Home Destination Guides Accommodation 27th January 2020




    Located in the north east of mainland Greece, east of Thessalonika and the Halkidiki peninsular is the coastal town and port of Kavala.  Kavala is much over-looked by most tourists, who generally pass through the busy port on their way to the island of Thassos, or the lesser visited Samothrace (pronounced Samothraki). Yet Kavala is really worth spending some time in and the surrounding area has the additional advantage of some good sandy beaches.
The City of Kavala   
     Kavala was known in ancient times as Neapolis or ‘new town’ and dates from the 7th Century BC.  Today, this pleasant city, which was once a colony of the offshore island of Thassos, hugs the coastline beneath a backdrop of hills and still retains a large part of the old city in the atmospheric Turkish quarter, known as the Panagia Quarter.  The ‘Panagia’ lies to the east of the harbour on a promontory and is encircled by the old city walls.  Once inside the walls there is a warren of narrow streets, a Turkish mosque and the house of Mehmet Ali, all overlooked by an impressive Byzantine Castle in the centre.  On the northern end of the Quarter the old town spills out from the city walls under a lovely Aqueduct which was built around 1550 to carry precious water to the Castle above.   On a bay to the east of the Aqueduct, boat builders’ yards ring with the sound of the shipwrights hard at work making boats and repairing local caiques.
     To the west of the old quarter is the picturesque fishing harbour lined with café bars and tavernas offering an array of fresh fish dishes on their daily menus.  The small car ferries and hydrofoils that run to the island of Thassos leave from here on a daily basis and it is possible to take a day trip to the island.  The larger ferries, bound for Rafina, close to Athens, berth at a longer quay on the eastern side of Kavala harbour, together with the ferry for Samothrace.  Kavala also has frequent sailings to the island of Limnos in high season, and sailings to the islands of Lesbos, (known by its main port’s name of Mytilini), Chios and Agios Evstratios several times a week.  Conveniently placed in the centre of the waterfront is the local bus station.
     In front of the harbour is a long promenade with the new, modern face of Kavala behind it.  The town offers modern shops, with a variety of souvenirs and gifts, restaurants, tavernas, café bars, a Tourist Information Office, Banks and doctors. In addition, it has a Cathedral, Archaeological Museum and Folk Art Museum, all of which are worth a visit.
Festival of Philippi - and other festivals  
     Kavala loves a party and during the last two weeks of June they celebrate their independence.  Other festivals are held throughout the year but the most significant is the festival of Philippi, commemorated throughout July, August and September when Kavala puts on a series of musical events and plays at the city’s ancient theatre.  The ruins of the ancient city of Philippi are located just 15 kilometres north east of Kavala and a local bus service runs from Kavala to Philippi every half an hour.  It was at the city of Philippi that Octavian, who became the Emperor Augustus, defeated Julius Caesar’s murderer, Brutus, in 42 BC.  This is a wonderful site, but being that little bit out of town, it is often missed by many visitors, so when you are next passing, put it on your list!
Keramoti - departure point for Thassos  
     A short drive to the east of Kavala is the small port of Keramoti which is the nearest point on the mainland to the island of Thassos and as a result has become the preferred departure point for Thassos for some tour operators.  Ferries leave regularly throughout the day for Thassos and the waterfront has a convenient number of café bars and restaurants to while away an hour or two whilst waiting for the next departure.
The foregoing information was last reviewed in January 2007. Things change, and whilst we are often travelling in Greece we do rely to some extent upon others to provide updates in order to keep the site as current and accurate as possible!  If you have updates or information that you think should be included here, please mail the webmaster@aguide2greece.com  - thank you.


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