Excursions in Thassos island Macedonia
Day trips away
from the island. Alistrati Kavala Philippi Nestos and Keramoti. Bring or
hire a 4x4 jeep, you will find Thassos a paradise for off-road driving.
endless opportunities for all kinds of excursions, ensuring that
you will never run out of things to see and do during your stay here. Thassos has
something for everybody. Go and hike its mountain paths, explore
its villages, discover its beaches by boat, hit the trail in a hired
jeep, or take a day trip to one of the countless attractions in the
The island’s mountain villages are a great way to escape the heat of the
midday sun. Have a reviving drink at one of the cafes or tavernas on the village
square in the shade of the plane, mulberry and walnut trees. The spring water
is cool, clean and refreshing.
one of the most beautiful sites in Greece, combining pine forests,
the white marble of the ancient quarries shaped and polished by
the wind, the blue crystal waters of the Aegean, the
ancient ruins and the traditional village. It really is a dream
location. The sea is clean, the fish abundant, and the sand a marble
white. Children will love its two small, yet incredibly picturesque
beaches, while the more adventurous can dive from the smooth rocks
into a crystal sea.
The best place to start a tour of Aliki is the east beach.
the right-hand end you will see the ruins of an ancient temple dating
from the 7th Century BC extending almost into the surf.
up the narrow path we come to two early Christian basilicas built on
the foundations of ancient temples. Continuing west along the southern
shore we come across the steep cliffs of flat white marble, the site
of the marble quarries which were worked systematically for over a thousand
the path we come at last to the centre of the ancient quarries at the
westernmost end of the little peninsula: marble columns, square-cut stones
ready for shipping and visible everywhere the signs of mining and digging.
photographs will tell you the rest, but we would just like to add that
here the light of the full moon is different at night, as is the suntan
you get by day, because of the way the light is reflected and refracted
by the white stone.
return on the opposite side, following the steep path and arriving at
last at the west beach, where we can revive ourselves with a refreshing
swim, an ouzo or a cup of coffee at the water’s edge.
ancient capital of the island, and now capital again in modern times.
Nature endowed it with a safe harbour, making the town the main centre
of communications with the outside world at the closest point to the
mainland across the water. A vast pine forest blankets the surrounding
hills. Its two harbours (three when the new marina is complete) dominate
the waterfront. Every free space is scattered with the relicts of the
island’s glorious past. Ancient temples, the ancient theatre, the
defensive walls, the acropolis, the Vriokastro area, the ancient agora
and much more besides. With the end of piracy and the absorption of hundreds
of refugees, the old town, once forgotten by the passage of time, experienced
enormous growth and is now seeking to reclaim its former glory.
Let’s start from the old harbour behind the
first thing we see is the arch with the goddess on her chariot, and beyond
this the Poseidonio, a sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon. Immediately after
this is the ancient quarter of the town dating to the 8th Century BC,
and opposite this the Gate of the Three Graces. Passing the open harbour
and heading uphill we reach
the sanctuary of the Saints Apostles built on its ruins. At the top
of the hill beside the wall is the ancient theatre hidden in the forest
above the two harbours. Continuing through the greenery we come to
the acropolis, where
we can stop to admire the view and see the sanctuaries of Apollo,
Athena and Pan. Descending the path now, we trace the line
of the ancient walls and admire the stone doorways. Back on the road,
see on the right the sanctuary of Hercules and the Arch of Caracalla
(the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus).
here, and returning to the old harbour where we started our tour, we
see the ruins of temple of Dionysus and of the ancient
agora. A good guidebook will give you much more information than we can
with Alyki, the ancient town of Limenas reawakens the memories of the
island’s ancient history.
are three monasteries on the island:
A). Archangelou Michael, the Convent of the Archangel Michael
on the coast road towards Alyki. This convent, a dependent of the Monastery
of Philotheos on Mount Athos, is built on the brink of the cliffs overlooking
the sea, and is well worth a short visit.
B). Panagias, the Monastery of the Virgin Mary on
the road to Maries. Inhabited by just one or two monks.
C). Ayiou Panteleimonos, the Monastery of St. Panteleimon,
in the interior of the island, which can be reached most quickly from Kazaviti,
but also from Maries.
Ypsarion. The road is
fairly good and leads you up to the highest peak on the island. The
view from the top of the entire island laid out before you makes
the journey well worth while. This trip can be combined with a visit
to Theologos, Kastro, Maries or Kazaviti.
not go for a ride on the horses of the Thassos
Riding Club. You can take riding lessons with trained
tutors or even go trekking in the mountains.
Another option is to take a boat from Potos, Limenaria or Limenas and
set sail to explore the beautiful coastline. The boats are traditional wooden
fishing boats converted by their owners into pleasure cruisers for tourists.
For hikers there
is a wealth of tracks and trails, which we will describe in more detail
as soon as we have mapped them. For instance we must mention one of the
least known, yet most beautiful. This is the trail which starts at Livadi
(the bay below the convent Archangelou Michael), climbs up the deep gorge
and ends at Theologos, Astris, Alyki and at the convent itself, depending
on which path you choose to take.
you bring or hire a 4x4 jeep, you
will find Thassos a paradise for off-road driving, with tracks leading
nearly everywhere for you to discover the island’s wild natural
beauty. When following these trails it is often better and easier to
use your eyes for orientation rather than to trust a cheap map of the
is close to the mainland and there are any number of opportunities for
day trips away from the island.
Kavala. A picturesque
town with its harbour dominated by the old castle. Kavala also offers
an archaeological museum, a folk museum and an art gallery. One hour
by ferry from the harbour at Prinos.
Paul’s first stop in Europe. The ancient theatre and the ruins
of the town are an absolute must. 20 minutes from Kavala.
Nestos Delta. The riverside forest of the Nestos
Delta is unique for the variety of species that grow, live and stop
there. Whatever you do, don’t forget to walk the steep path
which starts from Toxotes and heads towards Stavroupoli. The
natural landscape here is absolutely unique. Half an hour from Keramoti.
Alistrati. Famous worldwide
for its vast cave complex which was recently opened to the public.
One of the largest, most beautiful, and most easily accessible caves
in Europe. One hour from Kavala