Day trip in Thassos island - Program
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Thassos or Thasos is one of the islands of the North-Eastern Aegean. Thassos is an attractive place with beautiful sandy beaches and traditional villages with incredible mountain vistas. Thassos is an ideal island for those seeking peacefulness and a beautiful natural environment; but it also has busier places, more touristy beaches and a quite intense nightlife.
History According to mythology Thassos was the son of the Phoenecian king Agenor or the god Poseidon , and one of the first settlers of the island, which also was called Chryse ("Gold") in ancient times. Thassos was also the brother of Europa , and the reason for his travelling was that he was searching for his lost sister. Another story has it that the oracle in Delphi had told the Parian people to settle on "an island of mists", and since Thassos fit in on this description, they became the first inhabitants.
There is evidence that the island has been inhabited at a very early stage, probably even before the 4th Millennium BC. In the 8th century it was colonized by the Parians, and they found gold resources here. This was to make Thassos an important economical and cultural centre in antiquity, and large areas of the mainland also belonged to it. Several important artists were born on the island, for example Polycleitos and Polygnotos .
The downfall started in the 5th century, when Thassos and Athens broke their alliance and war broke out. Athens demanded high tributes, and the island was almost impoverished.
The Romans came in the 2nd century BC, and the island became a little bit better off, since wine and marble was produced . The decline continued though and when the Venetians came in the 13th century, followed by the Genoans and then the Turks in the 15th century.
When the war independence broke out in 1821 the people of Thassos did their best, although they were not many. Liberation came in 1921.
Thasos was inhabited from the Palaeolithic period onwards, but the earliest settlement to have been explored in detail is that at Limenaria where Middle and Late Neolithic remains have been found that relate closely to those of the Drama Plain. In contrast, the remains of the Early Bronze Age on the island align it with the culture that developed in the Cyclades and Sporades to the south in the Aegean. At Skala Sotiros for example, a small settlement was encircled by a strongly built defensive wall. Even earlier activity is demonstrated by the presence of large pieces of 'megalithic' anthropomorphic stelai built into these walls, which, so far, have no parallels in the Aegean area.
There is then a gap in the archaeological record until the end of the Bronze Age c 1100 BC, when the first burials took place at the large cemetery of Kastri in the interior of the island. Here built tombs covered with small mound of earth were typical until the end of the Iron Age. In the earliest tombs were a small number of locally imitated Mycenaean pottery vessels, but the majority of the hand-made pottery with incised decoration reflects connections eastwards with Thrace and beyond.
The island was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians, attracted probably by its gold mines; they founded a temple to the god Melqart, whom the Greeks identified as "Tyrian Heracles", and whose cult was merged with Heracles in the course of the island's Hellenization. The temple still existed in the time of Herodotus. An eponymous Thasos, son of Phoenix (or of Agenor, as Pausanias reported) was said to have been the leader of the Phoenicians, and to have given his name to the island.
Around 650 BC, or a little earlier, Greeks from Paros founded a colony on Thasos. A generation or so later, the poet Archilochus, a descendant of these colonists, wrote of casting away his shield during a minor war against an indigenous Thracian tribe, the Saians. Thasian power, and sources of its wealth, extended to the mainland, where the Thasians owned gold mines even more valuable than those of the island; their combined annual revenues amounted to between 200 and 300 talents. Herodotus says that the best mines on the island were those opened by the Phoenicians on the east side of the island, facing Samothrace. Archilochus described Thasos as "an ass's backbone crowned with wild wood." The island's capital, Thasos, had two harbors. Besides its gold mines, the wine, nuts and marble of Thasos were well known in antiquity. Thasian wine was quite famous. Thasian coins had the head of the wine god Dionysos on one side and bunches of grape of the other.
Thasos was important during the Ionian Revolt against Persia. After the capture of Miletus (494 BC) Histiaeus, the Ionian leader, laid siege. The attack failed, but, warned by the danger, the Thasians employed their revenues to build war ships and strengthen their fortifications. This excited the suspicions of the Persians, and Darius compelled them to surrender their ships and pull down their walls. After the defeat of Xerxes the Thasians joined the Delian confederacy; but afterwards, on account of a difference about the mines and marts on the mainland, they revolted.
The Athenians defeated them by sea, and, after a siege that lasted more than two years, took the capital, Thasos, probably in 463 BC, and compelled the Thasians to destroy their walls, surrender their ships, pay an indemnity and an annual contribution (in 449 BC this was 21 talents, from 445 BC about 30 talents), and resign their possessions on the mainland. In 411 BC, at the time of the oligarchical revolution at Athens, Thasos again revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor; but in 407 BC the partisans of Lacedaemon were expelled, and the Athenians under Thrasybulus were admitted.
After the Battle of Aegospotami (405 BC), Thasos again fell into the hands of the Lacedaemonians under Lysander who formed a decarchy there; but the Athenians must have recovered it, for it formed one of the subjects of dispute between them and Philip II of Macedonia. In the embroilment between Philip V of Macedonia and the Romans, Thasos submitted to Philip, but received its freedom at the hands of the Romans after the Battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), and it was still a "free" state in the time of Pliny.
Thasos was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, later known as Byzantine Empire. It was captured by the Turks in 1462. Under the Turks the island was known as Ottoman Turkish: ????? Tasöz. A brief revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821, led by Hajiyorgis Metaxas, failed. The island was given by the Sultan Mahmud II to Muhammad Ali of Egypt as a personal fiefdom in the late 1820s, as a reward for Egyptian intervention in the War of Greek Independence (which failed to prevent the creation of the modern Greek state). Egyptian rule was relatively benign (by some accounts Muhammad Ali had either been born or spent his infancy on Thasos) and the island became prosperous, until 1908, when the New Turk regime asserted Turkish control. It had the status of a sanjak in the vilayet of Salonici until the Balkan Wars. On October 20, 1912 during the First Balkan War, a Greek naval detachment claimed Thasos as part of Greece, which it has remained since.
During the Axis occupation (1941–1944) Thasos, along with the rest of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, was under Bulgarian control. The Bulgarians planned to annex the territory under their control and closed down schools as a first step towards forced Bulgarization. Under Bulgarian rule the island was called ?????. Mountainous terrain facilitated small-scale resistance activity. The Greek Civil War affected the island in the form of skirmishes and Communist guerilla attacks until 1950, almost a year after the main hostilities were over on the mainland.
· Villages The attractive island of Thassos is charming everyone with its beautiful mountainous villages. They are very picturesque and unspoiled by mass tourism. The traditional architecture of the island in Greece can be seen in those villages as well as the local atmosphere. The capital of the island, Limenas, is an attractive place with interesting archaeological sites. Thassos also has some charming coastal villages and a few busy touristy resorts.
· Sea The beauty is reflected in the crystal-clear waters that wash its shores. Environmental pollution is unknown here. Everything remains in a pristine state.
· The beaches of Thassos
The coastline of Thassos is embellished by the numerous sandy and pebble beaches and by the romantic, small coves of the island. Thassos is known in Greece for the extreme beauty of the beaches. It is due to their soft golden sand, to their crystalline waters and to the verdant trees which are boarding them. Everyone who set foot on Thassos will be amazed by its beaches.
· The Nightlife
After a relaxing day lying on the soft sand near the crystalline sea, it is possible to go in one of the many taverns or restaurants of Thassos for an excellent meal. Then, the choice has to be made among the many lively bars of the island to enjoy a drink. At last, the various clubs are here for finishing the night with loud music, dance and drinks.