Thasos - Thasos town - Limenas the circuit of the walls & the theatre - The temple of Apollo and the mediaeval fortress

The temple of Apollo and the mediaeval fortress
A stiff climb, following the line of the walls, leads up from here towards the acropolis. Just before the summit, a right-angle in the walls can be seen to the left: from here, three types of construction are visible all at once, providing an encapsulated image of human progress—the huge and confident Archaic masonry, the neatly-cut Classical work, and the irregular and heterogeneous mediaeval rubble above dating from 1,800 years later. It was at this point in the walls, at the lowest level, that the fragments of the colossal Kouros in the museum were found. Apart from this impressive terrace masonry all that now remains of the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo is its splendid site, since its buildings were demolished to provide material for the mediaeval fortress which now occupies the site in ruined form. The cult of Pythian Apollo was brought by the original colonisers from Paros and established in this dominating and appropriately elevated site. The two 7th century bc reliefs of stylised lions—distant cousins of the Delos lions—visible in the museum (originals in the Louvre), once framed the entrance to the sanctuary.
   Today a complex of mediaeval remains covers this large area: a huge vaulted cistern, an apsidal church (both 15th century), and two fortress towers, composing—together with the trees and the views—a romantic ensemble. The first mediaeval construction here was Byzantine, of the mid-13th century; repairs were made to that by the Genoese in 1307; and the area was enlarged and made more habitable by the Gattilusi overlords of the 15th century. The southern tower is the most interesting element, comprising as it does dozens of meticulously cut, ancient marble spolia—one of which is beautifully decorated with an unfinished banquet scene from a tomb stele. (This can be located by descending the steps through the tower, passing through a narrow guard room with stone benches within the thickness of the walls; after half a dozen steps from the exit, the relief is 5m ahead on the facing wall, below ground level and to the right.) The piece is much eroded now: and the rear portion of the horse, who (invited or not) appears to be attending the banquet, is not yet carved.

Thasos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.


Thasos Island, Greece.

Access to the island is by car-ferry from two harbours close to Kavala—(Nea) Péramos to the west, and Keramoti to the east—and from the port of Kavala itself.
   The service from Keramoti is now the most practical and reliable, and is the only one that serves Thasos town/Liménas itself with departures approximately every 90ms (crossing time, 40mins);
   The other connections are all to Prinos Skala which lies 16km to the west of the main town of Liménas. In the summer there are generally 6 car-ferry services (90mins), daily from Kavala to Prinos Skala. All these services are reduced in the winter. The service from Nea Péramos to Prinos Skala runs only April–end Sept and takes c. 75mins: its schedule is currently being renegotiated (2010).
All the above are operated by Thassos Ferries: T. 25930 24001/2,, from whom information on costs and schedules can be obtained. Kavala ("Megas Alexandros") Airport is served by three daily flights from Athens (Olympic Air and Aegean Air lines), and is close (c.10km) to Keramoti for the crossing to Thasos .
Taxi transfer from the airport to Keramoti costs in the region of €10.

Thasos Travel Guide


Thasos Island, Greece.

In Limenas, the Taverna Mouses by the modern harbour has well-prepared local dishes and welcoming hospitality. The plateia of Kazavíti is one of the most picturesque places on the island to dine, though it has recently become popular with tour groups: the family-run Taverna Vassilis on the square takes appropriate care with both food and setting.
At Theologos, both Kleoniki and Stelios serve a variety of good dishes prepared with locally-raised meats. Nowhere especially recommends itself in Liménas but the Taverna Platanaki be side the "old harbour" provides a pleasant setting and a good selection of fish dishes.


Thasos Travel Guide

further reading

Thasos Island, Greece.

Yves Grandjean & François Salviat, Guide de Thasos (Paris/Athens 2000)—an exemplary account of the ancient city which will long remain unsuperseded.
Thasos Travel Guide


Thasos Island, Greece.

In spite of its size, Thasos still has no truly ‘simpatico’ places to stay and little that seems satisfactorily to combine comfort with tastefulness. In the main town of Liménas, the best and most genuine hospitality is offered by the Acropolis Hotel (T. 25930 22488, fax 58118, At Panaghia is the pleasant Thassos Inn, in a traditional style building (T. 25930 61612, fax 61027); below, at Chrysi Ammoudiá, is the Hotel Dionysos (T. 25930 61822, fax 61823, email: dionyso1@, an unpretentious and comfortable hotel just above the beaches of Potamiá Bay. All of the above are moderately characterful and of good value, in the medium price range.Thasos Travel Guide

practical info

Thasos Island, Greece.

640 04 Thasos: area 383 sq. km; perimeter 116km; population 13,447; max. altitude 1,206m. Port Authority: 25930 22106 Travel and Information: www.gothassos.comThasos Travel Guide

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