When people think of holidaying in the Greek islands the fashionable, celebrity destinations of Mykonos and Santorini ultimately spring to mind. Unbeknownst to many, there are quite a few untouched, islands within the Greek Archipelago. For those who love Greece and in search of the unbeaten trail , look no further than the beautiful, lush green, Greek Aegean Island of Thassos.
Thassos is Just a 100km North west of Greece’s cosmopolitan second capital Thessaloniki and is directly accessible by car ferry from the port of Keramoti. Many prospectors including the Romans and Phoenicians have “came, seen and conquered” laying claim to its white sandy beaches. If you are looking for a bit of R&R, historic sightseeing as well as Balearic style wining and dining then here are a few things to do in Thassos.
The 1,200m high pine covered Mount Ipsarion stands like a beacon in the centre of the island. For altitude seekers, this is a thrill fun filled drive on ragged roads, through deserted villages like Kastro. A 4×4 is a must for the terrain to the summit which offers a satisfying lofty seascape view of island. For those who do not wish to venture the route solo, guided tours are available via thassooffroad.gr .
Quaint isolated villages:
During the 16th century, Thassos served as a treasure island for pirates. To evade the marauders the local villagers tended to establish their villages deep inland away from the coast. As tourism became the norm for the island 30+ years ago, the younger generation moved towards the coastline to establish businesses and for work.
Marie’s is located at the base of Mount Ipsarion, it bears old cobbled labyrinths and alley ways and squares as well as beautiful olive groves. The main inhabitants are traditional beekeeper and cats.
Just over the hill from the capital Limenas lay old Roman ruins dating back to circa 500BC such as a Gladiator amphitheatre and an Acropolis built to look out for frequent pirates and invaders. The sea views here are beyond amazing and offer those who love to boat watch an idyllic pastime.
Like most of the Greek islands, monasteries abound. On a near vertical drop resides the monastery of the Archangel Michangelo. This monastery is actually a nunnery with nuns who readily host appropriately dressed visitors to its relic filled chapel.
Rough roads take you from Limenas to Porto Vathy to the white sandy beach of Saliara. The perfectly White sand creates a picture perfect blue in the sea. Get your umbrella, picnic box and towels and just blissfully chill for the entire day.
Curious travellers who follow battered road signs are offered the greatest treasure called Giola, a pristine sea pool carved tectonically into the rocks. Ensure to pack your lunch and supplies as this truly but blissfully feels like the middle of nowhere.
Bars: and restaurants:
Looking for a cocktail? Look no further than Kanargio beach bar on a small isthmus on the far edge of Limenas. In the main square of the mountain village Maries you can eat “Greek Mommas” kitchen style sans Internet and wifi in “Taverna Irene” , run by the same family for years. Ensure to drive around and visit the local traditional Greek food offerings from family owned restaurants dotted all over the island.
Thassos is truly rewarding and will not disappoint…