This is a must-visit area. Mr.Time himself, the sea and the sun have sculpted two stunning coves in the tranquil peninsula of Alyki. Whether you are seeking to explore history to the grounds or to suck in the Aegean warmth and dew of nature, Alyki knows your name. In my experience, this area is packed with visitors. So, be prepared to come across some heavy traffic on the beaches. Especially in full season. It is better if you choose the early morning hours or late in the afternoon when the clock strikes sunset.
Sandy cute creeks with silver waters, white rocks like tongues at the sides, pine trees that give the best nature shade at all hours and suddenly, a bonus; the 7th century B.C. settlement of Alyki is scattered throughout this area. Get hiking to the most southeastern tip of the cape, to the world-renowned antiquities of this area. Visit the archaeological site and the many monuments. Trace back time and occupation at the marble quarries that operated since the 6th century BC for over 1,200 years. The carefully presented demonstrations depict the quarrying and shipping procedures of the famed Thassian marble, once upon a time. The ancient -nowadays fishing- hamlet hosts additionally two paleochristian basilicas, literally carved into the rocks, which are well preserved like the rest of the island’s sightseeing.
Alyki in Greek means the “salt pans” and it is located on the south-east coast of Thassos. Choose from a great variety of taverns and ouzo lovers at the western side of the peninsula or find your zen spot on the eastern beach.
The oldest and most traditional -in my opinion- settlement of Thassos sits almost 55 kilometers (34 miles) south of the capital, Limenas. Its name, “Theologos”, means the “Theological” or “Word of God” and is usually a male name. Take your time through architecture, history, greenery, even hiking, and a good number of points of interest.
It’s location, some 220 meters of altitude, offers a spectacular view into the endless mountains as far as the eye can see and the green veil of nature blanketing the surroundings. Thus, its climate and fresh air are ideal for a complete and quick rejuvenation, even more so if you consider the possibility to rent a room up here.
The slab paved alleys and rooftops are influenced by the Macedonian architecture, keeping the houses cool in the summer while protecting them from the winter’s heavy cold. On every step you take feel and witness history being carried resiliently and with respect by tradition and the locals. Don’t miss the grand mansion of Hatzigiorgi which houses the Folklore Museum exhibiting folk clothing, furniture, decoration elements, and tools from another era.
I urge you to savor the local specialty of spit roast lamb, which you can try at any local taverna in the picturesque Theologos. Also, let’s feast on the traditional jam-like sweets made of all fruit possible, like zucchini, fig,and “karydaki” (of the nut family). Enjoy the summer breeze in the village square while drinking Greek style coffee paired with “saragli” -a syrup sweet offered at weddings on the island. Don’t leave out a local honey sampling before purchasing what you will bring home with you.
If you love nature, you will feel in your own element. Walk the whole village, pass the old oil press to the nearby “Kefalogournas” waterfalls and the limestone ovens. Visit the nearby archaic settlement and necropolis, dating back to 8th century B.C. If you love hiking, I suggest you take the charming old footpath of Theologos, which leads from the church pass the arched bridge, the small river, and lanterns and ends up in the school.
True to tradition, every mid-August, the Cultural Association of Theologos Hatzigiorgis organizes the revival of the Thassian marriage with music, dancing, traditional cuisine, and a spree that lasts until sunrise. Opa!
Panagia village and church of Holy Mary
For the deeply religious ones but also for the aesthetics lovers, for the tradition-keeping seekers and for those who want to be a part of humble yet significant celebrations. Panagia Village nested into handful hills, at an altitude of 300 meters, offers a serene lifestyle in harmony with the flora.
Just 8 km from Limenas, the capital, Panagia village is named after the Virgin Mary -also its patron saint. The narrow trails and stone houses along with their rooftops are clad in the Thassian grey slate. You can hear the natural springs gust out streams of clear, cold water that cascades from the mountain into the square fountains, then down the hill. Empty your mind! You almost have a full view to the sea, across the bay, and the mountains that hug the land. What more can you ask at this very moment?
Take a stroll to the village’s main square shaded with a huge plane tree that feeds from the fresh springs. All year round, the locals and summer makers gather round the cafes to chit-chat, exchange news and smiles, and to enjoy the local “tsipouro” -a better version of ouzo!
Do you long to participate in the customs and ways of old life? Become one with the locals in a huge feast and celebrate genesis and the joys of existence?
On Ash Monday, first day of the Lent, the whole village takes part in a very lively costume-disguised parade with themed chariots that satirize current political and social events and headlines. This is the Carnival of Dionysos, the god of grape harvest, winemaking, and wine, amongst other traits. In the same spirit, the wine runs freely. Good thing you can stay the night!
Next up, following Pentecost, is the festival of St.Panton or All-Saints Sunday.
On the 15th of August, at the Feast of the Assumption, the women of the village are preparing choice viands -roast potatoes, rice, meat mixed with wheat- in the homonymous churchyard, which they then offer to the worshippers, following the Divine Service.
