something on the road). But, as always, everything went wrong. Our realtor’s car broke down on the weekend near Lviv and he solved problems with his car, didn’t go to the city and couldn’t provide us with an apartment. He told us about it when we called him on the road. We were stupidly settled where we had to, and not where we would like (I could have picked up something else via the Internet if I knew in advance that we would not be provided with housing). Such disrespect for people!

Thus, on the way to Lviv, we found out that we had no housing, and after a sleepless night we had nowhere to rest ...Wonderful!

My indignation knew no bounds. Well, couldn't any of his colleagues bring us the keys to that apartment? Or does he go on vacation with a pack of keys to all rented apartments?

As a result, we got an apartment in an old house (I can't stand it) with a nightmarish entrance. It looked like it was an old Austro-Hungarian communal apartment with a yard-well inside...kapets! Maybe they are used to it, but, in my opinion, is it really possible to rent out SUCH housing to city guests who come from other large cities? I ran through the entrance with my eyes closed and my nose pinched. Although the apartment itself was normal, with a good built-in kitchen, wide window sills, on which it was cool to sit and look at the passing trams and hurrying Lviv residents.

Yes, another tram! He drove here under the very windows, even the walls were trembling, and we needed to get a good sleep before a long road! We still have about 1500 km to go. This is how a realtor from Lviv set us up. Yes, and it was far from here to cut the laboratory, 40 minutes by car circling around the center.

Dear realtors, think about the consequences of your negligence, try to respect your clients!

In general, we left things in the apartment and drove to the laboratory. We passed the test, asked that the result be ready tomorrow, because at 17.00 it was quite late for us, and we went for a walk around the center, since we lived in it.

The next morning we checked out of the apartment and went to eat at our favorite Reburnia.

It was about 13.30 when I received an SMS that the test was ready! We did not expect such an early turn of events! Overjoyed, we rushed out of the Reburnie, pushing each other aside. But they left the car very far away and now they couldn’t find it at all! For another half an hour we ran in search of a car, and ran to take the test. It cost us 750 UAH. per person with English translation. They thanked the workers for their speed and drove them to the Ukraine-Hungary border.

The navigator showed 4 hours of travel.

Ukraine-Hungary border

We left Lviv around 15.30. It's a little late, of course, but thank God, we are passing through the Carpathians through the light. At 20.00 we were at the border of Chop. Line of 18 cars. Not much. But everyone is standing, the barrier is closed, the queue is not moving.

Once an hour, the barrier rises and passes 2-3 cars. We passed the Ukrainian border by 24.00. Everyone was nervous and worried. Children constantly got out of the car and counted how many cars were left ahead. On neutral territory, on the bridge across the Tisza River, we stood for another 3 hours, despite the fact that the trucks were moving continuously and quite quickly. Finally, the Hungarian border. A full inspection of the car, they made me pull out and open all the suitcases and bags, looked at the equipment of the car, gas cylinder, spare tire, looked into the seats. Then they asked where we were going. Upon learning that in Greece, they asked for a printout of the booking.

We withstood all the checks with honor, we were given a “TRANSIT” sticker on the car and a map of gas stations where we could stop. True, we did not glue anything and did not use their gas stations. From Hungary, we only needed transit (we filled a full tank before the border). We know their "hospitality", how they give change, round up, underfill, etc. We left at 4.00 in the morning. It was the first victory! Crossed the border! True, there is absolutely no time to sleep, it takes 6 hours to cross Hungary, and our reservation of an apartment in Serbia for tonight has disappeared, as well as the opportunity to sleep. We drive to the autobahn (we still have to get to it), at the first gas station we need to buy a vignette, we couldn’t buy it electronically, the bank didn’t write off funds from the card for some reason. It turned out to be unprofitable for us to buy 2 times for 7 days, we bought for a month. It cost 4970 forints, which is approximately 467 UAH.

We paid with a Privatbank card, we also paid for refueling the car, and some little things at the gas station, such as coffee and ice cream, and paying for roads in all further countries. Only in Privat 24 you need to check the box "do not block the card when traveling abroad".

Riding on the autobahn is monotonous, after 7 in the morning I really wanted to sleep. But I'm afraid to fall asleep, suddenly my husband will also turn off - high speed, we'll crash. And then he says that he can’t drive, he will sleep, and that I should drive! I was so scared! A new car, which I did not have time to ride, plus I really want to sleep. And you need to go with maximum speed! In short, I’m driving, slapping my cheeks, pulling my ears so as not to fall asleep, and the road says: sleep, sleep, it’s so sweet ..... And an hour later I turn to a gas station, because I understand that I can unnoticeably switch off. All of mine woke up, and my husband said that we were changing, he rested. So we raced through Hungary. Hungarians are early risers, at 7.

Autobahn 30 is very busy and the traffic is heavy.

The border with Serbia was crossed in 50 minutes. There were many cars, but they passed quickly, not like ours. Hooray! Let's go further. All the way we struggle with sleep. Around 16.00 the movement of our crew became impossible, we needed to sleep, we could not go further. We turned into the nearest Serbian gas station in the shade and passed out for an hour and a half.


Serbia was crossed in 5 hours. The roads were paid twice: for 1490 dinars = 410 UAH and 640 dinars = 176 hryvnias. On the way out of the next payment, we are slowed down by the police. We both get out of the car, we don’t understand what the reason for the stop is. They say they were not fastened. How are you not fastened? Strapped in! After much discussion, they say - the children are not fastened. So it was, but when he looked into the car, the children were already fastened, and from a distance, it seems to me, it is impossible to see if the passengers in the back seat are fastened.

