For the Greek islands whatever is said… will be little! Their fame spreads to tourists all over the world! But when it comes to an island vacation, close distance, beautiful nature … in the minds of Bulgarians there is only one place – the island Thassos!
Where is it located and how to get there?
Thassos is the northernmost Greek island. Its proximity to Bulgaria makes it a very accessible and desirable destination for us. It is located about 180 km from the Kulata checkpoint and about 120 km from the Makaza checkpoint. It is also relatively close to the big city on the Aegean – Kavala.
To get to Thassos it is necessary to board a ferry, and there are two options – from Keramoti or Kavala. I recommend you to use the one from Keramoti! From there, the ferries are at a significantly shorter interval of time. During the summer season they are on 15-30 minutes and the journey lasts no more than 40 minutes. From Kavala there are 4-5 ferries for the whole day, and the duration is double. And the last argument… from Keramoti is an idea cheaper 🙂 The price for a car was 20 euros, and for a passenger is 4 euros. Current prices and hours of ferries can be found HERE.
We board the ferry
The ferries depart from the port of Keramoti, and navigating to there is simple. The road is perfectly marked with signs! The organization of the boarding is also perfect. You position the car and enjoy a pleasant walk to the island. For children, the biggest attraction is the seagulls that accompany the boat all the way to Limenas (the capital of Thassos). Apparently accustomed to tourists feeding them, some of them are not ashamed to eat saltines and corn sticks directly from the fingers of travelers.
Stop in Limenas
The ferry leaves us at the port of Limenas, also known as city of Thassos. It is the largest city on the island and can be said to be the “livelier” part or the pulsating heart of Thassos. There is an one idea more nightclubs and it is usually more attractive to young visitors. Naturally, Limenas has great beaches, such as La Scala, but we decided to indulge in the southern part of the island and headed directly to Limenaria. The distance is not long, around 40 km.
On the way to Limenaria
There are two options to get from Limenas to Limenaria – on the west or east coast. It is good to know that the east is much more mountainous and the roads are more difficult and with many bends. In fact… almost the entire island is mountainous and saturated with many coniferous and deciduous forests in the interior. And yet, most of the road infrastructure is very good! And its entire circumference is about 100 km.
We choose the route along its western part, due to the shorter duration and the fact that it passes right along the coast, which reveals great seascapes. This part has a number of smaller and unpopular beaches. There are also several fishing villages. It is similar to Skala Marion, after which some of the most beautiful views of the Aegean Sea are revealed… in this part of the island – HERE.
Place for overnight stays – Villa Platanos
Limenaria is the second largest city on the island and a very good option for accommodation. The local population is about 2,000 people. In two days it is impossible to fully enjoy Thassos and see everything! It takes at least a week to get around the whole island! The purpose of this trip was the South Coast and a small part of the East (the most famous beach). That’s why we chose Limenaria.
To focus on the right choice of accommodation, it is good to structure your idea for a visit, because Thassos has different options – from the sea and beaches, to mountain walks and pretty little villages. By mid-September, the weather was still perfect for sunbathing and we decided to make the most of it! That’s why our first stop in Limenaria was to leave our luggage and indulge in a cold beer and relax on the beach. And our room was in a small hotel on the outskirts of the city, which for the price of 30 euro for two nights (for two people) was great – Villa Platanos.
First beach of Thassos
The central beach of Limenaria is certainly not among the best on the island and that was the reason we headed to the nearby bay Notos (Notos beach). There is a sign on the main road that tells you where to leave the car. Next to the beach there is a descent and a view of several floating yachts and… the outlines of the opposite mountain peninsula Athos! But after the descent it turned out to be crowded and we decided to head to another place – Psili Ammos.
My favorite beach on Thassos – Psili Ammos
Well, here we come to a paradise! There is a wide parking lot with many olive trees and it is completely free! It is probably full at the height of the season, but in September there was enough space. The same went for the beach. In principle, its fame is in a slightly noisier place and an attractive destination for young people, but it was very quiet. The beach has a beautiful sandy coast and the water is crystal clear! Literally translated, its name means “fine sand” and it really is. There are no stones in the water, but in some places it becomes abruptly deep and care must be taken.
At the end of it there is a small bar on the rocks, where we decided to settle down – Blue Velvet – Beach bar. Very nice place with unobtrusive music, sunbeds, hammocks and all kinds of seating options. Not to mention the cold beer and the backgammon from the bar that can contribute to a complete holiday! Undoubtedly the best part of the beach!
