Tourist Destination of Prefecture of Kavala
© Region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace
The Prefecture of Kavala covers an area of 2,110 km2 including the island of Thasos as well. Kavala is the second city in Northern Greece and the capital of the Prefecture. The name of the city during the ancient, Byzantine and modern times changed to Neapolis, Christoupolis and Kavala respectively. The origins of the city date as early as 4000 BC.
Surrounded by walls, the old city of Kavala is full of memories and charm; the streets are stone paved and the houses have small trim gardens and characteristic wooden galleries. There is a harmonic combination of different architectural traditions; the oriental style is represented in several edifices like Imaret, a Muslim building constructed under Mehmet Ali, the founder of the last Egyptian Dynasty.
Kavala, Palio, Nea Peramos, Kalamitsa, Nea Irakleitsa, Keramoti are only some of the places that visitors can choose if they want stay near the sea. The beautiful Mount Pangaion is renowned since the antiquity for the gold and silver mines as well as for being the centre of the Dionysian cult. The Monastery of Icosifinissa is located in the wood-covered slopes of the mountain. The ancient city of Philippi, which was a great and important centre in antiquity due to the fertile ground and the goldmines of the area, is just 15 km from Kavala. Famous plays of ancient tragic poets and concerts are performed every summer in the ancient theatre of Philippi. This ancient city is the first in European soil to receive the Christian Word from Apostle Paul. The Baptistery of Lydia, the first Christian in Europe, is also found in Philippi. The local museum houses exhibits from the area and the neighbouring prehistoric settlement of Dikili Das.
The bright green plain of Kavala is full of vineyards with golden grapes. Nestos river is the natural border with the prefecture of Xanthi; at some places, the waters of the river are violent and rapid while elsewhere are calm and flat. Nestos Delta with the rich foliage in the valley of Chrysoupoli is the natural refuge of many bird species threatened with extinction. There are ferries from Keramoti, Kavala and Peramos to Thasos, the green island with the several water streams.
The development of Kavala was based on its privileged natural position, the merchant port and the tobacco, one of the main exportation products. The value of the tobacco exportation since 1899 was higher than this of the exportations from the port of Thessaloniki and significantly increased between 1904 and 1912. However, the application of mechanized elaboration in the tobacco industry brought changes that affected this sector, which was rather reduced in importance in the last years. The modernization of the port installations contributed in the development of the commercial activity of the city.
The festival of Philippi is held annually from July to September in the ancient theatres of Philippi and Thasos. The programme includes ancient and modern theatrical plays, music concerts and classical dance performances. The “Cosmopolis” festival took place for the first time in 2000 and focuses in the presentation of the cultures from all over the world. Other festivals also take place like the “Sun and Stone” festival every first Saturday in July at the open-air theatre of Nea Karvali; the grape festival in the end of August at the village of Eleochori; the potato festival in Lekani every September; the chestnut festival at Paleochori in October. The custom of “Arapides” revives every year in the village of Nikissiani at Pangaion, during the feast of St John.
Healing springs suitable for rheumatic and gynecological diseases are located at Eleftheres (60 km from Kavala). Healing mud-baths are also found in the area of Krinides.
Sailing around Thasos is also a beautiful experience. In Kavala, there is a marina and a station of fleet management; services related to yachts repair and refuelling are also provided. In the equipped beaches of N. Irakleitsa, Palio, Batis, Kalamitsa, Toska, Keramoti, N. Karvali, N. Peramos, Karyani, Limenas, Glyfada, Makryammos, Limenaria, Chrysi Ammoudia, Potos, Pefkari, Psili Ammos, Astrida, Alyki, Prinos and Rachoni beach, visitors can practice aquatic sports like ski, canoe, windsurfing etc. Visitors can also go for climbing, diving, trekking and mountaineering. There is a mountaineering and ski club and skiing can be practiced in the valley of Orpheus on Mount Pangaion, at an altitude of 1,750 m.
The Prefecture of Kavala offering a great variety of activities to visitors is an exciting and beautiful place all over the year.