Thassos Island

Thassos

Emerland Island

Thassos at a glance

Thassos is one of the most beautiful islands in the northern Aegean Sea. Ιt is located in Northern Greece, on the coast of Eastern Macedonia. The length of its coasts reaches 115 km. A distance of 18 nautical miles separates it from Kavala and just 6 miles from Keramoti and the Kavala Airport. The island is wooded and the wood is one of the main income of Thasos, like marble mining, tourism, oil, olives, honey, etc. It has about 14,000 residents.

The island has a long history and tradition. Excavations on the island revealed that Thassos was first inhabited by the residents of Thrace who arrived during the Neolithic period.

In ancient times a thriving industry, mining gold and exporting marble, timber, gold, ore, and wine, enabled Thasos to flourish, building a strong navy and supporting the arts and culture. In the 5th century, BC Thasos was allied with Athens but the alliance crumbled when Athens tried to interfere in the island’s trade with Egypt and Asia Minor. Athens prevailed and the defeated Thasos endured heavy taxes which crippled the economy. The island’s economic decline continued under subsequent rulers until, by the 18century under Turkish rule, so many islanders were leaving that the population dropped by just over 30% Changing political fortunes saw Thasos, along with the other islands in the group, brought back into Greek hands in 1912.

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History of Thassos

Thassos has been continuously inhabited since the Stone Age. Its ancient city was founded by the Parians in 710 BC who were led there by a message from the Delphic oracle.

The oracle told them to “Find a city in the Isle of Mists”. The commander of the Parian fleet was Telesikles father of the poet Archilochos. From Thassos, the Parians established settlements in Thrace, where they mined for gold in Mt Pangaeum.
Gold was also mined on Thassos itself. With this highly desirable commodity, the Islanders were able to develop a lucrative export trade, based on ore, white marble, timber, oil, and wine, as well as silver and gold. As a result, Thassos built a powerful navy and culture also flourished. That period (7th C. – 5th C BC) the inhabitants ruled part of the Macedonian coast including Kavala and Thessalonica. Famous ancient Thassos include the painters Polygnotus, Aglafon, Aristofon and the sculptors Polyklitos and Sosikles. The merchants of Thassos traded with Asia Minor, Egypt, and Italy.
After the battle of Plataea, Thassos became an ally of Athens, but when Athens attempted to curtail Thassos’ trade with Egypt and Asia Minor, war broke out between the two. The Islanders were defeated and forced into becoming part of the Delian League; the heavy tax this imposed crippled its economy. Decline set in and continued through Macedonian and Roman times. The Romans reactivated the production of wine and marble. In the 15th C. AD Thassos was occupied for a period by the Genoese who set up a trading post under the Gatteluzzi, the Lord of Lesbos and Samothrace.
Heavy taxes were imposed by the Turks, many inhabitants left the island and during the 18th century, the population dropped from 8000 to 2500. Thassos revived in the 19th century when Mohammed Ali Pasha of Egypt became governor of Kavala and Thassos. Ali allowed the Islanders to govern themselves and exempted them from paying taxes. The revival was, however, short-lived. The Egyptian governors who superseded Ali Pasha usurped the island’s natural resources and imposed heavy taxes. In 1912, along with the other islands of the group, Thassos was united with Greece.
In recent years Thassos has once again struck “gold”. This time it’s “black gold”, in the form of off-shore oil, which has been found in the sea around the island.

How to get to Thassos Island

By ferry: There are ferries every hour between Kavala, on the mainland, and Skala Prinou (1 1/2 hour). Some ferries continue to Limenas. Ferries direct to Limenas leave frequently from Keramoti (46 km southeast of Kavala).
By Hydrofoil: There are several hydrofoils everyday between Limenas and Kavala.

The island can be reached by ferry and hydrofoil from mainland Kavala. Once on the island, there are buses which circle the island several times a day (a full circuit takes only 2 hours). The bus service is centered on Limenas. Cars, motorbikes, and bikes are all available for hire. Boat excursions can also be found to take the visitor around the coast.

Thassos does not have its own airport but it is covered by two international airports near the ports of Keramoti and Kavala.

Both airports are connected to the ferry ports of Keramoti and Kavala by an excellent highway network.

