Thassos has a land
mass of 379 sq. km. and a coastline of 95 km. Only 3 nautical miles from Keramoti
on the northern Greek mainland, it is 16 nautical miles southeast of Kavala,
the nearest major mainland town with an airport. Its population is about 13,000.
Thassos is one of
the most beautiful Greek Islands, it is very green, has wonderful soft beaches
and is rarely affected by the Meltemi that blows across many of the other
Many Germans and
Austrians have discovered the island but have not overrun it. There are many
archeological ruins around its capital Limenas. There are several tiny islets quite near its coast
and the fishing is good.
Several small villages
and hamlets are accessible on the well maintained encircling island road as
well as the many sandy beaches. Oil has been discovered offshore, but no
plans have been made to exploit it–so far. Thassos was once a souce of gold, and continues to be a big supplier of white marble–you may notice the scars from the quarries on the mountain sides.
Limenas (or Thassos) is the capital and port. It's a lively place, especially along the waterfront. The Archaeology Museum has been expanded and contains many wonders. In the center of the city is the agora, rebuilt by the Romans. It has foundations, columns, porticoes, sanctuaries and a massive altar. Near that is part of a Roman street with a few tiers of the Odeon. A bit further down is the sanctuary for Hercules, the Herakleion. This area of townhas a Sanctuary of Poseidon. Two ancient naval gates lead into the port. You can get to the acropolis by way of the Sanctuary of Dionysos. Excavations of the acropolis are complete and plans to renew Thassos' ancient drama festival there underway.
But wait, we aren't finished. Limenas also has a 5th Century BC Temple of Athena Poliouchos, a Sanctuary of Pan, a Secret Stair and well decorated gates including Gate of Parmenon, Gate of Silenus, Gate of Dionysos and Hercules and the Gate of Zeus and Hera.
Limenas' town beach is sandy and shaded.
The main road circles the island and leads to numerous charming villages and many, many wonderful white sand beaches. The best beaches are in the south and east. Although the bus service is good, Thassos is small enough to explore by motorbike. Many of the coastal villages are new–built since the suppression of piracy in the 19th Century–and most are annexed to older inland villages that were used when pirates were still ransacking the area on a regular basis.
The village of Kastro is in the center of the island. The fortified hill is now a cemetery surrounded by sheep farmers.
In the foothills near the west coast, Sotiras has the best sunset watching.
Drinking and Dining
There are excellent places to eat on Thassos. The nightlife is young and active. The villages on the east and west coasts all have decent places to eat.
The island has been
populated since the Stone Age and was known for its natural wealth of marble,
gold, silver and vineyards. Its wonderful climate and location have made it fair game for invaders and conquerors over the centuries: Persians, Thassians, Athenians, Romans, Turks, Russian, Egyptians, and Bulgarians have all had control over the island at one time or another.