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Guide to Thassos

Thassos, Greece

by Special Guest Writer Steve Allan

Thassos really is the jewel of the Aegean sea for many people. More people, by percentage, return to Thassos after their first visit than any other Greek island. For those who are not aquainted with this special place on earth, Thassos is the most Northern Greek island situated approximately 8 miles from mainland Keromotti Port, and it's nearest city is mainland Kavala. Thassos is also one of the greenest islands with a near perfect climate of hot summer sun and cool winters with a little wind and rain mixed in. It has been known to snow in late April and then be 85 degrees c in early May!

Thassos ferry

Getting to Thassos

The timetable of ferry boats to and from Kerromotti to Thassos is frequent during the summer holiday season months. These Aneth and NEK ferry boats still operate regularly at other times of the year. The timetables do change regularly so it is advisable to check with Ferryhopper.com

Holiday visitors arriving by aeroplane land at the Alexander the Great Airport near Kavala, and have an enjoyable ten minute ride to Kerromotti Port.

The nearest mainland city is Kavala and is accessed from Limenas, the capital of Thassos Island, by: Flying Dolphin which takes only foot passengers. This choice is much quicker than the ferry boats but slightly more expensive. The last Dolphin back to Limenas is at 14:00 from the Kavala Port.

Aliki, Thassos
Archaeological Site of Aliki

Mythology

According to Myth, Thassos owes its name to Thasus, son of Agenor who was the king of Tyre or Sidon in Asia. When Zeus took the shape of a bull and stole Europa, Agenor who was her father ordered his four suns to search for her. He also ordered them not to come back to their birthplace without her. Thus, Phoenix headed southwards, Cilix northwards, Cadmus wandered around Greece and Thasus, who according to other versions was the son of Cilix, after having traveled to remote places reached verdant Thasos where he stayed thus giving his name to the island.

 Another version is that Thasus was the son of Poseidon, while according to others the name Thasos is a corrupted form of word ‘thasos’ (forest) of the righteous, also called Golden Island in the past because of the gold mined there. Dionysus called it Ogygia Thasos, coast of the goddess Demeter for its fertility and fortune, while according to Pliny it was also called occasionally Aeria and Airthria (ethereal and serene).

Thassos coast

The Green Circle of Thassos

With the beauty and variety of its scenery, its plethora of fine beaches, interesting antiquities, picturesque mountain villages and excellent accommodation, Thassos is a materialization of most people’s pre-conceived ideas of what a Greek island is all about. Thassos has the added advantages of an efficient tourist infrastructure, friendly and helpful islanders and a road system with regular bus services that ring the island. In total, it is one of the most appealing of the Aegean islands. Now firmly established on the package holiday map, Thassos has not been vulgarized by commercialism and here visitors are respected and not taken advantage of.

Essentially circular in shape, Thassos is mountainous and of volcanic origin. Mount Ipsario (Ypsario) at 1,203 metres in height forms its geographical centre, and its slopes are deeply gashed by torrent courses that radiate to the islands coasts. These valleys are thickly wooded with Pines, Firs, Chestnuts and Plane trees.

Limenas, Thassos
Limenas

Thassos Town (Limenas), situated on the islands northern coast, is a curious jumble of modern buildings and archaeological ruins. The remains of temples, theatres, gates, basilicas and walls happily co-exist alongside modern housing, tavernas, cafes and administrative buildings. The centre of the ancient town occupied a coastal tract beyond which steep slopes led up to the acropolis from whose ruins give a good general view of the towns form and situation, both ancient and modern. A tour of the ancient ramparts is highly recommended, although a stout pair of walking shoes are required!

Retaining its prosperity throughout Roman and Byzantine times, Thassos was acquired by Genoese Francesco Gattelusio prior to its conquest by the Turks in 1455. Some three centuries later it was given by Sultan Mahmud II to the family of the Egyptian ruler Mehmet Ali, but in 1770-74 the island was occupied by a Russian fleet. By this time the population of Thassos had gravitated to the inland villages as a protective measure. In 1912, Thassos was reunited with Greece.

Psili Ammos Beach, Thassos
Krisi Ammos Beach

Visitors should make a point of exploring the entire island by following the attractive coastal road, making forays into the interior wherever branch roads make this possible. Traveling south-eastwards from Limenas, a two kilometre drive leads to Makriammos (literally ‘long sand’) with a sandy beach, hotels and bungalow complexes.

Beyond Makriammos the circuit road takes one of its frequent detours away from the coast to serve the delightful stone roofed village of Panagia set on the eastern side of Mount Ipsario amid forests and springs. Back on the coast the road leads to Krisi Ammos (Golden Beach) a long stretch of beach with hotels, restaurants, cafes, beach beds and umbrellas.

