No matter how much we travel
how many miles we cover
how many times we navigate onto the same course
The «road» will always be unknown!
This is besides the great secret of the Sea!
Waterfalls falling from high altitude form natural lakes in lush vegetation,
«hanging» waters that groove steepness cliffs and end vertically into the sea, trees literally touching the sea, dozens of streams that flow rapidly to meet the sea.
And all these are formed around a majestic mountain that reaches the «moon».
In this wild beauty of this landscape the purity and tranquillity prevail in a truly blessed place.
If the island of Samothrace was somewhere in Cyclades or Dodecanese, there is no doubt that it would be among the most attractive destinations throughout the whole islands. And certainly not unfairly, since the island of Winged Victory of Samothrace is a special island with unique beauties that we do not meet anywhere else. It is a blessed island with lush vegetation due to abundant freshwater literally running into every corner. Impressive waterfalls are falling from high altitude forming natural lakes, the famous «vathres» as the locals call, among cliffs and lush sceneries of trees and pines.
Only one phrase can give the amazing spectacle that our eyes are facing:
Paradise is here!
It was on the 5Th of August, nine o'clock in the morning when we were leaving behind us the south-eastern cape of Thassos and we put our bow showing Kamariotissa, 32 miles away.
Samothrace’s heart beats in Kamariotissa, the port of the island. It is located in the northwest side of the island and has everything we need: apartments, hotels, grocery stores, taverns, cafes and restaurants. During the summer months it is transformed into a small town with a strong life and vividness, particularly along the coastal road.
On the other hand, the large and spacious harbour maintains its peaceful rhythms since very few boats approach here. Large steel trawlers, small and big fishing boats and several boats are tied at the port, still due to its spacious place we will definitely find a berth. Even if we don’t prefer Kamariotissa as a base, it is definite that we will visit it several times either to refuel or to rent a car or motorbike to wander to the interlard and the famous «vathres».
The main settlements on the island, apart from Kamariotissa, are Chora, Therma, Lakkoma and Prophet Elias.
Chora is the island's capital, and is located 6 km from the port, where we can reach either by bus, which is very often during the summer period, or by a rental car.
It is invisible from the sea, well hidden on the slopes of Mt Saos in a position chosen very carefully with basic criterion the protection of the residents from the pirates. At that time the pirates were prevailing in the Aegean and plundering every corner.
The old traditional houses with balconies full of flowers, and the streets that run throughout the country constitute a very beautiful village, which since 1978 has been declared as preserved. Completely different from all the towns of the Aegean islands, with its own very special colour, impresses at first glance with its small two-storey houses built amphitheatrically one beside another, in a way that each one faces the sun. It is built in a «basin» encircled by a beautiful pine forest, around which the bare slopes of Saos uphill imposingly.
We rented a car and we spent a day exploring the north side of Samothrace. This part of the island is literally covered in green, with the vast and lush forests of trees dominating. At this place, there is the archaeological site of Paleopolis, Therma, the t famous «vathres», the small river of Fonia and afterwards we will end to the endless beach of Kipoi , which with the grey pebbles surround the cape of the homonymous bay.
Having travelled 13 km from the port, we arrived at Therma or otherwise Baths, famous from the Byzantine period for their sulphur springs with healing properties. The whole area is full of green from various tree species, among which numerous streams descend from the slopes of Saos. From this point starts the path that leads us to one of the most famous «vathres» of Samothrace, the famous «Old Vathra».
Small waterfalls throwing their waters in miniature natural pools, cool waters and the dense shade of the trees, in a magnificent scenery of nature, justify at all the uninterrupted visit of the world that prefers shady mountain environment from beaches where the heat often becomes unbearable. Therefore it is not strange to meet people camping here and staying overnight enjoying enchanting evenings with the beautiful sound of water flowing from everywhere.
From Therma starts the European path E6, which after five hours about reaches «Moon», as the highest peak of Mount Saos at 1621 meters altitude is called. On the «Moon», Poseidon was watching the evolution of the Trojan War, according to Homer.
After Therma we reached the small river of Fonia. It is truly worth walking the path alongside the stream which after a half an hour of route reaches the «Vathra» of Fonia. The impressive waterfall which pours rapidly its waters, from a height of 15 meters, within a large natural pool with a diameter of 30 metres, as well as the lush vegetation that embraces the cliffs creates breathtaking scenery.
On the south side of the island
Totally satisfied with the moments and images that our wanderings in the mountainous of Samothrace offered us, we returned back to the rib planning our nautical excursions.
The southern coast of the island is of particular interest and specifically the south-eastern part of it.
Just after the bay of Makrigialos there is the famous beach of Pachia Ammos. It is the main attraction of visitors and has the most people. It is located between two small capes on the southern tip of the island, stretching for about five hundred meters and the sand stretches to the land for dozens of meters. At the western end of the beach which is the most beautiful, there are sun beds and umbrellas, while right behind it there is a tavern with very nice and delicious tastes.
From «Pachia Ammos» and eastern, the rocks of the coast are beginning to impose, creating the most spectacular landscapes of the entire shoreline of the island.
Just after «Pachia Ammos» three very small coves are formed which are hosting astonishing sandy beaches, ideal for isolation, since there are no roads to reach this place. Just beyond there is the beach of Vatos. Here ends the homonymous stream, at the mouth of which, many free campers find a shelter through the dense vegetation. The wide sandy beach located on the west end of the beach is definitely the best part, as the rest is paved with large river stones.
After the beach of Vatos a unique and thrilling spectacle welcomes us, not found anywhere else in the entire Aegean. The famous «Hanging Waters» will excite and keep us there for a long time to admire them. Among the brown rocks falling from high altitude vertically into the sea, the waterfall runs from the edge of the rocks and after a course of tens of meters pours its waters into the sea. A spectacle that will always be kept in our minds and a reason to visit it again.
Notes for boaters
- Samothrace is a blessed island, but it needs to walk around this place and discover its secrets. It is not famous for its sandy beaches, but for the mountainous natural pools and the small waterfalls among the dense greenery landscape. The sights that must absolutely be seen are: on the north side of the island, the archaeological site in Paleopoli, the Old Vathra in Therma and the stream of Fonia with its «Vathres», while on the south side of the island, Panagia Kremniotissa and «Pachia Ammos», the Beach of Vatos and the «Hanging Waters».
- The Meltemi wind blows in Samothrace from north-eastern direction with a force rarely exceeding 5 or 6 Beaufort. Great attention is required at the south-eastern part of the island, where the Meltemi wind is blowing fierce fully.
- In Samothrace there are two ports. The main port is Kamariotissa, located at the western end of the island. Even in August you will find here place to berth certainly preferring the windward side. The second port is located in Therma and is more like a fishing shelter, ideal anchorage, with unlimited space for mooring. It is 10 km from Kamariotissa, provides water and lots of quiet, unique for overnight on board.