Greek Islands / Thassos

Sep 13, 2021

What a year it has been, after a long time with travel restrictions we were finally happy to travel again. From Thessaloniki we travelled to Halkidiki to visit some friends and visit our favourite places again. From Halkidiki we travelled by car to the island of Thassos.
Thassos is not known with tourists, which makes it a special place to visit. This northern Greek island is very close by the mainland and only a short trip with the ferry from Kavala or Keramoti (this one is closer, only 30 minutes).
The island is known for it’s beautiful beaches, the nature and last but not least it’s marble. Thassos is probably not the first island on anybody’s radar but definitely worth exploring if you are the one that wants to make an extra effort. We genuinely feel that all our efforts to keep the island of Thassos a secret will be well worth it in the long run.

Thassos is a perfect place to go and enjoy all the beautiful beaches to the fullest but there is definitely more to discover on this hideaway island. We will kindly share with you all the hidden gems that Thassos has to offer and that made our trip a wonderful one. Welcome to our Thassos, what to do in Thassos when you really want to explore the island…

We arrived at the main port of Limenas or Thassos Town (how it’s often called as of late) is the capital town on the island. The town is very nice, with its harbour, a large promenade by the sea, a few paved streets within the promenade with many shops, fast-food restaurants, taverns, jewellery shops and Greek bakeries. A good restaurant is Simi restaurant, with an idilic view over the old port. And if you want to have a nice drink at the beach, there is Karnagio Beach bar.

The new port is from the old one almost 1km away. The area around the old port carries the charm of the old, typical Greek seaside places that many reminiscent of Dalmatia. In this part of town, you can see numerous small fishing boats, cobbled streets full of souvenir shops and traditional products from Thassos (olives, honey, halva, and soaps, teas, etc.), taverns, grocery stores.

Limenas punctuated by the excavation of archaeological sites and during the light summer walks you can spot remains of gates of Zeus and Hera, the ancient amphitheater and the ancient Agora, the Acropolis, and near the old harbour there is a large archaeological museum.

Thassos is the perfect island to explore with a car. You can drive around the whole island in 1,5 hour. It has a beautiful coastline with amazing views. We drove via the west coast to the south part of the island. On your way you can stop at Pefkospila Tavern for a delicious lunch at the beach or go for swim at Glifoneri beach.

While driving south you come across different small villages but a personal favourite of us is Limenaria. This lovely village is located on the island's south-west coast. The location of the village is idyllic, as it has a beautiful harbour and offers views over the Aegean Sea and the holy mountain, Mount Athos.
The village has retained its local culture and many Greek traditions. Also the architecture of the village is preserved. There are several taverns and restaurants, serving local Greek dishes, and many of these restaurants are located adjacent to the sea, all along the coastline of the town. There is however plenty to do in the town. There are beautiful beaches up and down the entire stretch of its coastline, and even within the town itself there is a sandy beach.

Best Things To Do On The Island Of Thassos In Greece

1. Giolas Natural Pool

Warmer than the sea this pool is definitely worth jumping into! The natural pool at Giola is only worthy of those willing to make the 5 minute steep descent past naked bathers and daredevil divers. It’s truly beautiful and a definite Instagram favorite with those who make the effort to find it.
TIP: The signage to Giola is inconspicuous and requires the detective skills of Hercule Poirot, and quite right – if you’re not prepared to put in the effort then you are not deserving of what we would say is the most beautiful hidden gem on Thassos. There is also a cute little taverna on this dirt track with amazing sea views.

2. The Best Beach In Thassos – Paradise Beach – Golden Beach – La Scala Beach

Big words? There are many beautiful beaches of Thassos and several of them we have sipped a few Mythos on ourselves. But none that are so audacious as to name themselves Paradise Beach. And, this particular beach lives up to its autograph in a fine manner. It’s small enough to hold on to its prettiness but clever enough to station 2 well-appointed beach bars to serve its visitors. Add to that a very small volcano-like protrusion just out to sea and you have enough natural and man-made photogenic objects to warrant its Paradise title. Honestly, do not skip this one.

Another beach that we loved was Golden Beach on the east coast is a sandy bay framed by spellbinding natural scenery.
The beach is three kilometers long and is fringed by a low-impact holiday community, which doesn’t spoil the views of the verdant hills close by, and the spectacular escarpment a couple of kilometers behind. There’s a string of cafes and bars on Golden Beach, each offering a different deal for the sun loungers. As with Paradise Beach, Golden Beach has low rolling surf. There’s lots of shallow water, but the currents can be too much for little ones on windy days.

La Scala Beach was also one of favourites. Hardly five minutes from Thassos Town, La Scala differs from the other choices in that it’s a completely private beach, taking the name of the bar that manages it. The beach itself is rather small, but has fine sand and rippling transparent water. The main appeal of La Scala is its comfort, as there are cushioned sun loungers, soft couches, divan-style dining areas and beach pergolas, all under the shade of palms and canvas awnings. Obviously you have to pay a little more for these luxuries, but that doesn’t deter the many young couples. On its east shoulder is a small water sports center for kayaking and banana boating.

3. The Best Mountain Villages – Panagia and Theologos

When you arrive in these villages, you will think you took a time machine back in time. The architecture of the houses is like it was back in the day. Panagia is Tightly packed onto steep ground 300 metres above sea level, Panagia was built away from the coast as a safe haven from pirate attacks and was the capital of the island for a short time after the Greek Revolution in the 1820s.The village is downstream from Mount Ipsaron, and channels the mountain’s spring through a system of fountains and conduits. In the evening the place to be is the central square by the fountains where there’s a bunch of tavernas.

Theologos is small upland village is in a hollow between sparsely vegetated hillsides and has been listed as a “traditional settlement”. You wouldn’t know to look at Theologos today, but for hundreds of years during the Ottoman period this was the administrative centre of the island. Being a traditional settlement has helped preserve the village’s Macedonian-style stone houses. These are on cobblestone paths branching off the main roads, which run parallel along the contours of the hillside. There’s a clutch of tavernas in the village, as well as a folklore museum, and close by in this mountainous setting are historic lime kilns and olive mills to check out. And make sure to check out the waterfall. And if it’s not busy I would advise to take a dip in the cold water of the waterfall (as I did and it was loads of fun!)

4. Archangel Michael Monastery

The largest monastery on Thassos is a cliff-top convent on the southeast coast.There has been a religious presence here since the 12th century when a hermit constructed a small church, supposedly at the command of the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Thassos. The monastery was founded a century later but was abandoned during Ottoman times and was only revived in 1974 by nuns from Volos and a monk from Mount Athos. The new church has a traditional cruciform layout and its most famous relic is the nail that apparently fastened Christ’s right hand to the cross. This nail brings in pilgrims from far beyond the shores of Thassos. The feast of St Michael is on 8 November and is celebrated around the island.

5. The Marble Quarries of Thassos

The marble of Thassos is popular around the world for its pure white color and brightness. Since ancient times, Thassos has been famous for its marble quarries since ancient times. The marble of Thassos became famous in the seventh century BC when a colony from Paros was established there.

Since then, its marble, produced mostly in the quarries of Alyki, on the southern side of the island, was exported to far away places in Asia and all over the Mediterranean Seas, to construct temples and monuments. The Romans used much of this marble for their monuments. A school of sculpture was even established on the island in the 6th century BC. Till today, the marble of Thassos is used for sculpturing.

We were amazed in finding these stone quarries all over the island. One led all the way down to a marble beach with an entire marble beach bar….truly something else.

So if you want to experience a total different holiday on a Greek Island, go to Thassos! You won’t be disappointed! For us it was a holiday which we won’t forget!


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