Greece's emerald isle, Mythology's island of the Sirens, rises from the azure waves of the Aegean.
The wild landscape in its northeast part, with its recipitous lush ravines and beaches forms a vivid contrast to the serene beauty of the calm merging of sea and land at the shallow southwest coast.
The island's capital, Limenas or Thassos, occupies the site of the ancient city. One can still see the walls, which completely surrounded it, the acropolis, the agora, theatre, temple of Pythian Apollon, choregic monument, and many other ruins. But Thassos has more than antiquities to offer the visitor.
Such as excursions to magical coves, trips to seaside spots such as Makriamos, Agios Ioanis, Limenaria, Potos, Pefkari, Aliki, Kinira, Skala Marion on to mountain villages like Theologos, Prinos, Panagia and Maries to the admire the charming old stone houses with their slate roofs.
What to see in Thasos
The city of Thassos (or else it is called Limenas by the locals) was built in the bay between the cape Evraiokastro and the cape Pachi,to the northeast of the island.It is the administrative and commercial capital of the island as almost all public services are housed here.At the centre of the city you can find the old and new harbor that connects the island by boat with the cities: Kavala and Keramoti.
The ancient agora of Thassos and the ancient theatre are favourite destinations for many tourists. During the summer, theatrical plays and artistic shows are performed at the ancient theatre.The nothern area of Thassos is rich in lush forests. Fortunately it’s one of the few spots in the island that was not affected by the destructive fires in 2007.There are also many marble quarries (the white Thassian marble is well-known)around,that unfortunately have a detrimental effect on the natural beauty of the island. In the centre of the city you can explore a wide variety of shops which sell souvenirs,clothes or you can sit in one of the lovely taverns or coffee shops.
You must see: The archaeological museum,the ancient agora,the ancient theatre,the Acropolis,the Kalogeriko,the commercial harbor,the picturesque alleys at the harbor of the fishermen.
Food-Entertainment: Night-life in Thasos is very vibrant .There are many taverns and restaurants with menus filled with delightful culinary choices,not only in the centre of the city but in the nearby beaches too.Cafe-bars to enjoy your drink and clubs to dance till morning!
Beaches: Makriammos,the beach of Pachi,the beach of Glyfada,Papalimanni,Nysteri.
The area includes the villages Rachoni, Skala Rachoni and St.Georgios. The Skala Rachoni is the harbor for St.Georgios and Rachoni. that are 5 km away from sea. In the old days the village St. Georgios was built far inside the island so as to be inaccessible by pirates. Later on,when the danger of raids subsided, the locals moved closer to the sea and founded the new St.Georgios. At the old St.Georgios,the ottoman Mohamed Ali was raised by a greek family. In Rachoni you can find traditional manors,taverns and kafeneio as well as the church of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary,built in a magnificent location. The area is famous for producing olive oil and honey of top quality.
You must see: The church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
The region named Prinos includes the village Prinos (Kalyvia), the new village of Prinos,the minor and the great Kazaviti and Skala Prinos. Prinos is located on the mountainous area of the region,whereas Skala Prinos is located in the coastal area.From there you can take the ferry boat or the flying dolphine to the city of Kavala or to the harbor of Peramos. Economically, it’s a very important region for the island because petroleum deposits have been found there. Many pumping stations operate in the area.
A lot of people come and go during the summer,in the Skala Prinos,mainly due to the harbor.At the village Prinos there are many interesting shops for tourists and locals.Every Monday, the local market opens and you can buy fresh products.You can also find in the village the buildings of the Biological Oil-Mills of Thasos,(which produce the famous,-for its beneficial properties-biological olive oil “Kardiophilo”),the factory of olives and the Thasian Honey-makers Guild.
At the cross-section of Prinos there is a road which leads to the traditional village Kazaviti(about 4km away).It’s perhaps one of the most picturesque small villages in Thasos,built on the slopes of an evergreen hill,with lovely houses with wooden balconies and stone walls.Here one can marvel at what has left from the old estates and churches.
You must see: The village Kazaviti,the grove of Prinos,the church of St.Panteleimon.
The region named Sotiras, includes the villages of Sotiras and Skala Sotiras.The village Sotiras was built at an altitude of 350m and 3.5km far from the sea. In the past it was a very popular place for its therapeutic qualities due to its enviroment,climate,dense forest and cool spring waters.A very interesting place to visit is the church of the “Metamorphosis of The Savior”,that was built in 1890. The same year they had built the marble spring of Platania in the centre of the village under ancient plane trees,which is officially a preservable monument.
Skala Sotiras was once a fishermens village. After 1976 they started rebuilding it. Interesting sites are the lovely marina with the palm trees and the old factory that processed the core of olives. Nowadays the village is under development and so you can find many taverns and coffee shops near the beach.The village is reputed to make the most tasty bread on the island.
