Home Destination Guides Accommodation 20th February 2019





General
Greece 

THASSOS
  
      
LINKS TO LOCATIONS WITHIN THIS PAGE:
  
Thassos Town - Limenas (North)
West Coast - Skala Rahoni and Skala Prinos
South Coast - Limenaria (South), Potos, Pefkari, Psili Ammos, Theologos, Aliki
East Coast - Skala Potamia, Potamia, Panagia, Golden Beach, Makriyammos  Thassos island connections    
       
   
THASSOS   
       
     Thassos, is a large, verdant island, the most northerly in the Aegean, lying 12 kilometres off the coast of northern mainland Greece.  Little known until recent years, tourism has slowly sneaked up on Thassos, enabling the island to absorb the impact without overdevelopment, and at the same time retain an attractive and relaxed atmosphere.  There is no airport on the island and access is solely by ferry from the mainland. This is probably the largest contributing factor as to why Thassos has remained largely undiscovered by mass tourism.
   
     The island is quite mountainous and the central peak of Mount Ipsarion rises out of the Aegean to a height of just over 1,200 metres above sea level.  The lower slopes of the mountain are covered with the lush green of oak, pine and cedar forests, whilst the coastline is adorned with lovely sandy beaches and aquamarine seas.  Navigation is easy on Thassos as there is only one main coastal ring road, approximately 95 kilometres long, running right around the island.  Side roads leading off from the main road snake their way up the mountain to the traditional villages perched on the higher slopes.
     
     In ancient times Thassos’ prospered from its gold and silver mines, in addition to quarries that produced good quality white marble.   Even today, marble quarrying ranks amongst the main industries on the island, alongside tourism, local honey and olive production. The sought-after white marble is exported internationally. 
    
  
   
THASSOS TOWN (Limenas)
   
     The capital and main port of the island is located on the northern side at Limenas (not to be confused with Limenaria in the south) and is also known as Thassos town.  Thassos town sits on a sweeping bay facing the Greek mainland, a mere 12 kilometres away, and is a lovely mix of ancient ruins, old Turkish houses and modern shops and amenities, giving the town a great atmosphere.
   
     The waterfront is a hive of activity and the focal point of the town.  It is roughly divided into three areas.  Along the eastern end lies a reasonable, sandy town beach. However, most people tend to take either a local bus to the better beaches on the east coast, or opt for a trip in one of the beach boats that head off to the small coves in the west of the island.  In the centre of the waterfront is the attractive ancient trireme harbour, where the excursion boats and the beach boats are based.  In front of the ancient harbour is a long promenade with an array of café bars, restaurants and tavernas.
    
       Within walking distance of the promenade are some of the best examples of the ancient city ruins to be seen on Thassos and consequently, most of the town tours usually start from here.  On the tour itinerary will be the ruins of an ancient Roman market place, known as the Agora, complete with the remains of a small temple and several Roman stoas, which back on to the harbour.  Close by is the Archaeological Museum which is noted for its sculptures and an Archaic kouros standing 3 metres high.  A short stroll from the Museum are the remains of an Odeon and a small section of Hellenistic Street still intact. This would have stretched all the way to the Arch of Caracalla, which today is little more than a few foundation stones.
  
       The highlight of the ancient town of Thassos has to be the remarkable remains of the City Walls dating from the 5 Century BC which used to encircle the town and the many City ‘gates’ which are still distinguishable.  Each gateway was decorated with Archaic reliefs hewn from stone and to differentiate each gateway from the other they were named after their carvings giving them such magnificent titles as the Charriot Gate, Zeus Gate, Selinos Gate and Hercules Gate.  As the ancient City Wall climbs up behind the town a pathway runs alongside, leading to the Medieval Castle, built in 1259 on the site of an Acropolis.  A little further on, the pathway terminates at the ruins of a Temple built in honour of the Goddess Athena.  Those who are energetic enough to make the walk up the hill are rewarded with the most fantastic views over Thassos town and the Aegean. 
   
        On the western end of the waterfront is the new port where the hydrofoils and car and passenger ferries berth.  Opposite the ferry quay is the main bus station where local buses run a ‘circuit’ of the island every morning and afternoon. These buses make it easy to visit other coastal resorts by leaving on the morning bus and returning on the afternoon one. 
   
         Thassos town is becoming more popular with holidaymakers and it offers good amenities aside from the historical interest.  The town has a bank, ATM machines, car hire, taxis, shops, supermarkets, a great choice of café bars, restaurants and tavernas, together with a selection of music bars and discos that add a buzz to the nightlife.
   
