Kavala is a beautiful coastal city in northern Greece. Located in Kavala Bay, it is an important seaport. Downtown at the marina with beautiful open boulevards, parks and elegant buildings. This beautiful hilly city is located around the harbor as an amphitheater. There are many fantastic vistas of the harbor and port, full of fishing boats and ferries, in and out. Behind it lies a shimmering bay and - at close range - the lush green island of Thassos. To the east of the harbor is a peninsula crowned by a magnificent Byzantine fortress. This is the old city of Kavala, called "Panagia". It is completely charming, with examples of traditional architecture along narrow cobbled streets.
The inhabitants of Kavala are proud of their beautiful city, sometimes calling it "Monaco of Greece" because of its coastline. Somehow, despite its charms, Kavala is not at all crowded with tourism. This city has a lot of genuine local character and unspoilt beauty , which makes it an even more wonderful discovery for visitors. Kavala has a rich and fascinating history. The modern name of the city is an adaptation of Cavalla. This name is probably taken from Italian. But Kavala had other names throughout its history.
Originally, the city was founded as "Neapolis" (New Town) in the 7th century as a colony of Thassos, an island directly opposite it. Tassians were attracted here by rich mines for gold and silver in the nearby mountains, and Neapolis was one of several Tassian colonies along the coast. The city later gained its independence. During the Peloponnesian Wars, the Spartans and Tassians besieged Neapolis, but the city remained a faithful ally of Athens. It was an important city during the time of the Roman Empire.In 168 BC he became the Civitas of the Roman Republic, and Egnatius passed through it, opening the city to trade. Kavala, which was then Neopolis, became an extremely important city for the Christian faith. It was here, in Kavala, in the year 49 A.D. that the apostle Paul first set foot on European soil to spread the message of Christianity.
Of course, such a pearl, with its mines and natural harbor, was in demand by many conquerors. Kavala became part of Byzantium. During this period, the city acquired a new name - Christoulpolis - to reflect its Christian identity. Emperor Justinian built a fortress to defend the city. In the 8th and 9th centuries, the city was fortified to protect against attacks from Bulgaria.
Ultimately, later, in the 9th century, the Bulgarians still managed to capture the city, until at the end of the 12th century, pawnshops appeared. The Catalans also tried to take over the city several years later, but to no avail. Kavala returned to Byzantine hands until the Ottomans arrived in 1387. The Ottomans destroyed the city - with the exception of the fortress - and built it in their own way, which explains the strong Ottoman character of the Old City. Under the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent, the great vizier Ibrahim Pasha improved the condition of the city by building an aqueduct that has survived to this day. Mehmet Ali, who ruled Egypt, was born in Kavala in the late 18th century. He built Imaret, one of the most impressive monuments of Kavala, visible on the slope of the old city overlooking the harbor.
Kavala Castle is located on the top of the hill of the Old Town. It is a beautiful place to visit and it also offers amazing city views. You can reach it on foot. The walls offer a magnificent view. But for a better view, you can climb the narrow and winding stairs inside the tower itself to the observation deck at the top to enjoy breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views. Also high on the hill is the impressive equestrian statue of Mehmet Ali. From the statue of Mehmed Ali, a short walk to the end of the peninsula. Here you will find a lighthouse and more stunning views of the city and the bay. The sea right below is a wonderful color, and in fine weather you will see locals enjoying swimming from the cliffs.
The calm alleys of the old city are full of secrets and surprises, like the Khalil Bey Mosque. This 15th-century mosque is built on the ruins of an early Christian basilica that can be seen through glass in the floor. Continuing down the slope, you will pass charming houses with orchards of fruit trees and flowers in this quaint and quiet part of the city. At the Archaeological Museum of Kavala, you can get acquainted with the history of the city with the help of beautiful artifacts, starting with finds from the Neolithic era. Here you will also see intact two impressive columns from the temple of the 5th century BC. the goddess Parthenos, who was the patroness of Neapolis.
Tobacco has been the heart of the economy of Kavala for decades, an integral part of the history and culture of the city. In this extremely atmospheric museum - the smell of tobacco leaves greets you at the entrance - you will learn about growing and processing tobacco through exhibits of tools, equipment, tobacco bales and commercial tobacco samples. Graphics enthusiasts will love the review of cigarette packs and matchboxes from a bygone era. Near the Tobacco Museum around Venizelos Street there are warehouses and some mansions of tobacco merchants. Particularly good examples of mansions - one restored and one in picturesque ruins, are located on the streets 83 and 85 of Venizelos. On Tobacco Worker Square you will see the Municipal Tobacco Warehouse of the early 20th century with its elegant facade.
The Church of St. Nicholas was once a mosque of Ibrahim Pasha, built in 1530. The mosque was transformed into a Christian church in 1926 and was officially dedicated to St. Nicholas - the patron saint of sailors - in 1945. Around the church is an impressive mosaic depicting the sea voyage of St. Paul from Troy, first set foot on European land, which happened here in Kavala.
Kavala embankment has old-fashioned charm. Here you will find many cafes and taverns, as well as children's entertainment, including a colorful little ferris wheel. Locals enjoy their leisurely evening stroll, snacking on cotton candy or corn on the cob baked over coals.
Kavala Bay has excellent and beautiful beaches. In summer, you can swim on the public beach in the city or go to one of the popular nearby beaches , such as Amolofi's blue flag beach, an organized beach with sun loungers and parasols. If you need a wilder beach, head to nearby Akrotiri Vrasida, located in a small bay surrounded by rich vegetation and dramatic cliffs.
After a day of sightseeing, there is nothing better than a mud bath to relax and refresh. Men and women enjoy clay baths separately, separated by a high wall. After a massage of healing water, you will immerse yourself in a clay bath. Then you wash off the clay with a shower of healing water. Your skin will feel great.
After that, you can visit one of two physiotherapists who will have excellent massage or reflexology sessions or soak up the 15th century therapeutic bath.
From the airport in Athens, you can fly to Kavala in 50 minutes.
Kavala Airport is approximately half an hour from the city center.
You can fly to Thessaloniki and drive to Kavala. There is also a bus connecting Thessaloniki with Kavala, which will take you to the center of Kavala in 2 hours or rent a car.