Thassos Island – pristine waters, marble beaches, and authentic villages

11 May

Greek Islands – Thassos Island

At the beginning of July, I went to some Greek Islands from the northern Aegean Sea for three weeks. For the first day, I stopped overnight at Calafat (at the border between Romania and Bulgaria). The following day, I crossed Bulgaria (passing by Sofia) and entered Greece in Kulata. I went directly to the Camping Batis Multiplex in Kavala. At the camping site, I arranged a bed in the back of my car and asked information about the ferries to Thassos Island. In the evening, I heard small bugs singing in the trees and the mosquito swarms inevitably showed up.

Kavala: Batis Multiplex Camping by the beach

Kavala: Batis Multiplex Camping by the beach

The first day on Thassos Island

Short Description: I took the midday ferry from Kavala Port to Skala Prinos, in Thassos. I went to the camping site from Ormos Prinos, and in the afternoon, I enjoyed my first bath in the Aegean Sea.

Long Description

The ferry from Kavala Port toward Thassos Island was huge. I almost lost driving the car from a parking level to another one until I parked it. After that, I went up to the deck where a warm breeze was blowing. Flocks of seagulls followed the ferry all the way to Thassos and the passengers fed them with bread and biscuits.

Reaching Skala Prinos small port on Thassos Island

Reaching Skala Prinos small port on Thassos Island

The ferry moored at Skala Prinos, a small harbor, full of terraces, accommodations, and shops. I ate fried sprat at a terrace along the seafront. Surprisingly, everywhere the menus were written in Romanian, too. As soon as I left the shadow of the terrace, the sun burned me right away. Afterward, I went to the camping site from Ormos Prinos, where I sunbathed and endlessly floated with the air mattress on the water.

Skala Prinos: the first fish dish – sprat

Skala Prinos: the first fish dish – sprat

The second day on Thassos Island

Short Description: From Skala Prinos I drove up toward Rahoni and Agios Georgios. When I came down from there, I stopped at the Olive Oil Museum. From Prinos I went up to Moni Agios Panteleimonos Monastery and then turned back to Mikros Prinos. I came back to the seaside in Skala Sotiros, went to Skala Kallirachis, from where I drove up to Kallirachi. I turned back to the Aegean Coast in Skala Marion. In the evening, I went to the camping site from Pefkari.

Long Description

In the morning, I sat on a bench on the seafront from Ormos Prinos and ate some biscuits. I passed again through Skala Prinos and continued to drive among olive orchards toward mountain villages. I went up to Rahoni village, which sat right at the foothills of the mountain and had whitewashed houses made of stone.

Rachoni Village: olive trees everywhere

Rachoni Village: olive trees everywhere

Further, I came down to Agios Georgios village, situated on the neighboring hill. The village developed on the steep slopes of the countryside hills and had a tilted square. The traditional Greek taverna was still closed, but the tables and chairs lined up along the street waited the opening hour. Most of the houses had a shadowed terrace with vine, where skinny cats rested away of the heat. An elegant old woman wearing big earrings smiled when she saw I was taking photos of her village. I could understand only some country names in her jabbering and I said “Romania.” She smilingly nodded and left the square toward the church.

Agios Georgios Village: colourful street

Agios Georgios Village: colourful street

From Agios Georgios I went down to the road that goes around Thasos Island. I stopped at the Olive Oil Museum to see old tools, used once to extract the oil from the olives. After that, I drove to Prinos, which had a main street with accommodation and shops as well as narrow streets with stairs going abruptly to a white-blue church on a hilltop. I got on to the trail that steeply went up to the Moni Agios Panteleimonos Monastery but when I got there, they had just closed for the lunch break. When I came down, I stopped in Mikros Prinos village for a while and walked along the streets. The village had the customary narrow steep streets with houses made of stone and shadowed with vine. The main square was full of lively tavernas carefully arranged in the shadow of brushy old trees.

Mikros Prinos Village: traditional houses with stone and white walls

Mikros Prinos Village: traditional houses with stone and white walls

I turned back to the ring road of Thassos and drove to Skala Kallirachis. I stopped to eat fried sardines at a taverna nearby the seafront, lined up with palm trees along the beach. From the main crossroads of the village, I headed up toward the mountain village of Kallirachi. The sloping streets of the village were flanked by stone houses but were almost empty at midday.

Kallirachi Village: traditional stone houses

Kallirachi Village: traditional stone houses

I turned to the coastal road, which became more and more rugged and picturesque. I often eyed beaches hidden in small, sometimes inaccessible bays. Next, I stopped at Skala Marion, organized around a squared bay with pristine water and colorful tavernas. Drained by the heat, I continued toward Pefkari and went to a huge camping site, which had its own beach and restaurant. When I said at the front desk that I slept in the car, they charged me the price of a campervan.

