Samothrace Island of the Great Gods in Greece

There is a legend that the Greek God of the Sea, Poseidon, took his seat upon Mount Saos, the highest mountain in the Aegean Sea, in order to watch the Trojan War.

Mount Saos has many peaks, the tallest of which is known as Mount Fengari and it located on the island of Samothrace, one of the most rugged of the Greek islands.

Legends abound on Samothrace, because it is also the island where you will find the Sanctuary of the Great Gods which harks back to the 7th Century B.C. and was an important religious centre for about 1100 years. Rites of initiation were carried out here, but unlike initiations that were carried out at other temples, here they were available to men, women and children both Greek and non-Greek and were said to offer protection at sea.

Today, near the town of Palaiopoli, where the statue of Nike, also known as the famous Victory of Samothrace was found, one can see the ruins of the Sanctuary, the Tholos of Arsinoe, the Arcade, the Temenos, the Palace and the Theatre. The statue itself, or what is left of it, as it is headless, can now be seen in the Louvre, Paris.

Samothrace, which is also known as Samothraki, has many other attractions, besides temples.

The island has a lot of stunning scenery, with large forests intersected by fresh streams on the northern part of the island. These streams tumble over numerous waterfalls but also form pools in stone basins that are ideal for swimming. The highest waterfall on the island, with a drop of 35 metres, is formed by the stream called Fonias, which means “killer”.

The island has a lot of beaches, many of which are only accessible by boat. Some of the beaches are formed by pebbles, including the Beach of Gardens, which is covered in shiny gray and black stones. There is also a sandy beach, called Pachia Ammos, which is quite popular, and where you visit a chapel that is precariously perched upon a steep rock.

Because it is so mountainous there is no airport on Samothrace, so entry and exit on public transport is via the ferry which uses the port of Kamariotissa where there are regular sailings to Alexandroupolis in Thrace.

Samothrace has a lot of relatively small villages rather than large towns, and it relatively quiet as there are no nightclubs with which attract the rowdier tourists, which is really part of its charm.

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