- Accommodation & Hotels
- Things to see
- Things to do
Thasos or Thassos (Greek: Θάσος) is a Greek island, geographically part of the North Aegean Sea, but administratively part of the Kavala regional unit. It is the northernmost Greek island, and 12th largest by area. Thasos is also the name of the largest town of the island (officially known as Limenas Thasou, "Port of Thasos"), situated at the northern side, opposite the mainland and about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Keramoti. Thassos island is a known from the ancient times for its termae making it a climatic and balneoclimateric resort area.
Thasos' economy relies on timber (it is rich in forests), marble quarries, olive oil and honey. Tourism has also become important since the 1960s, although not to the level of other Greek islands.
Thasos is a green, mountainous island with many picturesque bays and sandy beaches. The landscape is similar to Chalkidiki / Sithonia. It is a ideal holiday destination for families and people who want to relax at wonderful and not overcrowded beaches. There are a number of interesting antiquities to visit and there are enough beach-bars and clubs for entertainment and nightlife. A fire in September 2016 destroyed parts of the forests but this does not affect its beauty as a top holiday destination.
Greek is the official language of Greece, and therefore it's spoken by all the permanent inhabitants of the island and most of its visitors, but the foreign visitor will have no problem at all communicating in foreign languages, mainly in English.
Thasos island is located in the northern Aegean sea approximately 7 km (4 mi) from the northern mainland and 20 kilometres (12 miles) south-east of Kavala, and is of generally rounded shape, without deep bays or significant peninsulas. The terrain is mountainous but not particularly rugged, rising gradually from coast to centre. The highest peak is Ypsario (Ipsario), at 1,205 metres (3,953 feet), somewhat east of centre. Pine forest covers much of the island's eastern slopes.
Historically, the island's population was chiefly engaged in agriculture and stockbreeding, and established villages inland, some of them connected via stairways (known as skalas) to harbors at the shore. The local population gradually migrated towards these shoreline settlements as tourism began to develop as an important source of income. Thus, there are several "paired villages" such as Marion–Skala Maries, with the former inland and the latter on the coast.
By far the most important economic activity is tourism. The main agricultural products on the island are honey, almonds, walnuts, olives (famously Throuba olives), and olive oil, as well as wine, sheep, goat herding, and fishing. Other industries are lumber and mining which includes lead, zinc, and marble, especially in the Panagia area where one of the mountains near the Thracian Sea has a large marble quarry. The marble quarries in the south (in the area of Aliki), now abandoned, were mined during ancient times.
Transportation - Get In
Transportation - Get Around
- Thasos (Θάσος, also known as Limenas, Λιμένας). The largest village on the island with the harbor for ferry boats to Keramoti. Visit the old fishing harbor with the customs building and a beach with beach bars. Continue the walk to reach the viewpoint called “Karnagio” with an old chapel and a nice restaurant to sit. Nearby the old harbor are the ruins of the ancient city and the Archeology and Ethnology Museum. From the old port take a walk to the Amphitheater and ahead to the Acropolis and a castle ruin. The ascent is a bit difficult, but well worthwhile because of the fantastic views. In the center of Limenas are commercial streets with souvenir shops, restaurants, fast food, police, banks, travel agencies and some nightlife.
- Panagia (Παναγία). A romantic small mountain village with old, traditional houses, restaurants and a few souvenir shops in a beautiful location on a wooded hill. The "Dragon's Lair" is a cave near the village and is also worth a visit because of the scenic environment.
- Scala Panagia (Σκάλα Παναγία). A conglomeration of hostels, hotels, a camping ground, supermarkets and a lot of restaurants aligned along a long sandy beach (called Χρυσή Αμμουδιά Chrysi Ammoudia, "Golden Beach").
- Potamia (Ποταμιά). An old mountain village located high on a wooded hill and is less touristy than Panagia. It is certainly worth a walk through the village. Because of the altitude location, it is getting a little cooler here in summer than at Scala Potamia.
- Scala Potamia (Σκάλα Ποταμιάς) (Next to Scala Panagia at the Golden Beach). Purely a tourist place.
