Samothraki is an island of the Thracian Sea, located 24 nautical miles from Alexandroupolis, located in the Northeastern part of the Aegean between the islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Thassos. The island’s name means “tall Thraki”, from the ancient Samos, which means “high”. The surface of the island is 178 square kilometers, the highest peak has an altitude of 1611 meters. The name of the mountain is Saos, but the locals call it “Fegari (moon).”With that altitude, Samothraki is the highest Greek island with the exception of Crete and Evia. The peculiarity of the island is the unspoiled nature in the wild with steep mountains, rich flora and fauna, forests with pine trees, chestnut trees, cedars and other trees, springs, waterfalls, small lakes along the streams on the slopes of the mountain – the locals call them “Vathres” – and the beaches. The pine trees reach the beaches of Samothraki and almost reach the sea. The sea around Samothraki is one of the richest in the Mediterranean, in marine life. Samothraki is not famous for its beaches, but for its “vathres”.
The waterfall at the first so called “Vathra”at the mountain torrent Fonias (Murderer).
From the main road you can follow the well-known path along the river through thick plane tree forest which leads to the first “Vathra”, by the mountain torrent Fonias (journey time 30 minutes).The trail continues to the Klidosi, where you find the largest waterfall on the island with a height of 35 meters. Extreme caution must be taken here, because the soil and rocks are slippery and the slopes are steep. From the beginning of the path, and along Fonias, to its estuary, you can visit the Vdelolimni. It is a shallow lake by the sea which is mostly covered by an alder forest, unique in Greece. On the beach where the river flows, is the Murderer’s Tower, the name Murderer does not refer to the river, but to the tower, which is a medieval building, a work of Gattilusi.
Vathra paradise, next to Thermes
The Gria Vathra is probably the most accessible in the island and therefore ideal for those who do not want for any reason to go long distances on foot. Leave your car, and enter the dense forest by the river. Guided by a concrete stream, listening to leafhoppers that rages in the warm summer sun. Ten minutes later you are in the first Vathra, which leads to a small waterfall. The scenery is beautiful …
Hidden Vathres in Samothraki.
Our information indicates that the landscape is unique all the way, but you should not overestimate your abilities as … Indiana Jones. Many have been injured throughout the island, trying to reach the next platforms. And many are those who arrived and then could not return. As for Vathres? The island is filled with impressive corners • all you need is time and mood to discover them …
The mountain Saos.
Steep mountains, the highest peak in the Fegari (1611m), which is the highest peak in the Aegean after the Psiloritis and has been included in the recent European Mountain Trail.
“Pachia Amos” beach.
Accessible by road from the coast, is the beautiful coast of Pachia Ammos beach, which resembles those of the Cyclades, with glittering sand and sparkling blue waters. It is the most beautiful beach. It is 17 km from Kamariotissa. It’s a huge sandy beach at the most southern point of the island.
The Sanctuary of the Great Gods, Paleopolis.
A little farther from the museum is the famous Temple of the Great Gods, a place that was linked with the “mysteries of Samothraki” (or Kaviria mysteries), ceremonies whose meaning remains enigmatic.
Worth spending at least one hour journey between the Sanctuary (325 to 150 BC), the dome of Arsinoe (288 to 270 BC), gallery (3rd century BC.), The Victory monument (2nd century BC.), and can reach up to the entrance of Ptolemy II (285 to 281 BC) and southern cemetery (mid 6th century BC. to early 2nd century. AD).
Towers of Gatelouso in Paleopolis.
The towers were the local “control center” of the great medieval fortress (area 1,800 sqm) and which, together with the equivalent of Hora, dates back to 1431 to 1433 and aimed to protect the island from the Turks and the Venetians.
The statue Victory (Niki) of Samothraki
The statue Victory of Samothraki is an unique example of ancient Greek art, it is a marble sculpture of an unknown artist of the Hellenistic era found in the temple of the “Great Gods” or Cabeiri, represents the winged goddess Niki and is exhibited in the Louvre since 1884.Niki was at the prow of a ship for the winners to turn in battle. It was staged on an artificial pond in order to look real. It dates from around 190 BC .The statue has a height of 3.28 m (with wings) and 5.58 with the bow of the ship on which it is located today. Painted in white Parian marble to honor the goddess Niki and a battle – unknown which. Greece made some attempts for the return of the statue Victory of Samothraki, but it was not possible.
Secrets of the Cabeiri Mysteries
The Cabeiri mysteries were religious, occult rituals, which was in honor of Cabeiri and their content has not been fully revealed until now. The religion of Cabeiri mysterious rites, spread fear and terror, because the Cabeiri were very tough when it came to punishments. Whenever rage of the Cabeiries broke out, the results were horrible. The main feature of Cabeiri sacraments were the secrecy that prevailed among the initiated. Anyone who dared to reveal even the slightest secret was punished with death! It is said that Socrates drank the hemlock because it revealed great truths of the rituals and passwords of the sacraments.(Source: pyles.tv)
Are these rituals still going on?
Today, according to information from the inhabitants of the island, there are strong indications that suggest that fix dates in August, today’s followers of this ancient ritual, return to Samothraki to get initiated into secret rites of the sacraments Cabeiri.
Alexander the Great was conceived in Cabeiri
It is said that they who attended the rituals received the power to avoid risks, to succeed in the most uncertain attempts to defeat the enemies. According to history, the importance of these mysteries was so great that even kings visited the remote and wild Samothraki to be initiated into the mysteries. It is said that the parents of Alexander the Great, Philip II and Olympia, first met there, and that’s where the great commander was conceived.
The occult ritual of initiation
The initiation took place when a group or an individual decided to present himself to the gods, not only during the festive occasions. In these mysteries: 1. men, women and children took part at night, after having been cleaned and washed. 2. During initiation the candidate was put on the throne, this was called “thronismos”. On his head they placed a wreath of olive and around the belly a red stripe that would protect him from any danger. 3. Then they had to do fasting. 4. Meanwhile, they forced them to present their guardian to assure that they had good behavior and to guarantee for them in the future. 5. Then followed the sacred dance, where the initiates danced around him. 6. In the end, they swore that they would lead a virtuous life and that they would keep these secrets forever. During the mysterious Cabeiri celebrations, they put out all the fires and lit a new one with the sacred torch brought from Delos. These initiations took place at a certain time of year and lasted nine days.
- Samothace Township : 2551 – 350800
- Hospital: 25510 – 41217
- Police Station: 25510 – 41202
- Port Authority: 25510 – 41305
- Fire Department: 25510 – 41129
- Travel Agencies: 25510 – 41505 / 41465
- Archaeologic Museum: 25510 – 41474
- Mineral Springs: 25510 – 98229
- Folkore museum: 25510 – 41227
- Camping: 25510 – 98244 / 98291