Geography and Demography of Thassos
Thassos is the northernmost island of the Aegean archipelago, located very close to the eastern coastline of the Greek area of Macedonia. It rests 6 naval miles (round 11 km) from the harbour of Keramoti, 12 miles or round 22 km from Kavala, 27 miles or 50 km from Athos.
The island overall area is around 390 square km, which makes it the ninth biggest Greek island.
Geographically, the island belongs to the area called Trakia, to the administrative district of Kavala (shown in two pictures below) Thassos coastline is 93 km long. This means it is possible to drive around the island in two hours, along a very good road, mostly near the coast.
The main island has three very small islands : Tasapulo, on the northern part, opposite Limenas, the capital of Thassos, Kinira (on the eastern part, opposite the small ancient town of the same name and the famous Paradise beach, and Panagia( on the southern part, near Astris).
There are two major places (towns) on Thassos coast itself: Limenas (Thassos town) in the north, which is the biggest and the capital, and Limenaria in the south of island. Apart from these, there are many medium and smaller size places. They are on the coast too and all have the word "Skala" in their names : Skala Rachoni, Skala Prinos, Skala Sotiros, Skala Kalirachi, Skala Maries, Pefkhari, Potos, Astris, Kinira, Skala Potamia and Skala Panagia. In the interior, not far from these places, the small hamlets and villages are located. They have the same names, but without the addition of the word "skala": Rahoni, Prinos, Sotiros, Kaliraki, Maries, Potamia and Panagia. The word "skala" means "the door" or "the way" towards the village in the interior. It could be interpreted as "harbour" as well, that is to say, that each one of these places has its protruding part on the coast. Apart from these small towns there are very beautiful and authentic mountainous villages such as :Theologhos, Kastro, and Kazaviti.
In the middle of the island, the mountain range Ipsarion rises, with its highest peak Ipsario (1127 m). The second highest is Profitis Ilias at 1108 metres above sea level.
The coastline of Thassos, along almost all of its length , is tame and accessible. For that reason on there are nearly 70 named, partly or completely arranged beaches and plenty of small, half wild or wild coves. All kinds of beaches are represented, those with fine golden sand, with whitish or greyish sand, with finely granulated gravel, some with bigger pebbles or snow white marble stones, and those with smooth or sharp rocks. Of course, there are often beaches that are a mixture of these, both on the coast and in the water. More freqent are the beaches without natural shade, but there are those with deep shade as well, particularly in the northern part of island. On some beaches big waves appear regularly. These are favoured especially by young people. It all points to the conclusion that everyone can find a beach to suit their taste, and literally every day enjoy in the variety of beaches. On a first visit, nobody manages to know much of the island. To discover all of the treasures of Thassos one needs to come back , even several times. :).
The most known named beaches, going from Limenas westward and further toward the south, and then circling eastwards back to Limenas are: Limanaki, Vurnelis, Tarzanas, Nisteri, Glifada, Glifoneri, Papalimani, Glikadi, Glifoneri, Pahis, Rahoni, Skala Prinos,/Dasilio, Skala Sotiros, Skala Kalirachi, Platanas, small town beach in Skala Maries, Atspas, ( Acpas or Sugar beach), Tripiti, Stelakis, town beach in Limenaria, Metalia, Pefkari, Potos, San Antonio, Roso Gremos, Notos, Psiliamos, Astris, Livadi, Thimonia, Kekes, Aliki, Paradise, Skala Potamia, Golden beach, Vati, Saliara, or Marble beach, Makriamos and Carnaggio.
The seawater at all beaches is exceptionally clean, crystal clear and transparent to the very bottom.
According to the most recent data the four beaches are entitled to have the famous Blue Flag as the proof of meeting strict ecological and other standards. They are: Golden Beach, Pefkari, Makriamos, and the town beach in Limenas beside the old harbour (called Limanaki).
Along the Thassos coastline there are many capes, raised strips of land projecting into a body of water (Pakis, Kefalas, Salonikos, Baburas, Diaporos, Gramvuza, etc). Because of this, Thassos is known for numerous, accessible vantage points, you find going around the island. The viewpoints are most often arranged on the side of the coast road, with typical, round built cottages, with tables and benches inside. These points give breathtaking views which ask to be photographed and recorded deep in our memory.
The most magnificent view is from the terrace of the monastery Saint Archangel Michael which is located in the South of the island, high above the bay Livadi, on the rocky cliffs.
Thassos is famous for spectacular sunsets that are particularly beautiful and colorful on the southern part of island.
From the places in the south, in the afternoons or during the whole day when the weather is exceptionally clear on the high seas you can see the outline of proud and magnificent Mount Athos (Holly Mount). If you have binocullars in the bright weather you can see some of the monasteries, including the Serbian one, Chilandar.
Thassos is rich in rivers, streams and springs. Near the village Maries is a lovely lake and many smaller waterfalls and cascades. In the vicinity of the village Kastro is an impressive waterfall. Owing to the abundance of water, there is no restriction on water consumption and it is drinkable everywhere.
According to the census in 2005, around 16 000 inhabitants live on the island.Their occupations are mostly tourism, fishing, cattle breeding, olives, fruit, cereals, wine,honey production, beekeeping and exploitation of the famous,white Thassos marble.