Sunset and dinner in Limenaria
Psili Ammos was so nice that we were late and hungry! A quick shower and we managed to enjoy the sunset for a while. The sunsets in Limenaria are fabulous… Against the background of the umbrellas on the central beach and the hanging octopuses of the restaurants… The choice for dinner was Tavern Agistri, and you can read more about the Places to eat on Thassos. Greek salad, tarama and octopus are things you must try!
Second day on Thassos
The second day is dedicated entirely to sunbathing! The green island, as Thassos is known, has a variety of attractive beaches, and in my opinion… the most beautiful are right in the south! Some of them are located between vast pine groves and hidden in small coves. We had chosen a few for the day…
Almost every turn on the road reveals a beautiful view of the White Sea. A similar one is just above Livadi beach! Until recently, I was wondering whether to include it as a destination and in the end only this photo remained from here…
A little over 30 km or about 40 minutes… That’s the distance from Limenaria to perhaps the most beautiful beach on the island – Paradise Beach! The sandy coast is wide enough and the sand is the finest on Thassos! The water is crystal clear and you will easily see the swimming fish. It is also very shallow and you can safely go inside. Dense forests stretch on one side, and the rocks at the other end provide good visibility to the whole bay…
We took advantage of the only cafe on the beach, but honestly… not worth it… Sunbeds are paid separately, about 8 euro for 2 sunbeds. The drinks are reasonably priced, but the restaurant is full of cats who are not afraid of anything and are a little cheeky… There are also a lot of wasps hovering around the visitors!
Leaving that aside, the overall impression of the beach is very positive. Predisposes to a pleasant rest and complete relaxation… Very quiet and peaceful. And the view of the opposite island of Kinira adds extra exoticism!
Time for lunch
For lunch we stopped at one of the most popular places on the island – Archóntissa. Unfortunately… there was a private event and no outside visitors were allowed… Still we enjoyed the opening view of the northern beach of Aliki.
We quickly found an alternative! At the back of the seen beach is the southern bay of Aliki (Aliki Beach). I had planned to visit it right after lunch, but things accelerated and we decided to eat there directly! Taverna Leonidas is a very fresh and colorful place where we tried Greek moussaka and gyros (you can read more in Places to eat on Thassos). The bay impresses at first sight with its calm crystal waters.
While we checked into the restaurant and ordered, I decided to take a quick walk in the nearby pine grove and see another view of the coast. The shade creates a slight coolness, and the trail goes around the whole peninsula. It turned out to lead to ancient remains from the 7th century BC! I didn’t get there, but I managed to admire a few lone fishing boats.
Aliki was a little crowded and we decided we had seen enough of it. And the bottom was dotted with many stones… We decided to go to Giola, another very popular place on Thassos! The distance between the two takes about 15 minutes. In general, everything on the island is close and driving is not stressful at all!
We made a huge mistake at the beginning, leaving the car at the fork to the main road… To Giola we had to walk about 15-20 minutes in a huge dust and fierce heat… Yes, the road down isn’t very good and parking is paid, but for sure is the better option to get out of the car…
Maybe a little negative and crushed by the heat… The Giola doesn’t fascinate us! There was no shortage of people wanting to jump from the highest terraced rocks in the naturally formed pool. At the end of the season, the water was still extremely clear, despite the difficult circulation. For us more interested were the many olive trees on the road and the yachts around. Due to the sea humidity of Thassos, olive trees sprout on the rocks!
Afternoon beach – Psili Ammos again
We wanted to wash away the disappointment of Giola, and there was no better option than Psili Amos. This place has really become our favorite! The afternoon sun was not so strong, and the bar on the rocks (Blue Velvet – Beach bar) was shaded and was only for us. We stayed until the first orange colors in the sky…
Walk around Potos and dinner
The small village of Potos seemed to us an interesting destination for an evening walk, and the planned restaurant for dinner was close to it, so we decided to combine them. It turned out to be difficult to park in Potos in September, I don’t want to know how it is in the middle of the season… We found a free place all the way to the sign for the end of the village, but fortunately the distance to the central part isn‘t much at all!
In the past, Potos was a port of the old capital Theologos, located in the interior of the island. It is believed that the waters of the Aegean Sea here are the deepest and most saturated with a variety of marine life… Therefore around Potos are caught most octopuses and squid from anywhere on the island!
Today it is a resort village, attracting young people with its beautiful central beach, many taverns and restaurants and the narrow cobbled streets dotted with various shops. We also visited them and didn’t forget to take some of the famous pine honey, which is made on the island. One of the productions of the locals, which causes great pride in them. You will also see all kinds of souvenirs and a variety of local olives and olive oil.
