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THRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND
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SAMOTHRACE

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General Information

The landscape of Samothrace does not resemble that of the typical island. It is characterized by impressive, green-clad highlands, and its average altitude is the highest in the Aegean Sea. Its successive slopes are adorned with dense forests through which running waters trickle down towards a beauteous coastline. Far from coincidentally, it was strongly associated with rites and rituals held to please and honor the Great Gods of antiquity. It is also well known for the worldwide famous statue of the Godess Niki (victory), which today holds no lesser place than in the first showroom of the museum of Louvre in Paris. The impressive Mount Saos standing dominant over the largest part of the island, the plane tree forests, the rare endemic vegetation, the fountains and the waterfalls, the lagoon of Agios Andreas, and many other attractions, have created a large number of faithful fans. The population is 2723 inhabitants, while its extent covers 184 sq.km   

 

History - Culture

Civilized presence on the island is noted as far back as in the 3rd millennia BC, in the late Neolithic period. Pelasgian and Thracian populations migrated to the island, followed by groups of Aeoleans some centuries later. The name of the island is derived from its landscape; the word ?Samos? in the tongues of the early Greek tribes meant height, and therefore the word ?Samothrace? means high Thrace. The island prospered as a regional financial and commercial center in the 7th and the 6th century BC. This continued well into the classical and the Hellenistic era, when the Sanctuary of the Great Gods became a renowned religious center which attracted visitors and donors even from remote locations. It was during this time that both the Sanctuary and the island reached the peak of their glory, a period of prosperity which ended abruptly in 84 BC, when the island was completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Nevertheless, the Sanctuary was rebuilt and retained its influential presence all through the Roman years, being a place of worship that endured until the 4th century AD, when the Christian Faith replaced older religions. In the following centuries, Samothrace suffered from the series of pirate raids that plagued all of the Aegean and, in 1430, it was conquered by the Genoese house of the Gatelussi, who remained on the island until 1457, when it fell under the Turkish yoke, which lasted until the beginning of the 20th century, when in was finally incorporated into the Greek State.

 

Sights

Though the landscape of the island is dominated by imposing mountains, it is also endowed with a majestic coastline. Numerous rivers flow vividly through dense pine forests, frequently forming picturesque waterfalls, until they finally pour their waters gently into the sea. Additionally, Samothrace holds sights of great historical importance. The Ancient City with the impressive wall can be seen in the village of Paleopolis, while in Vouni, archaeologists have unearthed items dating back to the prehistoric era. The medieval castle and the traditional settlement in Chora, remarkably preserved to this day, send the mind into the time of chivalry, piracy, and aristocracy. Alas, the site of greatest significance can be non other than the Sanctuary of the Great Gods in Chora, on the north coast. Excavations held on the site in the 19th century revealed remarkable monuments such as the palace, the dome, the sanctuary, the temple, the altar, the theatre, the arcade, the fountain, and many more. The famous statue called "Niki of Samothrace" was discovered in 1863, in that same area, and is exhibited today in the Louvre, in Paris. In Chora there is a traditional bakery with a history of 100 years. It was established by a local family that still runs it nowadays, offering bakery products renowned all over Greece. In the center of the island there is the Mount Saos, where, according to myth, the great elder god Poseidon sat to watch the fierce battles of the Trojan War.  

 

Entertainment-Sports-Shopping

Samothrace has a fully developed tourist infrastructure and more than adequate accommodation and entertainment facilities are available all over the island. There are hotels and rooms for rent in all the seven villages of the island, well-supplied small shopping centers, taverns and restaurants, coffee shops, bars and night clubs. Local delicacies include traditional pasta, grilled goat, goat soup, grilled bread, ?lioto?, mandi?, ?chalasmas?, ?praousti?, and of course shrimps and fresh fish. The landscape of the island, along with its natural beauty, is ideal for a great number of interesting activities of such as sporting and adventuring.

 

Access

There is a frequent ferry-boat service from the city of Alexandroupolis.

 

Connections

Ferry-boats link Samothrace with Kavala, Lemnos and Alexandroupolis all year  round.

 

Museums

There is a significant Archaeological Museum in Paleopolis.

 

Alternative Tourism

Archaeology, gastronomy, ecotourism, agrotourism, therapeutic, spiritual, cultural, congressional, ecclesiastical, sporting (mountain climbing, trekking, mountain bike, water sports, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing).

 

Useful Telephone Numbers:

SAMOTHRAKI AREA CODE:  25510-

PORT POLICE: 25510-41305

POLICE STATION: 25510-41202, 41203,  41199

TOURIST POLICE : 25510-37411

MUNICIPALITY: 25510-41218, 42218, 89210

POST OFFICE: 25510-41244

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG. : 25510-41215, 41299

MEDICAL CENTER: 25510-41217

PHARMACIES: 25510-41581, 41217, 41705

TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE: 25510-89272

TAXI STATION : 25510-41341, 41316

 

 

 

Photo Gallery
THRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACE
THRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACE
THRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACETHRAKI - SAMOTHRAKI ISLAND SAMOTHRACE
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