Kavala is the star of Eastern Makedonia and its historical crossroads. It has existed since Neolithic times and is said to have been host to St Paul's first port of call to preach the bible. The Romans, Goths, Huns, Normans have at various times taken an interest in the town.
Kavala's International Airport is rather dramatically named "Megas Alexandros" (Alexander the Great). Several elegant neo-classical buildings remain in active use. The town hall is rather splendid and could tempt even a jaded local brave the bureaucratic jungle behind those doors! The harbour and waterfront areas are close to the typical expectation we would have of a bigger "Greek fishing town" and fish are caught here by the - large - boatload!
You can also travel to the island of Thassos by hydrofoil ("flying dolphin") from here - a trip of half an hour. Below and behind the hill are the substantial remains of the ancient aqueduct. The rather large and pleasant looking Church of the Virgin Mary shares part of the hilltop with the castle.
Fondest memory: Philippi is 15 km from Kavala and a dazzling archaeological site - easy to get to and well worth a visit. The city of Philippi was founded by Thasians in 359 B.C., named after King Philippi II - father of Alexander the Great. Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture are all visible here on one site.
Icosifinissa is a Byzantine monastery about 45 km away on Mount Paggaio (Pangeon) in a gorge, near Nikisiani village with 150 cells and broad, open courtyards, numerous rare icons, built in the 4th century.
Here are some historical facts about this interesting city: Founded in 7th Century BC, Kavala at first was called Neapolis and was an supporter of Athens for many years in its war against Sparta. From 350 B.C, Philip II, king of Macedonia, who gave his name to the nearby city of Philipi, dominated the area of Kavala. It became the most important center of the region and today is one of the most important archaeological places of Greece.
Later, during the domination of Rome in this area, important historical events took place here, such as the famous battle of Philipi. In 42 BC, during this battle, the Romans armies of Brutus and Anthony fought in the valley of Philipi, after the murder of Cesar. In 49 BC, the Apostle Paul, in preaching Christianity, visited Philipi, where he baptized Lidia, the first Christian of Europe. For this he was subsequently imprisoned here.
In the 9th Century, the Byzantines conquered Kavala, which at that time was named Christoupolis. Later in 1387, Kavala fell under the dominion of the Turks, who destroyed it in 1391. In the 16th Century, the city was founded again with the name of Kavala. The Turkish domination continued until 1913 , when it was liberated and became part of Greece.
Fondest memory: Many! Restaurant in old quarter Panagia and excelent, huge and cheap kalamari there! Open market close to port, narrow streets of old town....
Travel across to THASSOS island and go to GOLDEN BEACH for a super swim and a great lunch at the Fedra taverna.
Fondest memory: The uncrowded sandy beach and just a short walk from a selection of tavernas. After a morning walk to SKALA POTAMIA and a quick swim off to the taverna for an iced cold Mythos lager.. HEAVEN!!!!
Favorite thing: The Theatre . Probably built by the King Philip II around the middle of the 4th century B.C.
Favorite thing: The Roman Forum . It used to be the administrative center of Philippi during the Roman Period. It is a complex of buildings around a central square.
Favorite thing: If it happens to be in the region, visit the ancient Greek city of Philippi. The most important archaeological site is located near Krinides in the 17th km of the National Road Kavala-Drama.You will see the the Acropolis, the Theatre, traces of the old Egnatia Road, the Roman Forum and remains of the Christian Basilicas .
The Archaelogical Museum which belongs to the 18th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, is situated in the 17,Erythrou Stavrou Str. It was built in 1963-1964 by the architects D. Fatouros and G. Triantaphyllides , profesors of the Polytechnic School and the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki .
The Museum contains:
Finds from Neapolis
Finds from Amphipolis
Collection of Prehistoric items
Favorite thing: The Tower of Apollonia. Built on the Egnatia Via , between Chryssoupolis and Anaktoroupolis.
Favorite thing: Kamares Aqueduct erected by Suleiman the Magnificent to ensure the town's water supply.
Favorite thing: The Byzantine Walls and the 16th century Castle.From this place you have a beautiful view of the city and the port.
Portrait of Mohamet Ali, 1840.
A. Couder, 93x76 cm
Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon, MV 4845.
© Photo RMN - Gerard Blot.
Favorite thing: The Basilica B . Dated to 550 A.D.
Favorite thing: The Basilica A . Dated to the 5th century A.D.
Favorite thing: Here is one more picture of the magnificent city of Kavala .