Thassos

TRAVELING / Greece / Thassos

The rich nature of Thassos, the mild climate, and the agricultural occupations of many residents have inspired events that take place on the island every year. These cultural events are uniquely connected to local customs and traditions which Thassians have passed down over many generations.

Thassos today is known as the “Emerald Island” due to the lush vegetation and forests that make this island such a beautiful holiday destination. However in ancient Greece it was known as “The Athens of the North”, a title confirming the considerable reputation the island enjoyed. Rich in minerals and natural resources and strategically positioned on the main trade route linking Anatolia and central Greece and beyond, the island has been coveted by all the great powers of antiquity. The Athenians, Spartans, Persians and the Romans all targeted the island for invasion and did so when the opportunity arose.

To delve a little into the fascinating story of the island, a good place to start is the archaeological museum in Thassos Town (known locally as Limenas). Renowned as one of the principle museums in Greece, it is highly recommended for a visit during your stay on the island. The exhibits range from monumental sculptures to the most delicate ancient gold jewelry excavated from sites all over the island. The story of Thassos throughout its history is set out in chronological order as you move from room to room, giving the visitor a fascinating insight into this historically important island.

Limenas is the modern day capital of the island as it was in ancient times, a fact that becomes evident when you explore the town, as around every corner you come face to face with remnants of its ancient past. The main archaeological sites are the agora (ancient marketplace), the sanctuaries to the gods Herakles, Dionysus, Artemis and Poseidon. Venturing up to the acropolis which also offers magnificent views of the town and bay below, you will find the ancient theatre, the remains of the temples to Apollo and Athena and the sanctuary of Pan. Circling Limenas and in easy walking distance from the centre are the remains of the monumental city-wall that rose up to 9 metres high and was predominantly constructed out of gleaming white Thassian marble. Marvel at the gargantuan blocks of stone constructed with such precision that even today a credit card cannot be inserted between them. At intervals around these impenetrable defences were magnificently decorated gates that provided the only entrances to the ‘fairy-tale’ city of white marble within.Residents are actively involved in local culture clubs, striving to make the island's traditions known to its visitors, and to bring them closer to the spirit of Thassos. These clubs hold various events throughout the year, especially during the summer months.

By taking part in some of the local events and celebrations, you'll get close to the locals and witness what open-hearted and hospitable people they are. You'll also see that they really enjoy good fun!

Thassos has numerous delights to tempt even the least adventurous eater. At the same time, the island offers delicious surprises for even the most seasoned traveller.

By exploring all of the villages and their local tavernas, or by eating with locals who befriend you during your holiday, you will get to know new tastes and aromas that are unique and out of your world.

If you are determined to experience as many of the best local specialities and delicacies that you can, then here are some that you should particularly look for during your holidays.
Immerse yourself with the history and culture of Thassos' ancient and recent past by visiting the many museums around the island. See interesting antiquities and impressive artefacts, touch traditional tools, and learn all about the islanders' interesting, simplistic, and laid-back way of life.

A special gem of our island is the archaeological museum, located in the capital, Limenas. It boasts amazing displays of ancient findings from the area and the whole island, with an incredibly passionate team of staff who enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion with visitors.
 
The majority of museums on Thassos are of culture and folklore, providing interesting insight on the every day life of Thassian residents of the past. There are also museums of agriculture, where you can learn about the island's vital olive oil and honey industries as well as traditional and modern methods of production.

 

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