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Another five days on the island Thasos


Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 18 to 22 June 2016

Saturday 18 June, another five days on the island Thasos

Eating ice cream in Astris, Thassos Boat in the port of PotosIn Greece the summer holiday has started and we can no longer stay here, all rooms are occupied. But we had already planned that and are going to the south side of the island tonight. After we have paid, we first go to the beach in the village. In the course of the afternoon it becomes increasingly cloudy and muggy and with 30 degrees that doesn't feel nice. In the car we can turn on the air conditioning and drive to Potos on the other side of the island, about 40 kilometers away. Potos is a small tourist village with narrow streets where you can, of course, just drive through by car, even in two directions but you have to be careful not to overturn the standards with souvenirs. We park at the harbor, walk a bit and eat a snack.
Then we drive back to Astris where we have booked an apartment for the next 5 days. There is no one in sight and we have to call a phone number. Greek on the other side of the line, I in English. Ten minutes later a lady appears with the keys who speaks only a few words of English. I am quite surprised, we have come across so many Greeks who hardly speak English but do work in tourism. It seems that many Greeks learn Russian because more and more tourists come from there. But now that the holiday has started, the whole complex is full of almost exclusively Greeks.
When it cools down in the evening, we walk through the area but Astris can hardly be called a village, it is more a collection of apartments for rent, a shop and a beach.

Sunday 19 June 2016, to Limenaria and, obviously, to the beach

The port of Limenaria, Thassos Drinking coffee at the beach of Limenaria, ThassosThe next day it is another muggy day; it is heavily clouded, only by the afternoon the sun shows itself now and then. We love warmth, but without humidity in the air. We feel so tired and lame and we do not do very much. First to the beach for some time and then we drive to Limenaria, after Limenas the largest city on the island. This is mainly due to the mines where metals were won by foreign companies at the beginning of the 20th century. The mines are now closed and the city is alive with tourism. It seems that there is still a mine which can be visited but we think it is too hot for that.
Herakles as archer on a Thassian coin Puffer fish in a souvenir shopThe town is full of restaurants, bars, taverns, souvenir shops, grocers and apartments and we walk around a bit. In the display window of a souvenir shop we see stuffed puffers hanging. Would there really be tourists who buy things like that and take them on the plane? You are not allowed to import skins from animals in the Netherlands, I am curious if that is also true for these fish.
Along the boulevard is a statue that depicts an antique Thassian coin on which the hero Herakles stands with a bow. Herakles was identified with the god Melqart who had been introduced to the island by the Phoenicians.
Parasailing on the west coast of ThassosAfter a while we look for the beach at Sartis although there are many boulders, it is not such a beautiful sandy beach as we prefer. But we do not feel like looking for something better now and we are clearing a spot in a quiet part of the beach. Last Sunday it was very busy everywhere on the beaches, today it is not so bad, maybe because it is so muggy. You can also do a lot of water sports on Thassos, from snorkeling and diving to parasailing. We are not that active today and after hours on the beach we find a bar to sit for a while and afterwards we go to our apartment on time where there is also a swimming pool to cool off every now and then.

