Kavala (Part 1) - Places to visit. Things to do.

Kavala is the kind of city that apparently does not promise much, neither turquoise sea and white smooth sand, specific other Greek islands ... but that's why it's more than a pleasant surprise. As I traveled and saw along my travels, I haven’t met so far, a prettier and welcoming city, so beautiful in its simplicity.

First hug with the city takes place before you get downtown, considering that Kavala is located on a hill, so the above it is seen magnificent: the little white houses, hostels and charming restaurants and terraces, which are situated along the cliff, surrounded by palms trees, where the Aegean Sea undulates its waves and the boats and ferries are floating to Thassos Island, which is seen discreetly away.

Kavala, called by the Greeks – ‘Lady of Macedonia’, or ‘Little Monte Carlo’, is one of the most beautiful Greek cities, perhaps the most! One reason is because the city is built in amphitheater shape on a hill, and stretches from the harbor and up the slopes of Mount Symvolo, so that the whole city has sea views, including the restaurants and bars, which gives it a special charm, built on the site of the ancient city of Neopolis, today being the second largest city in northern Greece. Situated in Macedonia region, Kavala is the main seaport of the region, and capital of Kavala prefecture, located in the Gulf of Kavala, being an important point and destination to / from the island of Thassos, but also has sea connections with all North Aegean islands, like Limmat, Lesvos, or Samothraki.

The importance and significance of Kavala city is millennial. The Apostle Paul made ​​a stop in Kavala in his first trip to Europe, preaching the word of God and the Christian faith. In the Byzantine period, the city was renamed ‘Christoupolis’, and from 1371 until 1912 was part of the Ottoman Empire. For example, the Ottoman influences, stands out clearly because of the big and conspicuous remains of the Roman aqueduct – ‘Kamares’, built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, which crosses a part of the city.

The city invites you not only by its traditional houses with small gardens, olive and acacia, narrow streets, where the old blends harmoniously with modern or the smell of food in the taverns full of people, but also the kindness and beauty of the local people with their olive skin and white, warm smile, who are very helpful and friendly. I must admit that although they do not know very well English, they always manage and find the way to help you, this being one of the reasons why I actually admire them. Regarding people and security of the street, you can walk peacefully, including 10pm, when everything is animated by locals, tourists and good atmosphere. However, avoid areas that are not populated, and make your walk downtown, where the atmosphere is lively and the fresh air of the sea invites you to walk on the sea promenade, surrounded by houses and restaurants nice lighted, offering you a pleasant and relaxing Greek night out.

To get in Kavala, you should know that the city has a developed infrastructure, with multiple modes of transport: road, sea and air. So you can reach Kavala, either by car, on the European road E90 and from the Egnatia Motorway or you can use the interregional transport - Bus Lines (KTEL), linking Kavala to Thessaloniki and Athens. One of the advantages of traveling by car is that you can sit right on the city hill, staying up even in one of the hotels who offer a wonderful view of the entire city, the Aegean and the island of Thassos which is visible from afar. The city has an international airport,  "Alexander the Great", which is 27 km from Kavala port and connects it with Athens and the major cities of Europe. Also, to get here, you can opt for boat or ferry or to go from Kavala, to the 'Emerald Isle' - Thassos.

Some of the places visited are the Imaret, a huge impetuous edifice, dating back to the late Ottoman period, is now the most luxurious hotel and restaurant, which maintains the architecture and design of the old times. Unfortunately, to visit it, you have to be accommodated, that unless you're lucky enough to sneak and do some photos. To see a building in the Macedonian style, making a walk in Old Town Square, you will see Mehmt Ali's House.

Visiting this beautiful city, you will see the great medieval aqueduct, Kamares, with a length of 280 m, being completed in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, with the role of linking the Panagia peninsula and the foothills of Lekan, thus transporting water from the mountain. Located in high aria of the peninsula, where is the Old Town, there is Kavala Castle, one of the most iconic sights of the city, where annually are organized cultural events.

The Tobacco Museum is an objective appreciated by tourists, with many exhibits, as in old times, Kavala was the leader of tobacco. The pedestrian street Megalou Alexandrou, is an area that has many stylish shops, bars, cafes, terraces, and a lot more nice and cozy places. The beaches of Kavala are also extremely popular, being awarded with the 'Blue Flag', beaches such as Tosca, Batis, Kalamitsa or Rapsani. Elefterios Market is the most popular area of ​​the port and is near an old neighborhood, Aghios Nicolaos, where there is a church of the same name, on a pillar being noted that here, the Apostle Pavel, has been here, in one of his travels through Europe.

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