It’s a bastion of authentic Greek beauty, but Kavala is a modern city that combines old and new in exciting ways.
Stunning white houses clamber up a hill behind a picturesque harbour. Gorgeous little houses cling to steep paths in the historic “old quarter”. There are sandy beaches, stately squares, chic shops and great walks.
This vibrant city has two crowning glories. A majestic 15th century castle dominates the hilltop and a huge, arched aqueduct built for a sultan 500 years ago still slices through the streets.
These magnificent landmarks light up like beacons at night when restaurants and bars come to life in Kavala and tourists stroll around in the footsteps of history. The city can be traced back 2,700 years, when it was called Neapolis, or New Port, and Alexander the Great ruled. The Romans landed there and won a huge battle.
The Apostle Paul was an early visitor, conducting the first Christian baptism there in 49AD and becoming the city’s patron saint. Venetians and Ottoman Turks invaded.
The city wears with pride the many monuments of its amazing history - but it isn’t all about the past. Locals call it “the Blue City” in tribute to the Aegean Sea that fills the Bay of Kavala. There are several lovely sandy beaches, including four with Blue Flag awards.
The cobblestoned port, lined with cafes and palm trees, is busy with everything from traditional fishing boats to contemporary cruise liners.
Stylish streets lead from the main square of Platia Elefterias. Discover smart modern shops, small atmospheric ones and a huge shopping mall once a warehouse when tobacco was the big local industry.
Stroll uphill through Kavala’s atmospheric lanes to Panagia, the lovely old quarter, where colourful boutiques and cafes squeeze into the old houses. It’s on the way to the castle, known as Kavala’s Acropolis, where the views are fantastic.
There are mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls, even healing mud baths in the countryside nearby. But you can’t get away from history. Philippi, a remarkable world heritage ancient site from almost 3,000 years, is only a few kilometres away.