Greece: Samotraki Island
Lying in the northernmost part of the Aegean Sea, Samothraki Island (Samothraki, Samothrace) is considered one of the most dramatic-beautiful among all Greek islands. This dark granite monolith, which is the top of the underwater mountain, rises above the sea surface 1611 meters (Moram Mountain in Fengari Ridge), many centuries, being a kind of natural lighthouse between southern entrance to Dardanelles, Thassos Island and Halkidiki Coast.
According to legends, it was from the top of this island Poseidon followed the siege of Troy, and forever changed the weather hid one of the clouds "Residence" Gods-Olympians.
Ferries and ships on underwater wings are moored in the main port of the island – lying on the west Kamarotis (Kamariotissa), which is the best, albeit a rather sad starting point for dating samotraki. Here you can find many hotels, taverns, car rental agencies, bus station and even gas stations (the only island, by the way). And – all.
Lying 2 km east and higher on the slope of the town Chora, also known as Selfraki, He is the capital of the island. Much greater than it seems from the sea, and an attractive city is built from a local stone in a characteristic Thracian style, which influenced both Greek and Slavic and Turkish cultures. From the once defended his Gateuzzi’s Gateuzzi, only the gate and individual fragments of the walls were survived, but the city himself looks almost exactly the same as many centuries ago, only the forest of antenna and chaos of wires somewhat violate this illusion. Charming, but small folklore museum (free schedule) with its multi-colored meeting of traditional clothes, products of decorative and applied classes and antiques are quite interesting in itself, although it is unlikely to take a guest for more than an hour of time.
When visiting the city, it should be noted that there are no permanent hotels here, it is possible to rent accommodation only on a private basis (many advise just to ask the owners of numerous coffee shops on the main street – and they will tell you who to turn to), but there are many excellent taverns.
The main attraction of the surroundings of the capital is a hidden in deep wooded gorge over a tiny seaside village Paleopolis (6 km north-east of Camarothes and 3 km north of the choir) Sanctuary of the Great Gods. From the late Bronze Century and to the early Christian period, it was one of the largest religious centers of the region, the spiritual center of the northern part of the Aegean Sea, who was considered the second most important after the similar sanctuary in Eleusin. The cults of antique Olympians and Olympians and traditional beliefs for the Thracian world were mixed here. In the demons – Kabichi, for example, it is easy to guess the sons and assistants of Hephetz – cabins from nearby Lemnos, and the goddess Axayiros has always been identified with Kibel. However, Ellina brought their culture here only in the VIII century BC. NS., And the long century even considered these places by secret, so a little about the rituals themselves know a little, and the sanctuary itself has suffered greatly over the subsequent time. Well labeled plot (open daily from 8.00 to 15.30, in winter – up to 15.00; 3 euros) is accompanied by a good archaeological museum (open from Thursday to Sunday from 8.00 to 19.30, in winter – up to 15.00, the entrance ticket is the same as for the plot) with a large collection of items found on the site of the excavation. Aquaintly remained relatively well (the hall for initiating rites), Temenos (similar to the arena site, which was conducted by checking a passing rite), Niffei and also restored to the Roman era of Jeron (place for receiving high-ranking guests), from which five columns and architev survived. But the theater and the main portico, clearly having a more respectable age, suffered very much.
6 km east of Paleopolis lies the seaside town Loutra (Terma) With it running down with mountains, giant planeis and hot springs. From the end of July and at the beginning of September, it is literally flooded by foreign hippie and older Greeks who come to relax on local sulfur sources. Even more attractive than themselves, small waterfalls and reservoirs from the Rock of Gria-Vatra (Gria Vathra) 1.5 km east of the main road, where the islanders themselves come from the summer heat. And Loutra itself is the main starting point for a rather serious six-hour rise to the top of Marmar Mountain, known in antiquity as Saos, or Fengary ("moon") – the highest (1611 m) peak of the Aegean Islands. According to the legend, if you manage to climb to the top at night in the full moon, any desire to come true – however, you should not wait for this climbing.
Although the northern shores of the samotraki almost without exception are composed of pebbles, often quite large, here you can find a lot of decent, albeit small beaches. 15 km from Lutra to the East along the beautiful coastal serpentine lies a pebble beach Cape Kipos, Framed by picturesque rocks of the mountains of Atfaki (1191 m). And O Cape Fonyas (Pyrgos-background) With its destroyed Genoese tower, you can climb up the river to the impressive waterfalls and cold lakes of the Foilla Valley (about 45 minutes walk).
The warmer South Islant is engaged in fertile agricultural valleys and olive groves. And although the rest infrastructure is almost not developed here, relax on the shores Laccom, Dafne, Mawrosa, Watosa, Pahia-amosa or Bay Macryoylos Even tourists from other islands come. Natural attractions of the region also include coastal Waterfalls of Kreverta-Nehra And the green southern slopes of the mountains of the vukos, completely overgrown with the plane feet, olives and pine.