|Macedonia is also a part of
Strabo, Greek geographer
Visiting Kavala is indeed a journey into the heart of East Macedonia. Built amphitheatrically right on the sea, this beautiful historic town combines everything that will appeal to a demanding visitor: mountains and sea picturesqueness and a modern way of life; archaeological sights and breathtaking rambles; cultural activities and peace and tranquillity in the countryside. This is Kavala.
From Thessalonika it takes about 2 hours to reach Kavala by road (165 km) and about the same time is needed to reach Alexandroupolis in the East (I 74km), the furthermost corner of Mediterranean Europe. The town's easy access not only by road but by air and sea makes it an ideal destination. It is linked by road with all the large towns of Macedonia as well as Athens. There are boat and ferry services to all the Aegean islands and from the modern airport (regarded as the safest in the Balkans) situated at a distance of 20 km from Kavala there are daily flights from Athens throughout the year and Charter flights from abroad during the tourist season.
Since Kavala is also the capital of a large prefecture it can offer visitors a large number of services (administration, banks, hospitals etc.) and of course the characteristic hospitality of its 60,000 residents.
Such rambles will be many, that is certain, at a slow pace, stopping every so often as it is impossible to traverse so many eras just as an impassive observer. Many hours will be needed at all times of the day. In the morning your step will ring against the flagstones just as a lattice window or a wooden balcony door sleepily opens in the old houses. The .he architectural styles of different peoples have formed a harmonious combination will also come as a surprise. One such example is the magnificent Imaret from the East, a Muslim hospice set up by Mehemet Ali who founded the last Egyptian dynasty that ruled until 1952.
At a later hour just before midday, when the town is buzzing with life though respectful and fitting to its environment, people come and go to the shops, go about their everyday tasks and you will find the small yards with their sweet smelling gardens open .
Passing first by the lighthouse you will reach the castle with its tower and it will take you back in time to a different epoch and on its battlements you will feel like a defender as in days gone by. Where the Byzantine castle stands today there used to be an ancient Greek temple of the goddess Athina, a fact which might arouse mixed feelings. On the way back a visit to one of the cool shaded restaurants in Karaoli square which serve fish dishes and good wine is a must.
fortress is like the shape of an almond hugging both
sides of the rock."
Multi-colored flowers run riot in the picturesque yards and give off an even stronger fragrance during one's early evening stroll. This is when time stands still for a short while; it is the perfect moment to admire the view of the sea and the town from the lighthouse, watching the lights slowly come on and the sun sink as the light of day fades away.
Take a walk in the quaint little streets and you will end up on the other side of the old town, the famous "Kamares" with its aqueduct dating back to 1550 and which now serves as an entrance to the new modern town. The nightlife too in the town has a great deal to offer to visitors. There is voice of entertainment such as tavernas, traditional cafe, bars with select music and others will ensure you enjoy your night out. Back to the present then.
Kavala is like a balcony in the sun overlooking the sea. On the night of a full moon the sight is magical The town is spread in the shape of an amphitheater over the hillsides which slope down to its beautiful beach and port. Here there is a striking continuity of civilization, where modernity blends with the Neoclassical and traditional.
"Lively.. a gentle pace, a human profile". These are the three main ingredients which make the town much loved and friendly. The Public Gardens with the monument to the Hero, a lasting historical reminder, offer visitors a chance to take some fresh air. In Kapnergafi square( the name means tobacco workers), the imposing building of the old tobacco warehouse with its large windows and ornate architectural workmanship bespeaks the presence of the previous century. Such edifices testify also to the existence of civilization and nobility.
Other buildings to marvel at and worth photographing as collectors' items are the Town Hall, the Municipal Library, the Ephoria of Byzantine Antiquities and the Municipal Museum. These have been renovated with care and are to be found in the heart of the modem town in areas which have been pedestrianized; from here lovely streets lead to the seafront lined with palm trees.
The Port: Descend to the port where Kavala lives to the rhythms of the marketplace and workplace but where it is also possible for a cruise boat to berth at its joumey's end. As the day progresses slowly though you will observe that there is a more relaxed air and the action has moved to the open air kaphenion and other such bistros serving ouzo and tit bits (meze). From this spot up above we can see the peninsular of the Virgin Mary with the Castle and old town. Take a stroll to the jetty where the tourist sailing boats are berthed and where you can gaze at the beaches stretching one after the other along the coast and the small villages above.
amphitheatrical location, the cxpansive embrace of its
bay, which is never monotonous,
particularly seen from the Lighthouse and from where you can see both sides, has its own singular town.
The shopping center: The narrow streets near the church of St. Nicolas and the central square are full of small shops selling different wares and which give the place a color from the past. 'The large department stores are to be found between Omonia and Venizelou street. Both these shopping centers are connected by a modern building which houses the Municipal Market from where most of the residents of Kavala do their daily shopping chiefly for food. Here a wide variety of fresh products are sold in clean surroundings.
The Museums: Kavala boasts of two museums: the Archaeological and Municipal museum. The former is housed in a modern, weU-Iit building facing the sea and has exhibits of great significance. The Municipal museum is in a Neoclassical Manor house daring to the last century and also houses the Historical Archives of Kavala a large record of on its modem history.
Churches Christian traditions are kept very much alive in these houses of worship and their vocative Byzantine architecture and much revered hagiography lefinitely merit a visit. Of particular interest are the church of St John, the oldest in the town, St Paul's cathedral and the Church of Virgin Mary in the old town's limits.
Neighbouring districts: Although the buses are frequent and convenient we would advise you to explore the town and its neighbouring districts on foot. Each area has its own particular charm: in the district of St John there are the old archontika (noblemen's houses) and the church of the same name, while in Kyproy street there are unique architectural examples of Neoclassical buildings. As distances are small do not neglect the other districts such as Kypoupolis, Vironas, Potamoudia, Profitis Ilias and Kaflithea with their quaint little houses and yards, their gardens and tiled roofs. It will give you an excellent opportunity to meet the residents of the town hhich you will now have grown fond of. These pleasant, good hearted and hospitable people, whether you meet them in these districts or in the shops or in the port will make you their guests and buy you an ouzo with meze or offer a sweet. Accept and drink to their health.