Thessaloniki: A Cheap Day at the Beach
If you live in Thessaloniki and want to get away from the heat for a day trip, here’s an idea: take the boat across the Thermaikos Gulf to Peraia, Neoi Epivates, and Agia Triada, the 3 suburbs lining the south coast of the gulf only 14 kilometers from the city.
These 3 towns used to be the place to go before the explosion of development on Halkidiki. Boat service during the summer months was common and convenient, but the popularity of the area decreased in the 1970’s and 80’s, and the service was discontinued in the early 80’s.
The area’s beaches suffered from e-coli pollution, which further depressed numbers of summer visitors. During the last decade, however, changes in sewage treatment has dramatically cleaned up the waters. Now the beach at Neoi Epivates has been awarded the EU’s Blue Flag for cleanliness and superior organization.
That brought the crowds back, and with the ongoing financial crisis, the area is suddenly much more attractive for economical reasons, as well. Because of that, ferry service resumed in 2014 after a break of 38 years.
Boats leave 10 times daily during the summer from the main port at Thessaloniki, as well as from the White Tower. The ride is a pleasant, refreshing 50-minute trip over the waters of the Thermaikos. Often you can see dolphins swimming alongside the boat. The boats accommodate up to 200 passengers, allowing pedestrian traffic only. Cost is only 3 euros one way. You can pack a lunch, bring an umbrella, take the early boat at 10AM, and stay until late in the evening, enjoy a coffee at one of the many pleasant seaside cafes, and take one of the last boats back at either 8:30 or 9:30 PM.
From Thessaloniki: 10:00, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:30, 17:00, 18:00, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30
From Neoi Epivates: 09:30, 11:00, 12:30, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30