Thassos

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Getting to Thassos

Aegean map

Where is Thassos? It lies off the north-east coast of Greece in the north-Agean island group that includes Lemnos, Chios and Lesvos. Although Thassos doesn't have it's own airport it is still one of the easiest Greek islands to get to, close to a major mainland airport of Kavala and having a regular daily car ferry service to the island throuhgout the year.

The airport at Thessaloniki is also only abut two hours drive away and there are more ferries from the port of Kavala itself and, nearer to the island at Keramouti where daily ferries leave every 20 minutes or so. Thassos is so well linked to the mainland road network that many Europeans drive there.

The Thassos island road network is also good with a coastal road that goes all the way around this circular island.

Holiday accommodation is plentiful all over Thassos but the biggest choice is in Thassos Town and the larger holiday resorts like Limenaria and Skala Potamis.

Updated for 2016

Thassos flights: travel by air

Thassos has no airport so most visitors fly to nearby Kavala Airport, also called Megos Alexandros at Chrissoupoli or to Thessaloniki Airport and make their way by road and ferry.

The airport at Chrissoupoli is about 30 km east of Kavala and it's a straight 11 kilometres road trip to the port at Keramoti and then a 40 minute ferry trip to the main port resort of Limenas on Thassos with ferries leaving every 40 minutes or so.

Kavala Airport, or Alexander the Great, handles about two million visitors each year, has nine check-in desks, six gates and two baggage claim belts

There are some short-term parking spaces and 160 long-term spaces. Taxis outside Kavala will get you to Keramouti in about 15 minutes. There is a bus service from Chrisoupoli to Keramoti every two hours and an hourly service to Kavala bus station where there are more connections. Details can be found on the KTEL Kavala website.

At Kavala (about 30 kilometres) is a ferry port and visitors can catch a ferry or hydrofoil to Limenas or to the Thassos west coast port of Skala Prinos.

The airport at Thessaloniki, Macedonia International Airport, is the second largest in Greece and has many flights and charters daily from Athens and other European cities. Cheap flights to Thessaloniki are often easy find. From Thessaloniki it is a two hour road journey to the ferry at Keramoti or there is a bus #78 to Kavala.

Both easyJet and BA have flights from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki and Thomson has flights to Kavala.

Thassos ferries: travel by sea

Thassos is well served by regular car ferry shuttles to the mainland at Keramoti and also to Kavala. The Keramoti ferries leave for Thassos Town every two hours or so and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the main port at Limenas, passing the uninhabited islet of Thassopoulou on the way.

About six ferries run by Aneth Lines leave each day from 5.45am from Thassos until 9pm from Keramouti. Book online or pick up a ferry tickets at the booth at Keramouti. The company also runs three ferries daily from Kavala.

Thassos Ferries also runs services from Keramouti to Limenas and between Kavala and Skala Prinos.

About six ferries a day leave Kavala for Thassos and they take about 95 minutes with similar schedules for the return trip. Tho ferries a day leave from April to October. with three a day in August.

To head for other islands in this part of the Aegean islands you must first get a ferry to Kavala and then find a connection from there. Island hopping in this part of the Greek islands is very restricted.

On Thassos itself, boat trips can be found on offer in Limenas harbour. They usually make daily taxi boat trips to Makryammos beach and to Chrissi Ammoudia (Golden Beach). There are also round island trips, stopping off at remote beaches, that leave Limenas at 9.45am on Wednesday and Sunday.

 

Thassos map: getting around

Thassos lies about eight kilometres off the Macedonia mainland in the Gulf of Kavala. It has an area of about 390 sq km and is roughly 22 kilometres by 26 kilometres with a coastline of about 75 kilometres.

Thassos is mountainous with the highest peaks at Ipsarion (1,127 metres) and Profitis Ilias (1,108 metres). Much of the northern coast is steep rock cliffs, while the south is relatively flat.

The north has rich vegetation, with forests, olive groves and vineyards fed by underground springs. The south is mostly covered by pine forest, oak trees, and planes.

Thassos is also rich in minerals with lead and silver in the Limenaria area, copper around Astris, iron at Kalirachi and snow white marble, for which Thassos island is famous, found around Limenas.

Thassos is the most northerly of the Greek holiday islands so its climate is cooler than most others especially at night. On the other hand Thassos is more sheltered from the prevailing northerly winds so it can feel quite humid.

The season starts in May with lots of sunshine but occasional rain. Showers can be heavy but are generally brief. Temperatures average 27°C in July and August then ease off to 25° in September. Unlike other Greek islands Thassos is not swept by sea breezes and sea temperatures hover around 20°C.

Winter in Thassos is milder than on most Greek islands. Averages of 8-9°C are common with afternoons often rainy. November has warm days and by April the temperatures are rising and the island is covered in wild flowers.

Thassos transport: travel on land

Car rental

Thassos island has a single circular road around the coast, well maintained and with good signposting, so driving on Thassos is pretty good. At around 95-100 km for a complete circuit, all the beaches are within daily reach.

The coast road is flat in the north-west, passing through farmland. It is rather more hilly and forested in the north-east, especially when it cuts inland to Panagia. In the south it's fairly flat.

A good map is recommended if you head inland as many mountain tracks are not signposted from the main roads.

Thassos buses

Daily buses serve all the coastal villages and some of the inland ones too. Coastal buses travel both clockwise and anticlockwise around Thassos but buses heading west out of Limenas are more frequent.

Buses heading west from Limenas to Limenaria have detours inland to Theologos and, in the east, to Panagia and Potamia. There are eight buses a day, Monday to Saturday from Limenas to Limenaria and six buses daily on Sundays. Thassos bus schedules are usually posted online.

Thassos taxis

Taxis are plentiful during the day but are difficult to find at night especially outside Limenas. You can wait hours to get a taxi back to Limenas from, say, Potamia. Make prior arrangements with the driver to pick up at night.

Thassos island walks

There are many good walks to be found on Thassos, particularly in the hills around Panagia and Potamis.

There is a small booklet Walking On Thassos by Rose Gruwel and Truus Van De Mast available from Jayne's Leather Shop in Limenas. Another good book to look out for is Walks in Northeast Thasosby Lance Clinton. As well as walking trails there are jeep and mountain bike trails too.

Thassos rooms: places to stay

Rooms

There is plenty of good holiday accommodation all over Thassos but the biggest choice is in Thassos Town and the larger holiday resorts such as Limenaria and Skala Potamis. Many inland villages and coastal resorts have rooms to rent but often close down between October and May. Big hotels can get block-booked months in advance by the tour operators.

Small hotels and rooms to rent are available in the hill village of Panagia and nearby Chryssi Ammoudia (Golden Beach).

Thassos is particularly good for camping. The site at Camping Golden Beach is one of six dotted around the coast but the only camp site on the east side of Thassos. Other sites can be found at Camping Pefkari, Camping Dasslio, Prinos Camping (071170) at Skala Prinos and Daedalos Camping (058251) at Skala Sotiros.

Families could opt for a cabin at the Makryammos Bungalows holiday resort, about two kilometres east of Limenas. The complex has 198 bungalows and 10 luxury suites set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking Makryammos Bay. Sports and recreation activities include Greek language and cookery courses and there is a child pool, playground and miniature zoo.