Busy Summer, Sailing Northern Greece
There is a lot to see in Northern Greece. This summer we decided to cover the section from Thessaloniki to Thassos, with a lot in between. Weather to an extent dictated where we would go and also mooring possibilities were not always available. Our first objective was to go as far North before the southerly breezes died and the northerly winds began.
We sailed up to Lesvos to a few quiet bays and small towns. Sigri being one of our favourite small places. We hiked around the area. There is a Petrified Forest Museum here, in which you can see the remains of large trees that were covered and preserved in ash.
Then off to Limnos stopping at Mirina with it’s interesting commercial streets and incredible castle. Limnos is also famous for it’s wines, which we took advantage of.
and of course the castle.
Pushing on to Porto Koufu.
We enjoyed this natural harbour very much and stayed there also on our way back. We hiked around this area viewing much of the wild flowers that were abundant.
As well as hiking, we also took a dinghy ride over to another beach and hiked up the hill for some views.
Near by there was another lovely beach near Toroni called Paradise Beach. Here we had a great time with a quirky little terrier who picked us up along the way.
From Porto Koufu we sailed up towards Thessaloniki. This is the second largest city in Greece. They have a nice marina with very friendly hosts. From here we were able to take a bus to Vera and then on to Vergina to see the Tombs of Philip II, the great Macedonian King and the Tomb of Alexander the Great’s son. Vergina was the ancient capitol of the Macedonians Kings. Further excavation is underway on the palace, so it was closed when we arrived.
From Thessaloniki we sailed to the “three fingers area” (Kasandra, Sithonia and Akti Peninsulas). Kasandra is very commercially developed with many hotels and holiday homes. Sithonia is a little more out of the way. There is much camping and less facilities. Sithonia has more undeveloped natural areas that we found most pleasing. Many of the coves and bays were quite and peaceful. There was much more bird-life seen.
Sometimes the imagination goes a bit astray when sailing. I know now how men could see mermaids when they were sailing for many days. Can you see the dragon?
On Akti Peninsula are the famous Monasteries. The southern half of the peninsula is overseen by a department of the Greek Orthodox Church. Access to the peninsula is regulated with a few orthodox members and a fewer foreign non-orthodox men allowed per day. Women are not allowed closer than 500 meters from the shore. I have been told it is a wonderful experience to go and visit here, but I will have to just image that.
There was also an interesting church on the hill, which I thought was very majestic in appearance.
We headed back to the mainland, going easterly to Kavala. This town has been visited by everyone; the Turks, Byzantines, Romans, Macedonians and others. What is most impressive is the Aqueduct that was constructed by the Turks using Roman construction.
After visiting Kavala, we began our return to Turkey going south. On the way was Thassos. Thassos Town was a very important Roman town. One can visit the wonderfully presented Archeological Museum to get an idea of the importance of the town and it’s layout. Then one can climb up and over the mountain to see the old remains of the anphitheatre, Byzantine Castle, agoura and cupid’s bench.
There were so many sights in this one town to see and we met many great people here, both visiting people and residents . Thassos was a great place to visit and we wish we had more time to do more. However, we are now making our way back to Marmaris. We have many pictures and memories of our visit to Northern Greece. I have only shown a few of the highlights, but I hope you have enjoyed it and get an opportunity to travel here some day.
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