1) Why to choose Samothrace for my vacation?
Samothrace is a Greek Island full of energy and mystery. It combines a rich cultural heritage, millennial history, wonderful nature, gorges, rivers, forests, warm thermal waters, cool waterfalls, pebble beaches with crystal clear waters and a lot more… It is a unique destination for nature lovers, dreamers and scientists. In Samothrace you will continuously discover the Nature and admire it anew.
Meet the whole world on an Island: Welcome to the Island of the Great Gods, the Holy Island!
2) Useful information about Samothrace
The island of Samothrace is located in the northeastern Aegean Sea, it belongs administratively to the Prefecture of Evros and therefore to the Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace. It is 24 nautical miles from Alexandroupolis and is bathed in the north by the Thracian Sea and in the south by the Aegean Sea. With an area of just 178 km2, Samothrace is a high mountain mass that dominates the northern Aegean (1,611 m). You will discover an unspoiled landscape, lakes (vathres), ancient forests, plane trees, varied natural vegetation, impressive geology, abundant fresh water, thermal springs, small coastal wetlands, rocky beaches and crystal clear seas.
Samothrace is considered to have been first inhabited by the Pelasgians. According to the legend, it is the birthplace of Harmony, it is famous for its Kavirian mysteries, it is the place finally, where Philip of Macedonia met Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great (she was a Priestess in the Temple of the Great Gods). Samothrace is, of course, the Island of the famous Victory of Samothrace, the world wide famous Hellenistic sculpture that is exhibited today at the Louvre in Paris and receives more than 10 million visitors annually. Samothrace was chosen by the Apostle Paul as the first stop on his European tour to preach the new religion of Christianity. During the Byzantine Empire, Samothrace was fortified and so today we have the tower of Fonia, the Castle of Chora and the emblematic towers of Gattilusi (of the period of the Palaiologos dynasty). In 1821 Samothrace was one of the leaders in the liberation struggle against the Ottomans, but very quickly the revolution was suppressed and after the savagery of the Turks, the island was deserted for many years. It was liberated on October 19, 1912, almost a decade before the integration of Thrace in Greece in 1920.
Today, with a small local population, less than 3,000 inhabitants (2011 census) and low population density (15 people / km2), the main economic activities of the Island are agriculture, fishing, livestock and small-scale tourism.
Samothrace remains one of the last virgin islands of Greece with a very special identity, nature and people. Due to its unique biodiversity, it is protected by the European network NATURA 2000. Samothrace is a candidate for its designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Island.
To see the Map of Samothrace click here.
In addition, kindly find below the most important telephone numbers for your stay in Samothraki:
- Police | 2551041203
- Fire Department | 2551041129 or 119
- Emergency telephone number | 112
- Port Authority | 2551041305
- Health Center | 2551041156
- City Hall (call center) | 2551041204 or 2551350800
- ZANTE FERRIES | 2551098038 or 2551082289
- KTEL Samothrace | 2551041218
- Taxi Samothrace | 6976991270 or 6972883501 or 6972381762
- Taxi Alexandroupoli | 2551033500
- Thermal Baths in Therma | 2551098401
- Folklore Museum of Chora | 2551041227 or
- Archaeological Site and Museum in Paleopolis | 2551041474 or 2551098059
3) How to arrive to Samothrace
Samothrace is accessible daily by ferry from Alexandroupolis. During the summer months there is also a connection with Lemnos and through Lemnos with Lavrio (Athens). There is no public connection with Thassos or other islands of the North Aegean.
You can reach Alexandroupolis by air from Athens all year round. The international airports of Thessaloniki and Kavala are mainly used for flights from abroad.
By road, the route from Athens to Alexandroupolis is 800 km in 7 ½ hours, while from Thessaloniki 350 km and about 3 ½ hours. In both cases, the highways are excellent (with frequent tolls).
4) Where to stay in Samothrace?
For your stay in Samothrace, we suggest our Guests the following:
- Choose to stay in the middle of the Island, if you want to explore Samothrace from end to end. In this case, Paleopolis is a suitable place.
- If you prefer to experience the wildlife of the Island, we suggest you stay in the northern part, in Therma, or in one of the two campsites of Samothrace. This alternative is suitable especially for low budget holidays.
- You may also choose to stay in Therma, if you want to be part of the nightlife of Samothrace.
- If you love fresh fish, the constant view on the Aegean, Mount Athos, the Lemnos & Imvros islands, we suggest you stay in the southern part of the Island, e.g. in Makrylies.
- If you are looking for a hotel by the sea with a pool, we would recommend Kamariotissa or Makrilies.
It will be our pleasure to inform you in more detail and to make all travel arrangements for you.
5) What should I definitely do in Samothrace?
In Samothrace there is plenty of things to do. Here are our main recommendations for our Guests:
1) Trekking in the gorge of Fonias or in Gria Vathra in Therma. Cool off with a dip in the cool “vathres” (lakes).
2) Relax on one of the wonderful beaches of Samothrace with their crystal clear waters, e.g. Pachia Ammos, Kipos, Therma, Akrotiri, Makrylia etc. The beaches of Samothrace are mainly made of thick pebbles, except for that of Pachia Ammos which is sandy. These beaches are relatively easily accessible by road.
3) Take your thermal baths (average temperature 38o – 40o C) and then relax in the cafe of Therma.
4) Visit the picturesque town of Samothrace and its Castle.
