Thassos is the northernmost Greek island, located in the Aegean Sea and very close to mainland. It is predominantly mountainous, with evergreen trees, diverse beaches, sleepy mountainous villages and summer resorts ready to welcome the increasing tourist flow.
Thassos is suitable for tranquil family holidays and relaxation among beautiful nature, as well as for snorkeling and diving because sea life is very abundant around the island.
General information about Thassos
Thassos occupies an area of 393 m2, with a population of over 13,000 inhabitants. It has almost round shape and very good road network so you can easily make a tour of the island as you follow the coastal road (the perimeter of the island is 98 km). Tap water in Thassos is considered safe to drink but it is too rich in minerals and visitors are advised to buy bottle water.
The main visitors are tourists from the Balkan countries because of the proximity and easy access from mainland, and in the last two decades the island is getting popular among holidaymakers from Germany and France in search of calmer and unknown Greek destinations.
Thassos has rich history and according to the legend it was named after the one of the sons of the Phoenician king Agenor, who set out to find his missing sister Europa but was fascinated by the island and stayed there. Before becoming part of Greece in 1913, Thassos was captured by the Persians, Arabs, Venetians, Turks and Bulgarians, so today you can see archaeological remains from different cultures. The most important historical sights are in Limenas - the Ancient Theater, the Ancient Agora and the Acropolis.
Where to stay in Thassos?
Thassos offers both calm and dynamic holidays, depending on the place you choose to stay. Although beaches get crowded with tourists in the summer and the island is well prepared for tourists, do not expect lively nightlife and sunrise-welcoming bars. The largest settlements are Limenas and Limenaria, with the most extensive range of services, but plenty of accommodation and food options are available all over the island. The most popular destination among families with kids is Golden Beach, a very long sandy strip which unites two villages - Skala Potamia and Skala Panagia - and offers a great selection of hotels. Another preferred location is Potos, a small village on the south coast.
The hotels in Thassos are generally smaller and family run, offering self-catering rooms and studios, but there also boutique hotels and larger hotels of four and five star category.
Which are the best beaches of Thassos?
Thassos has various beaches located all over the island, and many of them have pine trees reaching the sea. The largest and most popular sandy beaches are located on the east coast and these are Golden Beach and Paradise Beach. The sand is soft, the water is shallow and there are no pebbles around the shore. More sandy beaches can be found near Limenas to the north and near Potos to the south but they are much smaller. There are also many beaches with sand mixed with pebbles, especially on the west coast of the island.
We should note here the two most exotic beaches of Thassos, known as ”the marble beaches” - Saliara and Porto Vathy. What makes them unique is the color of the sea - the shore and the seabed are covered with small sparkling white pebbles and the water looks extremely blue. The pebbles come form the nearby marble quarries and the road to the beaches is quite dusty but this doesn`t stop people from going there. Both beaches have operating beach bars in the summer.
The sea around the west coast is very tranquil and usually it looks like a lake, with no waves at all. The most popular beaches here are Pachis, Skalla Rachoni and Skala Marion.
What to do in Thassos?
Thassos is convenient to explore and perfect to combine the beach holiday with walk in mountainous villages and some sightseeing. The list of places to visit and things to do include:
- Limenas with its lovely pedestrian area, the Old Harbor and the Ancient Agora
- The beautiful Monastery of Archangel Michael perched atop a cliff above the sea
- Giola, a natural rock pool by the sea
- The mountainous villages of Theologos, Sotiras and Kazaviti - Megalos Prinos
- The Aliki peninsula with its two scenic beaches and ancient marble quarries
- Kastro, the abandoned village of Thassos with old stone houses and a few working tavernas
- The Ancient Theater above Limenas (requires a short walk)
- The old mines at Metallia beach and Palataki
How to get to Thassos?
Thassos can be reached only by ferry from Kavala and Keramoti on mainland Greece. There is no airport at the island, the closes is the international airport of Kavala.
Thassos is not connected via ferry to any other islands. The easiest way to reach it is from the port of Keramoti to Limenas -the journey lasts just 30 minutes and ferries run every hour in the summer, from early morning until late in the evening. You will notice that the ferry is followed all the time by seagulls and people throw them bread and other small things to eat. Seagulls are so accustomed to this that they can grab something directly from your hand. Ferries departing from Kavala arrive at the port of Skala Prinos on the west coast, they travel a little longer and prices are slightly higher.
While in Thassos, it is best to have a car to drive between the villages and visit any beach you want but you can use the public buses of the island as well.