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About Thassos Island

Thassos, "the emerald island", is situated in the gulf of Kavala, in the northern part of the Aegean Sea and it's the closest to the continental Greece (8 km). Thassos is not far from Keramoti and the estuary of the Nestos River. At its widest part, the island is 22km from east to west and 26 km long from north to south. It has a circumference of about 100 km, being smaller than Rhodes and larger than Samothrace. There is a main road that encircles the island following the coastline and smaller roads that lead to the mountain settlements.

Its coastline is rocky eastwards and westwards and sandy northwards and southwards. Thassos is a mountainous island. The highest peak is Ipsarion (about 1.127 m high), which is easily accessible due to the forest roads.

Thassos is covered by thick forests of pine trees, fir trees, oak trees, and plane trees. Its forests occupy approximately the 9\10 of the island's surface, and olive trees grow all along its coastline. The pine-trees reach the seashores and their timber consists one of the main sources of income for the Thassians.

The island's climate is mild and healthy. During summer months, with few exceptions, the weather is warm and in winter it is not too cold. Hippocrates, who has been considered since the ancient years "the father of Medicine" left us valuable inscriptions on the Thasian climate. In one of his books he states that in Thassos "Generally winter resembles spring". And so it remains until today. The average annual temperature is 17.2 o Cand the average summer temperature (July) is 23.4.

Thassos' underground is rich and the island was known from the ancient years for its minerals. The island is known for its snow white marble, which is the whitest marble in the whole world.

Thassos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Neolithic tools similar to those discovered in Troy , Limnos and Samothraki have been found at various sites on the island. Thassos is first mentioned by Herodotus, the father of history. He says that the island took its name from Thassos, the first inhabitant of the island. According to the ancient Greek mythology the first person known to have come to the island was Thassos in search of his sister Europe, who had been abducted by Zeus. He was enchanted by the wonderful climate and the luxuriant vegetation of the island and as he could not return home without Europe, he gave up and settled here on the island that bears his name since then.

Greeks arrived on the island about the 7 th century BC from Paros. Beautiful sculptures and ceramics were also found from this period. By the 6 th century AD the inhabitants had become numerous and colonies belonging to Thassos were being established on the mainland of Macedonia and Thrace.

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