Written on: 15/06/2013 by witzzzend (1 review written)
This was my ninth visit to the Filokalia, so you can guess that I'm more than happy with the accommodation. Set in a quiet part of Achladies within 5 mins of bus stops and supermarkets and 10 mins of water taxi and tavernas (I would not recommend the nearby Porto Rosso, try the Paradise or Rose Garden instead).
The snags with the holiday were with the patchy nature of available tavernas and sunbeds on many of the beaches due to the shambles of licencing applications still incomplete in the 3rd week of June (from which time I consider it too hot to visit). Do the authorities want to wreck the tourist industry as well?
Then there are the flights. Booked for a week later than usual (at greater cost) to avoid the reputedly unreliable Small Planet Airlines. With 3 weeks to go, surprise surprise, flight changed to SPA. Arrived at Gatwick 2 1/2 hours before flight time to find flight changed to Polish airline Enter. Already 120 in front of me in the check-in queue. One desk opened with 110mins to go, a second after a further 20 and eventually 7 opened. It took over a hour to get checked in and left insufficient time to get breakfast and buy food and water for the flight. Lousy Airport handling. The plane was elderly and scruffy (737-400), no food on board - not even for ready money - drink poor and expensive (£2 for a thimble of undrinkable instant coffee - beer ran out by row 5 - "We are Polish, all we have is Whiskey and Vodka").
On the return flight (reps on day before "We're still trying to find a plane and slot") lucked out when arrived at airport and found it was Air Atlantic (from Faroe Islands with their one year old A319).Checked in in 2 mins and retired to taverna. Surprised to see last weeks Enter 737 operating an earlier flight taking off hours late. Roomy seat pitch, free snack and drinks and refuelled at Skiathos giving direct flight home. Landed 70 mins early but effect ruined by handling agents not bringing buses for 25 mins. Took 90 mins to clear Gatwick despite not waiting for luggage.
Much as I love Skiathos and the Filokalia, will have to think hard about using Olympics pot luck flights and the appalling services at Gatwick again.