Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is it?
It depends on the time of year.
We came the first time at Easter and we wore out winter coats on most days (even though the skies were clear), other years Easter has been in the 30s. I did swim in the sea and so did the kids, but not for long as for me it was cold. We had heating in our rooms which we put on before we went to bed at night. AlterEgo provide lovely warm quilts.
Summer can go up to 40s but there is aircon in the rooms and lots of shady areas at AlterEgo. From about 5 there is a sea breeze which means that in the evening sometimes I have needed something more than just a vest top. The sea is lovely and warm and we’ve spent hours just treading water and chatting.
October is still warm, about 22-25 degrees and the seas are warmer than Easter so you can still swim.
Is there Wi-Fi?
Yes .. in the bar. It can be a bit hit and miss in terms of speed as it slows down when there are a lot of people using it. In the summer there are many bars with wifi.
Is there aircon / heating?
Is there hot water?
Is the sea safe?
One beach is so shallow that it almost makes it hard for people who want a decent swim to get out deep enough so it’s perfect for kids. It’s sandy and there are a few trees for shade and you can hire umbrellas and loungers
Another beach, just around the corner is also pretty safe. It has pebbles as well as sand and there are more rocks in the water. It gets deeper as you go further out, but you still have to be quite a long way from the beach to be deep enough to tread water.
The Harbour is where I go to swim as it is sandy and deep and about 3 minutes from the hotel. However, there is a strong current as the harbour rock end so don’t go too far out – you don’t need to .. it’s deep enough to swim near to the shore
Are there any other hazards?
Sea urchins on the rocks are painful if you tread on them and you are meant to pick out the spine as soon as you can. They are not poisonous, just painful. Stay away from rocks and you’ll be fine, the sea is so clear you can see where they are.
Katerina has told us there are no venomous spiders or scorpions and I’ve never seen a scorpion here. There are snakes but small ones and not venomous in the forests. In the hotel area we have never seen any.
How often is my room cleaned?
Rooms are cleaned daily, towels are changed every 2 days and the sheets every 3.
Is there a swimming pool?
Yes .. right by the café. It has a shallow end and a deep middle. It’s very clean. It wasn’t open at Easter but we were in it all day in the summer
Is there childcare?
Yes but not Ofsted registered, police checked or NVQ trained and insured childcare. Jut caring local adults who like kids. You are responsible for your own children and need to make decisions according to what you think is best for your kids. There would be adults to keep an eye on your children, but remember you would be within earshot and eye sight of them until you feel comfortable enough to let them go further. You might feel happy to let older children go off on their own and we know that very young children might want to stay with you and wander in and out of the workshop and we ask that people accept that. Parents can of course share childcare.
Is there a doctor nearby?
In the summer there is a doctor in Agistri and there is always a first aider near the café. There is a many doctors and a hospital on Aegina which you can reach by water taxi in 10 minutes. There are also local people with local remedies for bites and stings if that’s what you would prefer
Where do I fly to and where do I look for a flight?
Athens. Easyjet http://www.easyjet.com/en/ fly from all over the UK to Athens as do Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com. Once we found that British Airways worked out the cheapest, I always check on Skyscanners for the best deals: http://www.skyscanner.net
How do I get from Athens to Pireas and how much does it cost?
You can get a taxi just outside the airport. It should cost about 50E (2015) to the port but you might have to haggle.
This time to avoid the haggling we pre-booked a taxi on line so a little man with out names on a sign met us as soon as we came through immigration and whisked us off for fee agreed on line. We used this company http://www.athens-taxicity.com and there is another company which does the same thing: http://www.athensairporttaxi.com/taxi-transfer/taxi-booking-athens.
Athens taxis will only take 4 people so you will need to book 2 taxis if there are more of you.
You can take the bus X96 which you find just as you come out of the airport. It takes about an hour on the bus and it costs about 6E per person. We took the bus and it was fine, they are air conditioned and efficient.
How do I get from Pireas to Agistri and how much does it cost?
You can catch the hydrofoil called the Flying Dolphin which goes via Aegina and then on to Agistri. You can buy tickets from Aegean or Hellenic Sea Ways which have kiosks next to each other at the port.
The journey takes about 1 hour and costs about 14E per person. Or there is a ferry which takes about an hour and a half and about 11E. You can book tickets from the port next further along from the Flying Dolphin from Saronic Ferries. The ferry lands very close to the hotel, you can walk in 4 minutes. The hydrofoil lands about half an hour’s walk away.
Can you collect us?
If you call Katerina she will collect you from the Flying Dolphin in her car or send someone to meet you at the Ferry. Her number is 0030 2297091356.
Alternatively, there is always a bus waiting for the Hydrofoil to arrive. Just ask for Skala and get on. It costs 2E per person. Get off at the church and ask anyone for directions to the hotel .. it is about 4 minutes walk from the church. Of course, if we know you’re coming, we’ll walk down to meet you.
How long will it take to get there
Of course it depends on how far you have to travel to the airport and which flights you take but we think it takes the best part of a day. Direct flights take about 3.5 hours, the ride the the port is about an hour and the ferry crossing as about an hour. The rest of the time goes waiting for check in, airport security etc ect.
Can you provide cots?
What kind of food is there?
Whatever you want. Katerina and her team can cater for vegetarians, vegans and kids who only like chips. In the summer there are also loads of other places to eats; Pizzas, sea food, kebabs, meatballs, salads, pancakes, icecream.
There is also a bakery within a few minutes walk of the café which does pain au chocolate and croissants and a few supermarkets which sell fruit, cereals, cheese, ham etc.
Can I get washing done?
Yes. We like to travel light so we bring less but get stuff washed every week. It cost 16E for 2 loads of washing and it all came back folded beautifully within 24 hours.
Do I need beach towels?
What don’t I need to bring?
The supermarket sells: shampoo, conditioners, toothpaste etc. so we buy them here. In the summer there are beach shops open which sell inflatables, flip flops, sun cream, beach wear, sunglasses, souvenirs.
Are there mosquitos?
Yes in the summer. You can buy bug spray here.
What is there for kids to do?
There is a swimming pool, the sea, a play park with swings and a slide. There is a proper football pitch at the far end of the village where my boys like to go when the weather is cooler. In the middle of the Skala there is another football pitch and a basket ball court where my boys have played with the local kids.
You can hire bikes and go-karts in the summer on the square and off season you can hire bikes and cycle through the forests (it’s too hot for us to do that in the summer!). You can hire pedalos.
What other activities are there?
You can hire mopeds for the day or by the hour. There is scuba diving on the island Katerina can organise boat trips. You can also pop over to Aegina to shop or eat; it’s only 15 minutes and the boats leave regularly. AlterEgo can organise pool games and Greek dancing lessons. AlterEgo can also organise diving lessons in the pool as well as pamper treatments like massage, nails, hair.
Are there shops?
Out of the summer season the supermarkets are open and in the summer, as well as these, there some tourist shops open on the sea front. Aegina has some lovely clothing boutiques and some independent jewellery shops.
Are there bars?
Yes .. loads (well, about 20??) in the summer and a few out of season.
How much does food cost?
About the same as at home. To give you an idea: In the shops pain au chocolate is 1.50E, ice creams are 1.75E. Fanta is 3E and coffee 2.5E. Chicken on skewers cost about 3E and a fish dish in a restaurant can cost 10E with salads around 5-7E.
Can I self – cater?