Liz and I also stayed at the Zafira Studios for the first two weeks in September. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and had the relaxing holiday we hoped for. The Studios are very much as previous reviewers have stated; well maintained, good quality and Zafira and Dimitris are good hosts and will look after you if that's what you want or leave you alone if that's your preference. We stayed in the newer block facing the olive grove, which for us was definitely preferable than to have been facing the pool area is it was more private and it was nice to look out over the old olive trees. The rooms are a decent size and the furnishings more like a hotel room than holiday self-catering apartments. The kitchen area was small but we catered for ourselves 4 or 5 times, and made our own breakfast everyday. I cooked a curry and chilli for two of our evening meals, and it was ok using the hob.
The bathroom was ok, the shower decent and whilst some of the reports say that you can put bogroll down the loo, we used the bin provided like we normally have in Greece. The rooms were cleaned pretty much daily and we had no issues in that respect.
The beds were quite firm but comfortable and we didn't feel that we needed to pay the extra for aircon, or the safe in the room. As somebody else mentioned, the safe is bolted to one of the shelves in the wardrobe which are easily removed so it would be relatively easy for a thief just to take the whole thing. Thasos seemed like a very safe place anyway, so I doubt there are problems with theft anyway.
We didn't actually use the pool at all as the beach was so lovely. Really just a few metres from the pool, its like having a private beach, and whilst I've never been to the Caribbean, it really was how I imagine the beaches there.
As others have said there are urchins in the sea, but shoes are available, and they are easy enough to see. I trod on one that had been washed up in some beach detritus, and it hurt a bit for a few days but really was no biggie. Don't know what all the fuss is about.
As other reviewers have mentioned there are two shops where you can buy provisions; Geka's, which is just in the village and is basically a convenience store, and a larger Supermarket just down on the main road (turn left out of the studios, take the second turning on the right - its a 10-15 min stroll along country lanes lined with olive trees with goats, geese and cats lurking in the hedgerows. We preferred the larger supermarket but as mentioned we did do some cooking etc.
We went to Geka's Taverna on our first night, but for veggies the choice wasn't great although we heard other people who have a normal diet complimenting the food. We went to Olga's a few times which was nice both foodwise and ambience-wise. The Greek night was worth a visit. We also ate in Thassos Town a couple of times, and found some nice restarants down by the old harbour. Dimitris organised two barbeques and two Meze evenings whilst we were there. There was much too much food and it was all lovely. Its a chance to meet your fellow holiday-makers if you want to or keep yourself to yourself or meet some of the ex-pat community who visit the Studios from time to time. As stated in previous reviews, the pool bar does attract some ex-pats and some locals. We didn't find this a problem, but I guess it depends on the level of attention you require from your hosts. I thought it was nice to see Dimitris and Zafira chatting with their friends and family and I never felt ignored, it just felt real. The young bloke behind the bar, Yiannis, worked hard, serving drinks, meals, bringing food and drinks down to us on the beach and always had a cheery smile - a level of professionalism sadly missing in the UK all to frequently. Dimitris and Zafira's Dad was often at the studios, and always waved and blew his horn in his truck whenever he saw us either around the village or when I was out running.
I found a superb running route, approx 10k I think, by turning left out of the apartments, running through the olive groves and eventually popping out onto the beach about a mile outside Skala Prinous, which I then ran up to, made the ferry terminal my turnaround point then jogged back along the beach. What a superb route, I actually looked forward to it. In early Sept it was ok going at about 6pm.
There didn't seem to be much at Skala Prinous - we walked there one afternoon, had a late lunch and strolled back, very civilised.
There are quite a lot of hotel bars along by the beach in Skala Rahoni, you can just stroll in and enjoy the experience of and evening drink in balmy conditions with the sound of the sea in the background - superb.
Lots of people were saying before we went that Greece had got expensive - I didn't find this; a round for us, glass of wine and a soft drink was usually between 3-4 Euros, and I seldom paid 20 Euros for dinner for two.
We hired a jeep for a couple of days which was about as much as we needed to have a tootle around the Island. We used Eurocar, as it was convenient and endorsed by Thomson. It was a bit more expensive than other local providers if you shopped around, but basically I just went for the easy option. Don't be fooled into thinking that the Eurocar vehicles will be of higher quality that other companies. Our jeep was a bit of a wreck, it had been rear-ended and still carried much of the damage, and to say it was tatty was understating it. The brake warning light flickered on and off for most of the first day, and the pedal felt suspiciously spongy, similarly the vibrations coming through the steering wheel at specific speeds suggested that the tracking was shot and wheels had never been balanced. So, driving in a way that meant no sudden braking was necessary was prudent. It wasn't problem, the roads are pretty empty and we only encountered one bit of knobby driving. Parking was a doddle in all the towns and we had a fun couple of days driving for a bit, stopping for coffee, walking around various bays etc.
Getting to and from the island means a ferry trip which was a lovely way to start the holiday and an emotional way to end it.
We had a lovely time at Zafira's, it was every bit as lovely as the reviewers who loved it have said, and I hope we will get to return there one day. I'd recommend it to anybody who wants a chilled out relaxed holiday.
The more negative reviews just go to show that you really can't please all of the people all of the time. I thought it was great, and as I sit here in my lounge on the last Saturday in October, remembering what a lovely holiday we had there has made me feel quite emotional.
There was so much I wanted to say about the holiday, I'm sure I haven't covered it all, so feel free to contact me if you want to know anything else.
I hope you found this review helpful (sorry its a bit waffly!!).
Newer rooms facing the olive groves are quieter and very nice
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC