Samothraki is a magical place. It has its own special vibe, which has drawn people ever since ancient times. Today, it stands at the northernmost edge of the Greek side of the Aegean Sea and is popular mostly with younger, backpacker crowds or seniors wanting to treat themselves to hot spring baths.
It was good fortune that brought us to the island, a long long way from our Athens home. Accessed by a three-hour ferry ride from Alexandroupoli, Samothraki today has something for everyone and is happy to burst any predispositions you may have about summer in the Greek islands.
There are two beaches on the island that are accessible by car. We only made it to one, shown above (Kipoi beach), because there are much more interesting places to be on the island, namely, the sweet water ponds (locally: vathres) formed as spring water runs down from mount Saos towards the sea. Vathres can be found all over the island and typically involve lush greenery, ice-cold waterfalls and white-washed shaded rocks, ideal for relaxing.
Look out for Theodora, the family-run boat , setting off from the small port of Therma for a tour of the island, when the winds allow. Visit the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a very special archaeological site, home of ancient “mysteria”, i.e. religious initiation ceremonies, which put Samothraki on the Ancient Greek map. Taste local goat or sheep, outnumbering humans on the island by a hundred to one. Take in the breathtaking views towards Turkey from the lone church of Panagia Krimniotissa (sneak preview here). Above all, connect with Nature, whose presence is felt here like nowhere else.
Granted, Samothraki is not for everyone. This is a place to be experienced by body and mind combined. If this sounds like a good idea, by all means, be part of it…