We are in the final and the most "holiday-ish" summer month. The sun is smiling alluringly and no one can resist the beaches and the azure water. At the same time, the crisis has limited greatly the resources of almost all Europeans, who are now calculating very carefully their finances before they decide to go to some heavenly place.
However, there is a solution even for those, who have decided to observe the family budget without deviation: a camping holiday. Free camping is forbidden, but on the other hand both the islands and the mainland part of Greece offer hundreds of organized camps.
According to those occupied in this field, in recent years the number of enthusiasts, who want to find out what it is like to stay in a tent, has increased, and not only because of the incomparably lower prices.
"There is a large increase in the number of new customers, but they can be divided into two categories: one is young people, who want to spend their holiday close to nature and therefore choose the campsite. The second category includes people who have decided to do so as a result of the crisis", said in an interview for GRReporter Vassilis Kontostathis, marketing director of the Maestro consortium, holding three camping sites.
"This is due to the huge difference in prices. At the beginning and at the end of the tourist season, prices are lower, and during the most active period - from late July to late August, our price is 10-11 euro per day for a tent for two people. "
This year breakfast is also included in the price for the holiday makers. They can also eat in the cafeteria, where residents cook, and so try traditional dishes in large portions for 6 to 6.5 euro. I.e. daily costs for a couple may be confined to within less than 30 euro. The other option is to shop in the campsite mini-markets at lower prices."
Campsite Agia Anna resort is located in the region of Agia Anna in the northern part of Evia island. "It occupies an area of 65 acres and is located 110 metres from the beach, which stretches five kilometres. We have restaurants, two large swimming pools, a bar and above all bathrooms and toilets which are cleaned 24 hours a day."
For the more demanding clients, who want to pamper themselves, in one part of the campsite there are luxury bungalows and yurts. According to Vassilis Kontostathis they are the only ones in Europe.
"There the prices are different, though. They are designed for people who want to be close to nature, but in the conditions offered by a five star hotel. Yurts cost around 90 euro per night, but a whole family of four can stay in one. Each yurt has its own garden, a hammock under the trees and the roof is equipped with a glass lid which can be removed. The more romantic can actually sleep under the stars. We are trying to meet the needs of all people who want to be close to nature. Both the real camping site lovers, who spend their holidays in tents, and the others who don't want to do without luxurious services."
People who are thinking of a camping holiday, should be especially careful about the conditions in campsites, mostly regarding their personal hygiene. No less important is security, although it is almost impossible to guard the campsite 100 per cent. "The management of the campsite cannot protect customers from potential thefts. At our campsite there is security around the clock. Security officers go around and inside the camp in order to prevent possible conflicts or simply to bring order, if somebody tries to make noise and bothers the rest. Thus customers feel secure, because they see that they are protected by guards, trying to be as discreet as possible and not annoy with their presence."
The campsite has existed for 25 years now and according to its marketing director, it tops the preference list of the fans of this kind of holiday in Greece. It offers more specific services. "For example, we have a group of 8-10 teachers who deal with children's games and provide other entertaining classes throughout the day, while their parents are having a peaceful vacation."
Fans of camping however remind those who want to try it for the first time, that, besides transportation costs and daily accommodation charges, they will have to set aside several hundred euros in order to buy the necessary equipment for this type of holiday.