Here’s yet another little Greek island that’s off the beaten path, although it does see tourists from relatively nearby Balkan countries such as Bulgaria and Serbia. They certainly appreciate the stunning nature, pristine beaches, age-old monasteries, captivating hiking paths, Macedonian gastronomy and all the good that this island has to offer.
While history shows Thassos to have been inhabited by the Parians (from Paros island) as far back as the 7th Century BC, there’s speculation that it was the Phoenicians who first settled it and that the island is named after the son of King Aginor of Phoenicia. History blends with mythology here, as Prince Thassos may have been desperately searching for his sister, no other than Europa, who was taken by Zeus from Phoenicia to Ancient Greece. It seems the origins of the European continent actually lie here on this little, seemingly unassuming island! Phoenicians, Macedonians, Romans, Egyptians, Byzantines, Ottomans and Modern-Day Greeks have all left there mark on the island, making it a hotbed of history, archeology and culture.
Today the main town of Thassos (or Limenas) bustles with visitors, who hang around its cafés and seafood tavernas, as well as its several pubs and nightspots come evening. Nearby, the beach of Skala Rachoni also offers many eateries but also some very old olive groves to admire. There are numerous sandy beaches all around the island, some much busier than others, with Golden beach, Aliki and La Scala being among the most popular. Scenic beaches include Glyfoneri, surrounded by pine trees, and Notos, with its curious rock formations and stunningly blue-green waters. Some of the beaches have beach chairs and umbrellas (i.e. “organized beaches” as they’re called in Greece) and others don’t, appealing to the more adventurous types.
The inland treasures of the island are worth exploring, such as the picturesque mountain villages of Mikro Kazaviti and Megalo Kazaviti with their stone-built mansions and wooden balconies, as well as the old town of Theologos, once the island’s most important village. Activities on Thasos include scuba diving, provided by the two or three diving centers in operation on the island, as well as hiking to Mount Ypsarion on a route that takes you to a small lake, the monastery of Agios Panteleimon, and verdant forests. There are remains dating from the town’s mining legacy and from its ancient history, all of which are also of interest to visitors. Interesting as well are the little local museums such as the Archeological Museum in Limenas, Theologos Folklore Museum and Vagis Sculpture Museum. The main town of Limenaria also has a Folklore Museum that opens a window to the island’s way of living once upon a time. This is just a soupcon of the experiences on Thassos Island, which will unveil itself to you as you explore its different sides. Check our hotels and tours to create your own beautiful Greek journey on a lesser known island.