You must see: the church of the “Metamorphosis of The Savior”.
An area that includes the mountainous village Kallirache and the Skala Kallirache. Kallirache was built when the villagers abandoned their old village ” Kake Rache”. It is located on the slopes of a hill,between olive trees,with a great view of Kavala. The houses were built with the traditional thasian architecture.The narrow and stony alleys are very characteristic in this village and unique for walks. Here you can visit the folklore museum which is housed in a beutiful preservable manor and exhibits hand-made clothes ,needlework and traditional tools.
Skala Kalliraches is the only place that you can find houses built on water! Fishermen used to secure their boats in there when the weather was bad. Due to increased tourism there are many taverns,bars and coffee shops. Outside Skala Kallirache, on the way to Limenaria,you can find the village Klisma,known for its beach with the perfectly round pebbles and its fish taverns with splendid sea food.
You must see: The folkore museum of Kallirache and the narrow alleys
Maries are in the western part of the island,12 km approximately northeast from the coastal region Skala Maries. It’s a mountainous village in the inland of Thasos,that is located in a valley between two mountain slopes.
The village was initially built on a mount across the monastery Panagouda,but it was rebuilt in a new location in order to be hidden from the pirates.The church was built in 1800 and is dedicated to the “Meeting of Archangels”.It celebrates in the 8th of November. There are two stories about how the village got its name.The first is that most of the women in the village was named Maria and the second is that when the pirates once destroyed the village,they left two women with the name Maria.
They used to be iron mines in the village but nowadays they’re abandoned.One can still see their remnants in a gorge near the village. The village is in a very calm and serene location,ideal for nature lovers and hitchhikers. From here you can also visit the artificial lake that was created in the centre of the island in the midst of mountains. You must explore that place.There’s a small lovely waterfall there too...
12km away from the village,near the sea,at the place where they used to load ore from the mines,Skala Maries was built.It’s a picturesque fishermens village located next to the sea.It’s a very popular place for tourists and at its exit you can find the most charming beach that is not organised:Aspas(or Atspas),a very wide little bay with crystal clear shallow waters and fine sand that resemble sugar! A small heaven for those that dislike organised beaches.
You must see: monastery Panagouda,the lake of Maries.
The largest village of Thassos that was under major development near the end of 19th century. The region became commercially known due to its mines that started operating in 1903 by the german company Speidel. Thus,economical growth increased in the village, as minerals were exported all over the world. Close to Limenaria ,the small village Kalivia(St.Georgios) nowadays continues the development of Limenaria. The two villages together reach the population of the city of Thassos, in numbers.
“Palataki” (small palace),that housed the offices of the Speidel company at the beginning of the 20th century,is an exceptional specimen of local architecture. Later it was abandoned and only recently locals completed its renovation.The results are absolutely wonderful.
Limenarias’ best days was the 80s and 90s, as the place developed for tourists. The centre of Limenaria was carefully planned,with well-built pavements and roads,appealing to the locals and to the visitors. The two most known sites of the place is the cave underneath the Palataki and the beach named Mines with the abandoned iron mines. Furthermore, this place is considered to be one of the best at providing top quality services to its visitors. There are hotels,rooms for rental,many taverns,restaurants,bars and two museums:a folklore museum and a private one,named Papageorgiou. Close to the beach of Limenaria you can find many interesting shops with souvenirs and local traditional sweets.Don’t forget to have doughnuts with honey or ice-cream and watch the sunset from the bay close to the village.
On one of the peaks of mountain Ypsario, on a longitude of 800m, lies the most ancient village of the island, Kastro. It took its name from the remnants of a castle that once stood there. It flourished in the years that piracy infested the Aegean Sea and was abandoned later when the locals found work at the iron mines of the Speidel company.At the villages’ square you can find the church of St.Athanasios. For many years the village was abandoned and it was until recently that local owners renovated their manors. In January, at the celebration of St.Athanasios,the Kastro becomes vibrant and lively, as many Thassians join the feast with songs and food!
You must see: The Palataki, the old mines,the folklore museum, the Kastro
Theologos is at the centre of the island and its district covers the 2/5 of the island. The village is on a longitude of 220, on the more mountainous terrain of Thasos,north of Potos and 60km away from the city Thassos. These days, Theologos is the administrative seat of the villages: Theologos, Potos, Psili Ammos, Astris, Aliki and Koinira and covers 20% of the land of the island. It is a place rich in spring waters, with dense vegetation and it is quiet remote. These were the exact reasons for which the monks from Holy Mount Athos had chosen to live. The houses here were built according to the traditional Macedonian architecture and thus the central component in their building is the rock. The village is officially declared as a traditional village. It was once a commercial centre until the mid 19th century.In the square of the village you may want to explore the various shops that sell souvenirs,hand-made objects and traditional sweets.The women of Theologos are very famous for their boiled in sugar sweets.Especially for the sweet “karidaki”(walnuts dipped into syroup).
