In Thassos, you’ll find many historical sights and landmarks to visit. Thassos draws visitors who enjoy relaxing on the beach, but it also has a variety of landmarks and historical sites for tourists to visit. If you want to discover more about the history of Thassos, you should visit these locations. The Archaeological Site of Alyki and the Ancient Theater of Thassos are the two natural wonders located very close to Alyki and Limenas, and they are absolute must-sees.
Church And Monastery Of Panagia
The church of Panagia (Virgin Mary), An impressive church 18 meters high, is devoted to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This church stands out because of its classic structure, having a dome-topped basilica with three inner aisles and semi-circular domes. As per custom, it was founded in the 18th century by Archbishop Anthimos. Another thing that makes the church stand out is that it was built using Thassian marble and marble taken from the remains of the island’s ancient temples.
This is a great destination for tourists who are fascinated with history. The church’s sacred icons are from periods ranging from the 14th to the 17th century and include the 1814 icon of “Virgin Mary the Pantovlepoussa.” This gives the landmark exceptional historical and theological worth. Tourists can also enjoy a celebration the church holds every year on August 15th. This includes a litany of the Mary image and a feast with large amounts of food (“Klubani”). The distance between Panagia and the island’s capital is only 10 km, and you can easily get there by taxi, car, or local bus service.
Iera Moni Archaggelou Michail (Monastery)
The Monastery of Saint Archangel is situated on a small hill 15 kilometers from Potos and offers breathtaking views of the sea and Mount Athos. It was founded in the 18th century and is Thassos’ largest and most well-known monastery. The monastery is very important, the major reason being how it houses a holy pin made from Christ’s crucifixion hand. It is also the source of Holy water, which is said to have healing properties. To venerate St. Archangel Michael, tens of thousands of pilgrims travel to Thassos and visit this monastery. Tourists must visit this monastery to experience its historical and religious significance.
The closest cities to this landmark are Kinira, which is at a distance of 16 km, and Astris, which is only 9 km away. You can visit this monastery by joining one of the many island tours that take place in which this landmark is included. You can also visit this landmark by car or taxi by driving along the coast.
Ancient Theater Of Thassos
The Ancient Theater is one of Thassos’s most important archaeological and historical sites, and it is situated in Limenas, the island’s capital. It makes up the Ancient City, which is located close to the town’s center and also includes the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora.
This is a great place to visit since people get to see how theaters looked during the Roman era. The orchestra’s gallery and the stage’s massive two-store construction helped it serve as an important site for naval and hunting events of that time. When the theater is a part of the Philippi Festival, it hosts a number of smaller activities, such as music and poetry. A few events are also held at Thassos’ yearly carnival, which can also be a great experience for visitors.
Since this theater is only a few kilometers to the east of the capital city of Limenas, getting there should not be an issue. If you are traveling from somewhere else on the island, you need to first arrive at Limenas, either by taking a bus, hiring a taxi, or renting a car. From there, you can walk to the theater and enjoy the view the entire time.
Archaeological Site Of Alyki
Alyki is situated 32 kilometers from Limenas in the southeast of Thassos. It is a peninsula of archaeological significance and is home to an ancient marble quarry. The marble quarry was in use from antiquity through the Byzantine era, giving the place great importance. Under the sea’s surface, enormous marble rocks may be seen.
According to legend, the kingdom of Alyki had a sizable population and a significant harbor throughout antiquity. A temple to the deity Apollo was built on the eastern shore in the seventh century BC. A well-preserved Kouros was found in 1896, and ever since then, it has been on display in the Istanbul Museum. This is a great place to visit if you are interested in history and enjoy seeing ruins of ancient civilizations.
Visitors can also hire taxis or rent a car to get to this archeological site from any other city since you just have to drive along the coast.
Gates Of Zeus And Hera
The Gate of Zeus and Hera was originally just a small opening, like the Gate of Hermes beside the dock, when the walls had been first built. It was decorated with two exquisite reliefs from the early fifth century, one of which—the relief of Hera enthroned and attended by Iris, her chief lady-in-waiting—remains in its original location.
The museum houses pieces of the pendant depicting an enthroned Zeus. Only Zeus and Hera were often depicted sitting. In this depiction, the queen of Olympus is standing with her feet propped up on a footstool, symbolizing her regal status. She is also holding a lengthy scepter in her left hand.
