Staying overnight in Atalanti, Greece, on our way to Meteora


Lake Yliki just past Thiva - en-route to Meteora

You will soon begin to admire the scenery as you leave the rubble and associated road works behind. The motorway passes through farmland with fruit trees, past a large lake called Yliki Lake (north west of Thiva, shown above), and then stays close to the sea near Atalanti and Skala. We decided to find a hotel and check in, simply because by this point we were exhausted and suffering from sleep deprivation due to the night flight.

The village of Skala near Atalanti lies on the coast and looked like a good candidate for a hotel, but although there were several tavernas and holiday apartment blocks overlooking the harbour and narrow strip of palm fringed beach, they were all still shuttered and closed for the winter. I could imagine this being a popular spot with local people during the summer; for Sunday lunches and a gentle stroll. Images of Skala are shown below.

Boats at the picturesque Skala quayside
Small strip of sandy beach fringed with palm trees at Skala
Palm trees line the roads

Atalanti was the nearest large town, just 5 kilometres away. We stopped and asked where the nearest hotel was, and the lady very kindly told us that there was only one in Atalanti which made our choice simple. We booked into this hotel in Atalanti, called the Hotel Anesis (C class) which overlooks the main square and church. Finding parking close by was difficult. Everyone wanted to park along the one high street of the town but there was plenty of parking in side streets. The decor of the Hotel Anesis is basic, the rooms thoroughly cleaned. The en-suite twin bedroom we were allocated was overly heated; we had to turn the radiator off to avoid collapsing from heat stroke. We appreciated the crisp cotton sheets on the beds. There were lashings of hot water for the shower (no bath or shower curtain). This hotel is a popular venue for the men of the town who escape their wives during the early evening to sip thick Greek coffee with the customary glass of water, and gossip. The local teenagers seemed to appear in their droves and instantly vanish to somewhere on the mezzanine floor.

Our bedroom on the first floor was surprisingly quiet. We can vouch for the very nice pizzas served in the restaurant/bar downstairs. The hotel kitchen runs a pizza delivery service as a sideline. The price of a double room at the end of March 2003 was 35 Euros excluding breakfast (an additional 7 Euros). We later read in the guide book that there is a smaller D class hotel in the high street. We noticed it when out for a walk around the town, but it appeared closed which can be a common problem when looking for accommodation outwith the main tourist season.