Kavala International Airport “Alexander the Great” (KVA) airport in Chrysoupoli is 30km east of Kavala. There are also flights from all the major European cities, several times a week. The airport is 18 km from Keramoti, which has ferryboats that will take you to the island’s capital in 30 minutes. Thessaloniki International airport “Macedonia” (SKG) is a larger airport which requires 2 hours drive to reach the ferry port in Keramoti. You will find many more flight options available for this large international airport. After you decide at which airport to arrive you’ll need to consider how to get to ferry port. There are three options for you to choose whether to rent a car, hire a taxi or take a bus. We suggest you rent a car. Car rental prices in Greece are affordable for medium budget travelers. There are many rental companies both at airports, ferry ports or Thassos island itself. We recommend booking a car to ensure a smooth journey.

Thassos island is located near the town of Kavala from where you can take the ferry that travels 1.5 hours to the port of Limenas on Thassos island. The shorter route is by ferry from the smaller but busy port of Keramoti near the city of Kavala where ferries run every 10-15 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes from the port of Keramoti to Limenas on Thassos. Ticket from Keramoti to Limenas cost 3.5 euros per person. Car ticket can vary from 16 to 20 euros.  

The trip is very pleasant, while the ship sails throughout the companion of a seagull flying in the very close distance.

Around the island

You can use the public transportation of the island. There are many buses per day to Limenaria and to Golden Beach via Panagia and Potamia. There are several buses to Theologos and Aliki. Few buses per day are making a journey in a clockwise direction all the way around the island. You can also use a boat for excursions (daily trips around the island) with stops for swimming and picnic. The boats usually leave from the small Limenaki harbor in the morning and return in the afternoon. You can rent a car, a motorcycle or a bicycle and make your own excursions.

Popular Destinations

Limenas - Thassos Town

Limenas or Thassos is a small port town that has everything, banks, supermarkets, shops, bars, clubs, tourist agencies, cheap and expensive restaurants, apartment and hotels. The island’s capital Thassos (Port) a very picturesque town with friendly and hospitable people where today harmoniously coexists with yesterday. If you are on Thassos in summer you will have the chance to watch interesting performances played in the theater. The ancient theater was built in a natural cavity in 3rd-century b.c. It has a great panoramic view with a capacity of more than 2000 spectators.

Other Destinations

Potos is a seaside village in the southern part of the island and it is the most touristic place on the whole island. It has many shops, restaurants, bars, taverns, tourist shops, simply everything. Potos is ideal for those who love beautiful beaches because in its surroundings are plenty of beautiful beaches on the island: Psiliamos beach (4 km from Potos), Roso Gremos (2 km), Notos (2 km) Pefkari (1 km), San Antonio (1 km).

Limenaria

The village next to the Potos village. Limenaria is the second largest village on this island with 3,000 inhabitants. Limenaria is a quiet place to rest which has two beaches. The town beach is smaller, while the large beach is 2 km long and is located in the western part of the village.  There are plenty of beach bars, taverns, and restaurants along the beach.

Looks pretty but it could be humid with lots of mosquitos during the summer period.

Prinos

It is another port connected with Kavala. A quiet place without much traffic (outside the harbor). It has a nice beach in the small pine grove which is good for camping. A fairly positive note is quite cheap rooms and nice municipal camping.

Skala Potamia

Skala Potamia is a  beautiful village on the eastern coast of Thassos, about 11 km from the port of Limenas. The beach is ideal for family holidays with small children. There are a large number of taverns, cafes, shops, seafood restaurants. Along the coast is a large promenade.

Traditional Greek village

Panagia is a traditional Greek village on this island, located 300 m above sea level, near the Golden Beach, which is about 4 km away. It is characterized by the fresh mountain air, peace, and quiet. In just a few minutes you are on the coast so even this mountain village with a beautiful coastal view can be your base for a perfect summer holiday.

In Panagia, there are cafes, traditional taverns, shops with local products, pastry shop, post office, pharmacy … The main attraction in the village is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the square of “Three springs”. Throughout the Panagia, water flows from the heart to the highest peak of the mountain Ipsarion(1204m).

Theologos is one of the oldest and most beautiful villages on the island. It is well known for its restaurants, serving grilled meat. Traditional houses and mansions with stone roofs, paths, and flower gardens give a graphical view of the village.

Sights

Monastery of Archangel

Located in the southeastern part of the island and literally hanging from the rocks. It has the most beautiful view on Holy Mountain Athos and the Aegean Sea.

Camping Gold Coast

Too many people, beautiful beach.

Camping Pefkari

It has a bar and a very nice beach with pebbles.