Potos is the most cosmopolitan place on the island.It has many hotels and rooms for rental for every demand and desire. Cafe's and bars beside the sea,taverns with tasty treats and shops for tourists.It’s a very popular place.
Not far from Potos you’ll find Peukari. A place that took its name from the pine forests around it(peuko=pine).Its beach is one of the most crowded on the island,as it has very clear waters and it is a centre for water sports.There are many hotels and rooms for rental near the sea and lots of taverns and cafeterias.
Some kilometers away from Potos is Astris or Astrida. It is said that it took its name from its clear and starry night skies in the summer(Astro-Astris-Star).At the other side you can find the islet Panagia or Astiriotiko.A legend indicates that this might actually be the island of the Sirens,the mythical beings that charmed passing travellers with their songs,as Homer describes in the Odyssey. Around the region there are gorgeous sand beaches,like Psili Ammos (very well-organised)and Giola(a closed naturally formed sea lake).
Other known beaches are Salonikios,Ai Vasilis and Kalami. After Astris you’ll find the monastery of Archangel,a monastery that nuns live in there and it is dedicated to the protector of the island,Archangel Michael.It was built on top of high rocks to detect any danger from afar and protect itself from possible raiders from the sea on time.It offers a magical view of the Aegean Sea.
Thimonia is a small town with farmlands,known mostly for its beach,which has the same name.
Some kilometers further above ,towards Thasos(Limenas),you find Aliki.A beautiful beach with an ancient settlement nearby and ancient quarries.The submerged quarry at the edge of the cape and the vast rocks that still remain in the bottom of the sea,suggest that this place was a very busy work-site from the 6th century B.C. to the 6th century A.D. Nowadays the bluish waters of the bay and the rare natural beauty of the area,makes one of the most splenid beaches on all the island.To the district of Aliki belongs the beach of St. Ioanni.
Koinira is one of the loveliest villages of eastern Thasos. Due to its lush vegetation and many springs,it is considered a blessed place. There's also a small uninhabitant and private islet that it is under the jurisdiction of Koiniriotiko.It has steep rocky shores and rich in fish waters. Koinera is well known for its fish taverns(where you can enjoy fresh sea food) and its famous beach Paradise.The very shallow and emerald waters in combination with the dense vegetation and calm sea breezes, reminds you of an exotic beach that you once dreamt about...
You must see: The church of St.Dimitrios and of Panagia in Theologos,the folklore museum and the old manors in Theologos,the ancient quarries and the ancient temples in Aliki.
Potamia was built on the slopes of the mountain Ypsario. It took its name due to the many streams that flow through the village(potamia is the greek word for rivers).The many manors with their stone walls and their wooden balconies make a lovely sight. Two beautiful churches make out from the rest of the buildings.Their arhitecture is quiet different from that of the manors.Potamia is also the home village of the reknowned sculptor Polygnotos Vages and you can marvel at his work in the museum which bears his name.It was erected to honor him.
2 or 3 km away from Potamia,you can find Skala Potamia,which is the coastal region of the village Potamia.The bay of Skala Potamia,known also as Golden Shore(Χρυσή Ακτή),is a very lovely place that combines an enviroment dense in flora and very clear sea waters. At the little harbor in the area stands the imposing building of Tarsana,built in the 19th century by monks from the Holy Mount Athos.
You must see: The museum dedicated to the sculptor Polygnotos Vages,the building of Tarsana and the wonderful churches in the village.
Panagia is a traditional village that it’s 9km away from the city Thasos. Its name and the many small churches in and around the village shows the devoutness and strong religious feelings of the locals.In the year 1845 Panagia was the capital city of Thasos. It was named in 1832 and took its name from the church of Panagia(of the Virgin Mary).At the village there are many springs and a lot of small streams.In the central square of the village there is an old wonderful plane tree.What is more, the view the village offers is splendid.
About 15 minutes away(walking distance), you can find the so-called Drakotrypa(Dragon’s Hole),a mysterious cave filled with stalagmites and stalactites. At the villages square there are many taverns that serve very tasty roasted meat and kontosouvli and also you can find a lot of shops that sell local the famous boiled sweets, like karydaki(walnut),syko(fig),ntomataki(tomato) and kolokythaki(pumpkin). Don’t miss to have a taste of the local tsipouro,that they make in traditional cauldrons,the so-called rakokazana.
Skala Panagia is called by the locals Aulakia.There you will find taverns,cafeterias and one of the best organised campings of the island.
You must see: The church of Panagia,the smaller churches and Drakotrypa..