Last time visited in July 2015 with friends and family
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See… the beautiful pine trees, very old olive trees with unseen thick trunks, emerald and turquoise waters surrounding the island, fascinating old towns and villages up on the hills, the historical and romantic Theologos, small desolate beaches, dazzling white Saliara (the Marble Beach), Archangelos monastery, perched on the cliffs above the sea and more remarkable places
Smell… the sea breeze mixed with the scent of pine trees
Taste… delicious Greek cuisine consisting not only of fish and sea fruit but also of musaka, pasticcio, giros, lamb and more
Feel and Experience… courteous and smiling multilingual service everywhere, easy living, laid-back feeling all over the place, especially in the old villages in the higher parts of the hills
Hear… the whisper of the wind in the pines and olive trees, splash of crystal clear waters, authentic folk Greek music
If your heart craves for the Aegean beautiful coasts, one of your best options is the island of Thassos, called the Emerald Island. The name comes from the abundance of evergreen vegetation, really old and thick olive trees and turquoise waters surrounding the land of the island. Once you take a trip on the narrow roads you cannot stop admiring the natural beauty and easy living of the island. Old towns and trees, dating for thousands of years have been witnesses of dynamic historical changes. The island has been many times conquered by different invaders, the costal settlements plundered by pirates but nowadays the only visitors are thankful tourists, admiring its fascinating nature and romantic historical towns.
No matter which place you have chosen to stay for your vacation you should definitely find several days to make a tour around the island. Don’t forget to put in your itinerary the town of Theologos, Archangelos Monastery, Saliara- the Marble Beach or the natural pool Giola.
Theologos used to be a capital for a while in the past. This very old town is dating from the 13 century. It is situated on the hills and you will find it very charming with its narrow coble streets, old stone houses, remains from past times, old taverns and cafes, owned by one family for several generations.
Here you can have the best lamb on a spit. I would recommend Stelios Tavern. You can read a separate review about it at STELIOS TAVERN – BEST LAMB ON A SPIT ON THE ISLAND OF THASSOS, GREECE.
Have a visit to the Folks Museum to see an old Greek house inside with some traditional household appliances and belongings.
Have a stroll along the narrow coble streets, take pictures and enjoy the quite life. Drink a cup of traditional Greek coffee, have some local sweets, read the inscriptions on some of the buildings to know more about the town history and architecture.
Then you may wish to visit to the South the Archangelo Monastery perched on a cliff above the green and blue waters of the sea. Fill your eyes with enchanting scenery from its terraces. Have a peak also at the small chapels.
You may target then some small picturesque beach for a little cool off in the crystal clear waters of the sea. The bigger beaches are under concession and offer umbrellas, sun beds, drinks and snacks but many are just wild and secluded.
One of the best natural attractions is Saliara or the famous Marble Beach. It is called so because of its rough white sand which was formed from the marble rock beneath it and there is a marble quarry in close proximity. It is very impressive and interesting as a natural landmark. You have an option to visit a small beach which is unattended and you have to bring your own umbrella and towels. If you prefer the organized option, follow the signs to Porto Vathy beach where for the best comfort of visitors there are umbrellas, sun-beds (no towels), a bar with DJ and the waiters collect orders directly on the beach. The water is shallow and very clear with beautiful turquoise color, due to the white sand. The umbrella with 2 sun-beds are free of charge, you just have to order two frappes which cost totally 6 EUR, and you will get as a compliment two 500 ml bottles of water. The menu includes also salads, club sandwiches or baguettes, risotto, pasta and more. The whole area is very clean, including the toilets at the bar. There is a DJ pumping up the mood of the tourists with most contemporary beats.
If you prefer quieter surrounding for sun bathing, go early to Saliara and leave latest at noon, since after that the beach becomes quite overcrowded. You have to take into consideration though, that to reach it, you have to drive through a long black road, with a covered car, closed windows and air conditioning. Although it is not bumpy and not so narrow, it is overlaid with thin dust which the cars raise in the air forming thick clouds. Fortunately, after you leave the beach, at the exit from the road you will find car wash Romantica where your car will be thoroughly cleaned against EUR 6 from the thick layer of marble dust on it.
There is a parking just behind the beach and a person which guides the drivers for best fit without car junction. The bad thing is that the road to the parking area passes through the middle of the campus and it is not very secured for children.
I didn’t have the chance to visit the natural pool Giola although I heard that it was good to be seen but still one had to reconcile with the fact that it was constantly full of people, willing to dive, jump, swim and make big noise all around.
One more thing you could do if you are on Thassos island, is to buy olives, honey, herbs and olive oil, local production. It is best not to go to the supermarket but to try finding a local producer. We took a 5-10 min drive to the village of Rachoni, up in the hills. It is not so hot up there and one can enjoy more sights from another old and quiet place of the island. Just across from Drossia Tavern, Fresh Meet (this is what exactly its signboard on the front says) is a place where you can buy from a smiling and very kind local man his own organic production of black olives, olive oil in big cans, honey, herbs and figs jam. He will offer you first to taste, then he will tell you how and where he prepares them and he may even offer you to drink together with him from his self- produced tsipouro.
My strong recommendation to all who plan to spend their vacation on the Emerald Island of Thassos is not to spend all of your time only on the beach or the pool of the hotel. Take a tour around and you will definitely know better at what wonderful and beautiful place you are. Whichever direction you take in Thassos you will definitely have very nice time and make yourself a rich collection of splendid photos and memories. This is how you will make yourself another special case of place.
For more info and facts you can check the site go-thassos.gr
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