About Thassos beaches
The green, mountainous island of Thassos, on the Aegean Sea in northern Greece, is still considered relatively off the beaten track. The main draw is the white-sand beaches of the east coast, the largest and most renowned of which is Chrissi Ammoudia (Golden Beach), a sweeping stretch of sand set off against the pine-clad slopes of Mount Ipsario, rising 1,204m (3,950ft). Indeed, Thassos’s interior offers impressive rocky mountains, pine forests and unspoilt rural villages, making it ideal for hiking and mountain biking. Since ancient times, Thassos has been famed for its white marble and quarrying continues to this day. The island’s capital, Limenas (also known as Thassos Town), lies on the north coast, facing the mainland.
The island’s best beaches lie along the east coast. Just 2km (1 mile) southeast of Limenas, Makryammos is an organised, purpose-built resort, with stone bungalows set in pinewoods overlooking a sand beach, and good sports facilities. Further south along the coast lies Thassos’s largest beach, Chrissi Ammoudia (Golden Beach). Backed by the pine-clad heights of Mount Ipsario, it offers 1km (0.5 miles) of fine white sand equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, watersports facilities and a number of seafood tavernas. It has been awarded a Blue Flag for cleanliness. At the south end of Golden Beach lies the resort of Skala Potamias. Further south from here lie the smaller, more relaxed and very beautiful beaches of Paradiso (devoted in part to nudism) and Alyki, which lies close to the ruins of an ancient temple and two Byzantine churches. In contrast to the east coast, the west coast is flatter and offers less attractive beaches.
Beyond the beach:
Thassos has several semi-excavated archaeological sites, all in Limenas, including the ancient Agora near the old harbour, an ancient theatre, a couple of temples and the ruins of a hilltop citadel. The mountainous interior offers well-marked hiking paths leading up Mount Ipsario (the most popular route begins in Potamia) and trails for mountain biking (bikes can be hired in the village of Potos on the southwest coast). The less adventurous might hire a 4-wheel drive to visit the rural villages of Panagia and Potamia, then drive up Mount Ipsario for stunning panoramic views over the island.
Thassos’s unspoilt sandy beaches offer hours of safe bathing for children. The resort with the best facilities for kids is Makryammos, where visitors will find a kids’ club, mini zoo, children’s pool and playground. Pine Tree Paddock in Rachoni, and the Pegasus Riding Centre in Theologos, on the slopes of Mount Ipsario, both offer riding lessons and group trekking at all levels.
Being off the main ferry routes, Thassos does not lend itself to island hopping. However, it is possible to make excursions to the mainland, with a hydrofoil trip to the port town of Kavala, home to a hilltop castle and an old town hosting several Turkish-era monuments, being the most popular. Just 15km (9 miles) northwest of Kavala lies the archaeological site of Philippi.