At Samothraki one can either go camping or stay at a room/hotel. Two municipal camping sites, one 'out in the wild' and one properly organized can serve you if you belong in the first category. They are both located after Therma.
The camping at Therma has ample space, it is full of trees providing shade, it is in front of the sea, with open showers, toilets, a small coffee shop and a mini-market. For the less tolerant there are rooms to rent at Therma, Kamariotissa (port) and elsewhere, as well as some hotels.
This small hotel (about 8 rooms, I think) is located "downhill" from Therma.
We didn't have the problems with humidity in the rooms which we had at the Mariva (primarily because this hotel is located at some distance from the waterways).
The rooms were kept toasty with central heating, had T.V.s and small refrigerators. Facilities include access to a small kitchenette in the central hall area with some cooking utensils, a sink and the makings for coffee. Each room has it's own balcony or terrace (if you're on the ground floor) with chairs and a small table.
This is a family-owned establishment and the owners, having children of their own, welcome children in the hotel. Be prepared, however, to bring your own baby-cot as they don't provide one (I have yet to find a hotel anywhere that has provided one for us in the past 1 1/2 years). The kitchen facilities are very very handy for those of us with little ones.
Finally, at only about 30 Euros a night, this place was also pleasing to the pocketbook.
Two municipal camping sites, the first "out in the wild", under the trees of a seaside forest and the other properly organised can serve you if you belong to the nature lovers. They are both located on the beach road, a couple of km east of Therma.
The municipal "Wild" camping at Therma has ample space, it is full of trees providing shade, it is in front of the sea, with open showers, toilets, a small coffee shop and a mini-market.
We tried the public campgrounds on our first visit to Samothraki in 1996 and were disappointed. Of course, the cost was negligable (as usual in most Greek campgrounds) but it still wasn't worth it. Theoretically, when paying at a campground, the most basic service one expects is bathrooms and showers. The showers were outdoor (you "bathed" in your swimsuit?) and the toilets were the Turkish kind with, naturally, no toilet paper (that's how I learned to buy and carry around toilet paper) and, much to my dismay, no electricity (making "going" in the dark a whole new experience).
There is a daily or twice daily bus service to the villages.
We ended up camping illegally near the Gria Vathra (along with all the other hippies and cheap-os) and had a much better time as the natural environment there is much nicer than at either of seaside public campgrounds. For most of our "toilet" needs, we just went au naturel but for those more demanding ones, we went in the tavernas nearby. Of course, being respectful of the local economy (DO spend your money at the restaurants etc) and the local ecology (DON'T leave your trash everywhere) is a must. Even so, you shouldn't be surprised if the police ask you to leave. You probably won't be arrested but you should respectfully pack up and move out.
Wonderful natural landscape in general.
The hotel (both inside and out) is charming (though large, each room has a sense of privacy) but it's expensive on an island of cheap accommodation and you may have to keep company with the owner/manager's (not very pleasant) in-laws.
We were unpleasantly surprised to find that the rate had increased from 35 Euros (for 2 people) in 2003 to 50 Euros (for 2 people) in 2004. Later investigation has shown us that other rooms in the area are let for around 25 Euros (for 2 people). Always trying to economize, we won't be staying at the Mariva again.
They have recently installed heating systems which make the rooms quite cozy for those early spring stays though the humidity caused by the natural environment (there are waterfalls just a short distance away if you walk through the trees near the parking entrance) is still unavoidable. They have also renovated the rooms with charming wrought-iron furniture, paint and tiles.
The only sandy beach on Samothraki accessible by road is at Pahia Ammos. There is only one Hotel here and it is a Really nice place to stay, right on the beach on the sun-rise side of the Island !! The Food is also very good here, so if you are looking for a Nice relaxing Place to stay on the Beach then This Is The Place for you !!!!
Here is a shot of Aleka herself checking the cleanliness of one of the outside kitchens !! This Really is a Great Place to stay and is Very Well Kept !!!
These Apartments Really are a Wonderful place to stay, only 5 minutes walk from the beach, 5 minute walk from the Village Centre of Therma and a 10 minute walk to the Thermal Baths. Set in Lovely Gardens this Small Apartment block with only 6 apartments to let and has spacious rooms, nice bathrooms, a peasant private outside eating / lounging area and two outside kitchens. " Apartments Aleka " is set it it's own large well kept garden with ample shade and a Gorgeous back-drop. It is owned and run by Aleka Alexandra who lives in Therma. During May, June and September she will offer a discount on the room rates if you stay for a few days, we arranged to stay for three days and Loved the place so much that we ended up staying for seven !! As we stayed longer than agreed Aleka gave us fresh eggs and beautiful fresh vegetables from her own garden. Thank You Aleka !!!!
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