If you’re planning a visit to Greece, you might want to consider a trip to the island of Samothrace. Located in the northern Aegean Sea, Samothrace is a hidden gem known for its rugged landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and ancient history.
Interesting things to know about this stunning destination:
- Samothrace is located in the northern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish coast. Despite its proximity to Turkey, the island is part of Greece and has a distinct Greek identity and culture.
- The island is known for its rugged and mountainous terrain, with the highest peak, Mount Saos, reaching over 1,600 meters. This makes Samothrace a great destination for hiking and outdoor activities.
- Samothrace is also home to a number of beautiful beaches, both sandy and rocky, that offer crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views. Many of these beaches are secluded and peaceful, making them perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.
- The island has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with notable archaeological sites such as the Sanctuary of the Great Gods and the Ancient Theatre of Samothrace. These sites offer a glimpse into the island’s important role in ancient Greece and its rich cultural heritage.
- Samothrace is also known for its traditional festivals, which feature music, dance, and food, as well as religious ceremonies and processions. These festivals offer a unique opportunity to experience the island’s vibrant culture and traditions.
- In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, Samothrace is also a great destination for wellness and relaxation. The island is home to several natural hot springs that are said to have healing properties, as well as spa facilities that offer a range of treatments and therapies.
- Samothrace is relatively undiscovered by mass tourism, making it a perfect destination for those looking for a more authentic and off-the-beaten-path Greek island experience. The island’s unspoiled nature and tranquil atmosphere are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
In this article, we’ll explore the 19 best things to do in Samothrace, from visiting its stunning beaches to exploring its rich cultural heritage.
Visit the Sanctuary of the Great Gods
The Sanctuary of the Great Gods is a fascinating archaeological site that dates back to the 4th century BC. Located near the village of Palaiopolis, the sanctuary was a center of worship for the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, including Demeter, Persephone, and Apollo. Visitors can explore the ruins of the temple and learn about the rituals and ceremonies that took place there. The site also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea. A visit to the Sanctuary of the Great Gods is a must-do activity for anyone interested in ancient history and Greek mythology.
Explore the Ancient Theatre of Samothrace
The Ancient Theatre of Samothrace is a well-preserved example of ancient Greek architecture. Built in the 3rd century BC, the theatre is located on a hill overlooking the sea and can seat up to 5,000 people. Visitors can walk around the ruins and imagine what it was like to attend a performance in ancient times. The theatre also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, making it a popular spot for photos. The Ancient Theatre of Samothrace is a great place to visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or photography.
Hike to the Samothrace Waterfalls
The Samothrace Waterfalls are a natural wonder located in the heart of the island. The hike to the waterfalls can be challenging, but the reward is well worth it. Visitors will pass through dense forests and streams before reaching the waterfalls, which cascade down from a height of over 30 meters. The area is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. A dip in the cool, clear waters of the waterfalls is a refreshing and invigorating experience.
Swim at Pachia Ammos Beach
Pachia Ammos is one of the most popular beaches on Samothrace. Located near the village of Therma, the beach features crystal-clear waters and fine golden sand. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and relax in this idyllic setting. The beach is also equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a beach bar that serves drinks and snacks. Pachia Ammos Beach is a great place to spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the sea.
Discover the Byzantine Museum of Samothrace
The Byzantine Museum of Samothrace is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in art and history. The museum is located in the village of Chora and features a collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibits offer a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage and the influence of Byzantine art on Greek culture. The museum is also housed in a beautiful building that dates back to the 19th century and features stunning architecture and decoration.
Go on a Boat Tour Around the Island
One of the best ways to explore Samothrace is by boat. Visitors can take a tour around the island and discover its hidden coves, beaches, and bays. Some tours even offer the chance to snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters. The boat tours offer a unique perspective on the island’s rugged coastline and natural beauty. They are also a great way to relax and unwind while enjoying the sea breeze and the warm sun.
Explore the Village of Therma
In addition to the natural hot springs, the village of Therma offers a range of activities and attractions. Visitors can explore the narrow streets and alleys, browse the local shops and boutiques, and enjoy a meal at one of the traditional tavernas. The village is also home to the Church of Agios Georgios, a beautiful Byzantine church that dates back to the 14th century.
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Samothrace
The Archaeological Museum of Samothrace is a treasure trove of artifacts from the island’s ancient past. Located in the village of Chora, the museum houses a collection of sculptures, pottery, and jewelry, among other items. Visitors can learn about the island’s rich cultural heritage and its important role in ancient Greece. The museum also offers insights into the daily lives and customs of the ancient Greeks, making it a fascinating and educational experience.
