A Short Overlay in Artemida

So here I am – just travelled from Cape Artemision in Evia and have now arrived in Artemida near Athens. A two-day layover before my flight to Lemnos. As soon as I arrived here I received a Meteo weather alert on my phone – you know the one where your phone starts glowing in the dark and blasting out a foreboding alarm. All looks OK on the weather front at the moment but as we know, things can change in a second.

After doing a bit of work on a very sketchy Wi-Fi service, I take a walk along the seafront. It would be ridiculous not to at least see some of this small town. The various beaches are narrow strips of sand – some more carefully tended to than others. There is a wide selection of tavernas along this stretch of beach so this is a great place to consider for an Athens Airport layover if you struggle to find accommodation in Athens or maybe you want somewhere a bit more relaxing – come on – nobody goes to Athens to relax!

Other good layover options are in Spata and Rafina. I’ve used Apartments Tina in Spata several times. The rate also includes two-way airport transfers. There isn’t much to see or do in Spata but the accommodation will cook an evening meal that you can purchase along with drinks. Another good option and one where we send out clients is Hotel Avra in Rafina. This is a much more up-market hotel and again, the rates include two-way transfers on their shuttle bus. Both Artemida and Rafina are closer to the airport than Athens Central.

During my last night in Artemida, the storms began. The lightning lit up my bedroom through the sheer drapes and the thunder rumbled on for hours. I managed to leap out onto the kitchen balcony to retrieve my washing from the line but within the twenty seconds or so I was drenched by the torrent of rain hammering down.

The following morning, the storm had calmed somewhat. The rain was still intermittent and the thunder occasionally made its presence felt. As my flight didn’t depart until late afternoon I had planned to go to Rafina and spend a few hours there. Although I’d seen a bus passing through Artemida with Airport written on it the day before, my host told me that the airport bus only goes from Rafina. Very peculiar. The bus stops in Artemida don’t give away any clues either. Anyway, to heck with that – I’m going to go straight to the airport and I’ll kill some time there.

I message my host Dia, to arrange for Dimitri to pick me up at 1100. The 25€ he charges is much cheaper than an Uber or an official airport transfer. I grit my teeth, I say a prayer (the atheist type) and hope that Dimitri is feeling less chatty today! He wasn’t. Anyway, it transpires that Dia and Dimitri are husband and wife. It wasn’t clear whether they own or manage the property (along with others) but Momenti Felici was a good option and I would stay there again. Location is everything.

Once at the airport I’m able to check in right away despite that I have over 5 hours to wait. I decided on a whim to use one of the business lounges. I had been looking on line the night before and the prices seemed quite reasonable. However, if you book them on the day they are expensive. I went to the Goldair lounge in terminal B to enquire and it was 46€ for 3 hours. Whilst looking online there was mention of a day pass but Goldair don’t offer this particular service.

There are websites like Lounge Buddy where you are able to book business lounges at airports all over the world – and many others similar to this. The moral of the tale is that if you book 24 hours before your arrival you will get a better price.

All I was hoping for was a comfortable chair, some light refreshments and somewhere quiet to work. Actually, the lounge was really busy. It was a better place to be than the main airport concourse though which was heaving with people today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take full advantage of the refreshments on offer as I’d developed a bit of a dicky stomach. A Cocacola and a banana were it.

Anyway, it was a pleasant way to kill some time. I don’t know how they keep a check on your allocated time but being the good citizen that I am, I left the lounge once my three hours were up. I’d hate to be hauled out by the scruff of my neck for overstaying!

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