Ever wondered where all the beautiful young (and young-at-heart) Greek hippies go on holiday? Ever fancied holidaying in Man Bun Central? Ever longed to wear your bum bag, bucket hat and ugly sandals with pride, in a totally non-ironic way?
The answer is Samothraki. In fact, the northern Aegean island, reached by ferry from Alexandroupoli, might be the answer to everything.
We’ve just spent nine days on the island and although it’s a bit of a mission to get to, it’s worth it. If you like quiet, pebbly beaches (we only saw one sandy beach in nine days), waterfalls, gorges, rock pools, an imposing mountain (Fegari, a decent 1600 metres high), and an almost total absence of Brit tourists, then Samothraki is worth a look.
It’s not too expensive, either – probably because of the, shall we say, earthy demographic it attracts. Our hotel, the charming Hotel Orpheus in Therma, was around 40 euros a night (for those on a tighter budget, the two local campsites were doing a roaring trade), and a two-course dinner for two rarely cost more than 35 euros, including a shed-load of the local wine.
(The trick is to not constantly convert everything into lev, otherwise it all seems ruinously expensive. So when a glass of wine costs you three euros, don’t scream internally ‘Six fucking leva? Are they out of their man-bunned heads!?’ Instead think, ‘What a jolly good price that is compared to other Greek islands or, shudder, the UK. La la la.’ That’s the trick. I never consistently pull it off, though.)
Here are just a few snaps of our Samothraki adventures. I’m already looking forward to going back one day.
Beautiful beaches, some wild, some less so
Hora, the main town
I hope that Samothraki is a bit nearer than Zakynthos! We loved it and in some ways the drive from Sofia was also quite fun, but I am not sure that I would want to do so much driving again.
It was about 7.5 hours in the car, and around 3 hours on the ferry, so not exactly a short hop! And the ferry was daylight robbery (125 euros one way for us and the car), which came as a bit of a shock. If you want a really easy island to get to, I highly recommend Thassos.
Hello! I came back to look at this post as we’re thinking of going to Samothraki this summer. I just saw on the comment the price of the ferry! Did you book it online in advance, or just turn up? x
We just turned up, Minty. And it was the middle of August. So, probably the worst time and way to go about getting a Greek ferry! But there you go. (Beyond hotels, I’m averse to booking anything in advance if I can help it.) Also, I vaguely remember there was something going on with the ferries that summer and there was only one operator running to Samothraki (normally I think there are two, but I might be wrong), so they could basically charge what they liked. It’s 100% worth the trip, though, and things are pretty cheap once you get there, at least compared to other Greek islands.
Thanks! We’ll definitely go, looking forward to it already