Thassos- a different kind of greek island
Member Name: smudge377
Advantages: green and verdant, beautiful beaches, and gorgeous food
Disadvantages: rained a lot in May
I visited Thassos a few years back, but was so impressed with it, I felt I had to write a review to encourage others to visit.
We went to Thassos on one of those last minute package tour holidays with Thomson's, and only paid £175 each for 14 nights, in a self catering studio apartment at the Glyfada apartments, just outside Thassos town.
A bit about the island:
Thassos lies 10km off the coast of mainland Greece. Its nearest port is Kavala, which is the far east of the country. The island has a 91km perimeter road It is almost circular in shape, and is described by the Greek Tourist Board, as the Emerald Isle. It is very green, with a lot of coniferous forest. BUT also because it has a relatively high rainfall.
It also is well known for its bees and honey, which are made locally, and for the bird watchers amongst you, a good spot for bee-eaters.
Apparently, Thassos has been permanently habituated since the Stone Age.
After a long and tumultuous history, Thassos belonged to the Romans, Macedonians, Egyptians and Turks, but in 1912, it was united with Greece. However during WW2, it was occupied by the Bulgarians.
Thassos has had a history of gold mining, and more recently oil has been found off shore.
The main town of Thassos is Thassos town, or Limenas as it is also known, is in the N.E of the island.
Our journey began at Gatwick where we took a flight to Kavala, on the Greek mainland. Approx a 3.5 hour flight. It was all pretty straight forward. Kavala airport is small. Only 2 baggage reclaims, and no bureau de change, but all seems to run OK for a Greek airport. On arrival we were whisked down to the port, by coach, it was around a 15 minute trip. The port is actually a lovely spot, with a little beach, and a couple of taverna's, where you have time to sit and have a bite of lunch, while you wait for your ferry/hydrofoil.
The hydrofoil crossing is quickest and takes around 30 mins from Kavala to Thassos town
Summer 2009 it looks like the main operator is Thomson, who fly from Gatwick, Birmingham, and Manchester to Kavala, on a Sunday.
We arrived in Thassos town, with the sun beating down, and were taken by coach to our hotel, which is outside Thassos town, about 5 mins in a taxi, and opposite a little sandy beach.
We checked in, the room was a nice size, but next to reception, and being a light sleeper, wouldn't be ideal. Spoke to the nice manager, and he moved us to a room in the newer block, which was smaller, but quiet. There were 2 twin beds, with rather hard mattresses, a small seating area, plus en suite bathroom. There was a fridge, 2 ring cooker, and very basic plates, saucepans etc. It was fine for us as we only had breakfast there. A small balcony, from which you could see the pool, The pool was a good size, clean, but very cold at end of May, I think they topped it up with cold water daily! and a small pool bar that was open till about 9.30pm.
Their was no restaurant at the time we were there
Just down the road was Hotel Esperides, which had both a restaurant and pool bar which did snacks. This did really nice food, and was a very nice hotel. We always said if we went back to Thassos, we would stay there.
Menu had a fine selection of Greek and continental food + some English dished
They did the best Spaghetti Bolognese I had ever tasted. The hotel also has a great bar, which does cocktails, and has a great selection of games to keep guests amused.
http://www.esperides-thassos.com is the hotels website.
Thassos town was a really nice port, with a great selection of restaurants, tavernas and bars around the harbour, that all seemed to serve nice quality food, at reasonable prices. We found it was the best food we have eaten in the whole of Greece here. Highly recommend the lamb kleftiko, with giant beans...ummmmmm. You will not find it hard to find a good place to eat, it will just depend on what takes your fancy. Also found a lot of seafood here.
Take a walk around the port, and see many fish scooting around..
While in town take a walk to discover the ancient theatre and agora, there is also a small archaeological museum that's well worth seeing. It is a short walk from the old harbour.
Other things to do and see:
Golden Beach- some people's ideal resort- long, golden sand beach, with taverna's and hotels.
Alykes: Finest resort for me, in the South East of the island. A walk down the hill from the main road, brings you to 2 coves, with sandy beach with rocks at either side. Great for snorkelling/swimming. 2 lovely taverna's on beach for lunch.
Hire a car and drive round the island. Each small town/ village has something different to offer, and a fine selection of great beaches. The beaches on the west coast are pebbly, whilst sandy on the east.
Great cliffs on the south of the island. Bit scary in places.
Peygia: Little mountain village that feels very traditional, and has some lovely "real Greek taverna"
All in all I thoroughly recommend a trip there.
Summary: well worth a visit