Life’s a beach
Thassos has more than 20 impressive beaches, and due to its small size, you’ll never be very far from any of them regardless of where you’re staying. Some of the more popular choices include Paradise Beach on the island’s south-eastern coast or the four separate sandy stretches found at Limenaria, further west.
Having said that, you’re guaranteed to be wowed by the golden sands and sparkling waters of the bay wherever you end up – Thassos is really that spoilt for beautiful beaches. For active beach-goers, there are a multitude of watersports to try your hand at, including water-skiing, banana boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, and speed-boating.
Meanwhile, those more interested in life underneath the waters will marvel at the diversity of the flora and fauna to be found offshore. With some of the cleanest and most transparent water in all of the Mediterranean, Thassos is truly a snorkelling and scuba diving paradise.
From ocean to mountain
The uneven terrain on Thassos lends itself perfectly to any number of outdoor pursuits, including mountain-biking and hiking. Intrepid explorers will be especially excited to attempt scaling Mount Ypsarion, which affords breathtaking vistas of the entire island.
At 1,206 meters above sea level, Mount Ypsarion can represent quite the lung-busting challenge, especially in the stifling Mediterranean heat, but those brave enough to best it will be well-rewarded for their efforts with views across Thassos.
Nature enthusiasts will also be delighted by the sheer breadth and depth of wildlife on show in the greenest of all of the Greek islands. In spring, bunches of colourful flowers add splashes of vibrancy to the landscape, while July and August bring all the hues of an artist’s palette. Meanwhile, bird lovers can spend many a blissful hour sighting hawks, eagles, owls, partridges, finches, doves and orioles, to name but a few.
An island in ruins
History buffs will be in their element exploring every nook and cranny of this heritage-heavy island. The ancient Thassians live on in today through the many visual reminders of their former glory and power. In fact, some of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Greece can be found in Thassos.
Of particular note are the Agora marketplace, the Acropolis and the Ancient Theatre. All of these are located in the capital Thassos Town, or Limenas to the locals – the island’s major hub. Elsewhere, the peninsula of Alyki is home to an old sanctuary, temple and quarry site, making for some fascinating sightseeing.
For those who prefer their history catalogued and housed in glass cases, the Archaeological Museum in Thassos Town offers a unique insight into both Thassian and Greek history and culture. Among other artefacts, visitors can marvel at ancient tools, earthenware items, jewellery, weapons, coins and parchments, as well as exhibits on the subject of the island’s agricultural and trading past.
Culture and carnival
Time your visit right and you could be lucky enough to witness the island in full-on celebration mode. Coinciding with the Christian holiday of Lent, Carnival runs from the 40 days prior to Ash Monday – known as Clean Monday to the locals. Instead of observing abstinence, it celebrates almost the polar opposite.
The traditional method of celebrating Carnival is paying homage to the Greek god Dionysus, who, among other things, was the lord of wine, revelry and feasting. As such, the streets are awash with fancy costumes, flagons of wine and plenty of good cheer – the perfect way to round off All Inclusive holidays to Thassos.
Alternatively, summer visitors can join in on the activities of the Summer Festival. This lengthy celebration encompasses all manner of entertainments, from concerts and theatrical performances to poetry recitals and dancing competitions. There’s even a donkey race for children. The programme of events runs throughout the summer.