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Towns

Kamariotissa is the working port. It has an exposed, rocky beach and most of the island's tourist facilities. There are four windmills by a small lagoon.

Most of the population is high on the slopes of Mount Fengari in Chora. Chora is situated in a picturesque amphitheater below the ruins of a Byzantine castle. Chora has white-washed houses with red-tiled roofs in the traditional style. In summer, a small Folklore Museum is open. There's a modern statue of Nike at the town's entrance.

On the southern slopes of Samothraki, you'll find Alonia with its Roman baths, Profitis Ilias with tavernas that serve dishes made of kid (the goat, not the human), Lakoma, and Panagia Kremniotissa with its view toward Turkey. The island's main beach is below the church at Pachia Ammos. The only way to reach the rugged southern coast beyond this is by boat, but you're rewarded at the end of the trip by a view of the waterfall Kremasto Nero or hanging water. There is a small beach below the waterfall.

Therma (or Loutra) has been a resort since Roman times. It has hot springs, as you might guess from the name, with two rustic outdoor pools for taking the waters. There are waterfalls and cooler waters 1.5 km east at Krya Vathra (or Gria Vathra).

Sanctuary of the Great Gods

For almost 1000 years, this magical site and sanctuary was the major religious center of ancient Aeolia, Thrace and Macedonia. It's located at Paleopolis on the plunging crags of the northeast slope of Mount Fengari. Most of the ruins visible today date from Alexander's time, when the sanctuary was expanded and improved.

The Greeks who colonized Samothraki in 700 BC combined the local deities with Olympian deities. The principal deity of Thrace was Axieros, the Great Mother, an earth goddess. The Greeks associated her with Demeter, Aphrodite and Hekate. Her consort was the fertility god Kadmilos. Their twin children were kabiri, meaning Great Ones, and later were recognized as Castor and Pollux. The term Great Ones came to mean the entire divine family. The cult was open to all comers, but had a vow of silence for any who became members, and many of its mysteries are unknown today. Breaking the vow of silence was punishable by death, so not many secrets remain in public knowledge.

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