THASOS



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Thasos - The west and centre of the island - Theologos

Theologos
After Potos (42km) the landscape becomes rougher and more unforgiving. The road which leads 9km inland from here to Theologos, is still bordered by venerable olive groves; but before the fires of 1985, the upper slopes of the hills were also much more densely wooded. In this area, at a site called ‘Kastri­’ (reached by a 4.5km path from a signposted turning to the west just before entering The ologos) excavations have brought to light an important Bronze Age and Geometric Age settlement, which was continually inhabited from c. 1300 bc, up until its abandonment at the end of the 8th century bc. In addition, the site has a significant, much earlier, neolithic phase, dating from the 5th millennium BC.’
   The delightful village of Theologos—formerly the capital of the island up until 1838 when the village of Panaghia succeeded it—takes its name from a religious dependency of the Athonite monastery of Philotheou dedicated to St John the Theologian. It is said that the original 15th century settlement which occupied a site on the opposite slope of the valley was founded by refugees from Constantinople. A tower and some ruined dwellings are still to be seen there. The move of the settlement across to the north side of the river in the 18th century, may have been determined by the changing availability of water: the springs in the village today supply a particularly flavourful water.
   The village rambles over such a considerable distance that it is difficult to find a single, discernible centre, but by taking the main street that winds through the settlement you pass a number of fine buildings and Ottoman mansions. One of these, the 18th century Hadjigeorgiou Mansion—towards the end of the village—belonged to a prominent citizen who was a partesan of the Independence uprising of 1821 and mayor of Theologos. This has recently become an informal museum of the town (open 11–7)—of greater interest for the possibility it affords of seeing the interior of a local mansion, with its wooden floor, partitions and spacious balconies, than for the variety of objects it displays. Mohammed Ali, future sovereign of Egypt, lived in this house as a young man, hiding from the attentions of the Turks. The two large churches of the village—both of them aristocratic pieces of 16th century architecture, restored in the early 19th century— lie below the line of the street to the southeast. Aghia Paraskevi­ has a fine wooden ceiling and imposing curved balcony for women: its wall-paintings date from the 18th century. Just opposite is the school-building: a curious Hellenistic funerary relief of a rider with cape flying in the breeze is incorporated into its façade at the eastern end. The grander church of Aghios Demetrios is similar in design to Aghia Paraskevi­ with a wooden roof, balcony and finely carved iconostasis. Its spacious and dignified porch is unusual and particularly attractive.
   The southern tip of the island beyond Potos, now somewhat forgotten, appears to have been an important area of wine production in antiquity. Both at Vamvouri Ammoudia to the west, and at Koukos to the east, of Cape S alonikios, workshops making wine amphorae have been excavated; at Kamnarokai―ko, 2km south of Potos, on a rise to the north of the road, are the remains of a fortified Hellenistic farmstead. These are the elements of what was an integrated local economy based on wine in Antiquity. That wine was famous in the Greek world and was widely exported. It was over a cup of Thasian wine that Aristophanes makes the companions of Lysistrata swear to renounce their men for as long as the war lasts. Callias served it at banquets in honour of Socrates and Autolycus. Xenophon praises it. Archestratos, the gourmand, compares it to the best of wines. And, for the Epicureans, Thasian wine was one of the principal pleasures of living.


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


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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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