Thassos port Limenas
Limenaria

The south-eastern section of the island has old marble quarries and at Archangelos nuns cheerfully indicate where St Luke is said to knelt to pray. The road now turns west, past good beaches to Potos, where a branch road leads inland via a beautiful valley to the old mountain capital of Theologos. Here are the ruins of a medieval castle and a house where Mehmet Ali is said to have spent part of his youth.

Beyond Potos is Limenaria, the islands second largest settlement after Limenas. Here the islands circular road begins its return journey to Limenas via the west coast passing the resorts and villages of Maries, Kalirachis, Sotiras, Kazaviti, Prinos, Rachoni, Agios Georgios and Pachis.

Astris Beach
Astris Beach

Giola Thassos
Giola Pool

Paradise Beach, Thassos
Paradise Beach

Marble Beach, Thassos
Marble Beach

Trypiti Beach, Thassos
Trypiti Beach

Good places to eat:

  • Captain’s Taverna – Skala Potomia
  • Pelagos Taverna – Skala Potomia
  • Airion Taverna – Limenas
  • Takis Taverna – Limenas
  • Posidona Taverna – Limenas
  • El Greco – Limenas
  • Patrikos Taverna – Limenas, near Old harbour
  • Gekas Taverna – Skala Rachoni
  • Christos Taverna – Agios Georgios
  • Drossia Taverna – Rachoni
  • Boomerang Taverna – Potos

 It must be said that in our experience, where ever you go you will be made very welcome and enjoy a good meal. We have not had a bad meal anywhere on Thassos Island.

A favourite trip to Kavala is on a Saturday for the large market. An Aneth or NEK ferry boat will also take you to Kavala from Limenas. They also visit Kavala from Prinos Port although travelling from here takes about one and a half hours. From Limenas it takes about an hour. Both ports are very easy to reach with tickets purchased on the day before the trip.

Thassos

Getting Around Thassos

Transportation around the island can be sought by the normally regular bus service. They provide transport to inland villages and coastal resorts as well as drops and pick ups during a complete tour of the island. I say normally regular because it is also quite usual for the bus timetable to be ignored, so don’t take it too seriously! This is not a problem because one will be along soon!

Taxis of course are available, as is car hire. Many car hire companies are advertised but it is advisable to choose one of the well known companies like Avis for complete peace of mind in the event of an accident.

A trip around the island is about 95 km in length and a very pleasant experience. It can be done in less than 2 hours if stops are limited, but if you allow a day, a drive around the island can be achieved in a relaxing way enjoying many stops along the way for investigating with excellent photo opportunities.

Living the Thassos DreamSteve Allan  first started visiting Thassos in May 2001 and has never looked back. He tried Rhodes, Athens and Zakynthos and really enjoyed them all, but always kept being drawn back to Thassos. He and his wife Debbie have had a healthy obsession with the island for many years.  His book LIVING THE THASSOS DREAM tells the story of the actual account of their journey from the outset, from booking their first holiday abroad and subsequent visits to Thassos. It also describes the purchase of the land and the building of their beautiful dream Olive Tree House and may be essential reading for anyone planning to buy property and move to a Greek Island. To order your copy while stocks last please email Steve at steve@livingthethassosdream.com or allanovich2nd@aol.com and he will get back to you for details as soon as possible.  

Suggested Thassos Hotels

By the Sea Suites, Thassos

By the Sea Luxury Suites

Featuring an outdoor pool and views of the sea, By the sea luxury suites is located in Limenas right on the beach. The property is air conditioned and has a cable flat-screen TVs in all the suites. Some units have a terrace and/or balcony with pool views. There is also a kitchenette, fitted with a refrigerator. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Endless Blue Studios

Endless Blue Studios

Enjoying a beachfront location at Chryssi Akti Beach, Endless Blue Studios offers self-catered accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Surrounded by a well-tended garden, it has a bar overlooking the Aegean Sea, and a playground. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and modern furnishings, all air-conditioned studios open to a private balcony. They include a well-equipped kitchenette with a fridge and dining area. A flat-screen TV is also provided. Each private bathroom is fitted with a shower cabin and hairdryer. The on-site bar serves daily snacks and drinks, as well as local honey and spoon sweets. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Icon Suites, Thassos

Icon Suites

Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Icon Suites is located in Potos, right on the sea. The property is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some units have a terrace and/or balcony with sea or pool views. Mini-bar and coffee machine are also available. Every unit features a private bathroom with bathrobes. Towels and bed linen are featured. Icon Suites also includes an outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy a drink at the on-site bar. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Alexandra Adults Only Hotel. Thassos

Alexandra Golden Boutique Hotel-Adults Only

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Alexandra Golden Boutique Hotel-Adults Only Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Alexandra Golden Boutique Hotel-Adults Only offers accommodations in Chrysi Ammoudia a 2 minute walk from the beach. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Certain rooms have a private bathroom with a spa tub, and others have bathrobes and slippers. Some accommodations include a sitting area for your convenience. Certain rooms feature views of the sea or mountains. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels and DVD player is provided. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Royal Paradise Beach Hotel and Spa