Tourists enjoy the magnificent architecture of this landmark. The exterior tower was erected as part of an endeavor to strengthen the walls around the end of the 4th-century BC. Its carefully cut and bolted blocks accurately indicate its design. The cost of this expansion is believed to have been covered by Pythippos, a well-known Thasian citizen who served as archon in 290 BC and theoros in 288 BC. As you go down the steps into the area, you can see a portion of the inscription that contains a part of his name on the left side.
The Gate of Zeus and Hera is also a part of the capital, Limenas, which is why there is no issue of getting transport to reach this place. Whether you want to travel by bus, car, or taxi, you have easily accessible options available.
▸ Mythology of Thassos Island
The island of Thassos features a little beach called Tarsanas on its north shore. If you’re staying in Limenas, the island’s capital, you can walk there in about 15 minutes. Take the main road in the direction of Skala Rachoni and Pachis from Limenas’ new port. You’ll notice the board with the words Tarsanas beach on a slight incline once you leave Limenas after ten minutes of walking.
In Limenas, the historical market is connected to the Ancient Odeion (conservatoire). With its orchestra filling the middle third of the circle, it has elements of an ancient theatre. The newly established Roman Imperial colony of Corinth included the construction of the Roman Odeion (Odeum) in the first century AD. An estimated 3,000 people could watch musical and rhetorical competitions at the Odeion.
It was rebuilt in the second century AD with a gift from the well-known benefactor and philosopher Herodes Atticus, and it was turned into an arena in the third century AD.
Limenas historic tiny port is decorated with Kalogeriko. In the heart of the port, there is a two-story 19th-century structure. The Kalogeriko is one of Thassos’ most famous structures. According to Thracomacedonic architecture, the rectangular building is made of stone and wood. Slates cover the timber roof, which also includes towering stone chimneys. The first level features a representation of a traditional Thassian home with displays of varied needlework, nightwear, furniture, cookware, a loom, a shrine, etc. The apertures are made of wood, as is the stairway leading to the first floor. It is a part of the Thassos municipality and serves as a location for lectures, exhibits, and other cultural events.
Gate Of Silenus
There is an old wall that begins from the third hill and has a number of gates. Two of these gates are the Gate of Parmenon and the Gate of Silenus. The Silenus Gate is located outside Thassos at the intersection of the roads leading to Panagia Village and Makryammos Beach.
Those who visit this landmark can also visit the ruins of the nearby Silenus settlement. This landmark also stands out because it is the oldest bas-relief at Thassos and has a very iconic style. It is two meters tall and shows Silenus with a big beard and a horse’s tail, otherwise nude but for a pair of tall boots. A votive niche in front of his feet was filled with donations from city dwellers passing through. This gate was close to the Silenus village. As the Gate of Silenus is in Limenas, tourists can easily reach here by bus, taxi, or car.
The Hercules Sanctuary is described as being a “complex of commensurate grandeur.” Various structures in this sanctuary encircle a huge paved court with the main altar facing east in the middle.
From the gate of Silenus, you can see the Hercules Sanctuary at a slight elevation toward the north. It started out as a single-chambered chapel but was subsequently adorned with a broad colonnade on all four sides, giving it a square shape. This differs significantly from the conventional rectangular temples that exist. However, the colonnade on all four sides is classically Greek.
The final addition to the sanctuary, made in the second century BC, was the stepped entry to the church. This is located to the west and in front of this temple. It was flanked on one side by a long gallery corridor and opened into a paved court with a stepped altar in the center. On the south side, a porticoed structure housed the sanctuary’s formal administrative offices as well as the banqueting areas where the famous early-summer feast known as the Heracleia was held.
The Hercules Sanctuary is in the capital of Thassos, which has buses, taxis, and rental cars easily available, making it very easy to reach here.
Rent A Car And Visit The Landmarks
There are certain areas that, sadly, cannot be accessed by bus, despite the fact that Thassos has built up an extensive public bus network that enables you to visit many of its well-known landmarks. In addition to this issue, scheduling your journey around the bus timetable might be difficult and irritating, particularly if you wind up having to wait for hours. The next option you may have is that of taking a taxi. Although taking a taxi is more comfortable, it is also more expensive.
Well then, how can you travel around Thassos to see all of these magnificent landmarks without facing inconvenience and emptying your pockets? Well, the answer is simple. Without a doubt, renting a car is the best choice for getting about Thassos. Since 1988, Thassos Car Rentals has offered trustworthy and affordable car rentals to tourists and other visitors to the island of Thassos. We provide a wide range of services and a number of rental alternatives based on your budget. Book with us to make your trip to Thassos comfortable, inexpensive, and easy.