Islands. Going to Thassos in Greece
Thassos is not yet the most popular (compared to other Greek islands) resort in Greece. But this is great! There are fewer tourists, wild and unspoiled nature, reasonable prices, and generally there is a pleasant sense of detachment from the big bustling land. The locals faithfully follow their main principle “halara” – a style of life, when no one is in a hurry anywhere and does everything in a relaxed manner. At first it is even difficult to join this total peace and tranquility, but then you begin to realize that it is because of “halara” the Greeks themselves are so open and welcoming. We went to Thassos to see the main sights of the island, lie on the soft beaches, swim in the clearest Aegean Sea and eat heartily the best local cuisine. And now we’re sharing the experience with you – here’s our mini guide to the beautiful island of Thassos.
The season on Thassos lasts from about May to September. Obviously the heat is at its peak during the summer months of July and August. Then the thermometer jumps up to +35. In September the weather on the island is also very pleasant: sunny, the air temperature is about +25-27, the sea is warm and suitable for swimming. And even in October, when everyone in Minsk starts to wrap up in huge scarves and shake off the dust from warm jackets, on Thassos it is still comfortable +20.
The way from Minsk to Thassos in the season is as convenient as possible: a 2.5 hour charter from “Mouzenidis Travel” takes you from the Belarusian capital straight to the coastal Greek city of Kavala. From there you only have to swim to the island by ferry, which will take about 40 minutes.
How to travel around the island?
There are several options: rent a car (there are many car rental offices on the island), take a cab, book a tour and travel in an organized group or use public transport.
The latter option is quite convenient and popular: almost next to each settlement and an important attraction is a stop, where you can leave by bus. The stops are located along the perimeter of the island, making it easy to get around Thassos by public transport. The buses don’t have any numbers – the sign in the front reads the name of the town that the bus will go to. That is, if you are going far away (by the standards of the island), you may have to make a change. A ticket for public transport will cost € 1.8. You should also take into account that buses go around the island till about 18:00 (ask locals for exact time) and if you want to stay somewhere longer, you’ll have to take a cab back.
There are quite a lot of small guesthouses and rooms that are rented by locals on the island. If you want an island vacation with all the amenities, we recommend staying at Makryammos Bungalows – it is probably the most comfortable place of accommodation on Thassos. The hotel is very close to Limenas. On the one hand it is very quiet and private, and on the other hand if you want to go out, you don’t have to drive far from the city. Makryammos has a large area with its own picturesque beach, pool, bars and beautiful natural surroundings. A big plus of the place is that each guest lives in a separate house-bungalow – there is no sense of being in a hotel-ant colonial, and maximum contact with the wildlife of the island is guaranteed. And also on the territory of Makryammos rankly stride crowds of peacocks and playfully run fit Greek cats – it looks very nice.
Beaches and Natural Attractions
“Golden is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island with a long coastline (about 3 km), white sand and crystal clear sea. Moreover, the entrance to the water here is very smooth and flat, which is important for inexperienced swimmers and those who have a rest with children. The beach infrastructure is not pumped up: there are bars and cafes, deck chairs with umbrellas, showers and changing rooms. And on Golden Beach you can take a walk along the shore of a small bay, where gently rocking on the waves parked boats. Framing all this relaxed landscape of the mountains, buried in the greenery – in general, beautiful almost to tears.
“Golden” beach is very close to the village Panagia so it’s easy to get there – the bus stops there.
This is the most unusual beach of Thassos. It looks like in a popular paradise commercial: the azure color of the sea meets the snow-white beach. The secret of these dazzling colors is this: this beach is literally made of marble. That is, instead of the usual sand or pebbles it is lined with small pieces of marble chips, in contrast with which the sea looks even brighter than usual (and in Greece and without that very clean and blue sea). The reason is that there are marble-mining fields not far from here. The small remnants of stone were once poured into this small bay, resulting in such a picturesque local landmark. Note: it is strictly forbidden to take away pieces of marble from here.
“The beach is quite compact with very few deckchairs and a couple of bars. But there is enough space for everybody and the more so that the majority of the people here are endlessly taking photos instead of lying on the beach. By the way, the sea here is very deep, and to swim in it is better for those who are really good at it. And the beach is relatively inaccessible for travelers: you cannot get here by public transport – you have to rent a car (preferably a jeep, it is not recommended to come here by usual cars). Some brave guys go to the “marble” beach on foot, but the locals do not really approve of such a route: in summer, in the heat, it is difficult to walk for at least an hour, inhaling the marble suspension that hovers in the air.
This beach will appeal to those who want to rest closer to the sources. It has everything you need, but without the overabundance of bars and other sources of noise – just beautiful nature, clean fine sand, gentle sea and high cliffs and cliffs around. Entrance to the water is very gentle and the sea is clean. The beach is not only beautiful but also one of the most popular beaches of Thassos. Therefore, be prepared that it can be crowded during the season. Sun beds and deckchairs are payable, but if you lie directly on the sand, no one will tell you a word. The left hand side of Paradise Beach is catered for by nudists – keep this in mind if you decide to walk the length of the coastline.
The beach is next to the village of Kinira, from where you can walk or drive up.
The Emerald Island of Thassos
Thasos is a beautiful island in the northern Aegean Sea and is separated from the mainland of Greece by a narrow, 12 kilometer-long strait. Thasos owes its name to a mythological hero, the son of the Phoenician king Agenor, who went in search of his sister, the beautiful Europe, kidnapped by Zeus. The search was not successful and the young man could not return to his father without fulfilling his wish, so he stayed on the beautiful island, which was later named after him.