I saw a foreign car and decided to hitch a ride. Damn, we are in such a hurry, and then everyone is detaining us in a row ...I told my husband, pay a fine of 10 euros for each child. But I have cash, my husband has a card. I was told to get into the car, well, my husband would have paid, but they have nothing to withdraw money from the card. I went out anyway, and I say that, they say, we love Serbia, Belgrade very much, that our peoples are brothers, etc. In short, they let us go ...

Serbia is a wide country, along the autobahn there are fields with sunflower, corn, wheat. Autobahn is not loaded, free, spacious. Then the mountains begin. Beautiful! There are funny signs along the road: "Benzinska stanza" or "Mugly has 2 cars. " Isn't it from them that cars began to be called wheelbarrows? ))


We arrived at the Macedonian border at 18:00. We passed very quickly. Gas and gasoline are cheaper here than in Serbia: gas for 32.50 dinars (16 UAH), gasoline for 71 dinars (36 UAH). We went straight to the gas station.

Flowers, mountains, beauty! We love Macedonia.

But we are tired, it's evening. The Macedonia-Greece border is open until 23.00. We look at its workload - it shows a red bar - it is very busy. They wanted to book an apartment in Thessaloniki for 2 nights in order to see Thessaloniki during the day. But we are afraid to book, suddenly we will not have time to cross the border and we will have to spend the night in the car. I decide to change plans and stay overnight in Skopje. Relax, sleep well and cross the border in the morning. Macedonia is a small country, it can be crossed on the autobahn in 2.5 hours. Skopje is located 50 km from the border with Serbia. We have earned the Internet and we are booking accommodation for now in Skopje. And, oh happiness, the owner immediately answers us. It's good that we decided not to rush and stop in Skopje! Thanks to this, we met a wonderful woman, Eleanor. She immediately drove up to the apartment and her first question was, where did you park the car?

She and her husband immediately showed where you can park the car for free. Then they took us to the apartments, which turned out to be in a good 9-storey building, on the 5th floor.

We fell in love with Skopje right away, at first sight. The city is located under the mountains, on the tops of which the snow has not yet melted. Opposite our house are four new skyscrapers with beautiful night illumination. A little further is Mount Vodno with the Millennium Cross, which was built in honor of the 2000th anniversary of Christianity. The cross can be seen from anywhere in the city, and in the evening it glows with thousands of light bulbs. Very unusual. When it is dark at night and the mountain is not visible, it seems as if the Cross is hanging in the sky! The apartment impressed us no less. Spacious, with 2 separate bedrooms and a huge living room, 2 large balconies, one from the living room, one from the kitchen. On the loggias there are flowers and trees in tubs. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need, just like at home. Eleonora showed us everything, left 2 bottles of water and 4 bags of coffee.

There was also ground and instant coffee, various teas. All in all, a traveler's paradise. There was a Vero store near the house, and everyone ran to the store - this is the main entertainment for children. And I wanted to be the mistress of these wonderful apartments for at least an hour. The people here are friendly, everyone says hello when they meet at the entrance, although they see us for the first time.

But the children are worried, we need to pass the border with Greece before 15.00 tomorrow (the PCR test ends). Therefore, it was decided to get up at 4 in the morning and leave at 5, given that it takes 2 hours to get to the border and its workload. It is not known how much it will take to pass ...

It's time to go to bed, but they can't take me away from the balcony - I want to live there! Such beauty, such a view! On the mountains, on the houses around, on the night Skopje ....

In general, we gave poor Eleanor the keys at 5 in the morning and drove to the border. The road is a fairy tale "The Lord of the Rings".

Solid mountain landscapes, one more amazing than the other. Paying roads often. Each time 1 euro. At the last gas station before the border, we fill up a full tank, both gasoline and gas at a cheap price. It's good to travel with such prices when you can afford everything. The night before, the children bought themselves all sorts of tasty things, everything is inexpensive, the prices are the same as ours.

And at the gas station, a cheerful Macedonian, seeing us, shouted: “Ukraine! ? Problem! »

We didn't understand. What's the problem? Something political? But it turned out that yesterday there was a Ukraine-Macedonia match, where Ukraine won. And for the Macedonians who went crazy on football, it was a tragedy. The husband said that he did not know anything, he was on the road, he did not look . . In general, we chatted, laughed, and drove off.

Macedonia-Greece border

We are approaching the border - there are hundreds of cars. Hundreds of Macedonian and Serb cars.

It turns out that our arrival coincided with the feast of the Trinity, which they also celebrate and also have 3 days off. Guard! We could not foresee this, we did not think! In general, it's okay, the line at the border moves quickly, 4 receiving windows for cars, Greece welcomes guests to the fullest! But all these guests occupied the accommodation we were counting on. We, like last year, went without booking accommodation.

Initially, we booked an apartment in Sarti, but, firstly, we didn’t really like it (very simple, bare walls and beds), other options, if they were better, were very cramped with 2 bunk beds and a kitchenette . And I, after Bulgaria and Montenegro, expected the same quality and level of apartments - with a large built-in kitchen, with a large area, a bathroom, so that there was good equipment. Kitchenette and bunk beds - this is not to rest, but to huddle.

We eat on our own, we cook for children all the time, the kitchen needs a normal one. Secondly, the owner offered us to pay 50% of the cost by transferring money to some account in an American bank…. How to do it? And what if we are still not allowed into Greece or some other force majeure?