Skala Marion: tavernas everywhere by the beach

Skala Marion: tavernas everywhere by the beach

The third day on Thassos Island

Short Description: I went from Pefkari to Limenaria and then stopped at Moni Karakallou Monastery on the road going uphill to Maries. I came back to Limenaria and from Potos I drove up toward Theologos. In the afternoon, I turned back to Pefkari.   

Long Description

In the morning, I relaxed for several hours and enjoyed a long breakfast. Just later, I headed to Limenaria, the second town of Thassos Island. For a while, I walked among the high buildings lined along sloping streets. After that, I continued my walk along the seafront interspersed with tavernas that had blue tables and chairs as well as the customary tablecloths with blue-white squares.

Limenaria: tavernas everywhere

Limenaria: tavernas everywhere

When the heat was at its peak, I left Limenaria and stopped at Moni Karakallou Monastery on my way toward the mountains. The cells were painted in white and a vine shadowed the main walkway to the church. A cat ate Eucharistic bread in the church where a stream rippled under an orthodox icon.

Moni Karakallou: the cat is calling everybody to the prayer

Moni Karakallou: the cat is calling everybody to the prayer

While I was walking in the monastery’s garden, the father asked me if I am from Germany. When I told him I am from Romania, he invited me in the guest chamber and offered me rose jellies. I tried to talk with him, but he was not very talkative. I hardly found out that he lived for twenty-six years in the monastery. He was the only monk and the church dated from 1813. He told me that people from the nearby village come to help him with gardening, cooking, and cleaning.

Moni Karakallou: a new friend – the small cat

Moni Karakallou: a new friend – the small cat

I continued toward the mountain village Maries, where I found the customary main square full of tavernas with blue chairs and tables. A Greek stood up right away and invited me to sit at his taverna, but I turned him down. The whitewashed houses with blue window frames shined in the sun. The village stone church had a big garden at the shadow of the trees. From the village, I tried to go to the Maries Lake and waterfall, but turned back after driving a bit on the unpaved, potholed road. Next, I returned to Limenaria and then went toward Potos, from where I headed toward the mountain village Theologos.

Maries Village: the main square with tavernas

Maries Village: the main square with tavernas

I hardly found a parking lot in Theologos village, which it’s very touristic because of its former title of Ottoman capital of the island during the Middle Ages. The village had narrow and winding streets, flanked by stone houses and pink oleanders. I spotted several churches built of stone and a dozen of white-and-orange cats, too.

Theologos Village: a small square

Theologos Village: a small square

Famished and sweated, I turned back to the camping site of Pefkari. My Deutsch neighbors had moved their campervan on another pitch and kept occupied a new one for me, too. They came in this place for over thirty years. She always knitted something, and he told me the latest news from the Turkish riot. They had a small dog, which always played with me, and they wanted to offer me wine or beer, but I refused them.

The fourth day on Thassos Island

Short Description: I left Pefkari and drove along the rugged coastline of Thassos. I stopped at Moni Archangelou, and then at the archaeological site from the small bay of Aliki. From there I continued along the coastline passing through Loutra and Kinyra. I went up to Potamia and Panagia, and then stopped overnight at the Golden Beach camping site from Chryssi Ammoudia.

Long Description

In the morning, I left the camping site and went to the Moni Archangelou Monastery. It was very touristic though, and I hardly found a parking place. A woman checked if I respected the dressing code of the monastery and better wrapped the shawl around my waist. The monastery was full of visitors (including many Romanians) and pink oleanders. The monastery’s shop was very expensive, but the panoramic view of the bay with bright blue water was tempting and comforting.

Moni Archangelou: on the sea terrace

Moni Archangelou: on the sea terrace

Further, I continued the tour of the island and stopped at Alyki, a small bay where the pristine water literally hypnotized me. First, I explored a small archaeological site, which had only a few monuments. I walked among a paleo-Christian basilica with tombs, the old marble quarries, and the place where the ships loaded the marble. The site had a thematic route passing through a pine forest that created a pleasant shadow. At the end of the route, I went directly to the small, quiet bay to swim a bit before I dared to enter the car that probably had 41 degrees inside.

