Thasos is a green, mountainous island with many picturesque bays and sandy beaches. The landscape is similar to Chalkidiki or Sithonia. It is a ideal holiday destination for families and people who want to relax at wonderful and not overcrowded beaches. There are a number of interesting antiquities to visit and there are enough beach-bars and clubs for entertainment and night life. A fire in September 2016 destroyed parts of the forests but this does not affect its beauty as a top holiday destination. In general the east side is much more crowded than the west side. People who like to have more space on the beach are better off with the west side, while those who want more action the east side is the better choice.
Earliest settlements are known from the Neolithic era. About 1500 BC, Thasos was taken by the Phoenicians, and by their knowledge in metallurgy, they were the first to exploit the mineral resources of the island. The island was then taken over by the Thracians until the Greek Ionian tribe displaced the Thracians in the 7th century BC. Gold and silver mining and trade flourished during this time and brought prosperity to the island. In 492 BC, the Persians conquered the island, which led to an economic decline. In 464 - 404 BC, Thasos was occupied by Athens and served as a colony of wood and metal supplies. 340 BC Philip II, king of the Macedonians, took over Thasos. In the period from 281 - 202 BC, Thasos was independent, until it was connected to the Roman Empire in 196 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire, it belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) from 330 AD. In 1455 AD, Thasos passed over to the Turks and was freed by Greek troops by 1912 in the Balkan War. In the Second World War, Thasos and larger parts of northern Greece were handed over by the Wehrmacht to Bulgaria, who had to leave these areas with war dead.
Thasos does not have its own airport, so the only way on or off the island is by boat. Ferries travel to and from Keramoti (Keramoti-Limenas) and Kavala (Kavala-Scala Prinos) daily at moderate prices as the island is close to the mainland. A former line from Nea Peramos to Scala Prinos is not working anymore. Travellers can fly into the nearby Alexander the Great Airport in Kavala (Chrysoupolis), around 20 km from Keramoti port.
The island has one main road which circles the perimeter. There is a bus service during summer . Taxis are common and can be called from most restaurants, bars and supermarkets. Car and bike hire is possible from many of the larger towns and villages. To really see the interesting parts of the island, especially the mountain villages, a car or motorbike is needed.
Most tourists rent a car at least for one day to explore the island. As there is only one ring road the villages are described starting from Thasos town clockwise. From the main ring road the mountain villages can be reached via side roads or dead-end roads. If you visit the main attractions only a tour takes from 4-6 hr.
- 1 Thasos (Θάσος, also known as Limenas, Λιμένας). The largest village on the island with the harbor for ferry boats to Keramoti and is deep enough for sailing boats and offering power connection too. Visit the old fishing harbor with the customs building and a beach with beach bars. Continue the walk to reach the viewpoint called “Karnagio” with an old chapel and a nice restaurant to sit. Nearby the old harbor are the ruins of the ancient city and the Archeology and Ethnology Museum. From the old port take a walk to the Amphitheater and ahead to the Acropolis and a castle ruin. The ascent is a bit difficult, but well worthwhile because of the fantastic views. In the center of Limenas are commercial streets with souvenir shops, restaurants, fast food, police, banks, travel agencies and some nightlife.
- 2 Panagia (Παναγία). A romantic small mountain village with old, traditional houses, restaurants and a few souvenir shops in a beautiful location on a wooded hill. The "Dragon's Lair" is a cave near the village and is also worth a visit because of the scenic environment.
- 3 Scala Panagia (Σκάλα Παναγία). An agglomeration of hostels, hotels, a camping ground, supermarkets and a lot of restaurants aligned along a long sandy beach (called Χρυσή Αμμουδιά Chrysi Ammoudia, "Golden Beach").
- 4 Potamia (Ποταμιά). An old mountain village located high on a wooded hill and is less touristy than Panagia. It is certainly worth a walk through the village. Because of the altitude location, it is getting a little cooler here in summer than at Scala Potamia.
- 5 Scala Potamia (Σκάλα Ποταμιάς) (Next to Scala Panagia at the Golden Beach). Purely a tourist place.