The Greek island of Thassos
The first settlements on Thassos date back to about 2000 B.C. In 1600-1500 it was colonized by the Phoenicians, who were attracted by the reserves of gold and marble and the wonderfully mild climate.
Further, the Persians, Spartans, Romans, Byzantines and Turks fought for the right to possess the island of Thassos, a fertile land rich in minerals, and only in 1912, Thassos became part of Greece.
Thassos has a huge number of cozy little beaches.
Besides the snow-white marble, Thassos is also famous for its olive oil and its fine wines, flavored with the resin of conifers. According to legend, the grape wine “Tasios Inos” was supplied to Cleopatra’s palace herself.
The clearest beaches, azure sea, plenty of vegetation, thanks to which Thassos is called the “emerald island”, marble cliffs, historic sites of Thassos attract the Greeks and numerous European tourists, while the Russians discovered the island not so long ago.
How to get to the Emerald Isle of Thassos
If you used to travel by plane, then you should know that Thassos has no airport of its own, and the nearest one is Megas Alexandros, which belongs to mainland city Kavala.
You shouldn’t have any problem with transportation to Kavala, because the city is connected with Athens by regular flights and you can easily find comfortable and cheap flights for the dates of your intended trip here.
You can reach Thassos by ferry from Kavala and Keramoti
Another alternative for air travelers is to fly to Thessaloniki and from there take a bus to Keramoti before taking the ferry to Thassos.
During the high season, ferries from Kavala and from Keramoti depart daily for the island. Grekoblog wrote about transportation options from Thessaloniki Airport in detail here.
For more details on ferry schedules, as well as to book your ticket, click here. When booking online, we highly recommend our article How to Buy Greek Ferry Tickets, which details the process of buying and getting tickets in hand.
Hotels & Tours
Like many other popular resorts in Greece, Thassos has a very good hotel infrastructure. Although the island is relatively small, guests have a choice of more than 200 hotels.
Learn more about the range of rooms, see photos of hotels on Thassos, read guest reviews, and make reservations by clicking here.
However, often you can find a last minute tour to the island at a better price than booking hotels on your own. This will already be included and the flight. Learn more about these tours in Greece by using the form below.
Climate and weather on the island of Thassos
The climate on the island of Thassos is fairly mild – winter is warm and wet, and summer is sunny and dry. Because the island is still northern, the cold season is slightly longer than on the other popular island resorts, although not as long as on the mainland.
The winter weather on Thassos begins in November, with rain and snow in the mountains until March, with temperatures dropping to +15C.
The beach season on the island, respectively, is slightly shorter: you can swim and sunbathe from late May to mid-September.
The summer weather on Thassos island is mild and pleasant, there is no exhausting heat, the daily air temperature does not usually rise above +30C. The peak of the tourist season is in July and August.
Attractions on Thassos
Limenas, the capital of Thassos, is famous for its Archaeological Museum: here you can see numerous findings from all over the island: magnificent sculptures of Aphrodite and Dionysus made of marble, ancient coins and jewelry.
Many of the sights of Thassos island are right outdoors – the ruins of the ancient theater, the agora, the central marketplace, the acropolis.
In the old part of Limenas you can see no less interesting ruins of the temples of Dionysus and Poseidon, dating back to the sixth century B.C.
It is worth to visit the convent of Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Thassos. The most important Christian treasure that is kept there is a piece of the Holy Cross, on which Jesus was crucified.
A piece of the Holy Cross, on which Jesus was crucified, is kept in Archangel Michael Monastery.
Limenaria is another tourist center of Thassos. There are many historical buildings, built by the Turks in the XIX century, a fortress that is built 600 meters above sea level and the palace of Palataki with beautiful towers at the end of the Cape, which reaches far into the sea.
Potamia, a small village in the mountains of Thassos, is the birthplace of the sculptor Polygnotos Vagis. In the village there is a museum dedicated to the famous countryman – you can see his sculptures and paintings.
From Potamia begins the route to Ipsario mountain for recreation lovers – the ascent takes about four hours, but the trip is worth it because from the top you can enjoy unforgettable views over Thassos island.
Near Potamia is another attraction on Thassos island, the village of Thelogos. It is a traditional Greek village that hosts an annual folk festival, designed to showcase the ancient wedding rituals.
The island of Thassos is famous for its beaches which are clean and well maintained, as evidenced by the fact that many of them are marked by “blue flags”.
Golden Beach – Golden Beach, stretching along the eastern coast of Thassos Island, 12 kilometers from Limenas.
This long beach with golden sand and crystal clear water, surrounded by vegetation descending from the mountains to the sea, is one of the most beautiful on the island. The gentle entrance to the water makes it ideal for children.
Makriamos is a beautiful sandy beach, located in the heart of Limenas. The soft and fine sand, the warm sea and the emerald vegetation make it a very attractive place for tourists.
Paradise Beach on Thassos island stretches between the villages of Alyki and Loutros. Paradise Beach has soft white sand and clear sea, surrounded by mountains. The beach is divided into three sectors: for bikinis, topless bathers and nudists.
Near Potos, there is the beautiful beach of Pevkari, surrounded by a pine forest. Near Potamia there is Potamias beach with snow-white sand.
In general, there is no shortage of beaches on Thassos island – they stretch all along the coast: long and open, romantic and secluded, located in secluded bays, equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay and completely wild.