Alyki bay: one of the most blue-green water ever seen

Alyki bay: one of the most blue-green water ever seen

I left Alyki bay and continued toward the other half of the island. I passed Loutra and Kinyra and drove up to the mountain village Potamia. The main square had the customary tavernas arranged in the shadow of trees, but they were all empty. The streets flanked by stone houses with wooden balconies were deserted as well by midday. From there, it was possible to hike on the highest peak of Thassos, Ipsario, but it was too hot for that. I drove down toward Panagia village, which, surprisingly, was alive and full of tourists. The food from the tavernas temptingly smelled along the picturesque streets. I climbed some stairs along a water canal toward a white-blue church, from where I had a panoramic view of the Golden Beach bay.

Panagia Village: the main church

Panagia Village: the main church

From Panagia, I drove down toward the seaside. In Chryssi Ammoudia I went to the Golden Beach camping site, where I hardly found a place to stay overnight. I tried a fish soup and fried pumpkin balls at a nearby taverna, where they also offered red watermelon on the house. The beach of the camping site faced the East and got shadow quite fast in the evening.

The fifth day on Thassos Island

Short Description: I went to Thassos town, and then stopped at the Marble Beach and turned back to Chryssi Ammoudia.

Long Description

In the morning I went to Thassos town (or Limenas), the main town of the island. It was a stylish small town, with a shopping street, a small touristic bay with yachts, a beach with pristine water, and a seafront animated by terraces at any hour of the day. A few archaeological sites interspersed throughout the town. Most of them were deserted, invaded by vegetation, and some of them difficult to find. I managed to discover the sanctuary of Heracles, the Gate of Zeus and Hera, the ancient agora, and the Sanctuary of Dionysos.

Thasos town: the small port

Thasos town: the small port

I searched for the antic theater in vain. By mistake, I went up through a pine forest to the akropolis with a former Genovese fort, deserted, and badly preserved. From there, I spotted a footpath with stairs dug in the rock and wooden handrails, marked with a red dot from time to time. I turned back to the historic center and served the menu of the day at Taverna Alexandra’s (a huge Greek salad and moussaka).

Thasos town: old remains of the Genovese fort

Thasos town: old remains of the Genovese fort

On my way back from Thassos town to Chryssi Ammoudia, I chose the off-road that passed the Marble Beach. The road was full of a white, fine dust. It continued along the coastline until it reached the bay of the Golden Beach. Driving slowly along the dirt road, I noticed some exposed parts without a parapet but continued ahead. I discovered the beaches of Saliria and Porto Vathi in two small bays. They had azure pristine water and white sand with small stones from the former marble quarries. The white environment shined in the sun, and the quarry from Porto Vathi still had big blocks of white marble. In the last evening, I came back to the camping site from Chryssi Ammoudia and listened the bugs singing in the trees.

Marble Beach: Saliria

Marble Beach: Saliria

On the sixth day on Thassos Island (and the last one)

Short Description: I took the ferry from Thassos town to Keramoti, situated in the continental part of Greece. After that, I went again to the camping site from Kavala. I stayed there for one day and set up my departure to Lemnos Island.

Long Description

I went to the big port from Thassos town, where an agent guided me to board the ferry to Keramoti right away. On the way to Keramoti, I fed the seagulls with bread but gave up after they bit my fingers several times. Nonetheless, I tried a new method and challenged them to fetch the food on the fly without beating each other.

Leaving Thasos Island by ferry to Keramoti small port

Leaving Thasos Island by ferry to Keramoti small port

When I entered Kavala, I stopped at a local taverna where the cook displayed different sort of fresh fish in front of me. I had a wide range of options to choose from: sardines, calamari, crayfish, shrimps, octopus, and etc. I eventually had some fried sprat with onion. Afterward I headed toward Kavala port, where I asked how to get to Lemnos Island. In the evening, I went again at my favorite camping site from Kavala. I stayed to relax there for one day, swim, sunbath, and take down my notes.

Kavala: Batis Multiplex Camping by the beach

Kavala: Batis Multiplex Camping by the beach

Thassos Island – pristine waters, marble beaches, and authentic villages is my first travel diary from a three weeks trip to the Greek Islands of the northern Aegean Sea (find the version in Romanian at ‘Insulele Grecesti, Thassos). And here are all my Travel Diaries from the Greek Islands (x3).

Have you been to the Greek Islands or plan to go there? Leave a comment below this post and tell me what you liked about the Greek Islands or what you’re interested to see there.

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One Response to “Thassos Island – pristine waters, marble beaches, and authentic villages”

  1. What a great and cool journey that you have owned in Thassos Island. I like the chronologically this travel of yours being written as I seemed to like travelling with you. I haven’t heard about this Island yet and will surely include this on my bucket list. I also like how you’re trying to be concise in giving guides to get to the place. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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