- 6 Kinira (Κοίνυρα). A small, purely tourist place without a real center. It consists of a cluster of hotels, restaurants, etc.
- 7 Aliki (Αλυκή). A "must-see location" with a very romantic beach and the remains of an ancient temple. Aliki is not a village. It consists of only a few restaurants but it is one of the main tourist attractions of Thasos. It's the landscape that makes it so unique. In summer it is overcrowded and it may be hard to find a parking space. 5 km from Aliki there is the 1 Monastery "Archangelos", a very interesting complex located on the mountainside. It's a convent with old icons and full of flower pots and it is a good viewpoint over the sea and the south shore of Thasos. A few kilometers after the monastery is another famous spot in Thassos, called 2 "Giola". It is a natural pool overlooking the sea. The descent to Giola is signposted. The trip goes on dirt roads to a parking lot and from there walk down the mountain. The walk is very strenuous, especially in the summer. During high tide, the pool is clean and inviting, but after days without high tides, no fresh water from the sea enters the pool, and the water gets dark and dirty.
- 8 Astrida (Αστρίδα). An abandoned village that had been rebuilt partially for tourist use. It is well worth seeing.
- 9 Potos (Ποτός). One of the touristic centers of Thassos, especially popular in younger people. Its a strong tourist embossed larger village with everything needed for such a place, like good shopping, many restaurants and bars, beaches full with music and beach parties and appropriate nightlife. It's certainly worth a visit.
- 10 Theologos (Θεολόγος). A quiet and beautiful "must-see" mountain village where the houses are mostly built of stone and covered with stone slabs. Also the museum is worth seeing. Going through the village, you will reach the restaurant "Neromillos" (Water mill) after about 500 meters after the cemetery. The water mill is a wonderful place to stay, eat and drink. Another attraction is the old stone bridge. Behind the Agios Dimitrios church is a footpath to the about 200m distant photogenic bridge.
- 11 Limenaria (Λιμενάρια). The second largest village on the island and has a lot of tourism. The long sandy promenade is lined with restaurants, gift shops, cafes, pubs, etc. But even in high season the beach is not overcrowded. There are supermarkets, banks, doctors, police station in the center. From Limenaria leads a new paved road to Kastro fillage. 3 km from Limenaria direction Scala Maries is the well-known beach Tripiti. Its famous for its rock with a hollow.
- 12 Kastro (Κάστρο). In the mountainous center of the island, it used to be a dilapidated village. It has been partly rebuilt, but it's more the landscape that makes it worth going there. The environment is more impressive than the place itself. Two small restaurants invite the diner to linger in clean mountain air. A small waterfall is located near the village and can be reached on foot or 4WD from Kastro. To get to the waterfall take the dirt track on the east side of Kastro, which is a 3-4 km journey and goes through a beautiful and pristine forest. It's most impressive to see during the spring as it tends to dry up during the summer. Alternatively you can reach the waterfall from Theologos by vehicle. The road to Kastro has been paved so the village will get many more visitors now.
- 13 Maries (Μαρίες). A very original old mountain village. Interesting is also the location a few miles outside the village with a small lake and a little waterfall. During July/August when there is no rain, that waterfall is just a runlet
- 14 Scala Maries (Σκάλα Μαριών). A nice touristy village with a picturesque small fishing harbor.
- 15 Kalirachi (Καλλιράχη). One of the larger mountain villages with narrow streets and is not very touristy.
- 16 Scala Kalirachi (Σκάλα Καλλιράχης). A street village with a beautiful small harbor that invites you to linger. The harbour is deep enough for sailing boats and offers also power connection for boats.
- 17 Sotiros (Σωτήρας). A small mountain village with magnificent view and is well worth seeing.
- 18 Scala Sotiros (Σκάλα Σωτήρος). An elongated street village with a remarkable small fishing port.
- 19 Prinos (Πρίνος). A larger village with shops, supermarkets, bakeries, restaurant, pubs but less touristy. A popular attraction of Prinos is the outdoor market (bazaar). It takes place in the town's open square every Monday morning. Visitors can obtain fresh fruits, vegetables, clothing, footwear, household items and at the same time enjoy a unique lively atmosphere.