We were also interested in the town of Nikiti, as there is a Lidl store with good prices and discounts (after all, we have 2 rodents with us))). I really wanted to go to Sarti, we looked after it 2 years ago when we wanted to go to Greece, but there is no supermarket there, only shops. In Nikiti, we also looked after housing, but we had to pay for it right away! But I could not take such a step, not knowing for sure whether Greece would accept us. And no one was sure about it. All our friends still ask how we got there.

In general, the border with Greece was passed in 1.5 hours! We slipped the uncle a PCR test, but he only glanced at her.

The husband said, I wonder if we hadn’t given him a test, would he even ask him or not? It gives the impression that it doesn't.


Wow! We are in Greece. 9.30 am.

It's amazing! Oleanders are planted and bloom along the road all over Greece. How beautiful it is. There were many roses in Bulgaria, all in roses. And here everything is in oleanders!

Now you can book accommodation in Thessaloniki! Need internet. We bought a TEZ TELEKOM internet card so that we could have internet on the way, but for some reason it worked across the country… It worked in Hungary, not in Serbia, it worked in Macedonia, not in Greece! We stop at the first gas station, maybe there will be Wi-Fi. And then we are struck by the price of gasoline and gas. Gas - 0.818 euros! (UAH 26.51), gasoline 1.669 euros (UAH 54). Toilet paid! Here we come...


Okay, let's book an apartment. We wrote to the owner on Viber and rushed to the city. However, after 1-1.

5 upon arrival in Thessaloniki, found that he did not even read the message. The time is around 11.30, what should I do? Ok, let's not waste time, let's go sightseeing right away. We went to the Roman Forum. For some reason it's closed. Looked from the side, took a picture. Basically, nothing special. We went to the embankment, I wanted to take the children on a boat, take them to the White Tower, and just take a walk. They came up with the idea to put the car on the territory of a large hospital near the center, because in Thessaloniki parking is a problem.

In general, houses in Thessaloniki are located very close to each other, and there are a lot of them. I called it "half gypsy camp". The traffic is chaotic, there are no markings on the roads, only traffic lights, which are located low, which makes them difficult to see. There are a lot of mopeds that squeeze between cars at random. A complete mess. I don't know how my husband navigated this chaos.

In my opinion, in Thessaloniki you need to rent an apartment closer to the waterfront. Let it be a little more expensive, but there is no such crowding of houses, it is more spacious and pretty.

We came to the White Tower. Excursion boats depart near it, which make a circle along the water along the coast and you can look at the city from the sea. Worth 2 boats. Barkers invited us to ride on the red one for free, you just need to buy a drink at the bar. Ok, we agreed. We went in, and he immediately swam away. The waitress brought the menu. I wanted frappe coffee (their price is 6 euros! Despite the fact that then I bought it for 1.20 euros), my husband water (1 euro 0.5 bottles). To which the girl answered us that everyone should order and no less than 5 euros per person! Otherwise, we have to pay for the boat at the rate of 3 euros per person! Op-la! We did not expect this.

I start arguing with her, saying that this is a hoax, they didn’t tell us this when landing (and I didn’t read about such nuances on the Internet). In short, the skating is ruined, I didn’t see anything, I just argued with her, and she with me. I didn’t really look at anything, they didn’t go up to the second floor. And they planned to buy Semites, and drink them with tea, but on a boat (as in Istanbul we drank and ate on a ferry)! Eh. Again minus.

The landlord is not responding. The check-in time (13.00) has already passed. At 15.00 hours. It seems that in Greece there is neither hospitality nor friendliness. Arrived - your problems. OK. We go to the White Tower. This tower used to be called Red because of the large number of people executed by the Turks. Their heads fell into the sea, and the walls of the tower were covered in blood. In peacetime, the tower was painted white and began to be called the White Tower to make amends for the past. The husband and son are tired and do not want excursions, they want to relax on the street near the sea.

And my daughter and I are curious, we climb everywhere, we need everything. Let's go to the Tower. Entrance from an adult is now 6 euros, from a child 3 euros. At the entrance they give an audio guide in exchange for a passport.

The Tower has 6 floors, each floor is thematic - dedicated to some page of the history of Thessaloniki. There are several monitors on each floor. You turn them on in sync with the audio guide and listen, and the slides are on the monitor. My child spent an hour and a half there! It was interesting. The only downside is nowhere to sit. If everything was the same, only with chairs ....On the 6th floor there is an observation deck overlooking the city.

At about 4 pm we left the Tower, it turned out that the owner of the apartment woke up! He is ready to receive us. But why go back to the city if we are at our destination, on the embankment, where not everyone has seen yet? Moved the check-in time to 19.00 and went for a walk further. In principle, nothing special, the embankment, like the embankment. Our goal was to reach Aristotle's Square. Not close.

Negroes constantly rush to us, put on bracelets so that we can buy them. We say that we do not understand anything, they do not believe, they laugh. Amazingly, even blacks and waiters speak English fluently, and we, so smart and literate, with 2 higher educations, speak somehow.

Aristotle's Square, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place in Thessaloniki. I would like to sit there longer, relax, enjoy the beauty of this place. We rubbed Aristotle's finger, asked him to give us more intelligence))) and went for a walk in the Ladadika quarter. Beautiful, flowers everywhere, potted palm trees, cafes. So the evening came and it was time to finally move into the apartment (after 5 hours of sleep, the owner had mercy on us).

