„If Thassos was a bit south, among the Cycladic Islands, it would have been the most popular and expensive Greek island“
(according to an anonymous, but wise customs officer)
Thassos is the most north-located island in the Aegean Sea and the closest one to Bulgaria. It’s very green, full of nature and water. It has a round form and the main road follows this form which makes the island very easy for orientation. The main circle road is 95 km long. The island is mountainous and its highest peak is 1205 m. Overall, it’s very beautiful and peaceful. The water is really pure and that’s why it has a lot of fish and seafood.
I’ll present you the island the way I see it and hope that you’ll love it too.
In order to get to the island, you need to take the ferryboat departing from Keramoti (Κεραμωτή) to Thassos. Here you can see the schedules of the ferryboats to Thassos as well as the prices.
One of the ferryboats
Here is some advice before taking the ferryboat:
- Make sure to check in advance the ferryboats’ schedule in both directions so that you can avoid unnecessary waiting or being in a hurry. The officers at the harbor may try to take more money from you if you don’t pay attention and you’re in a hurry. That’s why you need to tell exactly what car and passengers you have.
- There some discounts you can use, such as for kids, for example. But if you don’t specifically ask for them, they won’t give to you.
- When you park the car on the ferryboat, don’t forget to pull the handbrake and remember exactly where you left the car. Keep in the mind that after that you’ll leave the ferryboat from the opposite side (not from the side you’ve entered the ferryboat).
- It’s very windy and sunny on the ferryboat, so make sure that you don’t get cold or sunburn even though the trip takes only 40 minutes.
- One of the attractions of the ferryboat are the seagulls. If you want to have their attention, it’s good to give them some food.
Seagulls escorting the ferryboat
After that you’ll arrive at the harbor of Thassos which is also the main city of the island. It is known under two names: Limenas and Thassos. From here begins your adventure. To me, the most important places on the island are:
Panagia from above
Panagia (Παναγία) is a small, picturesque and lively village. It’s located 7 km south of the harbor and is 6 km away from the Chrisi Ammoudia Beach (the Golden Sands Beach). The village is very lovely, located up in the mountain. It used to be the capital city of Thassos after the Greek uprising for independence. It has a lot of sources of fresh, drinking water.
On the main road you can find wonderful places to eat with prices much lower than the ones at the sea resorts. We were very pleased with Tavern Grill Elena, where the food was excellent. You can also try the food at the other places. Overall, the Greeks are masters at cooking. The only unpleasant surprise would be to order a fish meal without asking for its price. Keep in mind that some fishes cost 100 euro. So be careful what you choose.
In the village is located probably the most famous olive oil factory which also has a museum – Sotirelis Olive Oil Museum. Here you can buy some olive oil and you can also stay at the hotel of the factory.
There are two opinions about the Sotirelis olive oil. Most people think that has excellent quality because it has long traditions dating back to 1915. On the other side, the local people say that in certain years there are not so much olives to be harvested and as a result of that the rest of the producers are able to produce only small quantities of olive oil. Unlike them, however, Sotirelis always has the necessary quantity of olives for production. The locals say the Sotirelis just buys olive oil from other places (such as Morocco) and after that just packs it and sells it as its own.
I really can’t say who’s telling the truth. Everyone should make their own choice and decide who will trust.
Aliki seen from the bay and with a view to the pine forest and the marble quarry
Aliki is the most beautiful beach on the island: white sand, crystal clear and deep blue water, green nature. There are umbrellas, places to eat and fish taverns. The bay is quiet and peaceful. The place is full of history as it is known for its marble from ancient times.
Photo of Giola
Giola looks like a pond which made its way through the sea rocks. It’s full of sea water as it is on the coastline. Its dimensions are 20×15 m. The rocks surrounding it are up to 8 meters high and many people jump from there into the pond. I wouldn’t recommend you to do that as there are many underwater rocks and you may fall on one of them. As Giola is 2 km away from the main road you’ll need to get there by foot. You’ll have to walk at least 30 minutes depending on where you’ve left your car.
Advice: I recommend you to use the so-called ‘rock-walking shoes’: shoes for a beach with very good grapple. They are meant to protect you from rocks and sea urchins. They can also protect you from slipping. The inclined rocks are very slippery especially if they are wet or covered with mud. So, using these shoes can save you a lot of troubles.
- The Marble Beach (Πόρτο Βαθύ / PortoVathy beach)
Porto Vathy Beach
Porto Vathy beach is a very special beach. Instead of sand it has small marble pebbles. The water has breath-taking turquoise color. There is a parking nearby and on the beach itself there is a bar (for the design of which is used mainly marble), and, of course, music. It’s good to have in mind that somehow this beach attracts wasps.
- Marble Beach Saliara (Παραλία Σαλιάρα)
Saliara Beach shooted from the road to Porto Vathy
Saliara Beach is very similar to Porto Vathy but, according to me, it’s not that beautiful. It’s marble again but I find Porto Vathy more charming. Maybe the reason for that is that Saliara is closer to Limenas (the main harbor) and that’s why it’s more visited. In order to get to both of the beaches you’ll need to drive on a dusty, dirt road. Maybe that’s why in the end of the road there is a carwash. But…when driving back your car will get dirty again. So it’s worth to have your car washed only if you would like to take a picture of it there.
If you have more time, you may like some of these places as well:
- Limenaria (Λιμενάρια)
Selfie on the Limenaria beach (usually there is no one who could take a picture of the tourist guide)
Limenaria is the second biggest city on Thassos. It is a sea resort where you can buy some jewelleries.
- Potos (Ποτός) is the most important place for fishing. It has a blue flag (certificate for the excellent quality of the beach).
- Theologos (Θεολόγος) – the village of Theologos used to be the capital of the island until the end of the Ottoman yoke. It was proclaimed as a cultural heritage site from the Greek government in 1979 which means that the construction of new buildings or the reconstruction of the already existing ones is subject to limitations in order to preserve the authentic look of the village. There you can find special meals with goat meat. You can also take a walk on an interesting rock bridge.
- Kazaviti (Καζαβίτι), known also as MikrosPrinos or MegalosPrinos, is a picturesque village up in the mountain with typical for this region architecture.
- ParadiseBeach (Παράδεισος) – it’s very easy to be reached as it’s right next to the main road. There are a lot of bars and restaurants there.
- Psili Ammos beach (Ψιλή άμμος) – this beach is also very easy to reach as it’s right next to the main road.
Psili Ammos beach (in Greek it means ‘fine sand’)
- ArchangelMichail Holy Monastery (Μονή Αρχαγγέλου Μιχαήλ) – this is a female monastery and it’s the biggest one on the island. It was founded in 1110 and it was built on the top of 250-meter-high rock. This is one of the last left monasteries built by the monks of Athos.
I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Thassos!