- 20 Mikros Prinos (Μικρός Πρίνος, also known as Micros Kasavitis). A formerly dilapidated mountain village that has been rebuilt in a touristy way. From here, there is a tortuous road leading to the 3 'Monastery "Panteleimonos' ' at high altitude in the mountains. The ride and the spectacular views are more worthwhile than the visit of the monastery itself.
- 21 Megalos Prinos (Μεγάλος Πρίνος, also known as Megalos Kasavitis). A "must-see" mountain village with old, mostly renovated houses and a very beautiful central square under plane trees with restaurants. It is delightfully cool even on the hottest summer days.
- 22 Rachoni (Ραχώνι). Not a tourist village. An interesting sight is a church that is located directly before reaching the village. It is a nice cool place on hot summer days under large trees and with waterways. A tavern is also there.
- 23 Scala Ragoni (Σκάλα Ραχωνίου). A small quiet harbour village with few tourists. Some kilometers north are several nice and crowded beaches and bays.
- 24 Ag. Georgios (Άγιος Γεώργιος). A small old village with almost no tourism.
- Hiking. Thasos is suitable not only for swimming but also offers many scenic walking tracks. Especially in the fall and in the spring when it is not so hot, many tourists use this alternative to beach life. There are local shops to buy hiking equipment and maps. For those who don't like to walk on their own in the mountains there are also organized tours. Information can be found in the Internet under "walk on Thasos".
Popular trails are:
* From Limenas to Makriamos and further to the Golden Beach (4 hr, 13 km, mostly flat)
* From Potos to Theologos (3 hr, 10 km, slightly ascending)
* From Theologos to Kastro (2 hr, 6 km, steep climb)
* From Maries to the lake and waterfall (1 hr, 3 km, mostly flat)
* From Ag. Georgios for abandoned old village of Ag. Georgios (1½-2 hr, a steep ascent)
- Water sports. are available at many organized beaches. There are boats, jet skis, banana boats and water parachutes available.
- Cave climbing, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. is possible in Thassos too. There are many ancient tunnels and mines. Thasos was famous for gold, iron, manganese mining in older times. The tunnels are just abandoned and should only be entered with extreme caution. There is some special literature about the mines also describing their exact locations. Guided tours only after registration. Prerequisite are physical fitness and experience in cave climbing.
- Boat tours. to the most beautiful beaches or once around the island starting from the old port in Thasos /Limenas (10:00-18:30, €30 with stops for swimming and barbeque) or from Limenaria and Potos port. Motor Yacht Tours from Potos or Limenaria to Samothraki and Mount Athos
- Speed boat. hire in Scala Potamia
- Horse riding. You can enjoy a horse ride with the horse clubs of Thassos in Theologos or Sc. Prinos.
- Mountain biking. Cycling has increased in popularity and there are rental stations in Potos and the other larger places.
- Jeep Safaris. starting from Sc. Prinos, Limenaria, Potos. Adventurous tours on 4x4 cars into the mountains on dirt roads.
- Enduro-touring. There are many dirt roads in the mountains of Thasos that are perfect for this sport. Organized tours are also available.
- Sailing tours. around the island are offered starting from Limenas, for example. If you arrive by your own boat you find good ports in Scala Sotiros, Scala Kalirachi, Limenas, Limenaria and some nice bays to to anchor, e.g. in Aliki
- Diving. For those who are interested in aqualung diving there are 2 large diving schools in Potos and Pefkari (http://www.scuba-vas.gr/) (http://popeye.gr/)
- Fishing tours. Boat trips for fishing, 2 times daily from Potos port, €35/person
The east and south sides of the island have many picturesque bays and popular sandy beaches, while the west side has more elongated, lonely, rocky beaches, but also beautiful sandy ones. For people who are looking for nudist beaches, Thasos is a good destination too. In the following, only the best known beaches are listed. There are still many bays and beaches to discover.
