As always, when I stay at a place, I try to write a bit about the transportation, Hotel, restaurants, beaches, and other attractions I saw while on the island…
So, here goes:
TRANSPORTATION: We came over on Pegasus Express. We sat in first class, which is only about 10 Euros more per person, and worth it. You get comfortable couches with a table in the middle, a private cafeteria that is not too crowded when you need it, and non-numbered seats, first come first serve. The economy seats are more like airline seats.
THE HOVOLO APARTMENTS STAFF:
I cannot say enough good things about the Hovolo Apartment Staff. They truly made me and my family feel like a member of their family. From Nikos (the Patriarch of the family) who would advise me on scouting expeditions or jogging sites every morning, to his lovely wife Alexandra who would boil my special "soft boiled eggs" on demand even after breakfast was over. Fotini, Georgia, Constandina and her friend Nikos were ever present at most hours of every day for any whims we may have had. Fotini even acted as a babysitter a few times when Mom and Dad needed a break, which is something I would normally never do with my daughter, but we bonded so well with their family, and there was such trust between us.
AMENITIES OF THE HOTEL:
The Hotel does not have a restaurant, but does make club sandwiches, toast, serve all kinds of coffee, soft drinks, water etc, and is open from 7am-midnight. They also have a laundry facility and will do your laundry for a reasonable fee should you desire that.
Definitely, you should choose a room on the top level, preferably 51-54. 54 will be the last one on the row and has a side view of the sea but it is more private than some of the other rooms. Our room (52) did not have a sea view from the window, but when you step onto the balcony you have a sea view to the left up to the green forest on the other side where our window was. In other words, standing in front of your balcony you look left and see the Sea, but look straight ahead and see the lush green forest. The rooms themselves were huge, with a nice loft above for a second room. The bathroom shower had some of the highest water pressure of any Greek Hotel I've been to which was great!
HOUSEKEEPING: Housekeeping was quite good, but initially there was a problem with the maid forgetting to lock the door, but after mentioning it, they responded quickly and apologized profusely. Other than that, the only other odd thing in three weeks of staying there was that a scorpion made its way into our room, but I quickly dispatched it to the afterlife and that was that. When I mentioned it to the owner (Mr. Nikos) he was surprised and said he had never seen that before. Me neither--but I am glad I saw it and my 7 year old didn't.
OVERALL: The Hovolo apartments was a great place to relax, and we truly enjoyed it. We would have preferred if it wasn't as expensive (95.00 Euros a night), as we found other guests who had paid less, but they had booked much earlier in the year. The only other annoyance was the wasps which were everywhere during the day and at times very annoying indeed, but this is not a specific problem with the Hovolo but rather with the island in General. But, the great attitude of the staff minimized any concerns we had about price as they truly knew how to keep customers happy and in the end we got our money's worth and more. We feel that they have become part of our family in a way. Our hats off to them!
RESTAURANTS: I have made other reviews individually for these but we liked, Agnanti in Glossa, Maestrali in Glossa, and Aktaion-Prodomos in Skopelos town. Most of the prices on this island were great and definitely less expensive than Athens. Next to Hovolo, there is a fish tavern that has really good fish. We ate there twice but most often we ate at other places around the island.
HOVOLO TOWN: The town of Hovolo is actually a nice little hamlet and a perfect place for power-walking and jogging which I did daily. It was not too crowded, but when you'd see a local, they would tend to greet you if you spoke first. There was also a small marina which had a few boats docked with British tourists and you could see them up in the café if you were looking for some Anglophone company. We met a very nice British family who came in by boat at one of the café's who had a daughter the same age as ours and we hit it off quite well.
Panormos was the beach we spend 2 weeks of our three weeks visiting daily! Remarkably one of the clearest water beaches I've even been to with the exception of the Seychelles. Plus, the great Nikos Taverna lets you use the sunbeds for free as well as providing great meals for lunch and dinner.
Kastani Beach (Mama Mia fame) is also a great beach, and especially if you like seeing aesthetically pleasing Greek people, as this tends to attract a certain "see and be seen" crowd.
Milia Beach is also a great beach and our second favorite one. Clear water, but not as many amenities as Panormos.
Skopelos Main town: Great for strolling, climbing up the big church on the right side of the harbor, let your young children ride the pony (Elina is her name), and have a typical Greek experience at the shops in town.
Glossa Town: Glossa is a cultural center of sort. Narrow streets, artsy shops, and a quaint feel made me really enjoy this town. And if you want a good souvlaki (Giros), try the one in the upper square area (Look for the long legged, young Greek Blond woman with the big smile who owns the place, and you'll know you are there!)
The Ag. Ioannis Church on top of the rock (i.e., Mama Mia Church). Do not miss this, and read my review on going there for sunrise.
The Lighthouse. It was quite a drive and although I enjoyed it, I would skip it unless you are really a lighthouse enthusiast as I am.
The Pirate Graves at Sedoukia. Now this is definitely for people in good shape. It's quite a drive, and then a trek into the mountains but once you get there, you'll see graves that supposedly are from Neolithic times (3500 BC maybe), but no one seems to know for sure when they were made and you'll be very impressed with how precise the stones were cut into as these are sold rock formations that have been turned into graves.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hovolo hotel is located amphitheatricl at the Hovolo hills of Neo Klima village in Skopelos.Hovolo has a very friendly and welcoming environment. ... more less
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