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Boat trips to the wild south of Samothraki

Boat trips to the wild south of Samothraki

All Beaches Churches and chapels of Samothraki Cultural sights Explore the mountain Explore the sea People and villages

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.

Such tours are usually available during the summer season when the number of tourists on the island is high. Departure points are the beaches of Pachia Ammos and Kipos and the small port of Therma.

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.

In the south, the steep rocky walls seem carved
In the south, the steep rocky walls seem carved

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.

A landscape of abrupt cliffs, stretches of beach and massive rocks
A landscape of abrupt cliffs, stretches of beach and massive rocks

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 second cove after Pachia Ammos hides a beautiful sandy beach framed by steep cliffs
The second cove after Pachia Ammos hides a beautiful sandy beach framed by steep cliffs

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.

You can only get to Katarti beach by boat
You can only get to Katarti beach by boat

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.

Vatos beach at the end of the Vatos canyon
Vatos beach at the end of the Vatos canyon

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.

A corner of Agelada
A corner of Agelada

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.

Kremastos is the most interesting waterfall in Samothraki
Kremastos is the most interesting waterfall in Samothraki

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.

"Tis grias ta pania" looks like clothes on a line

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.

Caves are common on the southern coast
Caves are common on the southern coast

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.

Nick can take you on trips from Pachia Ammos to Vatos and Kromasto Nero
Nick can take you on trips from Pachia Ammos to Vatos and Kromasto Nero

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.

Comments (8)

Alan P Newman
10 Jan 2021, 15:30
It is about 20 years since my first and 18 years since my last visit to Samothraki but the memories I formed do not fade. The boat tour round the island is one of the many highlights and Vatos beach is absolutely idyllic. Health issues are the only thing which stops me returning.
10 Jan 2021, 15:32
Hi Alan,
I hope you'll get better and be able to visit the island soon.
27 Aug 2021, 17:09
Do not take the Samothraki Cruises from Therma port. They almost never go to Vatos. Instead they take you to Katarti, which is the detest place on this island, without any shadow and they let 20 people there with just two umbrellas. It's a scam!!
24 Jun 2022, 07:41
It is no scam. What would be their interest? They take you to Katarti (one of the most beautiful beaches in Samothraki) when the waves do not allow them to stop to Vatos. You have no idea, but the bottom of the sea in Vatos Beach has big rocks and is very difficult to stop when there is wind and waves, which is very common in Samothraki. They risk putting a whole in the boat. Tourists don't understand, but them stopping in Katarti is for their safety. There the cove is safer and the sea is calmer.
26 Jun 2022, 11:36
Hi! I am interested in taking the boat from Therma. Do you have any contacts where I can ask?
26 Jun 2022, 19:00
Hi Maria,
You can contact Samothraki Cruises for info (+30 6975907181), but I don't think they started yet.
15 Sep 2022, 18:19
Me and my bfriend will be in Samothraki in few days, we would love to take a boat trip from Pachia Ammos or kipos ('cause they are closer to the coves), but I don't understand if we can arrive there without any car, maybe is it better to take it from Therma (since we have our accomodation there)? thak you!
15 Sep 2022, 18:26
Hi Chiara,
The local buses only go to Kipos and Pachia Ammos in high season, so now the only way to get there is by car. As for the boat trips, better call first. I think only Nick on Pachia Ammos still does boat trips this time of the year.
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