On a tour around the island with starting point Thasos town you will pass by the following beaches in clockwise order:
1 Thassos town. narrow sandy beach near the Old Port with beach bars, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc., mean water quality
2 Makriamos. beautiful wide open bay with a sandy beach and a large hotel complex, often crowded
3 Saliara-, Marbel-, Vathi-beach. 1 km before Makriamos turn right onto a dirt road and follow the path for 4 km to Saliara Bay (a very romantic bay, sandy with crystal clear water and crowded in the high season, insufficient parking). It's a must-see location and probably the nicest beach of the island! After 600 m you reach the Marble Bay. Its a white marble sand bay which was used for the shipment of marble, with crystal clear waters and a unique beach bar. Its also a must-see location. In the high season often overcrowded. After 2 km of difficult to drive dirt road you will come to Vathi Bay. It is also a romantic bay. The Vathi Hotel, a luxury hotel, sits at the crystal clear water front. The beach is not so crowded because of poor road conditions. From there a dirt roads leads to Golden Beach.
4 Golden Beach. (Scala Panagia, Potamia Scala). It used to be a romantic empty beach, but is now one of the most visited beaches of Thassos. Its a long, wide sandy beach hemmed with hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and a camping site. Crowded in high season. Good water quality. Don't miss the little fishing harbour at the northern end of the beach. From there you have a wonderful view over the beach and the mountains in the background.
5 Kinira. elongated rocky beach, only partially sand beach
6 Paradise Beach. turn about 2 km from the center of Kinira off at the signs. Very popular open sandy beach with beach bar, also used by nudists (mainly on the rocks at the left side of the beach)
7 Agios Joannis Bay. about 3 km from Aliki, beautiful sandy beach with a few olive trees in front of a hotel complex.
8 Aliki Beach. one of the most picturesque places in Thassos, very busy in high season, a must-see location
9 Timonija Beach. bay with a sandy beach surrounded by hotels and B & Bs
10 Livadi Bay. (underneath Archangelos monastery): long sandy beach with beach bar. However, there are underwater flat, slippery stones, some with sea urchins. Popular for nudists (off-season) just like the Arsanas Beach, separated by a few rocks from Livadi Beach.
11 Astris Beach. andy beach near the road. Opposite are several major hotels
12 Psili Amos Beach. 1 km after Astris beach, beautiful sandy beach, a little crowded
13 Potos Beach & Pefkari. Potos is one of the tourist centers of the island Thassos with long sandy beaches but a bit crowded. Since it is very popular with young people, there are many beach bars with music.
14 Metalia Beach. 1 km before Limenaria. Beautiful sandy beach with beach bar and factory ruins from the time when mining was still going on. A "must-see" attraction.
15 Limenaria. the second largest village in Thassos and a center of tourism. Very long beautiful sandy beaches that are not crowded even in high season, although many hotels lining along the beach line.
16 Trypiti. picturesque small sandy beach, usually crowded, but a "must see" due to a nice rock cave.
17 Scala Maries. There are several beautiful sandy beaches on both sides of the village, which usually are not crowded
18 Between Scala Maries and Prinos. Along the road there are many smaller, often deserted beaches. Even in high season here you can find a quiet places to relax. Popular with nudists. Most visited are the beaches of Scala Kalirachi and Scala Sotiros.
19 Scala Prinos. several beautiful long sandy beaches with beach bars, not too crowded. Nudism possible off season.
20 between Scala Prinos and Limenas. Along the road are many smaller beaches, usually with beach bars. Most visited are the beaches around Scala Rachoni (Pahis beach, Glyfada Beach)
Thasos is known for its tasty dark Pine honey (ca 8 Euro/kg), fruits and vegetables in glycose syrup (extremely sweet) and good Zipouro, a pomace brandy at about 8 Euro/l.
There are a lot of restaurants and fast food places around the island. Since the quality varies from season to season, it is impossible to provide reliable recommendations. It is better to ask advice from other tourists there. Places you should go to because of their nice environment are Theologos, Kastro and Megalo Prinos.
- 1 Pefkospilia Taverna. Very well-known beach restaurant under pines
- 2 Glifoneri. Beach restaurant in a wonderful location in a bay
- 3 Taverna Drossia. Under tall trees with stream course next to the church.