- Kinira (Κοίνυρα). A small, purely tourist place without a real center. It consists of a cluster of hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Aliki (Αλυκή). A "must see location" with a very romantic beach and the remains of an ancient temple. Aliki is not a village. It consists of only a few restaurants but it is one of the main tourist attractions of Thasos. It's the landscape that makes it so unique. In summer it is overcrowded and it may be hard to find a parking space. 5 km from Aliki there is the Monastery "Archangelos", a very interesting complex located on the mountainside. Its a women monastery with old icons and full of flower pots and it is a good viewpoint over the sea and the south shore of Thasos. Few km ahead of the monastery is another famous spot in Thassos, called "Giola". It is a natural pool overlooking the sea. The descent to Giola is signposted. The trip goes on dirt roads to a parking lot and from there walk down the mountain. The walk is very strenuous, especially in the summer. When there are high waves in the sea, the pool is clean and inviting, but after days without swell no fresh water from the sea come to the pool and water gets dark and dirty. Therefore, only visit if there is sufficient swell in the sea!
- Astrida (Αστρίδα). A formerly abandoned village but got rebuilt partially for tourist use. It is well worth seeing.
- Potos (Ποτός). One of the touristic centers of Thassos, especially popular in younger people. Its a strong tourist embossed larger village with everything needed for such a place, like good shopping, many restaurants and bars, beaches full with music and beach parties and appropriate nightlife. Its certainly worth a visit.
- Theologos (Θεολόγος). A quiet and beautiful "must see" mountain village where the houses are mostly built of stone and covered with stone slabs. Also the museum is worth seeing.
- Limenaria (Λιμενάρια). The second largest village on the island and has a lot of tourism. The long sandy promenade is lined with restaurants, gift shops, cafes, pubs, etc. But even in high season the beach is not overcrowded. There are supermarkets, banks, doctors, police station in the center. From Limenaria leads a new paved road to the village “Kastro”. 3 km from Limenaria direction Scala Maries ist thewell know beach of "Tripiti". Its famous for its rock with a hollow.
- Kastro (Κάστρο). Located in the mountainous center of the island and was formerly a dilapidated village. It is partly rebuilt but its more the landscape that makes it worth to go there. The environment is more impressive than the place itself. Two small restaurants invite the diner to linger in clean mountain air. A small waterfall is located near the village and can be reached on foot or 4WD from Kastro. To get to the waterfall take the dirt track on the east side of Kastro, which is a 3-4 kilometer journey and goes through a beautiful and pristine forest. It's most impressive to see during the spring as it tends to dry up during the summer. Alternatively you can reach the waterfall from Theologos by vehicle. The road to Kastro is paved as of 2016 and the village will get many more visitors now.
- Maries (Μαρίες). A very original old mountain village. Interesting is also the location a few miles outside the village with a small lake and a little waterfall.
- Scala Maries (Σκάλα Μαριών). A nice touristy village with a picturesque small fishing harbor.
- Kalirachi (Καλλιράχη). One of the larger mountain villages with narrow streets and is not very touristy.
- Scala Kalirachi (Σκάλα Καλλιράχης). A street village with a beautiful small harbor that invites you to linger.
- Sotiros (Σωτήρας). A small mountain village with magnificent view and is well worth seeing.
- Scala Sotiros (Σκάλα Σωτήρος). An elongated street village with a remarkable small fishing port.
- Prinos (Πρίνος). A larger village with shops, supermarkets, bakeries, restaurant, pubs but less touristy. A popular attraction of Prinos is the outdoor market (bazaar). It takes place in the town's open square every Monday morning. Visitors can obtain fresh fruits, vegetables, clothing, footwear, household items and at the same time enjoy a unique lively atmosphere.
- Mikros Prinos (Μικρός Πρίνος, also known as Micros Kasavitis). A formerly dilapidated mountain village that is rebuilt in a touristy way. From here, there is a tortuous road leading to the Monastery "Panteleimonos" at high altitude in the mountains. The ride and the spectacular views are more worthwhile than the visit of the monastery itself.
