SAMOTHRAKI… the mysterious Island of the Great Gods with a wild natural beauty - An alternative tourism paradise

Greece » Samothrace

Samothraki is the most mysterious and one of the most dramatic of the Greek Islands. Its mystery is enhanced by cliffs, nightingales, olive, pine and plane trees forests, damp glades with waterfalls, pristine beaches and the theatrical backdrop of Mount Feggari. Overlooked by most island-hoppers, Samothraki sits alone in the northeastern corner of the Aegean, accessible only from the mainland port of Alexandroupolis. This lush, forested island boasts one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece: the ancient Thracian Sanctuary of the Great Gods. Also here stands the Aegean’s loftiest peak, Mountain Feggari (1611m), from where, according to Homer, Poseidon, god of the sea, watched the Trojan War unfold. The island's most famous site is the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, the most famous artifact of which is the 2.75-metre marble statue of Nike, now known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, dating from about 190 BC. It was discovered in pieces on the island in 1863 by the French archaeologist Charles Champoiseau, and is now—headless—in the Louvre in Paris. Perhaps this Greek island is still “haunted” by the ancient energy of the famed Kaverian mysteries which took place here, in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, one of Greece’s top archaeological attractions.

For many years now, Samothraki has been a favorite with all those seeking an alternative to the arid landscape of the Cyclades. This extraordinarily green island is an ideal choice for nature lovers and anyone seeking adventure and challenging physical activities such as crossing gorges, trekking, hiking, mountaineering, mountain bike, paragliding, rafting, kayak, diving….  Endless chilling out on the beach is not the thing on Samothraki. Quite the contrary, the island’s celebrated natural beauty is mainly on account of its waterfalls and vathres, the plunge pools formed between the falls and the rocks. The cool, clear water running down Mount Saos creates a number of streams and rivers that make their way to the sea. The Fonias canyon boasts the highest waterfall, at 35 meters. But there is more to Samothraki than its forests and waterfalls. The main town, Hóra, offers some breathtaking views and the local cuisine is mouth-wateringly delicious. Hóra features the medieval castle of the Gateluzzi family, cobbled streets, stone houses, easy-going dining and nightlife spots. And for those with a beach agenda, the crystal clear water is quite irresistible. Samothraki might not be well known for its beaches, but some are definitely worth a visit, such as Kipi a kilometers-long pebble beach in the southeast, very quiet, with bright waters and a peaceful atmosphere, Pahia Ammos a sandy beach with clear, blue waters and the stunning Vatos with plane trees and cold waters in the south as well as those in front of and close to the campsite at the area of Therma/Loutra where are also natural spas. Therma, apart from being popular for their therapeutic springs, are also considered to be the hotspot of the island. People go to "Therma" to drink coffee, beer, tsipouro and to try traditional delicacies (mezedes). In the evenings, the place gets quite crowded and filled with people playing the guitar and the bouzouki (traditional Greek instrument), and singing all along!

Samothraki is also known in Greece as the hippies’ island, where the majority of the visitors choose for their accommodation, the campsite. Groups of young people as well as families set up their tents in the cool shade of the campsite’s trees. There are 2 kinds of camping offered for your accommodation in the island, and you can choose either the free one (literally in the nature) or the semi-organized campsite (facilities such as electricity, clean water and toilets are provided). To cap off the day's activities, the island runs a steady schedule of free cultural entertainment in the three main villages, ranging from traditional dance groups to contemporary musicians from Greece and Turkey (which lies only a few kilometers away). Finally, you should not leave the island without tasting the famous goat meat of Samothrace that is offered in most of its restaurants and is mouth-wateringly delicious.  Goats are everywhere in Samothraki. They live freely and feed on natural foods so their meat is unique, the most delicious in Greece!

Samothraki is a "special" island full of contrasts that suits only a few tastes...or you love it or you hate it! Visit it to live its mystery….discover its secrets and get your own personal experience....



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