A guide to things to do in Thassos
With mile after mile of beautiful sandy beaches, a lush interior bursting with greenery and wildlife and a rich heritage, Thassos holidays are popular with tourists of all ages. Though it receives a predictable influx of tourists during the summer months, there are plenty of natural wonders and adrenaline-fuelled activities to make Thassos a great destination at any time of the year. Whether you like an active holiday full of hillwalking, sightseeing and watersports or a more laid-back getaway dominated by trips to the beach and decadently long dining experiences, Thassos has enough variety to please most palates.
Get in the sea
If you’re one of those beach lovers who can’t just lie there soaking up the sun’s rays, there are plenty of water-based activities to keep you busy. The incredible translucent water surrounding Thassos makes for some excellent snorkelling and scuba diving, with Pefkari, Potos and Skala Prinos especially good spots for exploring underwater worlds.
Meanwhile, the trio of popular beaches mentioned above all offer fantastic watersports, from gentler exploits such as kayaking and windsurfing to more intense activities like jet-skiing, parasailing and banana-boat riding.
Reconnect with nature
Thassos isn’t nicknamed the ‘Emerald of the Aegean’ for nothing. In stark contrast to the neighbouring islands in the region, Thassos is blessed with soaring mountains and swooping valleys, all covered in a thick layer of green vegetation. As such, it’s a veritable paradise for nature lovers, with plant and animal lovers in for a particular treat due to the wide variety of species on show.
Walking and hiking are both fantastic ways to fill your lungs with the fresh air and enjoy the inner tranquility of the island, while horse riding is another leisurely manner of exploring the countryside. The more active traveller may wish to take advantage of the many bike hire shops around Thassos, as the multitude of goat and mule tracks make for a fantastic off-road biking experience.
Feed your inner history buff
The once legendary power of the ancient Thassians has left an indelible mark on the island, which is visible nowhere more than in the old city of Thassos Town. Here, virtually every street corner will yield a treasure trove of fascinating architectural sites and archaeological wonders. Of particular note are the Acropolis, the Ancient Theatre and the Ancient Agora market square in the Old Town.
For those who like their history to come neatly labelled and packaged, a mind-boggling number of artefacts are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Thassos in the island’s capital. Renovated in 2013, the museum showcases statues, busts and sculptures of various Greek emperors, deities and mythological figures side by side, as well as some impressive excavated ruins.
Get your culture fix
If you time your visit right, you might just be lucky enough to witness Thassos in full festival swing. Carnival, taking place at roughly the same time as the Christian festival of Lent, is a homage to the Greek god Dionysus, who presided over wine and revelry. Because of this, the 40 days prior to Ash Monday – known as Clean Monday in Greece – are filled with music, dancing, costumed parades and parties of all kinds.
Alternatively, if you plan to visit later in the year, there is a full calendar of events throughout the summer that involves such spectacles as the Honey Festival, the Sardine Festival and the annual performance of the Thassian Wedding.