The car was very far away and we stomped with the last of our strength, watching the evening city and its Greek inhabitants along the way.

By the way, Greek women are very pretty women, well-groomed, well-dressed, in high-quality expensive clothes, with beautiful bags and jewelry.

Our apartment turned out to be in a busy area, there were many shops nearby, a small square with a fountain, busy streets, the Moskva store. We entered this store. The staff speaks Russian. Prices are high, so there are few buyers. And we went to another store across the road, where we bought everything we needed for tomorrow's road to Sithonia. The apartment itself turned out to be small, but with a large cool terrace, with a magnificent view of the city from the 8th floor.

The owner did not provide us with parking, although there is parking in the same house, but on the contrary, he called us so that we would quickly remove the car from the house. Amazing hospitality! Having circled through the narrow streets, we found a parking place not very far away and were glad that we were leaving tomorrow.

My daughter and I wanted to take a walk around our district (not to sit in the apartment, we visit Thessaloniki once in a lifetime). We bought dad beer in the nearest shop, found a shop with sweets and it turned out that there is a huge variety of sweets and pastries here at low prices. Our favorite tulumba was here for 7.50 euros. In Sithonia, it cost 11.80 euros per kg.


It was Saturday morning. All the Greeks, and with them the Macedonians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians, including us)) went to Halkidiki. The 5-lane highway was busy, we drove slowly. 1.5-2 hours on the way - and we are in the resort town of Nikiti. We are going to the address that we looked at on the Internet. While circling around Nikiti, we found a huge mulberry tree with berries of unprecedented sizes (like 5 of ours somewhere). No one's tree, a lot of berries, I had to try it )))), - delicious, sweet. We found “our” housing, which we looked after at airbienbi, a woman was just cleaning there and, just, she spoke Russian.

It turned out that this housing will soon be occupied, the mother-in-law of the hostess is coming. It's a pity. A kind woman is trying to arrange us somewhere. Calls his friends. They offer us accommodation for 200 euros per day (haha, very fun. We were counting on a price no more than 50-60 euros per day). Like, it's not profitable for them to provide housing. We promise to think and watch booking. Sarti has traditionally miniature housing that two people can barely fit in, in Nikiti it remains only at expensive prices, we look all over Sithonia. I like apartments near Neos Marmaras. The husband says that there is Lidl right next to it. In principle, it fits, but I didn’t consider this part of the coast at all, all the gorgeous beaches that I want to visit are on the other, east coast ...

Okay, let's go. Village of Paradisos. Beautiful. We are looking for apartments, we can not find. People helped us find, we knock. Nobody opens. Finally a woman comes out. He says I don't know anything, I don't understand anything.

Later it turned out to be the manager! And if it were not for the guy - the manager from the neighboring mini-hotel, who spoke English and had a more friendly attitude towards tourists, I don’t even know how we would have settled. Thanks to him, they contacted the hostess, we paid the money and settled in the apartment. All this took our manager more than 2 hours! With the fact that out of 6 rooms only one was occupied! It seems that the Greeks are not at all happy that their borders have opened and tourists are not favored ...

The room turned out to be quite good: 2 rooms, 2 separate beds (what we need! ) and 1 double bed. The kitchen is quite spacious, with a 3-burner electric stove and an oven. And a big terrace. There was no washing machine, iron and hair dryer, and at first I really didn’t like it (I got spoiled on vacation in Bulgaria).

But then, having walked and traveled around our wonderful Paradisos, we realized what a wonderful place it is! Beautiful, charming, immersed in a variety of colors and palm trees, and at the same time quiet and calm, with a beautiful bay and gentle clear sea, and a Blue Flag beach. It cost us 35 euros per day.

We settled down wonderfully, everything was to our liking. Finally, our wonderful sea vacation in Sithonia began, visiting fabulous, unreal beaches, such as Karidi Beach, Orange Beach, which led us to indescribable delight. Also, we went to Toroni, Kalamitsi, Sarti, Vourvourou, Porto Koufo, Koviu beach, practically, we traveled all over Sithonia. She is wonderful! This is the combination of oleanders, palm trees, pine needles and seascapes that we always dream of.

A day later it was my daughter's birthday (16 years old) and we barely had time to figure out where to celebrate it.

We read in the reviews that Ta Kumata is a good tavern, but there were so many people in it that the waiters ran tired and did not pay attention to us, which we needed to consult. So we decided to go to a quieter place next door. Moreover, the waiter there spoke Ukrainian....In addition to the main courses, they brought us 5 slices of bread and the waiter came up to pour us water from a bottle. But I already read reviews about it and we refused. It turned out that 1 tiny piece of bread costs 1 euro! And water for a fee. Surprisingly, they tried to cheat us on 2 slices of bread and water, added 4 euros to our bill, so we had to find out what it was ....The Greeks smiled at all 32 teeth, but hid their eyes. True, their moussaka came out awesome....

Toroni Beach

Toroni is a fairly large resort village. The coastline is very long.

The water is clear and there are few people.

Zones with sun loungers alternate with free zones. A little windy, there is nowhere to hide from the sun, there are no pines and trees. But very beautiful taverns, also many flowers and palm trees.

In the southern part of the beach there is a zone for yachts and boats, they do not swim there.

I can't say that we really liked the beach in Toroni, an ordinary beach, there are steeper beaches in Sithonia. What is shown in the ad is a little embellished ...

