Samothrace (or Samothraki) is one of those Greek island which cannot be compared to others. Its predominantly mountain relief and almost no beaches make it a destination for walkers, nature lovers and even meditation and yoga, as seaside tourism is not leading here. The imposing Saos mountain, which is the highest mountain in the Aegean sea, dominates the entire island and is seen from everywhere.
Samothrace is in the northernmost of the Aegean sea. It can be reached via ferry from the town of Alexandroupoli, as there is usually one ferry per day in direction. The port of the island is called Kamariotissa
, a small seaside village. The capital, Hora, is 2 km away from the sea at the foot of Saos, with terrace-built houses and ruins of an old fortress on the top. On the north coast there are three resort areas - Paleopoli, Kariotes
, all too small to be called villages but with some hotels and restaurants and narrow pebbly beaches. Therma is the largest of them and as the name suggests, it has thermal springs in municipal baths. The campsite of the island - Varades, is also close to it. The only large (and pretty sandy) beach of Samothrace is Pachia Ammos, in a big cove on the south coast. In the summer a beach bar operates there are provides sunbeds and parasols but it occupies just a small part of the beach and still a large area remains free.
Sometimes they call Samothrace "The island of the Great Gods" because on the island you can see one of the most ancient religious complexes of Greece, called "The Sanctuary of the Great Gods". The ruins of the sanctuary are located in Paleopoli and this is the place where the famous statue of the goddess Nike was found, today housed in the Louvre. Another attraction of the island are its waterfalls, accessible on foot via a path which starts near Therma. The first waterfall is Gria Vathra, in 20 minutes walk, and the second one is Fonia, accessed after a more difficult route. Lakes and smaller cascades are formed around the waterfalls and in the summer you can swim there (but note the water is cold). The church of Panagia Krimniotissa is also worth visiting. It is perched on the top of a rock above Pachia Ammos beach, with a marvelous view toward the beach and the surrounding area, and a small home run taverna next to it.
highlights: hot springs, waterfalls and mountain, island in North Aegean Islands, Greece