For dinner we stopped at Tavern Klimataria – the most delicious place where we ate on the island! Huge squid filled with melt-in-your-mouth feta cheese… Read more in Places to eat on Thassos.
Early morning on Thassos
On our last day I wanted to see a few more coves which we couldn’t visiting. To visit all the beaches on the island of Thassos… borders on the impossible. But one can at least try to see as much as possible!
The small beach at the end of Limenaria is located next to a former German factory for processing metals from mines. In fact, this factory is the reason why the town is so populated at the moment. It opened its doors at the end of the 19th century and attracted workers from the old mountain village of Castro, who later settled in Limenaria!
It is definitely an interesting place, somehow strange and mystical! From the very beginning there is a circle of stone works depicting the zodiac signs and the months. The strip is very nice and with nice sand. The beach is separated by umbrellas and has a bar that caters to the needs of holidaymakers. Various festivals and events are organized here, but in the early hours of the morning it is reserved only for me!
Second experience with Notos beach
Do you remember our failure on the first day with the small Notos beach? Well, I didn’t give up! I wanted to see this heavenly place and take some pictures. It turned out that around 8 o’clock in the morning it was not so crowded. Still… I wasn’t the first there… There were a few visitors taking their places on the seafront and waiting for the warmer rays of the sun. There was no sign of waves in the sea! The water was so calm that the entire seabed was exposed to the lens. I climbed the nearby rock for a few frames to the entire strip. Great and quiet place when not crowded with tourists.
Morning walk in Potos
While I’m around Potos, I wanted to take a look at the central beach. The morning atmosphere of the village has nothing to do with the evening! The deserted streets and the newly opened restaurants are somehow lonely… There isn’t noise from the loud conversations from the tables, the laughter of the people, the shouts of the sellers…
The central beach is a bit densely populated by my standards. The sunbeds are arranged almost next to each other! All of them belong to certain beach bars, so they have a different color. This makes it clearer which restaurant the respective group of sunbeds and umbrellas belongs to.
Limenaria wakes up
We still failed to pay the necessary attention to Limenaria and now there was a chance for revenge! A quick walk when the town starts to wake up. The part of Paraliaki Street to the port is charming! Numerous cafes located right on the beach, colorful taverns with creative decorations and many palm trees.
A morning tour with a cup of coffee is very invigorating. Here every tourist finds the tranquility that Limenas lacks. And the very name Limenaria literally means “smaller town” and suggests that they will always be in the background here. But there is no indication that the locals have a problem with this. Judging by the pretty and colorful houses, they obviously don’t mind the lack of asphalt in most of the city…
Last Beach – Marble Beach (Saliara beach)
For the finale we left the most famous beach on the island of Thassos – Marble beach. It can be reached by a narrow mountain road, which at one point abruptly changes its landscape and the green trees become snow-white! It’s hard to estimate… September or December is the current month… The current marble quarry has become a world tourist destination! It often happens that trucks pass by on the road, which further raises clouds of white dust…
And yet we decided to give it a chance! The parking lot is large and it is easy to find space for the car. But it’s hard to get out of the car undisturbed. Several donkeys surround you and hope to get at least one apple to retreat…
In fact, the marble beaches of Thassos are two! The road passes Saliara beach and continues to Porto Vathy. The two places are identical, except that Porto Vati has a small port with cranes where marble is loaded on ships. Anyway, we didn’t get there, we decided to stop only at Marble Beach.
The place has undoubtedly become a very famous destination and is expected to be overcrowded. However, in mid-September we found two sunbeds and an umbrella for around 15 euro. By Greek standards… a little expensive. There is no sand, everything is in small white stones. Yes, they aren’t very comfortable to walk on, but they have two huge advantages…First, they don’t get as hot as the sand and are pleasant to walk in the hottest hours of the day! And secondly, they manage to create unique colors of sea water, typical of tropical islands!
The beach restaurant has interesting decorations, but it is rather a small bar where you can get water and coffee… nothing more… Prices are also high!
Overall… the beach is worth seeing! But to come in an hour – two, no more! Even so, we were unpleasantly surprised when we returned to the parking lot… Recognizing the car wasn’t very easy, all covered with a thick layer of white powder. And it is everywhere, in a few hours you breathe quite well… It is certainly not a place where one would return with pleasure…
For a final
Thassos is a charming place! And we couldn’t even look at a third of it! The interior has several interesting villages, and the northern part and the capital Limenas also have something to enchant. It takes at least a week to get around the whole island! We boarded the ferry with the idea that we would return again…