Samothrace

Travel Guide at a Glance
Destination best for: relaxation, swimming, isolation, off the beaten path
Visitors rating:

Attractions (What to see and do)

Picture
Samothrace Island
Photograph taken by Marsyas

The biggest town and main port of the island is Kamariotissa, a relatively busy hub built tightly around the waterfront. From there, the main road splits to the take buses and visitors to either the north and the south coast. The middle of the island is dominated by the imposing mount Fanari (beacon) - thus named because it's peak has been a guiding landmark for seafarers since ancient times.

Mt. Fanari is also the main attraction of the island. It offers a plethora of hiking trails (mostly unmarked) that lead to tiny villages, creeks, waterfalls, and beautiful views of the Aegean sea. Some of these trails will take you to the rocky beaches that dot the perimeter of the island, or to the only soft-sand beach on the southern coast: Pachia Ammos that is also accessible by bus from Kamariotissa.

On the northern coast of the island, the small town of Therma (13km from Kamariotissa) a popular destination for those who plan to explore the mt. Fanari trails, and especially the trail that leads to the summit. The town is near the hot springs that give the town its name and near the crystal lakes named the Pitfalls of the Old Lady. There are plenty of rooms for rent here and several hiking gear shops in the small town.

If you plan a hike to the summit, keep in mind that the trails are unmarked and that you should carry your own water. The hike to the top would take approximately 4 hours.

Another attraction of the island is Cape Fonias which is accessible by a pleasant trail through green foliage and next to a lazy water stream of Fonias river that provide some relief from the intense summer heat. The trail ends at a cascading waterfall and a small lake inviting visitors to dive in its cool waters. Cape Fonias is also accessible by car or bus from Kamariotissa.

Archaeological Sites

Photograph
Nike of Samothrace
The statue was found in the
Sanctuary of the Great Gods,
and is now displayed in the
Louvre in Paris, France.

The island's only ancient site, The Sanctuary of the Great Gods is located in the town of Paleopoli, about 6.3 kilometers northeast from Kamariotissa port. The famous statue of Nike of Samothrace was found in these grounds, near the ancient theatre.

The archaeological site consists of ruins that span about three thousand years worth of the islands history, from the Bronze age to the Byzantine era, most of which are well preserved and are framed by beautiful views of Mt. Fanari and the Aegean sea. A little farther from the sanctuary, the ruins of ancient Samothrace are visible.

Museums

There is a small museum near the archaeological site that displays the ancient artifacts found in the island. You can visit both the archaeological site and the museum with the same ticket. While the original statue of Nike is in France, an exact copy was donated by the Louvre to the island and this copy is on display in the small museum near the Sanctuary of the Great Gods.


Beaches

The island's coast is dotted with a multitude of small beaches, most of them lined with shingle and/or rocks. Pachia Ammos in the southern coast is a pleasant soft-sand beach that's accessible by car or bus. Several boats from Kamariotissa offer day-cruises that visit Pachia Ammos, Kremasta Nera (waterfalls) and Kipos beach at the western tip of the island.

Practical Information

Why Visit Samothrace

  • For the crystal clear sea
  • For the low prices
  • for super fishing
  • For the history
  • For the nature
  • For the food
  • For the hiking
  • To relax off the beaten path

How to Get there

To get to Samothrace you have to sail by ferry from Alexandroupolis.

From Athens, you can drive to Alexandroupoli (a long 8-hour drive) or you can catch one of the 4 daily flights. From there you can board the ferry for the 2-hour ferry ride to Kamariotissa.

Where to Stay

Kamariotissa and Therma offer more accommodations in the form of modest rooms for rent, hotels, and campsites.

What to Eat

In terms of food, Samothraki has a great tradition in roast goat, candy, (in Greece it is called sweet by the tea spoon - γλυκο κουταλιου) and some very special species of cheese.

Fresh fish will probably be on your plate for most meals, but you should also try goat in the oven, goat stew, and a variety of candy (desert) like Praousti.

Conclusion

Samothrace island is a quiet, off the beaten path destination mainly preferred by youthful crowds who enjoy camping, hiking and in some cases (like in the summer of 2011) long-lasting rave partying. Prices are lower than the more touristy destinations of Greece, and there are plenty of modest accommodations in the islands main towns.


ad
ad

Resources

Some information included
in this page provided by
Anemoessa Appartments

© 1998- GreekLandscapes.com. All rights reserved. No image or text may be reproduced without written permission.