While staying on the main roads will guarantee visitors to Greece will enjoy awesome sights and beautiful scenery, getting off the main roads can offer a little adventure mixed in. If you’re driving a Mazda 3 instead of a 4×4, it could be adventure you’re not really excited about. Thankfully, our little Mazda, with some slow and careful driving, got through the short (in distance) trip from Marble Beach to Chrysi Ammoudia with just some minor scrapes.
On our trip to Thassos Island, we spent some time traveling the main road of the island, but also some time on back roads that were, to say the least, not very well maintained. There were no warnings about how the conditions of the roads and so, driving them was an adventure at times. One such adventure was the drive both to and from Marble Beach. There are two routes to get to this beach – the first one we took to get there was not great, but the one we chose to leave by turned out to be even more crazy.
But the scenery we saw was incredible!
Leaving The Beach
We had entered the beach via a road that exited from the main road, outside of Panagia. On our departure, we decided to follow a sign with an arrow, that had the word “Exit” inscribed on it. We wondered why no one else seemed to be taking this route though. After driving past big slabs of marble that is being quarried in the area, the road became very rough but we hoped for improvement. Finally, we did see another road – a paved one, and thought this would give us smooth traveling to Chrysi Ammoudia.
While it was a great paved road, it didn’t take us very far. We ended up at the property of “Vathi Cove Luxury Resort & Spa,” a bit of a surprise to see as anyone staying at this place would have quite the rough road trip to get to it, before they reach their own private paved road. Indeed, their website notes, “… a unique route begins, one that combines romance with adventure.”
Having reached a dead end, we turned around and headed back along the paved road and made our way once again, along a road that would be filled with deep ruts, bumps, rocks, tight turns, but beautiful views for the eyes.
The distance from Marble Beach to Chrysi Ammoudia is only 6.4 km. But, it took us well over an hour to drive the distance!
The Road Less Traveled
As we headed along the road, at speeds slower than walking at times, we came across amazing views of the Aegean Sea, as the road took us up a high ascent, and curved along the coast.
But we also had to pay close attention to what we were driving on. The road not only had deep ruts and rocks, but was so narrow that in places, I was happy there was nothing coming the other way. If there was, one of us would have had to back up a distance as there was simply no room to maneuver between the one edge of the road and the rock on the side. On the side with no rock, we were often close to being able to look straight-down to the sea, below us.
As we came around that curve (in the above photo), we were met with these amazing views of the Aegean and the coast:
Down below, from where we were standing, we could see a couple of motorboats traveling quickly on the sea – had no idea if I’d be able to get a usable photo, but with the zoom lens set to the full 105mm, managed this:
As we continued along, the road did not get any better. In fact, I was wishing for most of the drive for a 4×4 and feared doing damage to the undercarriage or other parts of the car. However, it did widen in some places, which would have been a relief if we had met vehicles coming the other way. We didn’t.
We were approaching the half way point of the 6 km journey, and our views were about to become even more stunning. However, the sun was perhaps in the worse place it could be to shoot great photos from some of the angles I had, and we were also started to get worried about the time. We actually did not know how much further we had to go – and we had an appointment with a kid who wanted to share his music with us. We knew we were running late, but where we were, we had no mobile phone or data connectivity.
As we rounded the next corner, the “bay” of the Aegean that the village of Skala Potamia as well as the village, came into view. While the Aegean sea gave us beautiful colours of blue, this bay gave us sights of the turquoises in the sea.
A different view with less zoom, and better perspective of the beauty the village is set in:
As we continued driving, we would discover even better views from the road – but yes, that road we still had to deal with as we basically tried to avoid rocks, ruts, and drove its twists and turns.
But then, another twist in the road, and another incredible view, this time with the sun in perfect position behind:
There were so many places along the road to stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery, but time was going on. But some places were just beckoning to our eyes, and there was no way to resist the temptation:
But did I mention the road?
The next time I return to Thassos Island, I’ll probably plan to hike this road instead of driving, and take my camera with me. Sturdy hiking boots will be in order:
I’m pretty sure they can’t get Amazon deliveries here, but to spend time here with that beautiful view, and with much privacy, must be worth the fact you’re not going to get mail or packages too often. The photo does not really do justice to what beheld our eyes.
Shortly after that, we rounded another corner and the village of Chrysi Ammoudia came into view. This village is on the same long beach as Skala Potamia, and it’s only a five or so minute drive between the two. Although we had absolutely enjoyed the scenic delights, we were also pretty happy to see Chrysi Ammoudia as it meant we were closer to our bungalow we had rented at Skala Potamia.
And a zoomed in view of the village’s beach area:
It would not be long from here that our tires met pavement – and a quick inspection of the Mazda revealed a little bit of damage to the front passenger side, but nothing major. The tires sure took a beating (their due for replacement soon, and glad it was not on the road we were on, where one or more might have had to be replaced!).
But the drive was worth it to see such spectacular scenery, and am looking forward to when I can get back there and spend much more time on this road that’s not often traveled.