Porto Koufo Beach

We read on the Internet that Porto Koufo is a paradise for fishermen. We looked at it, as we took a fishing rod. The beach is not crowded, the coastline is long, but rocky. Sometimes very large stones. The water, as elsewhere in Sithonia, is very attractive and clear. Porto Koufo is located in a picturesque bay, surrounded by mountains. Something reminded us of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

But also the beach is not the best in Sithonia because of the rocks.

Kalamitsi Beach

The road to the village of Kalamitsi is awesome. We drove from Neos Marmaras through the south of Sithonia. It offers crazy panoramic views that delight.

The village itself is small, and the beach is quite long. We decided to stay near the stone-island, the main attraction of the village. The sand is a wonderful yellow-gold color, with sparkles. There were no waves, the water was clean and transparent, turquoise. If you swim further away, the color becomes aquamarine.

Swimming is very easy, you can swim for an hour and a half, as the water holds well. Then, of course, we climbed a rock-island (a little adventure). My daughter made her way to the very top through the thorns, to the very church.

Around the stone, everyone snorkels with masks, but the children said that there was nothing special there, only a few fish. We were looking for mussels, or at least rapans, but wherever we were, there is nothing like this in the Aegean Sea at all.

The village of Kalamitsi itself is very picturesque.

We really liked it there. But there is nowhere to hide from the sun, there are no pines and trees, we got burned, although we were all the time under umbrellas. June was cold and rainy, we did not even have time to cover ourselves with a protective tan, we arrived at the sea completely white. Then we decided that we need to swim on those beaches where there is a coniferous forest, enough for us to burn in the sun. And we went to Karidi Beach.

Karidi Beach

It is located at the end of the village of Vourvourou. Vourvourou itself is a very beautiful, large village stretched along the coast.

Along the shore stretch villas, decorated with giant and small palm trees, giant cacti and scarlet, and, of course, flowers. The sea there is normal, but opposite is the island of Diaporos, and motor boats are rented everywhere for those who want to swim around it. There is no supermarket in Vourvourou, the nearest one is in Nikiti (there are at least 3 of them). Karidi Beach is located in a pine forest at the very end of Vourvourou. Despite the large number of tourists, everyone can accommodate somewhere. Someone on the sand, at the edge of the sea, someone under the pines, where there is an openwork shade. The scent of the pines is amazing. The water here is divine. The sand is white, with sparkles, as if someone had scattered silver on the beach. Moreover, in the sea, these same sparkles on the sand. The water is light blue in color, so transparent that when you swim, a shadow is cast under you, as if you are floating on the water, and not swimming. A large area of ​ ​ shallow water, which is good for kids, and the water there is almost hot.

But a little further, where for adults, the water is even clearer.

The beach is in a bay and there are never waves here. And under the pines there is no wind. We love this very much. The only negative is a lot of people, but if you swim further away, then there is no one. In general, enchanted, bewitched, we did not get out of the water for 1.5 hours. Yes, I did not say that figured stones border the bay on the right and left. You walk on these stones - and you seem to be in another dimension. It's quiet, unusual, there are such intricate figures made of stones, and between them there is water.

Photos are bomb. You come out of the water onto land - and here you have a New Year's coniferous aroma!

Orange Beach

Orange Beach was far away from us. Directly opposite Neos Marmaras, on the other side of Sithonia, only there is no direct road, you have to take a detour for almost an hour.

But you are driving through a coniferous forest, and there are mountain landscapes around ...True, at the end a serpentine began. But! When we got there, we forgot both the long travel time and the serpentine…. Also a coniferous forest, the color of the water from above is so turquoise that you immediately want to jump and dissolve in it ...Parking is free, there were always enough places if you look, the territory is large. We went first to the left, to the sounds of music, but there was an area with sunbeds. We realized that we needed to go to the right, but my son could not stand it, he said that he would swim to the right side of the coast, rounding the cape, and I did not stop him, because I myself would have swum with him. It turned out that there is no sandy shoreline here, to the water you need to ride a mountain goat over large gentle stones, and on the shore there are small, frayed shells or pebbles. It is completely white in color and from this the water is completely transparent blue. Almost immediately deep, so here the water was the coolest of all the beaches.

The beach is also bordered by curly stones, which make marvelous photo shoots. From this beach, and even better from the stones, the holy Mount Athos is visible.

Here, too, there are no waves and wind, as this is a cove. The water here is even cleaner and more transparent than on Karidi Beach, besides, music from the bar plays all day, and there are a little less people, since it is far away. The beach is a 10-minute drive from the town of Sarti.

At first I did not know which beach to give the first place - Karidi or Orange? But in the end, when we visited each beach several times, Orange Beach nevertheless took first place in my rating. And on the last day we went there.


Last year we planned to go to Greece, we even booked an apartment. It is in Sarti.

I read that this is a beautiful town in which resort life is seething, opposite Mount Athos, because of which the sun rises very beautifully, a wide beach, on which I planned to run in the mornings ...But we didn’t go, Greece was closed due to pandemics. But this year it was different. But I really wanted to visit the town of my dreams, and that's what happened to us there.

In the morning, the weather in Sarti was wonderful, only Mount Athos was covered with some kind of haze. The sea was wonderful, warm, clean. The sand is a crazy golden color with a scattering of sparkles. We caught these sparkles and looked closer - what are these gold particles in the sand? It was impossible to rejoice. I was upset that we did not settle here for the whole time ...Gradually some kind of foam began on the water, then the waves began to increase. More and more. From Athos went clouds, clouds. The sky was overcast, the wind picked up. Hurricane winds began.

