Greek Guide

 

Thassos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

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If you can tear yourself away from the many excellent beaches which pepper the coastline of Thassos you'll find some delightful inland villages to explore, wonderful walking trails and the extensive ruins of a once great city built nearly three millennia ago.

The modern capital of Limenas, also known as Thassos Town, has been built over Ancient Thassos which emerged as the seat of an important sea faring empire in the 7th century BC after gold was discovered on the island. Ruins of the ancient city are scattered over a large area of the modern day town giving it the appearance of a giant outdoor museum. You can see the remains of temples, shrines, a theatre and the fortified walls which once formed a four kilometre semi circle around the city.

French archaeologists have been at work here since 1911 and excavations are still ongoing. The largest excavated area is the agora (the focus of civic life in the Roman era) located just behind the fishing harbour. With the aid of a map from Thassos Tourist Services, you'll be able to make out the remains of colonnaded walkways, monuments to the gods, sanctuaries and an extensive drainage system. To the east of the agora lie the foundations of a temple dedicated to Dionysos where a 3rd century BC marble head of the god was unearthed. The town's Archaeological Museum houses many treasures from the site including the well preserved Dionysos head, mosaic floors, terracotta figurines and a striking 6th century BC statue of Apollo.

From the Temple of Dionysos a path leads up to the ancient acropolis passing a spectacularly sited theatre constructed in Hellenistic times and later adapted by the Romans for their own bloodthirsty entertainment.

Just below the summit of the acropolis lie the ruins of a 5th century BC temple dedicated to Athena, patroness of the city. Behind the summit a steep rock hewn stairway, dating from the 6th century BC, leads down to the Gate of Parmenon the only gateway in the fortified wall to have survived with its lintel intact.

Keen hikers should obtain a copy of the Walking in Thassos guide available from local book stores and travel agencies. One of the most popular trails leads to the 1,127 metre summit of Mount Ipsario from the village of Potamia. It's a way marked but challenging route and you'll need to allow at least seven hours for the journey there and back.

The less energetic might prefer a browse around the Vagis Museum in Potamia which houses sculptures and paintings of the well known locally born artist Polygnotos Vagis. The artist emigrated to the USA when he was a teenager but bequeathed most of his work to the Greek state.

Other places of interest around the island include the pretty inland villages of Sotiras, Mikro Kazaviti, Kastro and Theologos.

The 12th century Archangelou Michail monastery in the south east corner of the island is dramatically perched on a clifftop overlooking Mount Athos on the mainland. The monastery's most prized holy relic is a nail reputedly from the cross of Jesus. The nuns who live there offer hand painted icons and other religious items for sale.