Thassos was first inhabited in the Neolithic period by the Phoenicians. The island owes its power during the ancient times to the presence of gold mines as well as the exploitation of the white marble something which is still in production. During these times the island was one of the most powerful islands and was ally with the city of Athens.
During the Median wars, Thassos was subdued by the Persians. In 340 B.C., it was captured by Philip of Macedonia and stayed under Macedonian control until 197 B.C., when it was captured by the Romans. In the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., under the Roman protection, the island prospered greatly. During the Byzantine times, Thassos was plundered by the Avarians and the Saracenes.
After the fall of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204, the island was ceded to the elderly Venetian doge, Henry Dandolo and his descendants. In 1354, the Byzantine emperor Ioannis Paleologos gave Thassos to his Genoan ally and brother-in-law, Frangiskos Gatelouzos, because he had helped him defeat his infernal opponents.
In 1770 the Russians led by Orloff captured Thassos. In 1813 the Sultan gave the island to Turkish Egyptian Mehmet Ali, who was born in the city of Kavala on the opposite coast.
The Thassians revolted in 1821, but did not escape the fate of all northern Greek areas, where revolution did not achieve its goals.
In 1902 the Turks took over the island once more. In the Balkan war of 1912, the Greek navy liberated the island, which since then has been part of Greece.
How to get there
To reach the island from the Scandinavian countries one can fly to Thessalonica and then take the bus to Kavala (165 km) and to cross over by boat. During summer there are direct flights from Helsinki, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, and Oslo to Kavala airport. From Kavala airport you get to Keramoti port (10 min by taxi) and then by ferry 35-40 min and you are on the island.
The summer season starts end of April to the beginning of October. The island has a road net around the island of about 100 km good and safe roads and smaller roads leading to the villages in the interior part of the island. Many beaches around the island are easily accessible. The beaches are mainly sandy with shallow water suitable for kids. For those who are interested about the ancient culture of the island there are many ancient sites around the island but mainly in the capital of the island where you can visit the ancient theatre, the ancient market and the Archaeological Museum all located close to he old part of the town nearby the old harbour.
Except the marble quarries which are mainly on the NE part of the island producing the famous white marble there are other products like olive oil, olives, pine honey, and of course the daily fresh fish served in the local tavernas. In the tavernas one must try the local recipes based on fresh ingredients from the local farms.
For further information please visit www.thassos.gr, www.thassosisland.gr, www.thassos-island.com, www.go-thassos.gr.