My husband and daughter ran to look for a less windy place on the beach, I stayed on the shore, my son in the sea. And then sand began to fall on me with such incredible force and speed that I became all in the sand, all our things, the umbrellas that we folded. It was even unpleasant, almost painful, when with every gust of wind the prickly sand covered me. It was decided to urgently evacuate the beach. Staying here was unpleasant and unnecessary. We got into the car and drove to the nearest beach, Orange Beach. The husband said that there is the same thing, but no. When we, all in the sand, came to the beach, it turned out that it was quiet and smooth here, for which we were incredibly happy and enjoyed the wonderful sea here for the rest of the day.

Yes, also, when we passed through Sarti, we saw what problems they had with the sewerage. Along with the most beautiful mini-hotels and taverns, streams of smelly water flowed from under the manholes right onto the streets ....

That's how something still saved us from resting here.

Koviu Beach

We have already spoiled ourselves with a variety of beautiful beaches, and this small beach did not impress us. But it has one interesting attraction: behind the beach in the reeds there is a pond in which turtles live! There are really a lot of them, they are hungry, they eat bread with pleasure. Just feed carefully: fingers bite painfully. Moreover, they swim to the shore in turn, stretch their necks and look at us, and then swim back. We took one baby in our arms, touched him closer. The children were delighted ...

By the way, on the penultimate day, my daughter and I went for a walk in the evening and, quite by chance, on the side of the road we saw ...A BADger! So that's who rustled in the bushes all the time, and we were afraid of him when we ate mulberries! ...

The time of our seaside vacation passed unnoticed, and the time for excursions has come.

Meteora is not very far from Halkidiki.

This is a wonder of the world, a very interesting attraction. Of course we went there. In the morning we swam for the last time on our "native" beach of Paradisos, where it is always calm (in its southern part) ...

...then we drove to Neos Marmaras for sweets and souvenir shopping, and drove on.

The move took 4 hours. At 18.00 we were in the town of Trikala, where we booked accommodation for 37 euros (in general, the prices in this area - Meteora, Mount Olympus - are cosmic). For about an hour we tried to get into the apartment, the Internet did not work. Everything turned out to be as easy as shelling pears - the keys were in the lock, it was only necessary to know the apartment number. The apartment turned out to be wonderful: a huge hall, 2 bedrooms, many beds, and around the whole apartment there is a loggia with plants and flowers. Plus a view of the city from the 3rd floor.

Entrance 3 euros per person. The cashier sternly evaluates the appearance, the length of our dresses, and the clothes of our men, and lets us through (we knew about the special dress code here). In addition to the awesome beauty around, there is something to see inside the monastery - there is a museum, very beautiful icons with gold and precious stones, old books, drawings on birch bark.

Then we went to the Big Meteor. It is also very beautiful, with museums inside. From afar you can see how the winch transfers products from the truck to the rock.

My daughter didn't want to leave, she liked it there so much. But one of the monasteries - the monastery of St. Stephen closes at 13.30, we must hurry ....In general, we could not find him, we circled the mountains for 40 minutes, and we were late to this monastery ...

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity was closed today. It's a pity, because there is no road to it and they take it by funicular, which would be very interesting for our children.

Further along the path is the monastery of St. Barbara. A very beautiful climb, wide steps, under a canopy of trees, benches on them. Our boys were already tired, the heat was over 40 degrees, my daughter and I went together. The cashier examined Sonya and said that the dress was very short. Buy, they say, a skirt for 2 euros ....Somehow, our plans did not include the purchase of a hoodie for an additional fee. Each monastery cost 12 euros per family. And we went back down.

The last monastery left for us to visit today is St. Nicholas. It is small, it has nothing but a panoramic platform. And a very long climb. But there Sonya saw a real monk, and I got a coin from a holy book. I came out and yelled, “Hi, Meteors! "And the monks shouted something to me from above in response ...

Then we drove to the panoramic platform (hooray, there were no sightseeing buses). The views are breathtaking! Just you and this unreal wild nature!





But just in case, we begin to accelerate. Then we just start running, because the guards (and there are a lot of them here - they are men and women) start to kick people out. I swear and resent: what is this? In Turkey, the entrance to the Topkapi Palace also costs 20 euros, but I spent as much time there as my heart desired - 2 hours.

Here, my family and I gave 1650 hryvnias, before we had time to look back, how would you please bow ... ! Then we met a Russian who has been living here for 10 years, he heard our speech, and went to the guards to clarify why people were expelled (he was surprised himself). It turned out that due to the heat, the Acropolis is closed from 13.00 to 17.00. I hadn't read about it anywhere, and it was an unpleasant surprise.

All sights in Athens are located in the center, they can be explored on foot. First we climbed the Areopagus hill - it is located right next to the Acropolis. There are very slippery large stones, and I scolded myself for taking sneakers and not wearing them. From the Areopagus you can see many ancient sights.

Then we went past the Roman and Greek Agora, the temple of Zeus to the main street - Plaka.

It is original, cute, but, of course, crowded with merchants.

My daughter bought a beautiful “goddess” hoop with bay leaves. I was very interested in the ancient Anafiotika street, it turned out to be higher above Plaka.

Along with the aesthetic pleasure, the prices here are cosmic (I mean buy some water or ice cream).