- Megalos Prinos (Μεγάλος Πρίνος, also known as Megalos Kasavitis). A "must see" mountain village with old, mostly renovated houses and a very beautiful central square under plane trees with restaurants. It is delightfully cool even on the hottest summer days.
- Rachoni (Ραχώνι). Not a tourist village. An interesting sight is a church that is located directly before reaching the village. It is a nice cool place on hot summer days under large trees and with waterways. A tavern is also there.
- Scala Ragoni (Σκάλα Ραχωνίου). A small quiet harbor village with few tourism.
- Ag. Georgios (Άγιος Γεώργιος). A small old village with almost no tourism.
Accommodation & Hotels
Thasos has few bigger hotel complexes but a large number of small hotels, guest houses and private rooms, which are listed in the famous hotel search engines and evaluated.
There are several camping sites: in Scala Prinos, between Prinos and Scala Sotiros (Camping Daedalos), „AstroCamping“ in the mountains, Camping Pefkari, Camping at Golden Beach in Scala Panagia.
For those who want to sleep on low budged might look at "campinmygarden.com". There is a nice place directly at the seaside in Scala Prinos where even nude bathing is possible.
The east and south sides of the island have many picturesque bays and popular sandy beaches, while the west side has more elongated, lonely, rocky beaches, but also beautiful sandy ones. For people who are looking for nude beaches, well worth a look at the website "barefoot.info" for more information. In the following only the best known beaches are listed. There are still many bays and beaches to discover.
* Thassos town: narrow sandy beach near the Old Port with beach bars, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc., mean water quality
* Makriamos: beautiful wide open bay with a sandy beach and a large hotel complex, often crowded
* Saliara-, Marbel-, Vathi beach: 1 km before Makriamos turn right onto a dirt road and follow the path for 4km to Saliara Bay (a very romantic bay, sandy with crystal clear water and crowded in the high season, insufficient parking). It's a "must-see" location and probably the nicest beach of the island! After 600 m you reach the Marble Bay. Its a white sand bay which was used for the shipment of marble, crystal clear waters, starting in 2015 with a beach bar, in the high season overcrowded. After 2 km you will come to Vathi Bay. It is also a romantic bay. A luxury hotel is under construction at the crystal clear water front. The beach is not so crowded because of poor road conditions.
* Golden Beach: (Scala Panagia, Potamia Scala). Earlier a romantic empty beach, he is now one of the most visited beaches of Thassos. Its a long, wide sandy beach hemmed with hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and a camping site. Crowded in high season. Good water quality.
* Kinira: elongated rocky beach, only partially sand beach
* Paradise beach: turn about 2 km from the center of Kinira off at the signs. Open sandy beach with beach bar, also used by nudists (mainly on the rocks at the left side of the beach)
* Agios Ioannis bay, about 3 km from Aliki, beautiful sandy beach with olive trees, not crowded up to now but a hotel is under construction.
* Aliki beach: one of the most picturesque places in Thassos, very busy in high season, a "must see"
* Timonija beach: bay with a sandy beach surrounded by hotels and B & Bs
* Livadi Bay: (underneath Archangelos monastery): long sandy beach with beach bar. However, there are underwater flat, slippery stones, some with sea urchins. Popular for nudists (off-season).
* Astris beach: sandy beach near the road. Opposite are several major hotels
* Psili Amos Beach: 1 km after Astris beach, beautiful sandy beach, a little crowded
* Potos Beach & Pefkari: Potos is one of the tourist centers of the island Thassos with long sandy beaches but a bit crowded. Since it is very popular with young people, there are many beach bars with music.
* Metalia beach: 1 km before Limenaria. Beautiful sandy beach with beach bar and factory ruins from the time when mining was still going on. A"must see" attraction.
* Limenaria: the second largest village in Thassos and a center of tourism. Very long beautiful sandy beaches that are not crowded even in high season, although many hotels lining along the beach line.
* Trypiti: picturesque small sandy beach, usually crowded, but a "must see".
* Scala Maries: There are several beautiful sandy beaches on both sides of the village, which are not usually crowded
* Scala Maries to Prinos: Along the road there are many smaller, often deserted beaches. Even in high season here you can find a quiet places to relax. Popular with nudists. Most visited are the beaches of Scala Kalirachi and Scala Sotiros.
