What to do in Kavala …?
Blue City, Greek Monte Carlo, all these are the names that connect to the city where I was headed…
Unjustly in the shadow of Thessaloniki, Kavala is a truly hidden gem of northern Greece. It resembles a large horseshoe that bends around the bay and hence its name.
It has an excess of history, it has many natural beautiful locations, and people are more relaxed than in the busy Thessaloniki.
All walks begin and end in the port near the sailing club where people sit down to enjoy the local cuisine. In the evening, all cars have to be removed and the area around the port becomes a large pedestrian zone.
You just have to keep track of the locals and find the right place for a ‘light’ lunch
One day is too short for Kavala, but here’s my list of places to visit:
Kavala consists of two parts: Palia Poli (old town)
and Nea Poly (new town).
There used to be only Panagia, but Christians in the time of Turkish rule sought permission to start building outside the walls.
Today the majority of the inhabitants live in the new part of town, but the soul of the city is still the old part with small streets and houses under Castro Castle.
The road through Panagia is almost impossible to pass because the streets are very steep and narrow. You could spend a full day only circling Panagia , even if it is not available at all for wheelchair users. The slop and tilt are hurdles all an their own.
2. Castro Fortress
At the top of Panagia dominates Fortress Castro.
This Byzantine fortification was made in the first half of the 15th century. It provides a magnificent 360 degree view of the city.
3. Aqueduct Kamares
Aqueduct Kamares is a trademark of Kavala.
Initially, it was used to deliver water from nearby walls using the slope, the present appearance was given to it by the Turks sometime in the 16th century and is still impressive 500 years later. It has 60 arches.
4. Tobacco museum
Kavala was once the main hub from where tobacco was distributed to all parts of the world. In 1913 there were 50 tobacco companies and 160 tobacco warehouses scattered over Kavala. Thousands of Christians, Muslims and Jews were employed in the tobacco industry.
Tobacco made big profits for entrepreneurs so their houses throughout Kavala were scattered in neoclassical style, which, according to the principle of “the bigger the better”, testified to the wealth of the owner. Tobacco traders were so rich that they lit cigarettes of their wives with actual money.
This fascinating construction is an outstanding example of the Ottoman architecture, built by Mohammad Ali, a Turkish commander, as a gift to his home town in 1817. This building also worked as a school where Islam was studied.
It was designed to be the center of the spiritual life of Muslims, later it was turned into a shelter for refugees and today it has been turned into a hotel.
6. Halil Bej mosque
Built on the foundations of the Holy Orthodox Church of St. Peter, which can be seen through the glass bottom on the floor, testifies to the changes that have taken place here.
7. Mohammad Ali house
This house is in fact located in a square that is also located in the old town. The house also represents a great example of Ottoman architecture. The first part consists of: men’s rooms, pasha’s private rooms and guest rooms. The second part consists of women’s quarters, hammam and sofa.
There is a monument to Ali Pasha in the square, where the sword is symbolically sheathed, which would mean that Pasha is coming home. In Egypt, there exists a similar statue with a drawn sword that represents a march to glory.
On this square there is also a church of the Virgin Mary, where we witnessed a wedding.
8. Church of St. Nicholas
A monument that marks the place that Apostle Paul visited, who, at the invitation of the local population, came to preach Christianity.
In earlier times there used to be a mosque here in place of a church.
9. Nautical Museum
The Kavala Bay is rich in fish and is known for its experienced fishermen, as evidenced by this museum.
10. Briki coffee shop
A walk through Panagia ends here if you can find an empty spot… It has the most beautiful view of the city.
Here’s how I finished my day in Kavala…
This post is just the tip of the iceberg. I still have a lot to explore in Kavala and around it.
Were you in Kavala?
Did I miss anything?
Traveled and enjoyed,