By the way, we arrived in the center by metro, as I read that there is no place to park a car in the center. It was very interesting to buy a ticket from a machine, look at their subway, ride in it. It's great that our apartment was 2 minutes from the metro and it was 4 stops to the center. By the way, the entrances in Greece are everywhere made of marble of different colors - white, black, gray.

We were in a hurry to go home, since the youngest was left alone at home, it was sooooo hot and we decided to try the last time to swim in the wonderful Aegean Sea. We were in a hurry, tired, so we almost got lost in the subway: my daughter and I got out of the car, but my husband stayed.

In general, I had to walk 1 station on foot (I made the wrong stop).

The son was frightened when he saw us - we crawled in and fell from the heat and fatigue. But ONE day in Athens! I get up and take everyone to the beach. We decided to go to Glyfada beach. But I want to say that the sea in the city is not at all the same sea as on the island! It is dirty, not so transparent, rocky shore. The husband dived in and drove the sea urchin's needle into his finger. It would be better if we went to the Corinth Canal ...Due to the fact that there was bad news from home (my mother had a bad heart), we canceled one day in Athens, and I had to abandon the excursion to the Corinth Canal, although I really dreamed of seeing it miracle of human hands.

Be that as it may, after swimming, we drove off to watch the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square. And it's really cool! My husband even laughed.

And the last point of our program for today is to climb and meet the sunset on Lycabettus Hill.

It became completely dark, only the lights of the big city were visible.

So we did not have time quite a bit. On weak, tired legs during the day, we descend from Lycabettus. It's time to go home, because tomorrow we will have a long road Athens - Skopje, about 700 km, crossing the Greek-Macedonian border and stopping in Skopje!

Athena-Evzoni Road

Before leaving, we went to the store and heartily bought Greek treats for goodbye: buns with olives, pita with cottage cheese, potatoes, donuts with cream, a liter jar of Greek yogurt, sponge cake, etc.

The road from Athens, as usual, is very beautiful, along the seashore, through tunnels, along the mountains. And, of course, paid. The way back cost us 30.6 euros. We need to go fast because we have a long way to go. But I really wanted to get off the autobahn and swim in the Aegean for the last time.

I looked at the map before reaching the city of Katerini, the sea is very close, there is Variko beach ...And indeed, there is an exit from the autobahn, you could call in, but the children somehow didn’t want to, and fell asleep. Oh, no one wanted to swim in the wonderful sea for the last time! We thought we would swim tomorrow in Skopje, in the canyon, but there were completely different conditions and there was no point in swimming. At 18.30 we very quickly crossed the border and after 1.5 hours we were in place.


After all, we decided to stay at least 1 day in this wonderful city, with our wonderful Eleanor. She was even better prepared this time: coffee and tea were prepared in even greater quantities, she hung a curtain in the bathroom, gels and shampoos, as always, were in abundance, and there were 2 bottles of water and delicious cookies in the refrigerator. My luxurious balcony overlooking the mountains was waiting for me! ))

Her accommodation cost 28 euros, but how much comfort is here!

How interesting it is to be a Macedonian for 1 day, to live in a Macedonian apartment. In the evening we went for a walk around the area. There was a field near our house where the children played football until late. Also Vero's shop, eateries and cafes, in which all the tables were occupied and the evening life of the Macedonians turned out to be very stormy.

In the morning we went to Matka Canyon. This is a unique, beautiful place. A very fast, raging mountain river, over which several bridges were built, struck me with its power.

You need to walk (or drive) to the dam. Behind the dam, the river is quiet and calm, where tourists ride on boats and boats. The price here has not changed for a long time - 200 dinars is worth a ride without entering the cave and 400 - with a cave. I still love the Macedonians, they sold us tickets for a luxurious boat with soft leather seats and music for the price of a simple boat. And we swam ...

The stunning scenery of the canyon made an indelible impression on the children. We were driven to the cave and given 20 minutes to explore the cave. It is small, backlit in blue, crimson and yellow, which is very decorative and makes an even greater impression.

It is damp, there are stolactites and stogmatites. A little further there is a lake with absolutely clear water, but the passage to it is blocked and you can see it only from afar. The cave is quite cool, you need to have a sweater with you. We continuously photographed and filmed, the children were smitten on the spot! All in all, it was a great adventure!

As for swimming in the canyon, I note that local children go knee-deep into the water, but the temperature of the mountain river is appropriate. Older teenagers dive, jump from the bridge, but often hit the rocks or they are blown to the rocks by the fast current.

In general, I saw a lot of bloody, skinned guys.

After the canyon, my husband decided to do everything and took us to the Millennium Cross, Mount Vodno, although I thought that we would not have time to go there today. By car, all movements are fast, and now we are already in the middle of the mountain at the ski lift. He does not work! We were upset, we thought we were late. There are many kiosks with various snacks (coffee and ice cream) and we asked the staff about the funicular. It turned out that he simply does not work this year due to the pandemic.

Okay, we found the observation deck here too. Some climb on foot, but we don't have time for that. It was already afternoon, and we were not yet in the city center. And this is the main thing you need to see in every city! We decided to have lunch with splashes, which we love very much from Serbia, they are really very tasty. I was wearing white trousers and, of course, I dripped ketchup on them.

I had to go home, save my pants ...

