THASOS



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Thasos - The west and centre of the island - Limenaria and Kastro

Limenaria and Kastro
After Skala Marion the road passes Cape Kefalas and comes first to Limenaria (38km), and then to Potos (42km); together they constitute the principal tourist centres of this side of the island, profiting from the fine beaches along their stretch of coast. At the beginning of the last century Limenaria was the centre of local iron-ore mining activities, conducted by a German company. The mine owner’s residence—the attractive Speidel Mansion—can be seen amongst the trees on the promontory at the eastern end of the port. Inland to the north of Limenaria is the picturesque village of Kali­via. The church here has some ancient funerary reliefs built into its walls.
   From Kali­via an arduous 11km track through beautiful *scenery, climbs up first through olive groves, then mountain maquis, and finally through pines and rocks to a mediaeval settlement, at an altitude of 550m—almost at the centre of the island—known simply as Kastro and mentioned by the 15th century traveller and antiquarian, Cyriac of Ancona, under the name of ‘Neokastro’. The settlement is remarkably well-hidden, coming into view only at the last moment; but it commands an almost 360Β° panorama from its exposed plateau of barren rock. The low, mostly square, stone-tiled houses of the village have a satisfying solidity and harmonious proportions; occasionally the roofs are crowned with stylish, stone acroteria, in imitation of the common terracotta versions found more widely elsewhere. The exposed village straggles along a ridge to the point of the spur where the broad, low church of Prophitis Elias crowns the summit. Below it an ossuary and the tiny chapel of Aghios Giorgios cling to the side of the slope. These are all built on the site of what was a 15th century stronghold, whose enceinte of walls, together with the base of a bastion to the east, can still be seen. This was built by Umberto Grimaldi—a scion of the same Genoese family who were ancestors of the Princes of Monaco; he was commander here on behalf of another Genoese family, the Gattilusi, who were the over lords of Lesbos and Samothrace. This remote place was his fortress for the command of the island. All this is suggested by a marble plaque, immured upside down in the exterior south wall of the church of Aghios Athanasios in the centre of the village, bearing an inscription and three escutcheons—that of the Gattilusi in the centre, flanked by the Grimaldi arms to either side. The plaque mystifyingly gives the date of the completion of the castle (from which this was presumably taken) as 1534, i.e. 100 years later than the Grimaldi/Gattilusi presence here. This is hard to explain and may even be an error of transcription by the carver. The church itself, which has a finely raftered porch providing welcome refuge from the elements, was renovated in 1804.


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


access

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, www.thassos-ferries.gr, 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

eating

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

lodging

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, www.acropolis-hotel.com). 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@ otenet.gr), 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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