The beauty of Thassos island in April, Northern Greece

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One of our favourite places to go in the spring is the beautiful Thassos island in Northern Greece. Thassos island is located in the Aegean Sea and is one of the closest Greek Islands to Bulgaria (this is important for me because I’m from Bulgaria). Thassos is not renowned for its endless sandy beaches, but has its own charm and beauty. For endless and nice beaches, you can stay in Keramoti, where the ferry to Thassos ferry departs. I’m not saying that there are no beaches – there are even many of them, but they are small and can easily get crowded with tourists. This is why we love Thassos in April.

Theologos village, Thassos island, Greece
Theologos village, Thassos
Taverns in Potos, Thassos
Taverns in Potos, Thassos

April is not the best time for sun baths because the weather is cool even in the warmer northern Greece. However, the charm of the sea and the pleasant sea air is especially inviting after a long winter. And so we decided to visit it, literally days before the busy season around the Orthodox Easter when Greece gets flooded with tourists from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. In this article I will tell you about the beautiful Thassos island and what else can be done besides sunbathing.

Giola /Γκιόλα/ – stunning natural pool between the rocks

Everyone who has ever been to Thassos island knows about Giola – the stunning natural pool between the rocks, filled with seawater. In high season it is probably impossible to see it without many people around. But our host Nikos told us that in the 80s even local people didn’t know it existed until a shepherd told them accidentally.

Sign to Giola , Tassos
Sign to Giola
The path to Giola, Thassos, Greece
The path to Giola, Thassos, Greece

The small natural pool is surrounded by beautiful rocks with flat and comfortable terraces. It is relatively easy to go there. From the main road you need to take the dirt road near Aeria hotel, close to Astris village. There is a makeshift sign saying GIOLA. A few kilometers by the dirt and sometimes steep road and you reach a parking with a tavern below. The owner of the tavern was extremely happy to see early tourists and kindly pointed us the path to the pool.

Giola /Γκιόλα/, Thassos
Giola /Γκιόλα/, Thassos
Rocks, Giola /Γκιόλα/, Thassos
Rocks around Giola /Γκιόλα/, Thassos
Giola natural pool, Thassos
Giola natural pool, Thassos

Tavern Giola

I don’t know whether this is still valid, but Tavern Giola was very nice place with delicious food, normal prices and wonderful view (as of April 2016). If you have been there recently, please share, I hope it has not changed a lot. Here is a part of our lunch.

Zucchini Greek style at Giola Tavern, Thassos, Greece
Zucchini Greek style at Giola Tavern, Thassos, Greece
Giola Tavern, Thassos, Greece
Giola Tavern, Thassos, Greece

Sunset at Giola

When you are near such a beautiful place, you cannot resist but go back on sunset, when is the best time to take photos of it. Giola did not mislead me so here are some photos I did on Giola during sunset, when it was even calmer and lonelier.

Giola on sunset, Thassos island, Greece
Giola on sunset, Thassos island, Greece
Sunset at Giola
Sunset at Giola
Rocks near Giola
Rocks near Giola

Potos village and its beach

We stayed in Potos village which we thought was the best location if you want to visit the island’s attractions. Indeed, it proved very convenient point for both beach lovers and explorators.

Potos beach, Thassos
Potos beach, Thassos

Around the beach in Potos there are wonderful taverns where you can enjoy fresh and delicious fish meals.

Little Anna reading the menu at a tavern in Potos, Thassos, Greece
Little Anna reading the menu at a tavern in Potos, Thassos, Greece
European pilchard
European pilchard at a tavern in Potos

The beach of Potos is very nice and well-organized. From the village of Potos also starts the road to the old capital Theologos – nowadays a picturesque village. Potos is also a nice place if you just want to rest on the beach with a good city beach and other nice beaches in the vicinity.

As we learned, olives in the area are being grown for olive oil so don’t hesitate to buy some olive oil. Other local delicacies include walnut jam and fig jam. You can also buy orange jam.

Beach bars in Potos village
Beach bars in Potos village
Potos beach on sunset
Potos beach on sunset
Where to stay in Potos village – hotels.

Theologos village – the former capital of Thassos island

Theologos was the administrative center of the island between 1455 and 1902. Nowadays the village has preserved its beautiful stone architecture. The village is located in the center of the island and although it is far from the sea, it is a wonderful place for a walk or dinner.

Theologos village, Thassos, Greece
Theologos village, Thassos, Greece

Our first task in Theologos was to go to the local bakery and buy some delicious stuff for breakfast. After that we had an energizing walk around the village and even met other Bulgarians living there.