The day has passed for the 2nd half, rather to the center! He's very handsome! Surrounded by mountains, there are many huge, majestic monuments everywhere: on one side of the center - Philip of Macedon, on the other side, directly opposite - Alexander the Great. Not far from Philip, there is a very touching monument to Alexander's mother: she is depicted pregnant, then nursing with little Alexander, then with Alexander a little older, sitting in her arms ....I have never seen such a truly touching monument to a mother!

Also nearby are monuments-fountains with horses and lions. The Stone Bridge crosses the Vradar River. It's cool, monumental, but we liked the bridge to the left of it more, with the figures of generals (I still don't know what it's called).

We got to the center at that cool time, when it starts to get dark, and lights are lit everywhere, and then illuminations.

God, the center of Skopje is unrealistically beautiful.

We took pictures at first, but then we just sat, rested and enjoyed the beauty of this square, bridges, monuments…. It's quite late, and we still have to go to the store and take care of food on the road tomorrow ....Our machine will always help out quickly. At 23.00, as usual, barely moving my legs from fatigue, I prepared food for tomorrow and drank Macedonian beer on “my” balcony. It was necessary to get up early, because tomorrow we need to cross 3 countries: Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, and spend the night already in Mukachevo.

Road Skopje-Mukachevo

As we already knew, all borders are passed quickly, in 20-30 minutes. All but one - the border Hungary - Ukraine. And so it was. We arrived at the Beregovo checkpoint at about 21.30. And again the same picture: everyone is standing. Then it got a little more fun, we started moving forward. Around 23.

00 my daughter and I went to duty free, but suddenly my son came running and said that they had opened the second window, we were going. Phew, at about 23.30 we crossed the border and in 45 minutes we were in Mukachevo. Thanks to the hostess, who did not go to bed, waiting for us.

We, experienced travelers)), in Mukachevo wanted to rent an apartment in which we lived when we returned from Montenegro. There were 3 rooms and a 5th floor with a balcony, and in principle, everything is in order, everything is available. But no, the owners were at the sea, their daughter-in-law provided accommodation ...We were glad that we were returning home, we had already traveled, so I did not react to the dirty carpets in the rooms and the entire greasy kitchen with broken drawers and a sandwich with red caviar, which is 250 years old. We just sleep and leave. Thanks for that too. Although it’s not very pleasant that people take money for housing, but they don’t have it in the right condition to show others, not to settle. (I have this after Eleanor).

In general, the whole next day we trudge through Western Ukraine, keeping speed on narrow roads with one-lane traffic. I decided not to deny myself the pleasure, to try the wonderful Transcarpathian banosh. We stayed at the guest house "At Andrey's". Banosh they have 4 5.00 UAH. We decided to take it with us, for which we were asked for another 20 UAH. and pay immediately. But after 15 minutes, the children decided to dine here, on the spot, and I asked the waiter not to pack the banosh, but to serve it on the table. Banosh is good, tasty, with pieces of cheese and cracklings. But the waiter is not very good. When I asked for change, saying that the container was not required, is it possible to return 20 hryvnia, he replied that he did not have small money and we could pick up our containers. Why are they to me? It's funny, but the sediment remained ...

At the entrance to Lviv, there is very slow traffic along the district, continuous traffic jams. And when we passed Lvov, in general the road stood. Apparently, there was an accident somewhere, because

Ambulances and police went. As long as the horizon was visible, there was a line of trucks, cars drove through the fields. Then there was no passage through the field, and we looked at the navigator where the traffic jam ended, it was possible to go through the village. Fortunately, everything went well, we did not get stuck in the field and finally drove out onto the track.

Under Rovno, the husband says that the steering wheel is shaking, this should not happen, you need to call in for vulcanization. OK. We stopped at some rural vulcanization on the way. We adjusted the weights on the wheel, withdrew more money than in Kharkov, we “happy” rushed on. At a speed of about 100 km / h, the car began to shake so that everyone noticed that something was clearly wrong with the wheel. The husband stopped, took off the wheel himself and put it on again, thinking that he was not dressed like that. Then, after 15 minutes, we stopped again and took off all the weights that were hung on us. Nothing helped.

The husband scolded himself for climbing to redo something, they would have somehow reached home, and at home the familiar craftsmen would have adjusted everything. But now the movement was difficult. After Rivne, the autobahn begins, but we can’t drive at high speed, the car shakes thoroughly. The time is about 20.00 (and we still have 2/3 of the way ahead! ). We found a 24-hour tire service and go straight to Rivne at the address. Another waste of time and money. I do not believe in the success of this enterprise. We had already removed both front wheels, balanced them, put them back, but when we drove on, it turned out that there was no result.

It turns out that at about 21.00 we just left Rivne, there is still half of Ukraine ahead, and we are already worn out by the road, tired. But everyone wants to go home and they don’t want to stop anywhere for the night, so we drive further to the stop. In general, of course, it is very difficult to travel all over Ukraine in 1 day, and I do not recommend doing this. We arrived at home around 7.30 in the morning on some kind of autopilot already.

On the way we tried to drink more coffee. And, passing Boryspil around 24.00, we bought really invigorating, good coffee, we didn’t feel like sleeping until dawn, and then it was already hard ...Yes, and at the entrance to Kharkov, it turned out that the Pesochin bridge was closed, we were 20-30 minutes through it to Houses. I had to go through the whole city at an hour when Kharkiv residents are already in a hurry to work. Honor and praise to my husband and his endurance.

The result of our trip: we traveled 5 countries, visited 13 cities.

We were very happy when we learned that when returning to Ukraine this year, you do not need to take a test.

Translated automatically from Russian. View original
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