Limenas, the capital – Ancient Agora (market) – Ancient Theater
The heart of Thassos island -and where you want to be at least once- beats in its vibrant capital, Limenas, at the most northern tip. In Greek, “Limenas” means the “port” and it is here where the large vessels, yachts, and fishing boats dock and connect the island to mainland Greece. You can even see the city of Kavala, only 30 minutes away (via Keramoti ferry port). Also, it is the meeting point at all hours for friends, family, and couples to stroll through the picturesque cobbled alleys, lively neighborhoods and market, and to enjoy a homemade fruit jam-like, a refreshment and of course, the Aegean bright sun and sunset. Anything you need you will find here, accompanied with the warmth and large smile from the locals -supermarkets, fish taverns, beach bars, modern and cozy shops, fresh and quite special Thassian goods which you can sample before buying.
As the capital of my island, Limenas or Thassos town hosts the majority of its inhabitants, with Tourism, Agriculture, Fishery, and Marble Extraction as their primary occupation.
Limenas is packed with points of interest, unique attractions, and activities. On one side, the azure waters and non-stop breathtaking sunsets, on the other the densely packed mountains full of pine trees and olive groves. Choose your nearby beaches carefully; they will surely be full of summer visitors that want to enjoy as much sun and relaxation as possible. Just a short distance away are the Limanaki Beach, Nisteri Beach, Makryammos Beach, Tarsanas Beach, Glyfada Beach, Papalimani Beach and Agios Vasileios Beach -stunning beaches each with its own character, yet well protected from the wild, northern winds.
Ancient Agora (market) – Ancient Theater
Thassos was continuously inhabited since prehistoric times. This is an important element that is depicted widely through numerous archeological marvels from its ancient rich past. Among other sites, the old city of Thassos that sits on top of the capital dates back to 700 BC. Here you can admire the Agora (market) ruins. Follow the small paved path to the Ancient Theater from the 5th century B.C. To the north, you can find the Acropolis with remnants of the temples of Athena along with Pythian Apollo. Observe the ancient port and the Castle. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Archaeological Museum that houses remarkable exhibits, you surely will appreciate.
Giola, the natural “pool”
Shaped like a tear or emerald jewelry piece hanging between the Aegean sea and a cliffside that lowers like a big rough staircase. A small natural wonder and creation formed over the centuries by elements of nature, Giola Lagoon is indeed a must experience on the northeastern side of Thassos.
The global tourist guides praise Giola as a unique natural pool and with good reason. The additional fact that its access from the main road is not so comfy and from a point onward you must walk for nearly 2 kilometers, makes it even more attractive to the curious visitor. But trust me; Giola is pretty extraordinary, and you would want to dive from its 8 meters (26 feet) high tiptop all the way to the warm, azure, still waters. Only a thin rocky line separates this magnificent bijou lake from the Aegean Sea. It is 3 meter deep and surrounded by leveled-rocks that function as wide steps.
Prefer a 4x4 vehicle or enduro motorbikes. Follow the road from Poto to Astris and after the Aeria hotel turn left when you see the sign to Sirens. Follow the dirt road, park your vehicle, and continue on foot. Descend towards the signs pointing to Giola. You should be there in 20 minutes’ walk.
Also known as the “Aphrodite’s Tear”, Giola pool is believed to be created by Zeus so Aphrodite can have her swim here. Alternatively, according to the myth, Giola was Zeus eye through which he spied on his mistress. Take your pick!
Psili Ammos Beach
Are you young? Do you want to feel it? Then let us head to Psili Ammos, where the sand is fine -as the name in Greek reveals- and the party mood lasts for a long, long time. Thassos’s youth meets here at all times but especially during July and August. The beach bar gives the rhythm for the all-night parties, the restaurants serve their dishes, and everybody is happy under the sun.
Families are not prohibited from joining, of course, but let me say that if so, it will be at your own risk. I am joking, of course. The water is splendid and shallow, and it is always cold because of the nearby springs. It is also believed that it has healing properties. Try it out and let me know! If you travel with children, be a bit cautious since the seabed can deepen suddenly. Also, you might come across some big waves.
Easily accessible, Psili Ammos beach offers a variety of watersports plus the opportunity for scuba diving lessons, it hosts a volleyball court as well as showers. It is 250 meters (820 feet) long and only 5 km (3 miles) away from Potos. As for parking, leave your car in the olive grove just above the shore.
If you enjoy intense life and partying, even more so on holidays, Potos Beach will feel like second skin. As a harbor beach that sits in front of the homonymous village of Potos, it is packed with tourists from all over the world, with bathers, and locals. Do you want to enjoy a cocktail, snack, fish meze or just freshen your palate with some ice cold sangria? Do you care to relax, engage in some summer sports, take a shower after all this sunkiss, or maybe dance until dawn? You don’t have to make an extra step. This place has all the amenities and facilities a super organized beach ought to have.
Potos is a meeting point for young people at heart or age. Usually, during the months of July and August, it gets more crowded. Across its 200 meters (655 feet) long coastal line, next to the colorful harbor, you can swim, chill, exercise, or hop on the waterfront and alleyways to browse through the local products and delicacies but also to check out the beach bars and taverns.