Royal Paradise Beach Resort & Spa

Experience World-class Service at Royal Paradise Beach Resort & Spa. Featuring free WiFi and a fitness center, Royal Paradise Beach Resort & Spa offers accommodations in Potos, a 1 minute walk from the beach. The resort has a seasonal outdoor pool and a private beach area, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site. Certain accommodations feature a private bathroom with a hot tub, and others have bathrobes and slippers. Certain rooms include views of the sea or pool. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is featured. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Atrium Hotel, Thassos

Atrium Hotel

The beach-side Atrium Hotel is less than half a mile from Potos village, amidst lush greenery. It has a pool, fitness center, treatments rooms, sauna and free Wi-Fi. Rooms have grounds, pool or sea views from their balcony. Elegantly decorated and air-conditioned, all the accommodation at Atrium comes equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and safe. Each has a bathroom with a hairdryer. Some are split level. The Olive Garden restaurant, situated next to an olive grove, serves a buffet breakfast and Mediterranean cuisine, whereas the tavern offers seafood dishes by the sea. Guests can enjoy after-dinner drinks at Captain’s bar while looking out onto the waterfront. There is a playground and wading pool available for children. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Alexandra Beach Hotel and Spa

Alexandra Beach Spa Resort

Featuring free WiFi and a playground, Alexandra Beach Spa Resort offers accommodations in Potos right on the beach. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this resort is air conditioned and is equipped with a TV. Certain accommodations have a sitting area for your convenience. Certain rooms include views of the sea or pool. Every room comes with a private bathroom. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Blue Dream Palace, Thassos

Blue Dream Palace

Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Blue Dream Palace offers accommodations in Limenaria, right on the beach. The hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site. Certain units have a private bathroom with a spa tub, and others have bathrobes and slippers. Some units include a sitting area to relax in after a busy day. A terrace or balcony are featured in certain rooms. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Art Hotel, Thassos

A for Art Hotel

Located in the center of Limenas, A for Art Hotel is a boutique hotel and features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV. Each room includes a private bathroom. The hotel also has a swimming pool but the charm is in the decoration. The entire hotel is a work of art and if you love art you will never get bored here. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Garden Hotel, Thassos

Garden

Showcasing an outdoor pool and sun terrace, Garden is located in Limenaria, a 1 minute walk from the beach. All units are air conditioned and have a flat-screen TV and computer. Some units feature a terrace and/or balcony. There is also a kitchenette, equipped with a refrigerator. Every unit is fitted with a private bathroom with a shower slippers, and free toiletries. Towels are available. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Kallisti Hotel, Thassos

Kallisti Hotel

Kallisti Hotel is just 1,300 feet from Agios Antonios Beach and a half mile from the village of Potos with a bus stop right in front. Rooms have sea-view balcony, and the hotel offers a swimming pool and a playground area. Kallisti guest rooms are fitted with orthopaedic mattresses, and each comes with an LCD TV and a kitchenette with dining area. Some rooms include a comfortable seating area, and en suite or exterior hot tub. Guests can start their day with buffet breakfast. Drinks and snacks are available by the poolside, equipped with sun beds and umbrellas. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Sunny Hotel Thassos

Sunny Hotel Thassos

Located in Chrysi Ammoudia, a 2 minute walk from the beach, Sunny Hotel Thassos features free WiFi access and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is fitted with a TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom. Extras include free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is room service at the property. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Hotel Akti, Thassos

Hotel Akti

Located in Pefkari, right on the beach, Hotel Akti features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site. Every room has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Views of the sea, mountains or garden are featured in certain rooms. Each room includes a private bathroom. Potos is 0.7 miles from Hotel Akti, and Limenas is 13 miles from the property.  Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

Hotel Lido Thassos

Hotel Lido Thassos

Showcasing a sun terrace and views of the mountains, Hotel Lido Thassos is located in Limenas. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV. Certain units have a sitting area to relax in after a busy day. Views of the pool, garden or city are featured in certain rooms. Click here for photos, guest reviews and Booking Information

More Hotels and Villas...

You can find hotels by location, category, and price with customer reviews and lots of photos by going to Booking.com's Thassos Page. For villas, holiday homes, self-catering apartments and Air BnB style accommodations see the Thassos Villas Page. If you need assistance coordinating hotels and ferries try Matt's Create-an-itinerary form.

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Do you enjoy using my site? Have you found it entertaining as well as useful? If so please show your appreciation by booking hotels and homes through the travel agencies and the links found on this page and on my
Greek Travel Agency page. The small comission I make on the bookings enable me to keep working and in most cases you won't find them any cheaper by searching elsewhere.  You can find hotels, apartments, rooms and even houses through Booking.com's Thassos Pages which also contributes to my website when you book.

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