16.12.2016

Lemnos, Thasos, Samothraki: A journey out of the ordinary

Two weeks hiking and touring on the islands of the Northeastern Aegean Sea. 7 days on Lemnos, 3 on Thasos and 3 in Samothrace. Inhabited since the prehistoric times, rich in history and legends, with their unique ecosystems, these three island are ideal destinations for an adventure out of the ordinary.

Lemnos: The island of Hephaestus. The “blacksmith” god had his workshop there and had taught its inhabitants the copper art. Lemnos had been through the millennia a stage of geological, historical and geopolitical realignments. The son of Dionysus and Ariadne, Thoas, had reigned in Lemnos; he introduced viticulture to the island and taught the Lemnians the art of vinification. There are remains of at least 14 Neolithic settlements of which most important this of Poliochni, dated out from 4000 B.C., one of the most important prehistoric excavation sites in Greece. Lemnos has also a unique ecosystem with major importance wetlands, the only European desert and strange volcanic formations... maybe traces of Hephaestus crafts.

Thasos: The marble island. In classical mythology, prince Thassus from Phoenice, brother of Europa who had been kidnapped by Zeus; during the quest of his sister, he had established the first settlement on the island, which was named after him. However, it appears that the island was originally settled by the Phoenicians who worked the island's gold mines and marble quarries, but in the 7th century BC Greeks from Paros colonized Thasos and founded a school of sculpture. The fact is that the Thasians exported wood for shipbuilding, and there was marble and gold mining. The snow-white marble of Thasos is still extracted today from the quarries of the island.

Samothrace, the island of the “Great Gods”, emerges from the Thracian Sea, crowned by the highest mountain of the Aegean, the imposing Mount Saos, with its peak Feggari (=Moon) at 1611 m. According to Homer, from there Neptune had been watching the progress of the Trojan War. Inhabited since the Neolithic era, the island is known for its archaeological treasures such as the “Nike of Samothrace” in the Museum of Louvre. During the antiquity the “Kaveirian Mysteries”, major religious events had taken place there. Samothrace is also known for its stunning natural surroundings with rich vegetation; plane, oak, cedar, chestnut trees and shrubs; whilst hundreds of crystal water streams flow from mount Saos to rush through the forests all the way to the sea, forming waterfalls and stone basins.

We travelled to Lemnos, Thasos and Samothrace from the 20th of September till the 4th of October 2016.
15 days / 14 nights with visits to the highlights of these islands, 8 easy to moderate and 2 challenging hikes.
A great experience!
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