The fun and excitement never stop in Potos,and you will feel most welcomed. There is music for all tastes, shops for every pocket, “flavorsome” moments to hold dear for the years to come. Only 3 km (1,8 miles) from Limenaria town, in the southwest, Potos’s access is trouble-free.
Heaven can’t wait! And this 400 meters (well over 1,300 feet) long golden sand beach with its shallow waters yet proud waves awaits your playful mood. Ride, dive, float, and smile! Be happy in this Hawaiian-like organized paradise that hosts sports and various activities -is beach volley your thing? And although in a small part you might come across some nudists, the overall beach is family-friendly. This surely is one the most famous coasts of Thassos island.
Enjoy the tropical waters, the sandy caress, the verdant environment with the earthy aromas of wild pines and bushes. Located on the east side of the island, it is just 22 km (13,5 miles) from Limenas, the capital. But you don’t have to take a single step; swim, sunbathe, work out, shower, satisfy your cravings.
You will also appreciate the 3 parking places in addition to the easy access; park next to the main road or just descend to the shore through the dirt path.
This petite gem, in the south of Thassos, is one of my personal favorites. The crystal clear azure waters meet the golden sand, and a small miracle is born. At this tiny creek, surrounded by low trees and bushes, you will surrender yourself to Happiness and Relaxation. It is where time stops.
Just park your car at the top and descend your way carefully down the rugged small hill. Tada! Your private beach.
Notos Beach is named after its orientation; “notos” in Greek means the “south”. It is right next to Rosogremos Beach, between the coasts of Potos and Psili Ammos, and about 45 km (28 miles) from Limenas, the capital. If you love your privacy, give it a go!
If you value the serenity and peacefulness of an environment, then Rosogremos is your kind of beach. Right next to Notos Beach to the south, it is 270 meters (885 feet) long, so you will for sure find your perfect spot under the Aegean sun. Rosogremos, which in Greek means “the Russian’s Cliff”, is basically divided into two areas; the one being organized, with sun loungers and umbrellas, as part of the 5-star Royal Paradise hotel, and the other one more relaxed and without any particular infrastructure.
Its waters are shallow, then gradually deepen. Rosogremos is surrounded by lush greenery and is characterized by its warm waters, natural shade, and small pebbles. Rejuvenated your spirit the natural way!
The beach sits between the coasts of Potos and Psili Ammos, about 45 km (28 miles) from Limenas, the capital. There is also parking with plenty of space.
Never crowded but always welcoming! That is the tagline that accompanies Tripiti Beach, approximately 2.5 km (1,5 miles) to the west of Limenaria town. If you love your solitude and zen mood, come to visit this unique beach, 460 meters (503 yards) long. “Tripiti” means “the one with a hole” and it is named after the enormous caves that are formed by the sea salt inside the steep rocks, at the beach’s back side. If you are the adventurous type, do some underwater exploring!
This organized coast is kids-friendly at its right side, which has plenty of sandy spots. But be aware; close to the seaside and once you are in the water, there are big wide stones that you want to avoid. Also, the water deepens abruptly and then becomes shallow and with sand on the seabed.
As goes with all beaches on my beautiful island, the waters are crystal clear and perfect for some snorkeling. You can leave your car under the trees on either side of the dirt road, on top, near the beach bars.
Marble or Saliara Beach
Nope, you are still in Thassos. And while this dreamy beach with its milky waters in addition to the marble pebbles and sand will remind you of the Caribbean, it surely is 100% Greek. This small exotic beach on the northern part of the island is just 80 meters long and pairs beautifully with the wild pine trees along with white waters that climax into emerald and azure chromatic shades. The reason for this is the nearby quarries and the white powder that rises and mixes with the sea. Gradually the dust sits (sedimentation) and the crystal blue colors appear.
Called Marble or “Saliara” which in Greek means the bib, this organized beach has become quite famous and although once was isolated, nowadays is full of bathers and also available sunbeds and umbrellas to rent. It is situated just 5 km (approx. 3 miles) from Limenas, the capital.
You can access Marble Beach from Makryammos. Drive all the way to the entrance of Makryammos Beach and the homonymous hotel, but then turn immediately to the track road that starts here, on your left, follow the short route cautiously until you reach -after 20 minutes’ drive- the beach parking area.
Chrisi Ammos or Gloden Beach
This golden sandy beauty offers everything in just very close proximity to the capital of Thassos, Limenas. Chrisi Ammos or Golden Beach, literally, is the biggest and widest on the island. The beach extends for well over 2 km (1,2 miles) and is 55 meters (180 feet) wide.
Located at the north-eastern side of the island, at Skala Potamia region, it is fully organized with sports and activities, beach bar, restaurants, and showers. And yes, you guessed correctly, it most surely will be crowded. One of its biggest pluses, apart from its size, is the blue flag it has earned and preserved to date. The beach is surrounded by rich greenery and tall, proud trees.
At the other end of the tip, is Skala Panagia and Chrisi Ammoudia beach. Golden beach is easily accessible also for the disabled. Nearby you will find many accommodation ideas as well as a camping site.