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Samothraki - Samothrace

Samothrace 01If I were asked to describe Samothrace (alt. spelling: Samothraki) with one word, that would be Nature. Samothrace is the northern island of the Aegean Sea. Samothrace is 178 square km and just 22 sea miles from Alexandroupoli. The 80% of the island is mountainous, and the highest peak is Feggari (also spelled Fengari - the greek word for the moon) at 1664 meters. This makes Samothrace the highest island in the Aegean Sea.
You can approach the island only via sea, and you have two options: either from Kavala (677 km from Athens), or from Alexandroupoli (854 km from Athens). I reached Samothrace after a long day journey in Macedonia and Thrace. I was very lucky to choose Samothrace island as the last stop of this journey. It is an island where you can relax, you can wander in the nature, enjoy your summer swims and get familiar with a Greek place that has 4000 years of history.
Archaeological dig in Mikro Vouni, revealed an ancient village that is dated around 2000 bC. In ancient times Samothrace was a place were the Cabeiri deities (or the Great Gods of Samothrace) were worshiped. The Cabeiri temple can be found near Palaeopoli. In that area you ’ll also find the ancient theatre, were the statue of Fteroti Nike (Winged Victory) used to be. Unfortunately today this statue is in the Louvre Museum. The island of Samothrace was a point in the Aegean where Slavs, Turks, Venetians and Saracens. The island became part of Greek since October 19th of 1912.
Samothrace 02The only port of Samothrace is Kamariotissa. The capital of the island, Chora, is located 6 km from the port. Cars are prohibited in Chora, because the streets are narrow and paved with stones. You should really visit the Folklorist Museum (Λαογραφικό Μουσείο). In Chora there are many beautiful cafe, restaurants, bars, shops with traditional goods and rooms to let. You must ask for Samothracean paksimadia (cookies) and kouloures from a bakery. They are "poetry".
At Therma you will also find a place to stay, restaurants etc. The green of the trees is the dominant colour here, just 15 km from the port. You can find here the sulphurous thermal baths. The facilities will make your medicinal baths pleasurable and easeful. Near Therma is the forest of Martinis. The oacs of this forest are very old. I 've been told that this is very likely, the only protogenic forrest in the Aegean islands.
Samothrace 03As we said in the begining, Samothrace means Nature. According to the directive 79/409 of the European Union there are 16 types of ecological sites at this island. Many species of migrating birds stop to rest at this island every spring and autumn. The flora of this island is comprised of 962 species.
The most beautiful, according to my opinion, point of this island is the rema of Fonia (little river of the Murderer), that is 4 km away from Therma. The water there, springs from the mountain and pours to the river forming waterfalls, the greatest of these waterfalls has 35 meters height. "Vathres", natural small lakes, are parts of that river where you can swim. Be very careful though, the water is very cold even at the middle of August (when I had visited the island).
If you are looking for a paradise on earth, Samothrace is the place to go. Visit it the sooner possible. For the time being, the biggest part of the island is untouched, but every year more people choose Samothrace for their vacations, so this might change. We, the visitors of Samothrace, should try our best to avoid that, because nature needs our respect and our care. We 'll see you in a "vathra"…

Oh! I 've forgotten one thing! You must taste a local dish, the goat of Samothrace and visit the archaeological museum in Palaeopoli. And I 'd suggest you book tickets and room early. Wherever you swim, in the Aegean or in Fonia, the Sun of the Aegean and the Moon of Samothrace will shine upon you.

P.N.

 
Greek
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