* Scala Prinos: several beautiful long sandy beaches with beach bars, not too crowded. Nudism possible off season.
* Scala Prinos to Limenaria / Thassos: Along the road are many smaller beaches, usually with beach bars. Most visited are the beaches around Scala Rachoni (Pahis beach, Glyfada Beach)
Earliest settlements are known from the Neolithic era. About 1500 BC, Thasos was taken by the Phoenicians, and by their knowledge in metallurgy, they were the first to exploit the mineral resources of the island. In the following the island was taken over by the Thracians until the Greek tribe of the Ionians displaced the Thracians in the 7th century BC. The gold and silver mining, as well as the trade flourished during this time and brought prosperity to the island. In 492 BC, the Persians conquered the island, which led to an economic decline. In 464 - 404 BC, Thasos was occupied by Athens and served as a colony of wood and metal supplies. 340 BC Philip II, king of the Macedonians, took over Thasos. In the period from 281 - 202 BC, Thasos was independent, until it was connected to the Roman Empire in 196 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire, it belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) from 330 AD. In 1455 AD, Thasos passed over to the Turks and was freed by Greek troops by 1912 in the Balkan War. In the second world war, Thasos and larger parts of northern Greece were handed over by the Wehrmacht to Bulgaria, who had to leave these areas with war dead.
Things to see
- Thassos (Limenas): old harbor, ancient town, amphitheater, acropolis, castle, museums
- Villages: Panagia, Kastro, Theologos, Megalos Kasavitis
- Monasteries: Archangelos & Panteleimonos
Things to do
* Hiking. Thasos is suitable not only for swimming but also offers many scenic walking tracks. Especially in the fall and in the spring when it is not so hot, many tourists use this alternative to beach life. There are local shops to buy hiking equipment and maps. For those who don't like to walk on their own in the mountains there are also organized tours. Information can be found in the Internet under "walk on Thasos". Popular trails are:
- From Limenas to Makriamos and further to the Golden Beach (4h, 13km, mostly flat)
- From Potos to Theologos (3 h, 10km, slightly ascending)
- From Theologos to Kastro (2 h, 6km, steep climb)
- From Maries to the lake and waterfall (1 h, 3km, mostly flat)
- From Ag. Georgios for abandoned old village of Ag. Georgios (1.5-2 h, a steep ascent)
* Water sports is available at many organized beaches. There are boats, jet skis, banana boats and water parachutes available. For those who are interested in aqualung diving there are 2 large diving schools in Potos and Pefkari
* Cave climbing is possible in Thassos too. There are many ancient tunnels and mines. Thasos was famous for gold, iron, manganese mining in older times. The tunnels are just abandoned and should only be entered with extreme caution. There is some special literature about the mines also describing their exact locations. Guided tours only after registration ([email protected]). Prerequisite are physical fitness and experience in cave climbing.
* Boat tours to the most beautiful beaches or once around the island starting from the old port in Thasos / Limenas or from Limenaria port.
* Speed Boat Hire: in Scala Potamia
* Horse riding: You can enjoy a horse ride with the horse clubs of Thassos in Theologos or Sc.Prinos.
* Mountain biking: In recent years cycling has increased in popularity and there are rental stations in Potos and the other larger places
* Jeep Safaris: starting from Sc.Prinos, Limenaria, Potos. Adventurous tours on 4x4 cars into the mountains on dirt roads.
* Enduro-Touring: There are many dirt roads in the mountains of Thasos that are perfect for this sport. Organized tours are also available.
* Sailing Tours: around the island are offered starting e.g. from Limenas
There are restaurants and fast food places around the island in very large numbers. Since the quality varies from season to season, it is impossible to provide reliable recommendations. It is better to ask advice from other tourists there.
Centres for night life are Limenas, Limenaria and Potos. Since the "popular locations" change every year, it is recommended to inquire locally by other travellers. Very popular are "Greek Nights" that are offered by some big hotels and some restaurants and pubs (check postings).