Θάσος – North-East Aegean

Thassos, the most northerly of all Greek islands, is very green and fertile for an Aegean island. A veritable floating garden. This has its price as even in summer afternoon showers are not uncommon (even with thunder).

If Peace and Quiet is something you want without sacrificing having a lot of resources around you, you should try this island. Even close to high summer Thassos is still delightfully quiet, and most sounds you hear are chirping birds and babbling brooks.

For the walker, the island has some serious mountain ranges and sharp ridges, making a very entertaining stay. Unfortunately the landscape is still scarred from huge forest fires in the late eighties.

If you don’t mind a comfortable stay, I can personally recommend the Hotel Miramare in Skala Potamiás. Situated in peaceful surroundings, they even serve very good Greek food and wine, with a great value for money menu of the day, different every day. Other places to try for lunch and/or dinner is the taverna “CAPTAIN” in Skala Potamiás (great for seafood, at least) and Restaurant Fedra in Chrysí Amoudiá (try their fantastic Spaghetti with Shrimps or their Haloumi Salad, for instance). Both have excellent service. Restaurant “ΑΛΚΥΟΝΙ” in Skala Potamiás has good both meat and fish (probably, did not eat fish here myself), and a nice lunch in Panagía can be had at “ΠΛΑΤΑΝΟΣ”. Both these places has kind of semi-enthusiastic service, but are still nice.

Selected walks: For walks on Thassos take a look in Walks in Northeast Thasos by Lance Chilton (referred to below as “/Chilton/”). On the web visit Greek island of Thassos Holiday and Travel Guides, Walks and Photos by Foxy’s Island Walks.

•1 SKÁLA POTAMIÁS – PANAGÍA – CHRYSÍ AMOUDIÁ – SKÁLA POTAMIÁS (my total time 7h35, includes short stops for photography and drinking AND a one hour lunch in Panagía; +-687m, 2 laps): This is walk 3 in /Chilton/, followed by 8 and 2 (in reverse).

A great round tour of the entire bay area. No problems finding the way. I always stuck to the main (marked) route, not trying any of the suggested diversions and/or shortcuts.

•2 SKÁLA POTAMIÁS – KLISÍDI RIDGE – SKÁLA POTAMIÁS (my total time 3h43, includes short stops for photography and drinking; +-579m, 2 laps): This is walk 16 in /Chilton/.

Short and easy, but the junction with the “older track” towards the end of the walk could not be seen, maybe because of recent bulldozing and/or erosion on the main track. Again I stuck to the main (marked) route. A red arrow could still be seen here, albeit very faintly. Even if the crossroads was not visible as such it is no doubt that the older track is actually there. You can clearly see it on Google Maps, in the center of the image below (to the right of) all the S-curves.

To avoid confusion, I would also like to add that the altitude of the “final viewpoint” cannot be 540m as described. My watch showed not much more than 400m here. I think /Chilton/ must have mistakenly used total accumulated height in his notes here, not the actual height. The accumulated height for the entire walk up to that point was not very far from 540m.

•3 SKÁLA POTAMIÁS – POTAMIÁ – YPSÁRIO – POTAMIÁ – SKÁLA POTAMIÁS (my total time 7h35, includes short stops for photography and drinking and a couple of short rests; +-1381m, 1 lap): This is walk 13 in /Chilton/, with the added stroll up to and down from Potamiá just using the main road.

Not difficult, but long. And do use a walking stick for the decent. I used route A up, and route B down. Or not route B exactly as described, but the REAL original route, apart from what is destroyed by the road, with the upper part very well marked down from the road. It is NOT “unclear” as the booklet says. This is actually the best part of this route. The lower part of route B on the other hand, is starting to get VERY overgrown. The “damp stream area” on this route is now made into a beautiful spring (made in 2004), and should not be missed!

•4 SKÁLA POTAMIÁS – CHRYSÍ AMOUDIÁ – VÁTHI (my total time 1h54, includes short stops for photography and drinking; +134m -139m, 1 lap): This is walk 2 + part of 19 in /Chilton/. Observe that my time above is for ONE WAY only. You will have to either continue to Liménas or walk back to Chrysí Amoudiá/Skála Potamiás.

The walk is not very interesting in itself, but the beach is peaceful apart from many boats that anchor here.

•5 SKÁLA POTAMIÁS – POTAMIÁ – PANAGÍA – SKÁLA POTAMIÁS (my total time 3h51, includes short stops for photography and drinking; +-489m, 1 lap): This is walk 1 (Route One) + 4 + 9 in /Chilton/.

Nice (sunday?) stroll around the neighborhood… LOTS of navigation to concentrate on, though. I will be very impressed if you manage to do every step in this walk exactly as described in the booklet. Some small comments:

In w1r1 just beyond the channel at the start, there is a house to the LEFT and then a new one to the RIGHT of the grassy track. You will pass through the front yard of this new house, which also got a loose dog. Not sure if you should walk here.

Entering Potamiá where you turn left AT a small square/parking lot, why not just walk THROUGH the square and turn left up a main street, then easily stroll up to the big church?

In w4 where you leave Potamiá by taking a steep street left uphill, this is NOT immediately, but down at the next crossroads. The concrete street itself is confusing and so are both the red waymarks and the booklet at points. There are more junctions than mentioned, but the final red waymark (before the “more level path” right) also seemed to point in the wrong direction.

Towards the end of w9, passing in front of a hotel, the grassy track/path immediately forks. Both right (small detour) and left (rather overgrown) seemed to work here, taking you to the (gravel) track where you turn left.

• Good starting points: • Liménas (Thassos Town) • Skála Potamiás • Chrysí Amoudiá (Golden Beach)

• How to get there: • By ferry from the mainland

• More info: • Thassos Greece Schedules has updated bus and boat schedules for the island • My jewel of the Aegean, a Thassos enthusiast’s web page about the island • Greek island of Thassos Holiday and Travel Guides, Walks and Photos by Foxy’s Island Walks • Thassos Island, Greece from Olive Tree Enterprises, a site which has kindly linked to mine

This page was last modified at October 31, 2010.