- 4 Taverna Vasilis. In Megalo Kasaviti (Megalo Prinos) in a traditional restored house with wonderful views of the valley of Prinos
- 5 Kazaviti Restaurant. Under old plane trees in the village square of Megalo Kasaviti (Megalo Prinos) in the mountains
- 6 Taverna Platana. Simple restaurant high in the mountain village of Sotiros with great views of the valley.
- 7 Kostas Tavern. On the small village square at the church in the mountain village Kastro located very simple restaurant with nostalgic atmosphere.
- 8 Neromilos (Water mill). simple but very nice and romantic restaurant under big plane trees, a former watermill, with a nostalgic atmosphere at the outskirts of Theologos. From the grave yard follow the dirt road for 600m.
- 9 Namaste. good restaurant at the ferry terminal in Thasos city
Centres for night life are Limenas, Limenaria and especially Potos where younger people like to meet. Most of the bars and beach bars organize themed nights, beach parties, etc., which are announced on posters in the hotels or in the places. Very popular "Greek Nights" are offered by some big hotels and some restaurants and pubs (check postings).
Thasos has few bigger hotel complexes but a large number of small hotels, guest houses and private rooms, which are listed in the well known internet hotel search sites and evaluated.
There are several camping sites: in Scala Prinos, between Prinos and Scala Sotiros (Camping Daedalos), AstroCamping in the mountains, Camping Pefkari, Camping at Golden Beach in Scala Panagia.
Those who want to sleep on low budget might look at campinmygarden.com. There is a nice place on the seaside in Scala Prinos where even nude bathing is possible. Airbnb.com is also very popular on Thasos.
The more lively and crowded east side and Potos attract more younger tourists, while older guests often prefer the quieter west side from Limenaria onwards.
The most famous large hotel complexes are:
Alexandra Golden Boutique Hotel. Adult only
- Kallisti Hotel, St. Anthony, Potos, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A 4-star hotel. From €60.
Most hotels and restaurants have Wi-fi.
- There is no danger for tourists, so you can move freely anywhere. Only take care of pickpocketing.
- Medical Care: There is no hospital in Thasos, but a "Health Center" in Prinos from the patient will be relocated to the Kavala Hospital for more serious illnesses. Medical practices (including dentist, orthopedist, cardiologist and general practitioner) can be found in Limenas and Limenaria.
- The drinking water quality is controlled, but differs from village to village. It is usually safer to use bottled water for drinking.
- Snakes: there is a poisonous snake that lives mainly in the mountains, often on stony terrain or in holes in walls, between rocks etc. (horned viper) It is very poisonous! Therefore, you should pay attention to good footwear and clothing, if you want to go off the beaten track and generally be careful with walls in abandoned houses and land.
An advantage of Thasos is the close distance to the main land what makes day trips easy.
- Kavala: often visited by ferry boat from Scala Prinos at Saturday morning as a day trip when Kavala's big and colorfull market (bazar) at the promenade is open (07:30-13:00, best visit time before 11:00, as it gets very busy later). The famous archaeological site of Philippi can be reached by bus from Kavala bus terminal Ktel, close to the bazaar. The best way to do this day trip is by taking the first ferry from Scala Prinos to Kavala and back on the afternoon ferry or back by bus to Keramoti and from there on one of the many later ferries.
- Nestos-Delta and Nestos-Gorge: natural reserve areas of stunning beauty reachable by bus from Keramoti or but better by car as a day trip,
- Pangaion Hills: the Pangaio is with almost 2000 m the highest mountain in the Kavala area, with picturesque mountain villages, a multitude of monasteries and impressive vegetation. As a day trip from Thasos a car is necessary to reach the points of interest in a reasonable time.
- Drama. Provincial town but a good place to start an excursion to the Rhodope Mountains, wild, almost deserted natural landscape on the Bulgarian border.
- Xanthi: famous for its Old Town with many pubs and restaurants and night life
- Samothrace-Island: using public transport you go by bus from Kavala Ktel to Alexandroupolis where the ferry to Samothrace starts