Useful Information

Automatic dialing code : 0593Tourist Police : 22122Municipality : 22118, 23118Health Center : 71700, 71498Port Authority : 22106Kavala’s Port Authority : 051 – 224967Keramoti Harbor Office : 0591 – 51204

Local Festivities

In July and August, performances of ancient drama are held at Limenas’ ancient theater, as part of the “Kavala Festival of Drama”. Information can be obtained from Kavala’s GNTO office (EOT) or at the Tourist Police of the island.

Thassos beaches

Beaches along the eastern coast are long and sandy and include the Golden Beach and Paradise Beach. Set back from the beaches are the attractive hillside villages of Panagia and Potamia. Along the western coast of the island, the beaches are of pebbles rather than sand. Along this coast can be found a string of villages with the suffix ‘Skala’ before their names. Each of these coastal villages is linked to an inland village of the same name but without the suffix, ‘Skala’. A campsite can be found at Skala Rahoniou. Just along the coast is Thassos’ second most important port, Skala Prinou, which can be crowded and busy at times. The mountain village of Theologos is inland from Potos and was the island’s capital in medieval and Turkish times. Thought by many to be the island’s most beautiful village it can be reached by public transport.

Almost all the beaches are shallow and ideal for children and families with small babies.

Aliki Beach is located in the village of Aliki on the eastern coast of the island. It is located 20 km east of Potos.One of the reasons why Aliki is one of the best beaches in Greece is the emerald waters such as those in the crystal clear pools and shallow waters, making it ideal for families. Visitors are also attracted by its white sand and tourist facilities.

Also here are the ruins of ancient residences of Queen Alis. This is a place where the natives of Thassos used to make salt and traded with many merchants from Greece and around the world.

The basic problem is that the beach is small and in the peak season it could be overcrowded and hard to find a place for your towel. You should avoid the weekends when Greeks traditionally come here from the mainland by boat. 

Saliara beach (Marble beach) is located 4 km from Makriamos beach on the east coast. You need to turn right at the ramp at the entrance to Makriamos resort, set a dusty macadam road for 4 km until you get to the beach. Until recently this beach (many call it the Dukina beach) was wild and unknown. Use of beach umbrellas and chairs are traditionally charged with consumption of exotic drinks from the bar. This is really a unique beach that cannot be described in words. The coast is covered with small white marble stones, reminiscent of snow. Therefore, it is the unreal blue color of the sea, as if you are on a Caribbean beach exotic. The only problem of this beach is its size (70 m long) and the increasing commercialization that has contributed to it is the growing crowd.

Makriamos beach is located on the east coast 2 km from the town of Limenas. This is the only beach on this island of whose entry you have to pay. The price of entry is 3 euros. Makriamos is a complex of bungalows, a theme park with animals, swimming pools and tennis and basketball courts. This beach is well organized with sun loungers and parasols. It is a sandy beach and is ideal for young children. Your children here can see deer and peacocks strolling with tourists. Beach owns a blue flag. This unique resort spread over several kilometers and is surrounded by trees and lush greenery.

Paradise Beach is located 30 km from Potos and 24 km from the town of Limenas. Access to the beach is not ideal because it is a dirt road, so most of the tourists choose to park the car on the main road and continue on foot to the beach. There is parking next to the beach. Paradise beach is one of the most popular beaches in Thassos. Paradise Beach has waves that are not dangerous because it is very shallow water. The left part of the beach is reserved for nudists.

Golden Beach is one of the most beautiful bay on this island and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches. This beach is about 1 km long and is about 10 km from the capital Limenas. Golden Beach has clean white sand and the color of the sea is turquoise blue. Entry into the water is gradual, with plenty of shallow water, so it is suitable for family holidays with small children. On the beach are organized many water sports, and there are cafes and bars that rent chairs and umbrellas.

Giola is perhaps the biggest attraction on the island. This is a natural pool surrounded by walls and has a circular shape, so that really looks like a huge pool of water. The water is crystal green. It is located near the village of Astris, about 10 km from the of Potos village in the south of the island. This unique pool is a great experience and provides a pleasant swim and joy in wild nature.

Activities in Thassos

MOUNTAIN BIKES

Welcome to the ecotourism heaven of Thassos. An ideal place for nature activities. Thassos is said to be the most green island, a small nursery in the middle of the Aegean sea.

BOAT CRUISE ON THASSOS

Each agency, apart from other excursions, has a boat cruise in their offer.

FISHING

Thassos is famous for its fresh fish. All around the island there are wonderful places to fish. 

SAILING AND YACHTING

Thassos is one of the greenest islands in Greece and blessed with countless wonderful bays. Most of the beaches are sandy and the water is crystal clear and sometimes with a fantastic turquoise colour.

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