  
THE WEST COAST   
    
        On the west coast of Thassos there are only two small resorts accommodating tourists.  The first, about 12 kilometres west of Thassos town, is the small, quiet waterside hamlet of Skala Rahoni where a few tavernas cluster around a typically Greek fishing harbour.  There is a fine sandy beach where some watersports are available in high season and the village of Rahoni itself is set a few kilometres further inland up the hill side.  Only a short distance further west is neighbouring Skala Prinos, a small resort which has grown up around its ferry port.  Skala Prinos offers more variety of shops including souvenir shops, an assortment of tavernas and café bars, and two good sandy beaches for swimming, relaxing and finishing that good book you’ve always been meaning to!
  
   
THE SOUTH COAST   
   
     On the south coast of the island is the second largest resort of Limenaria, popular because of its long stretch of narrow sandy beach and lively night life in high season. Originally housing locals who were employed in the mining industry this area had an abundance of pine forests which have, unfortunately become depleted in latter years due to forest fires.  The island is now ‘adorned’ with wide tracks that have been cleared by bulldozers in an attempt to create fire gaps in the forest to hinder the spread of these damaging fires.  Limenaria has great amenities, second only to Thassos town with plenty of shops, tavernas, restaurants, bars and discos, as well as money exchange facilities, and car hire.  In high season there is an open-air disco on the outskirts of the resort which is very popular with the younger set.  At one end of the resort is a small harbour, which can get surprisingly busy with a mix of local boats and fishing caiques.  From the harbour, a narrow beach of sand and shingle stretches the length of the resort where pedaloes can be hired most of the season.   The local bus service from Thassos town to Limenaria takes approximately 1 hour.
     
   
     Approximately 4 kilometres to the east of Limenaria is the picturesque resort of Potos, which also has a range of shops, tavernas and bars located alongside the old harbour, together with a good beach.  Beaches are plentiful in the surrounding area, with a pleasant beach at Pefkari, a coastal village sandwiched between Limenaria and Potos. There is also a great sandy beach, one of the best on the island, at Psili Ammos to the east of Potos.  Potos is ideally situated for taking a local bus into the hills to the lovely village of Theologos, formerly the island’s capital in medieval times.  Fortunately, due to its remote location, this peaceful village has retained its appealing whitewashed houses and traditional charm.
      
     On the south eastern coast of Thassos lies the picture postcard fishing hamlet of Aliki, a popular destination for a day trip.  Ancient marble quarries can be seen at Aliki as well as a Doric shrine.  Just outside Aliki on the main road running to Psili Ammos beach is the Monastery of the Archangel Michael, which is well worth a visit.  Visitors are asked to dress appropriately when visiting the Monastery, no shorts and definitely no bikini tops are allowed, but there are nuns on hand at the entrance, who will offer a selection of clothing to cover up your bare bits before entering, if necessary.
   
   
THE EAST COAST   
      
     Travelling up the east coast from Aliki towards Thassos town the coastline is fringed with pine trees, golden sandy beaches and a sparkling blue sea.  The resort of Skala Potamia is approximately half an hours drive from Thassos town and is a lovely place for anyone looking for a relaxing beach holiday.  Skala Potamia is set between a backdrop of pine trees and a golden coastline.  On offer are a selection of shops, tavernas, café bars and supermarkets with 2 good sandy beaches.
    
     From Skala Potamia the main road veers inland from the coast, climbing to the scenic hill villages of Potamia and Panagia, which are only a short drive from Thassos town.  A small side road snakes down from Panayia to Golden Beach aptly named for its superb stretch of golden sand, where water sports, sun beds and umbrellas are available at a charge.  There are also a selection of bars and tavernas for sun worshippers to take a break.
   
     A mere 2 kilometres outside of Thassos town is the beach of Makriyammos, where many visitors staying in Thassos town decamp during the day.
       
 
THASSOS ISLAND CONNECTIONS
 
      The most direct route into the area is to the regional airport just outside Kavala on the mainland.  During the summer months, usually May to October, there are charter flights direct from the UK to Kavala airport.  From the airport it is easy to either take a taxi or pick up a hire car hire and drive to Kavala town harbour or Keramoti for the ferry to Thassos town.  From Keramoti the ferries run on a daily basis, with sailings every couple of hours to Thassos town, taking both foot passengers and vehicles.  Kavala has daily hydrofoil services to both Thassos town and Skala Prinos.  The only other mainland port with a ferry service to Thassos is Alexandroupolis, which has a weekly ferry to Thassos via neighbouring Samothrace.
   
      Package holidays are available to Thassos from some Greek specialist tour companies and flying time from the U.K. is approximately 3 and a half hours to Kavala airport.  Olympic Airways offer scheduled flights from the U.K. to Kavala airport via Athens, all year round, but this is definitely the long way round, unless you want to do a two centre holiday including Athens.  Timings vary depending on how long you need to wait for the connecting domestic flight from Athens to Kavala.  The domestic flight time from Athens to Kavala is approximately 30-40 mins.
      
       All ferry sailings and schedules are subject to change and should be checked locally.    
      
    
The foregoing information was last reviewed in February 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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