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Thassos

Pines, beaches and an ancient city

Chrisi Ammoudia

An island crowned with forests and lying in the sea like the backbone of an ass. Archilochos, 7th century BC

Thássos, Greece’s northernmost island, ringed with soft beaches and mantled with pinewoods, plane trees, walnuts and chestnuts. Unlike the other Aegean islands, it is rarely afflicted by the wind, but has a moist climate, much subject to lingering mists; on hot days the intense scent of pines by the sea casts a spell of dreamy languor.

With its many beaches it’s a very touristy place, but it’s also an island with a history and character, with fascinating relics of the past to explore. Wherever you sleep, come armed: the mosquitoes are vivacious, vicious and voracious. Sea urchins can be a problem too, but they’re a sign that the sea here is very, very clean.

History

In mythology, Zeus passed this way after abducting Europa from Crete. Europa wasn’t a Cretan, but a Phoenician, daughter of King Agenor of Tyre. Agenor’s son, Thasos, came searching for her, and left his name behind on the island.

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North Aegean Islands

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by BlackNose, DocWoKav, Julia Gillen, Remus Pereni, Ronald Saunders, Ronald Saunders from Warrington, UK, Rosa-Maria Rinkl