Monday 20 June 2016, into Thassos

Fortunately, it is not nearly as muggy as yesterday, but it is wonderfully warm and sunny. We see different thermometers along the road that do not agree: is it 32, 33, 34 or 36 degrees Celsius? Time to start with some time on a beach and this time we drive to a sandy beach a bit past Limenari. There is a two kilometer long beach and a large part of it is organized which means that you can rent a lounger and often can also order food and drinks. We look for a quiet corner and stay there all morning.
Among others, it was funded by the EU, ThassosThen we go on the road again and we are very happy with the air conditioning in our small car. On the way to Kastros inland we see a sign that 3.65 million euros has been donated by the EU for some project and that can only be for the new and very good road that runs to Kastro. But Elisabeth makes a prediction: she bets that the road ends on a sandy path. But the winding mountain road is really fantastic, 10 kilometers long and complete with white stripes, warning signs, speed advice in the bends and even crash barriers in the right places. Except for the toll roads, we have rarely seen such a beautiful road in Greece.
The road to Kastro stops in the village The road to Kastro stops in the villageAnd there is the last bend before the village, I am curious. But Elisabeth is absolutely right, exactly after the sign of the village Kastro the road just stops, the asphalt is replaced by a gravel path. The village is probably the oldest of the island but there are less than 10 people living (in 2011 according to the wikipedia). Why then is there such an expensive new road, we wonder? The village is deserted but later we read that we could have asked for a key to the old church and the charnel in the only tavern of the village. Too bad, that's for a next time.
An abandoned car at Maries, ThassosOn the way to Maries we first have to go back that same beautiful road and then go on another road that clearly is a bit older but still reasonably good. But money for crash barriers was apparently not available at the time and no money was reserved for maintenance either, because the cracks and holes in the road have not been repaired. Somewhat beyond the village seems to be the only lake on the island that I would like to see. But of course there is only a dirt road there, so I want to try to use the car again as an off-road vehicle, but after a few hundred meters I listen to Elisabeth's advice and turn around in a place where that is possible. Soon we see other cars meeting us but all of them are also turning around at the point where we have turned around.
Atspas beach at Skala Maries, Thassos Water hole at Ktira Iodranou, ThassosSo no lake. A little later, on a terrace in Skala Maries we look on Google Earth because I want to check for myself and see there is a tiny lake on the map but there is no water on the satellite photo. It will probably dry out completely in the summer although we read on another website that there would even be a waterfall. Well, a pity for me but at least the car is still in one piece.
We drive a bit along the coast and find a nice beach to spend some time. The spot on the photo would also have been nice: a piece of beach around a pool of seawater that flows through the rocks.
Elisabeth near Skala Maries Teije at Ktira Iodranou, ThassosWe only have few photos that we are on ourselves, so we are going to make up for that now. Unfortunately we do not think that there is also a self-timer on the camera and we just take a few pictures of each other. Elisabeth thinks that I put too many pictures of her on the site (and then often when she is eating) and too little of myself so I put this (a bit) right.
Good food at beach bar PlavoulisSlightly south of Skala Maries we see (again) a nice beach with a restaurant where we have something to eat. The food is fine, but here, too, we are treated to very sweet desserts when we ask for the bill. First we start eating enthusiastically under the watchful eye of the waiter but quickly get rid of it in a plastic bag when he is diverted by another customer. It is a very sweet and nice gesture, but why do they not want to accept when we turn it down. Apparently they can not imagine that someone does not like sweets.

Tuesday 21 June, and 22 June, the last days on Thassos

Can it get even warmer? Apparently so. Fortunately, there is a strong wind that keeps the temperature bearable. Today we drive a bit along the east of the island and go to a beach with a tavern where we drink some coffee first. If we want to lie on the beach, we are warned by a man who shows us that there are all kinds of big sea spines on the rocks.
Closed antique pottery at the Fari beach The Fari beach, ThassosThat is why we drive a bit further, to the north and see a sign pointing to an ancient pottery. But, you guessed it, we stand in front of a closed fence. Avoiding the holes in the dirt road, I drive a bit further and we find a very nice beach where only a few divers who are leaving the place after fifteen minutes. The rest of the day we have the whole beach to ourselves, which has not happened so often before. But after a few hours of swimming and reading, we are ready for some more sightseeing.
Dining at Skala Kallirachis, Thassos In the village of Kallirachi, ThassosWe look at some villages in the area such as Skala Kallirachis where we take a late lunch with ice-cold orange juice (I do not take the ice cubes out as Elisabeth does). And then we drive to Kallirachi, the original village that is slightly more inland. All those villages that start with Skala originated because fishermen, from the villages that are more inland, placed huts on the beach so they could stay there when they arrived late with their catch. They were also able to watch their boats in this way and gradually a small fisherman's settlement arose.
Telephone box and picture in Kallirachi, Thassos Small square in Kallirachi, ThassosSkala Kallirachis means 'staircase of Kallirachi' and we drive the two kilometers inland to take a walk in the higher Kallirachi. It is a traditional mountain village with a central square and narrow streets around it. It seems that the whole village was rebuilt after it was destroyed by pirates in 1750. There is a small folklore museum where you can see old photographs and utensils from the neighborhood.
Overgrown rocks on the west coast of Thassos The port of Limenari, ThassosSo we fill the days with a bit of driving around, lying on the beach for hours, cooling down in the sea because there is now a warm wind that does not cool down at night. It stays well above 30 degrees and we regularly look for a bar or restaurant, but otherwise we do very little. The evenings we sit on our balcony or I walk to a nearby hotel for a cold beer because unfortunately we do not have a fridge. And so we do not do very much these days and we have much less photos than usual. But it is very relaxing, it feels really like vacation!
We have been on Thassos for 9 days now and we think it is a beautiful island but we have not seen everything, a good reason to come back again some day.

 


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