Wednesday, June 6, 2007

WALKING ON THASSOS by Marion

According to the stories from other tourists, Thassos is a very suitable island for walking and hiking. I can’t speak from experience, as I am not very sporty.There are many paths in the hills, and from there you have beautiful scenic views.Last summer I heard from two Dutch ladies, that from the east side of the hill, you could see the dolphins swimming in the sea.You can make a nice walk from Limenas to Makryammos and it is only 2 1/2 km. and you are rewarded at the end with a beautiful beach.On the side paths during the climb to the Acropolis, you can see some trees or stones marked with a red arrow. On asking, it turns out to be marked by the Greek nature-lovers.Some of these routes can be quite dangerous, with steep drops and loose rocks.The most routes are easy to follow, but sometimes it is difficult to find the next arrow. The length of the trip varies from 1/ 2 hour to 4 hours. When you lose the way (which is easy to happen) you can orientate by the sea or mountaintops.It is a pity that there isn't’t any detailed walking map available, but Roos Gruwel has written the “Green book” (in Dutch and English) describing walking routes through nature areas. Rose is from Holland, and has lived in Thassos since 1987. She is a nature guide from the institute of nature protection and education. She is busy with all the facets of nature on Thassos and organizes walks through the Nestos-Valley. She has a clear knowledge of flora and fauna.In and around Limenas it is quite flat, and you can walk a good distance. It is nice to saunter through the town. And for the more trained amongst us you can walk from Limenas to Skala Potamia (= ± 13km.) through the hills in 5 hours. It is best to do this early in the morning because of the heat and transport back to Limenas. It is nice to meander through Potamia.The green vegetation provides some cool shades. Cedar trees, pine trees, oaks and of course olive trees have been replanted after the bush fires and they are growing very fast.Please, take care with fire and don’t smoke!!! Because of the dryness it is easy to start new fires!! You will find many beehives in the hills. These provide the famous Theses pine honey, which has a nice soft taste. The walnut honey tastes very special in tea.You will come across an enormous marble-quarry on the way to Skala Potamia. There are more quarries around the island. The snow-white marble only comes from Thassos and it is exported to rich OPEC-countries and rich oil bosses build marble palaces with it.Regularly you see trucks with large marble blocks, being taken to the beaches to strengthen the sea-defences. The wharf on the Limenas beach is a good example of this. Watch out when you are near a quarry, that you don’t get marble dust in your eyes. This can be very painful.Here are some important tips I would like to give you:1) Always wear strong walking shoes.2) Always take plenty of drinking water and something to eat.3) Keep to the paths and don’t walk through bushes or leaves in connection with snakes.4) Always use sun cream and protection against insect-bites.5) Always take protection for your eyes near the quarries (sunglasses or a thin scarf).Alternative route to the acropolis ± 1 1/2 hours:You walk passed the fishing harbor, by the restaurant "The Old Port" you turn right and come to a small road. In between the diggings about 20 meters passed the bridge that is over the excavations you see on the left, a white wall, where arrows and the word "PATH" are painted in red. (Be careful because you can easily miss it.)You walk on the path and follow the red dots and arrows that are painted on the trees and stones. This is a quick way to climb up high. If you look back you will see many nice views of Limenas. After 20 minutes you are at the acropolis and you can decide for your self, which way you want to go back. The easiest way is to follow the path where the lampposts are. I don’t think it is such a nice way. A nicer route is with your back towards Limenas, follow the red dots down the hill until you reach a broad sand-road. Follow this road, keeping the sea on you right-hand side, and in half an hour you are back again in Limenas

No comments: