Skala Maries and Maries settlement
Skala Maries is a very cute little town positioned in the southwest of the island, located about 35 km from Limenas and about 6 km from Limenaria. With village Maries, fifteen kilometers into the interior of the island, Skala Maries is complementary.
According to tradition, there are two versions of how the village and harbor Maries got their name. The first version is that these places are named after a particular type of mulberry, which is called "Mouries", which is particularly prevalent in the area. Another version is that the places are named after two women were called Mary, and the only ones of the entire population survived the attack of pirates.
The village and harbor Maries are closely related to the Holy Mountain. Many monks on Mount Athos comes from these places. Also, three Greek monastery of Mount Athos (Stavronikita , Karakallou and Xiropotamou) are even today the owners of "land" in this area.
Skala Maries is the only place on the coast that tourism has not affected. Houses have retained their authentic look, they're old, huddled together, and the streets are very narrow. Here today lives about 200 residents, who are mostly engaged in fishing, producing honey and olive oil. Accommodation capacity is not big, and the other facilities needed by tourists there are a small supermarket, bakery, pharmacy, 5-6 tavernas, internet club, playground and promenade.
Although Italians do not visit Thassos in large numbers as before they are still there, usually in August during their collective vacation in Italy ("feragosto"). They even leave their boats in the courtyards over the year, to use them during the summer.
Skala Maries is getting more popular among Serbian tourists last few seasons, although there are those who come to this place for 15 years.
At the entrance to Scala Maries, on the left, under the highway, there is Atspas beach (called Sugar Beach). This little beach is very beautiful if it has no crowds, as is the case in June and September. During July and August is crowded. Sea here is normally crystal clear, shallow and very long. On the beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds for hire. Behind them is a volleyball net, and cars are parked right next to the beach. Since at this beach vibe is somehow always nice, people easily come in contact with each other, and good company for volleyball is quickly found. The beach is characterized by the fact that the surrounding rock has octopus, and in water can be found starfish.
City beach is located in the center of Skala Maries. Small and pebble beach with crystal clear water. It is never crowded. Near the beach there are several restaurants that have excellent fish dishes.
At the end of the village is the beach Platanas. Sand in it is so small it looks like a slurry. That is why the water is not clear, but almost always blurred.
Along the promenade in Skala Maries are placed large, old-fashioned lanterns and benches under them, so this evening very romantic place in the evening. At the beginning of the promenade, on a rock, there is a small statue of the Virgin Mary. They say that a few years ago on that site child of one Italian family has drowned, and before they returned to Italy parents placed Virgin there to take care of him.
At about 13 kilometers from Skala Maries, near the village of Maries, is the monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin (Monastery Panagouda). The monastery is built on a beautiful site, in an olive grove, beside the mountain spring water, which have always been believed to have healing powers. For the construction of the monastery is linked an interesting story. At the time of Trks locals were forbidden to build churches. However, in 1814. the people of this region have gathered and asked the Turks to allow them to build a place of worship. Turks gave them permission, but only if the work is completed in one day. The next day all from this area organized and in one day built a church, which they called "Panagia" (Virgin), which is today part of the monastery. The monastery keeps especially valuable icon of the Holy Mother of God, which no one knows how she got there. Thousands of worshipers each year come to this place and pray to the Mother of God for the benefit of themselves and their families.
The monastery is open to visitors from 9 to 14h and from 17h to 20h. Since it is a male monastery, here lives only father Epifanios, who greets the faithful.
Village of Maries can be reached through the Skala Maries and throughLimenaria. It is situated at 200 meters above sea level. Now it has about 700 inhabitants who are mainly engaged in animal husbandry and beekeeping. Tourists visit this village in passing, during a visit to the Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God or going to the lake Jena (Genna), located a few kilometers away.