5) Walk in the ancient temple of the Great Gods and learn about the ceremonies of the ancient Mysteries of Samothrace. Feel the energy of the Sanctuary!
6) Visit the emblematic Panagia Kremniotissa and enjoy the wonderful, view of the wild nature that unfolds in front of you and its vastness of the Aegean Sea.
7) Eat katsikaki (kid) at Profitis Ilias, tsigaristi fasolada (fried beans with other vegetables) in Karydies in Ano Meria and fresh fish by overlooking the endless blue Aegean in Platania (Makrylies).
8) Take a tour of the Island by boat and watch the Kremastos waterfall, one of the tallest in the world, poured into the sea.
9) Get to know the authenticity of the mountain villages of Samothrace.
10) Visit the traditional wood oven of Chora and taste the bread, the pies and the seven-leaved nuts.
11) Try the traditional sweet praousti, made from this unique fruit of Samothrace!
12) Buy a handmade “gudur” (glitz of local shepherds) as a souvenir. It is handmade out of mistletoe wood!
13) Get to know the locals, the Samothracians, their local traditions and their special locality!
14) Support the local economy e.g. through the purchase or consumption of local products of Samothrace in grocery stores, taverns or hotels.
6) Samothrace Extreme
There are a lot of extreme sport activities to perform on Samothrace, such as:
- Canyoning in the gorge of Fonia.
- Diving in the wonderful waters of Samothrace.
- Cycling or canoeing around the Island.
- Trekking with overnight stay to the top of Mount Saos; the legendary peak is called Feggari (Moon) and it is 1611 m. high.
- The absolute dream Survivor vacation at Vatos beach, the most beautiful and emblematic beach of the Island. Accessible only by boat or on foot (difficult route).
- Night clubbing in Therma.
- Yoga Retreat.
- Conferences on group self-knowledge and self-improvement.
7) Local Cuisine
Samothrace is famous for its goat, freshest fish, dairy products, olive oil and (crumpled) olives. But do not forget to taste the following local products:
- The prausti. The local fruit that you will find mainly as a dessert.
- The famous honey of Samothrace. From small producers in very small quantities.
- The gorgovrasto, the food of the Ιsland’s shepherds served in big local feasts.
- The pies and especially the trachanopita (frumenty pie) from the traditional Antoniou wood oven in Samothrace.
- The Flomaria (local noodles) of Samothrace.
- The local Fonias beer (lager or dark).
- The handmade pastel 3 Amigos in Therma.
- The mavros (black) Greek coffee
- Experience the local cuisine of Samothraki and its divine flavours.
8) Local Holidays and Festivals
Local festivities (such as the Saints Five New Martyrs of Samothrace that are celebrated annually every first Sunday after the Orthodox Easter) and religious feasts continue to play a central role in the local life of Samothrace.
The major religious feasts of Samothrace are Agios Georgios on 23/4, Agia Paraskevi on 26/7, Profitis Ilias on 20/7, Sotiros on 6/8 and of course Panagia (Holy Mary) on 15/8. In the past, the feast in Metochi of Agios Athanasios was the most emblematic one (on 18/1).
For the celebration of Agia Paraskevi in the homonymous picturesque church in Ano Meria, there is a festival with ballos (local dances) and gorgovrasto (traditional food of local shepherds).
9) What should I avoid doing n Samothrace?
There are some minor but critical things one should avoid doing in Samothrace, such as:
- Do not reach the Island of the Great Gods without being well prepared. Samothrace fascinates when you know a lot of it (even before reaching the Holy Island).
- Do not leave your car under trees for shade in unprotected areas e.g. on the beaches. It is very likely that the goats will use it as a springboard to reach the branches of the trees leaving deep marks from their hooves on your car.
- Do never go up the mountain alone, but always in a company (best with an experienced and certified mountain guide) and be properly prepared: be equipped with closed type trekking shoes, with personal protective equipment (e.g. hat, sunscreen water, snacks etc.), carry some basic protective medicine and do always have a charged mobile phone with you to notify the authorities in case of any serious issue or accident etc.
- Do not swim alone in deep sea waters.
- Do not soil with waste, cigarette butts or plastic the pristine nature.
- Do not uproot herbs and generally do not interfere with the protected fauna and flora.
- Do not use creams and sunscreens before swimming within the vathres (freshwater lakes).
- Under severe weather conditions, stay protected at your residence and follow instructions from local authorities. Do not move or drive for no reason; avoid crossing over (on foot or by vehicle) flooded rivers or streams!
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances. The road network of Samothrace needs your full attention.
- Do not waste natural resources (water) and energy (e.g. air-conditioning).
- Do not forget to recycle all my waste and not to use disposable plastics (e.g. water bottles, straws, plastic cups, etc.).
10) Tourist Packages
Be renewed by the Great Gods!
We will be very happy to host you in Samothrace, our Holy Island in Samothrace! Contact us to prepare a tailored made travel package for you, your family, your customers or your friends!
Minimum recommended duration: 4 days with your optional extra stay
Ideal to visit: May to October
Price: From € 350 for 2 people (with night and breakfast for 4 nights, ferry tickets to and from Alexandroupolis, transfer from Kamariotissa Port to the hotel and return on departure). We are happy to inform you about our additional specialized services, their availability and cost (eg diving, canyoning, trekking, spa, local gastronomy, sailing, etc.).