Thursday, 18 February 2016


A lot of people who read my blog are fans of Pefkos and, in particular, the Finas Hotel, which has a very large repeat-visit rate. Sorry, I sound a bit hopeful there using the term "a lot of people", eh? Still, never mind, one can dream.

Anyway, pressing on regardless, the handful who do know the Finas and may be hoping to return there this season, 2016, may also be interested to see the two photos I took just yesterday, since I had occasion to drive past the Finas.

I knew that the hotel had changed tour operators for 2016, something which I'm quite sad about personally, because I do excursions for Olympic Holidays (the holiday operator, nothing to do with the Olympic Airline) and they've had the Finas exclusively for many years. For 2016, though, Thomas Cook now have the Finas and you can have a look at the booking rates by clicking this link.

The hotel is right now undergoing a radical re-fit, so radical in fact that you may not even recognise it from these two photos, taken in 24ºC heat just yesterday, February 17th...

As usual, clicking on the photo gives you a larger view, same applies below too of course.

The fact is, this isn't a touch of titivation, not even a lick of paint here and there. No, the whole place has been gutted, meaning that anyone staying there this coming season is in for a very different experience from what they may have had previously. Dunno if the prices this year are going to reflect that too though.

TBH I've almost given up reading tripadvisor, owing to the fact that so many posts seem to betray hidden agendas that it got so that you couldn't really trust a lot of what was said there any more. The Finas in fact has had some quite mixed reviews, yet in my experience folk who've stayed there have known what to expect from a budget hotel and by far the majority of my excursion guests have liked, even loved the place and that's why so many return year after year.

Olympic may have lost the Finas, but if you're a regular guest with them you'll hopefully be pleased to learn that they do have a few new hotels and apartment blocks on their books for the Lardos-Pefkos-Lindos area. In fact for 2016 they have the Lindos Gardens exclusively (Thomson did have an interest, but it's not on their website this year) for the first time as I understand it. 

If you'd like to see what they have on offer, click here then scroll down and look at the left hand column, where you'll find this box (see left).

Of course, you can then click on whichever of the areas of Rhodes that may interest you to see a list of accommodations offered by Olympic in 2016.

Whatever you're planning for this coming season, I hope that a visit to Greece is on your agenda. The recent two-part destruction of Greece's image by Simon Reeve on the BBC may have put some off, but to be honest, though what he showed may have been true, he did rather concentrate on the negatives, whilst only slipping in a few positives here and there. I found myself, for example, while he was wringing his hands over the devastated shipbuilding and repair industry, shouting at the TV: "What about in the UK then? EH? Where's the British shipbuilding industry gone this past few decades?"

He also expressed righteous indignation over the exploitation of migrant workers in some strawberry fields. There's no defending such evident slavery, of course. But I found myself thinking back to the occasion not too long ago when a number of Chinese illegals were drowned by the quick tide while gathering cockles on a UK estuary. The exact same kind of exploitation was involved there, in the UK.

I know, I'm probably biased. Who isn't? But then again, what people come here for more often than not is the warmth of the people on a one-to-one basis, the food, the landscape, the history, the sea... No point preaching to the converted though is there.

So, as is quite normal for this time of the year, there are signs of building, decorating, gardening and cleaning beginning to gather pace as the preparations begin for this year's season.

For all the warts that this country displays, you still know you'll have a pretty good vacation if you come to Greece. That ought to be all that matters for most people, right?


  1. Once more into the minefield!
    As a Fortean I love the strange, the unexplained, and especially the paradox. I watched the Simon Reeve two part documentary and, like you, I found it factual. Speaking to others I was aware of the incredulity of those who do not understand the “Greek way”. For myself I picked up on a number of anomalies which were not too surprising.
    The complicity of the Greek press in concealing that which the Greek Government does not want the Greek people to know. That was just slipped into the discourse without real comment; to me it is fundamental.
    When speaking of the shipyards I felt that the point made was the juxtaposition of the owner’s tax breaks with their reluctance to share their good fortune with their compatriots by giving them work. I would have thought that was the point of the tax breaks, not to enrich the wealthy.
    The strawberry farm labourers were shot at when they asked for the application of EU rules and standards. I cannot see a direct relationship here with the UK shortcomings on migrant labour. I believe that the gang masters were brought to book in the UK with regard to the cockle pickers under UK law.
    I admit the freedom of the UK press in this case does not do any favours to the Greek tourist industry, yet would you suppress it? I do not feel that this documentary was unduly negative, there was much positive said about the country.
    Another thing, not Greek related, was the act of kindness offering a lift to some Syrian ladies being rebuffed by their menfolk. My thoughts were, “You have gone to great lengths to get into Europe, now you should live by our values, and accept our altruism”. If Europeans were to seek sanctuary in an Islamic country how sympathetic would the authorities be to Europeans insisting on living life the European way?
    I admit to seeing paradoxes everywhere, but I prefer the equanimity that comes from equality.
    Oh and yes, you will have a wonderful holiday in Greece, but I am also biased!

    1. Simon, the gang masters in charge of the cockle pickers may have been 'brought to book' several years ago but in East Anglia there are still people being more or less held in servitude. There is a steady trickle of press coverage of such cases.

  2. I am afraid I have to agree with pretty well all of the above comment The Bangladesh workers case was appalling, and SHOULD have been high-lighted. And the muslim mens' behavious was dreadful. We who love Greece--and we have been going there at least once a year for over 33 years, should not be blind to it's faults. In fact, John, in one of your recent postings, you tell the tale of the "little envelope"--pointing out the flaws of corruption in not an attack on Greece--it is rather the act of concerned friends who wish nothing but the best for the country and the wonderful people.

  3. Why bother with tour operators anyway? We will be in Rhodes, and particularly Stegna again, for 3 weeks (whoopee),in May / June, and booked separate flights and more importantly, accommodation from locals. Hope to join you John on one of your excursions this time.

    1. Fair point George and, although I of course benefit from the fact that many people come wth a tour operator, I have often on this blog championed the idea of doing it yourself. It can be much more rewarding. Stegna? Excellent choice of "resort" George. There are Olympic studios down there too. If you can get a hold of an Olympic rep, then you can book an excursion that I perhaps escort. If you want to know what ones I do, by all means PM me through the "View My Complete Profile" link in the left hand column.