The roads in Samothraki don't cover the whole island. Some places, particularly those in the south, are only accessible by hiking on difficult and little-known paths. An easier way to get to those parts would be by booking a boat trip.
Some of the trips involve a complete tour of the island, others only take you to the most interesting parts. There might be stops for swimming, snorkeling, or even scuba diving. All the tours include the south, a place of tremendous beauty and ecological value.
From Pachia Ammos in the south to Kipos in the south-east, the rocky cliffs rise abruptly from the sea. Sporadically, canyons, beaches and strange geological formations interrupt the massive walls offering breathtaking views. In Samothraki, the south is very different from the populated north, giving the feeling of being on another island - uninhabited and untamed.
There are four small coves east of Pachia Ammos, scattered in an arid landscape. The second and the third (Karkani and Angalouda) harbor between their rocky walls wonderful sandy beaches bathed in clear turquoise water.
The fourth cove is home to Katarti beach. Its hallmark is a rock in the water, detached long ago from the towering walls. The name translates to "mast". Nearby, under the sea, there's the shipwreck of a Romanian commercial vessel that carried timber, sunk sometime in the middle of the 20th century. Legend has it that some inhabitants of Chora built their houses out of the wood it was transporting.
After a massive mountain, Vatos beach opens up. It's at the mouth of the homonymous river. It's sandy and pebbly dotted with pink oleanders.
As you continue east, the steep walls alternate with small beaches. The most noteworthy of them - Agelada (meaning "Cow" in Greek) is easily discernable by its perfectly round pebbles and green streaks on the nearby rocks.
Next, there's Kremastos (also called Kremasto Nero, meaning "hanging water") - the most spectacular waterfall in Samothraki. At 180 meters, it stands the tallest on the island. During the winter, when the flow of water is at its highest, its waters fall directly into the sea without touching the cliffs.
After Kremastos strange geological formations can be admired from the boat. They're called Tis grias ta pania and are one of the points of interest in Samothraki. They look like a web of crisscrossing lines painted on the dark-colored basaltic rocks. Their name translates to "the old woman's laundry" and is explained by a local folk tale. Once upon a time, an old hag lived in these wild isolated lands, with only goats as her companions. One day, after hanging her clothes to dry, a powerful gust of wind blew them away on the rocks. The upset woman cursed them to turn to stone and that is how "Tis grias ta pania" allegedly came to be.
Next, is Gyali beach, at the end of one of the most fierce canyons on the island. The name - meaning "glass" - comes from its white pebbles and clear waters.
The fauna in this part of Samothraki is comprised of rock doves, gulls, birds of prey, wild goats and dolphins. In the winter, Mediterranean seals of the Monachus Monachus species take shelter in the caves. Unfortunately, they are getting rarer.
Boat trip from Pachia Ammos
On the right (as you look towards the sea), there's a taverna and a beach bar. Nick (Nikolas) Kapelas can be found here almost every day from spring till autumn. In the summertime, his boats are a water taxi service of sorts for the people eager to get to Vatos beach.
He can take you even further towards Kremastos and "Tis grias ta pania". His phone is +30 698 450 8105.
Boat trip from Kipos beach
The beautiful Kipos beach is the headquarters of Ioana and Dan from H2O Dive&Fun. They are two Romanians in love with the island living here for a big chunk of the year. They organize boat trips with stops for swimming and snorkeling. They're also the owners and operators of the diving center in Kamariotissa. Call +40 732 123 232 for more information.
Boat trip from Therma
Right by Therma beach, there is a small port used for fishing and leisure vessels. In high season (July-August) this is the departure point of Axieros, the boat operated by Samothraki Cruises. Depending on the weather and the number of passengers, the tours may be longer or shorter and may include lunch.