Greek Guide

 

Thassos Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

Buses run frequently from Limenas, the island's capital, to all the main coastal resorts in high season. But if you want to explore the coastline at your leisure and make forays into the island's picturesque inland villages then you'll need to hire a car or motorbike for at least part of your stay.

Rental cars, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles are available at numerous outlets in Limenas and at all the main resort areas. Big international car hire firms are represented on the island along with small local companies which in many cases offer much cheaper deals.

A paved road skirts the 100 kilometre coastline but much of it is winding and mountainous so you'll need to set aside a full day to do the entire circuit. And you'll probably want to hire a vehicle for more than a day if you plan to spend time uncovering hidden coves and lingering in the hillside villages of the interior.

The road south east out of Limenas leads to the attractive hill villages of Panagia and Potamia. The first village has a central square lined with slate roofed houses and tavernas and shaded by large plane trees. It's a picturesque place though a little spoilt by the arrival of mass market tourism on the island. At Potamia you can visit the Vagis Museum which houses the work of locally born artist and sculptor Polygnotos Vagis. The highly regarded artist emigrated to the USA when he was 14 but bequeathed most of his work to the Greek state.

The road leads out to the east coast, which boasts some wonderful beaches, and takes you down to the south east corner of the island where you should stop for a while at the delightful hamlet of Alyki. The village sits on a headland facing a perfect double bay and is a charming concoction of quaint 19th century houses. Alyki has been protected from modern development because of the extensive archaeological finds which have been uncovered in the area. The ruins include an ancient Doric temple and two fine 5th century Christian basilicas.

Follow the road round the south coast until you reach the village of Potos from where you can head inland 10 kilometres to the former island capital of Theologos. It's a traditional, unspoilt village with old slate roofed houses arranged in tiers on either side of the main street.

To visit the even more remote pirate proof village of Kastro, in the centre of the island, you'll need to back track to Potos before heading up a rough 17 kilometre track from Limenaria, the island's second town after Limenas. The place was abandoned in 1850 and is now only inhabited on a seasonal basis by sheep farmers. There's no mains electricity but you can stop for coffee at the one kafeneio housed in the former school.

As you drive up the west coast take the time to make detours into the alluring villages of Sotiras and Megalo Kazaviti. The former has a single taverna in a lovely hillside square shaded by plane trees. Megalo Kazaviti is an equally inviting village, surrounded by greenery and dotted with lovely old stone houses with narrow arched doorways and wooden balconies.