Hike to the Feggari Mountain Summit
For adventurous travelers, hiking to the Feggari Mountain Summit is a must-do activity on Samothrace. The hike can be challenging, but the panoramic views from the summit are simply breathtaking. The mountain is also home to a variety of rare plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature lovers. The hike takes around 3-4 hours, and visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Swim at Kipos Beach
Kipos Beach is a beautiful spot on Samothrace that offers crystal-clear waters and white pebbles. Located near the village of Kato Kariotes, the beach is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful and secluded setting. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and relax in this idyllic spot, which is also equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers.
Go Fishing at Karydies Beach
Karydies Beach is a rocky beach located near the village of Palaiopolis. The beach is popular with fishermen, who come here to try their luck at catching fish in the clear waters. Visitors can watch the fishermen at work or even try their own hand at fishing. The beach is also a great spot for a picnic or a relaxing swim in the sea.
Discover the Samothrace Open-Air Museum of Folklore and Natural History
The Samothrace Open-Air Museum of Folklore and Natural History is a unique attraction on the island. Located in the village of Alonia, the museum features exhibits on the island’s traditional way of life, as well as its flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the museum’s gardens and learn about the island’s rich cultural heritage. The museum also hosts workshops and events that offer hands-on experiences of traditional Samothracian crafts and customs.
Try Local Cuisine at a Taverna
One of the best ways to experience the local culture on Samothrace is by trying the traditional cuisine. The island’s tavernas serve a variety of dishes made with fresh local ingredients, including seafood, meats, and vegetables. Visitors can enjoy a meal while taking in the beautiful views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. Some of the most popular dishes to try include moussaka, souvlaki, and fresh fish cooked in traditional Greek style.
Explore the Village of Kamariotissa
Kamariotissa is the main port of Samothrace and a bustling hub of activity. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront and watch the boats coming and going, browse the local shops and boutiques, and enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants. The village is also home to the Church of Agios Nikolaos, a beautiful Byzantine church that dates back to the 14th century.
Visit the Church of the Panagia Krimniotissa
The Church of the Panagia Krimniotissa is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture and a popular attraction on Samothrace. Located near the village of Lakkoma, the church dates back to the 9th century and features stunning frescoes and mosaics. The church is also surrounded by a beautiful garden that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Swim at Vatos Beach
Vatos Beach is a hidden gem on Samothrace that is well worth a visit. Located near the village of Profitis Ilias, the beach is surrounded by cliffs and features turquoise waters and fine white sand. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing in this peaceful and secluded setting. The beach is also equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a beach bar that serves drinks and snacks.
Go on a Scuba Diving Adventure
Scuba diving is a popular activity on Samothrace, thanks to the island’s clear waters and rich marine life. Visitors can explore the underwater world and discover colorful fish, octopuses, and even shipwrecks. There are several diving centers on the island that offer courses and equipment rental, as well as guided dives for both beginners and experienced divers.
Explore the Village of Alonia
The village of Alonia is a charming place to visit and offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life on Samothrace. Visitors can stroll through the narrow streets and alleys, admire the stone houses, and visit the village’s church and square. The village is also home to a number of artisanal workshops where visitors can see traditional crafts being made, such as weaving, pottery, and wood carving.
Attend a Traditional Festival
Samothrace is known for its vibrant cultural traditions, and attending a local festival is a great way to experience the island’s unique culture. Some of the most popular festivals include the Feast of St. John the Baptist in June and the Panagia Krimniotissa Festival in August. These festivals feature traditional music, dance, and food, as well as religious processions and ceremonies.
Samothrace is a unique and beautiful destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. From ancient history to natural beauty to traditional culture, the island has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in hiking, swimming, exploring, or simply relaxing, Samothrace is a perfect place to do it all.
Is Samothrace a crowded tourist destination?
No, Samothrace is still relatively undiscovered and is not as crowded as some other Greek islands.
What is the currency used on Samothrace?
The currency used on Samothrace, as in the rest of Greece, is the Euro.
Are there any local products to buy on the island?
Yes, Samothrace is known for its honey, olive oil, and wine, as well as handmade crafts and textiles.
What is the weather like on Samothrace?
The weather on Samothrace is generally mild and sunny, with warm temperatures from May to October.
Are there any medical facilities on the island?
Yes, there is a medical center and a pharmacy on the island, as well as a helipad for emergencies.