Samothrace: The Fonias Gorge has an evocative name and magnificent waterfalls

Fonias Gorge

Nature lovers from all over the world come to experience Samothrace.

In Samothrace, the island of alternative tourism, travellers do not only enjoy the seawater.

Mount Saos, with its highest peak at 1,611 metres, stands in the middle of the island. Saos is also called the Moon, as in earlier times, the locals said that, with its great size, it hid the moon. The existence of such a high mountain on an island with an area of ​​no more than 178 square kilometres defines its geography. The massif shapes the island's morphology, vegetation fauna and tourist activity.

Waters flow down the mountain's slopes, creating numerous waterfalls and lakes—or pools. Hiking in the gorges and swimming in the pools attract nature lovers from all over the world to Samothrace.

Fonias Gorge

Fonias is the most famous river stream on the island. Its name is associated with legends about people who perished in its rapid waters, but no specific incident has been recorded.

In fact, the Fonias Gorge is one of the most idyllic spots in Greece, and anyone can enjoy at least a part of it, regardless of physical condition and familiarity with such activities.

A few kilometres after the village of Therma, you will see signs for the Fonias Gorge. After about half an hour, with not-so-difficult walking among the vegetation, you will reach the first large pool and a waterfall.

Time for a dip in really cool (to very cold) waters.

Fonias Gorge

The feeling these waters give is truly unforgettable. Those who want a more "private" experience should avoid coming here during the high season, July and August.

The next pools are more difficult to reach, so it would be a good idea to reach them with someone who has been there before.

For the second pool, you cross an uphill path of stones and enter a narrower area. After about 20 minutes, you will see the natural pool, which is also the longest part of the gorge.

The third and last stage takes about 45 minutes, and you must be in good physical condition and wear good shoes.

There is also the largest waterfall in the canyon, about 35 metres high. The only certain thing is that whatever pool you decide suits you and your endurance, swimming under the waters at the Fonias waterfalls is the experience of a lifetime.

Some tips and information for your trip to Samothrace

Samothrace's main ferry connection is with the port of Alexandroupoli. In the summer, it is also connected to the islands of the North Aegean, such as Lemnos and Thassos, and to Kavala.

The island's culinary "trademark" is the goat. The meat is delicious as the animals graze freely and drink seawater. Local sweets are the prausti, a spoon sweet made from a fruit resembling a cherry tree. Finally, the island's honey is famous for its bittersweet taste.

- Kleidosis, as the largest waterfall of Fonias is called, is not the highest waterfall in Samothrace. This is called Hanging Water and is located in the southernmost part of the island. There, the water falls from a height of 180 metres into the sea, and the easiest way to visit it is by boat. Of course, it can also be descended, but canyoning experience is required.

- If you want sandy beaches and the infrastructure of an organised long coast, you may need to be on the right island. Here, the beaches are usually pebbly and unorganised.

- Pachia Ammos is the most popular and organised beach on the island, with the added advantage that, due to its orientation, it can handle the waves, even on windy days.

Pachia Ammos beach in Samothrace

This article first appeared in Travel. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos

READ MORE: A culinary trek in Volos, the city of Tsipouradika.

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