Bakery in Theologos, Thassos
Bakery in Theologos, Thassos
St. Paraskeva church, Theologos
St. Paraskeva church, Theologos
Theologos village, Thassos, Greece
The cozy streets of Theologos village, Thassos, Greece

Kastro village – almost in the middle of the island

Until a few years ago there was no normal road to reach Kastro, only a dirt road. Kastro is another picturesque village in the middle of the island with stunning views from the mountain.

Kastro village on the island of Thassos, Greece
Kastro village on the island of Thassos, Greece
Kastro village
Kastro village

Kastro is almost deserted but you still can have a delicious lunch or dinner there. If you are lucky you could even, see the local church which is not open all the time.

A street in Kastro village, Thassos, Greece
A street in Kastro village, Thassos, Greece

Kazaviti village – another beautiful place away from the coast

Another beautiful village with old-style but renovated houses, very similar to some old villages in Bulgaria. You can reach it by an asphalt road from Prinos. We were there on a rainy day and unfortunately there were no taverns working out of season but we were happy to find a nice tavern just outside the village – Vasilis tavern..

St. Panteleymon church, Kazaviti, Thassos, Greece
St. Panteleymon church, Kazaviti, Thassos, Greece
The rainy streets of Kazaviti village
The rainy streets of Kazaviti village
Phtoographers like me love rainy days because the colours become deeper and people disappear from the streets - Kazaviti, Thasos, Greece
Phtoographers like me love rainy days because the colours become deeper and people disappear from the streets
The view from Kazaviti is wonderful despite the fog
The view from Kazaviti is wonderful despite the fog

Marble beach – Saliara

Saliara is another famous attraction on Thassos, close to Limenas (Thasos) city. Saliara, known also as Marble beach, is made of white marble pebbles. Despite there is no sand, I believe that walking on the pebbles is just a wonderful feeling. And the crystal waters wash the white pebbles every day.

Marble beach (Saliara) - Thassos, Greece
Marble beach (Saliara) – Thassos, Greece
Beautiful marble beach on Thassos
Beautiful marble beach on Thassos

This amazing beach is reachable by a 4 km dirt road starting just right to the gate to Makryammos Bungalows.

The white beauty of the Marble beach - Saliara
The white beauty of the Marble beach – Saliara

Actually there are two marble beaches – after you reach the first one you shouldn’t give up but drive a little bit more to reach the other one – Porto Vathy Marble Beach.

There is also a beach bar – Porto Vathy Marble Beach. The beach is located just under a marble quarry. If you are not yet scared of the dirt road you can keep driving ahead and you will reach one of the biggest beaches on the island – Skala Potamia, meaning Golden Beach.

Porto Vathy Marble Beach
Porto Vathy Marble Beach

Here is correct location of the Marble Beach:

Archangel Michael Monastery – Ιερά Μονή Αρχαγγέλου Μιχαήλ, Μοναστήρι Θάσος

Archangel Michael Monastery is built on a rock above the sea between the villages of Astris and Aliki. It is the biggest monastery on the island. It is important to be properly dressed when you visit it – long skirts, covered shoulders and no shorts for men. If you are not properly dressed, you will be asked to borrow something to cover at the entrance. It is also good to know that in the church women and man stand separately.

Archangel Michael monastery - Thassos, Greece
Archangel Michael monastery – Thassos, Greece
The colourfl gardens of Archangel Michael monastery
The colourfl gardens of Archangel Michael monastery

The gardens and terraces of the monastery are full of flowers and also offer beautiful views to Aegean Sea.

Archangel Michael Monastery Thassos
Archangel Michael Monastery Thassos
Archangel Michael monastery has amazing location on the edge of the island of Thassos
Archangel Michael monastery has amazing location on the edge of the island of Thassos

Beaches on Thassos Island

There are plenty of beaches on the island but don’t expect any large beaches. Instead there are tens of small beaches that can get easily crowded in high season as I have heard. Some of them are sandy, others covered with pebbles or even rocky beaches.

Livadi Beach
Livadi Beach
Astris Beach, Thasos
Astris Beach, Thasos
Part of Skala Potamia Beach, but not the best part :) - Golden Beach Thassos
Part of Skala Potamia Beach, but not the best part. Also known as Golden Beach Thassos

Travelling to Thassos island

It takes a short ferry ride from mainland Greece to go to Thassos island. The shortest way is through the town of Keramoti. During the high season there is a ferry every 30 minutes and in the low season – one in 2 hours. You can also take a ferry from Kavala but the journey is longer and more expensive.

If you travel by car from Sofia, it will take you around 5 hours or more to Keramoti. The island itself is not very big – the main ring road is around 100 km long.

Where to stay:

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