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Kavala, Greece

Kavala, GreeceKavala is one of the most attractive of Greece's largest cities, rising like an amphitheatre from the beautiful harbor up to a huge Byzantine fortress. Built on the ancient city of Neopolis, the city's population doubled in 1922 when the Greeks from Asia minor made their way here during the exchange of populations. The spacious squares, contemporary buildings, and shopping centres on the west side of the city form a pleasant contrast to the traditional old houses, tiny gardens and flagged alleyways of the eastern side. The harbour is particularly picturesque with its countless brightly coloured fishing caciques moored along the waterfront. Among the city's impressive landmarks are the old walls, the Byzantine castle, and the Kamares - the aqueduct erected by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century , Mehmet Ali's house (18th century) and the Imaret, a Turkish building. The walk up to Profitis Ilias to admire the panoramic view over the city takes you through the fascinating old district. The old houses of the Panagia quarter of town are in excellent condition. In particular the Imaret, an old building with 18 domes overlooks the harbor. A youth hostel in Turkish times the building is now a cafe. The archaeological museum contains finds from the ancient city of Amphipolis, a colony of Athens.

Kavala, GreeceThere are many places to stay, as there are in any city including government run and private campsites. There are hotels of every catagory. Restaurants are excellent and plentiful. Those recommended by Loney Planet are To Plakakia, a low priced estiatorio at Doiaranis 4 near Platia Elefterias, Michalis Taverna on Platia Kapnergati and three popular restaurants across from the Imaret, Taverna Ouzeri tou Thoma, To Steki tou Kanadou and Antonia Restaurant. For coffee and cheese pies try Cafe George on a side street off Eleftheriou Venizelou. If you like to swim and eat fresh fish, then head for the lovely beaches and friendly tavernas not far from town at such places as Kalamitsa, Palio, Nea Iraklitsa, Raspani, Perigiali, and Nea Peramos.

Kavala, GreeceOther villages in attractive settings are Agios Silas, with its homonymous monastery, Palia Kavala, Krioneri, Korifes and Stavros on a hill, for those interested in scenic views. Not far from Kavala (17 km.), near the tobacco producing villages of Krinides and Filipi, you'll find the ruins of the ancient Macedonian city of Filipi, named after its founder, Philip II. Still visible on the site are the remains of two Early Christian basilicas, traces of the via Egnatia, the grand Roman forum, the acropolis, and the theatre. Performances of ancient drama are held every su mer in the restored theatre. There is a spa at Loutra Eleftheron (67 km. from Kavala) with installations for hydrotherapy.

Kavala is linked by Air with Athens and charters from several major European cities. The ferry connects it with Thassos (hourly), Lesvos, Lemnos, and possibly Chios, Samos, Samothrace depending on which ferry companies are in business when you read this. There is a ferry to Kavala from Lavrion, a port one hour from Athens, that goes 3 times a week.

Where to Stay in Kavala

Hotel Imaret, KavalaEspecially recommended is the famous Hotel Imaret, a 5-star luxury hotel originally built in 1817 as the Imaret of Mohamed Ali Pasha. It  has been carefully restored to create a magnificent setting as a first-class residence. Every room and suite is lavishly decorated and the entire hotel is like a museum. In fact there are guided tours of the premises with its with 3 picturesque courtyards and a beautiful outdoor pool. Wireless internet is available in the entire hotel and is free of charge. In the evening, Imaretís superb fine dining menu is complimented by an impressive wine list. Guests can enjoy beautifully prepared meals on the private terrace, whilst admiring stunning views of Kavala and the sea. For photos, information, maps and booking rates click here

For those who want to pay a little less the Hotel Philoxenia has stunning views of Kavala and the Aegean Sea, from a natural pine forest setting close to the city centre and offers well-furnished accommodation with free Wi-Fi. The Kairos Garden Villas in the small town of Eletheres nearby, owned by ex-pat writer Tove Fastings. Its a quiet family run hotel with a nice restaurant near some of the best beaches in Greece.

You can find more hotels with photos and guest reviews on's Kavala Page

See also Kavala: The Blue City. Thank you to Fantasy Travel for the above photos. If you need assistance booking your trip to Greece contact them. There is no better travel agency.

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