Samothraki is not a destination that jumps out from the holiday brochure (think, for instance, Santorini and Mykonos), which makes its reputation as an earthly paradise all the more intriguing. Up in relative isolation in the northeastern Aegean and in the vicinity of Limnos, Thassos and the mainland port of Alexandroupolis, the remoteness of Samothraki has kept it pristine and safe from unbridled development. About fifteen years ago, the island became a major venue for dance and world music festivals that drew an alternative, new age and camping-friendly crowd, though those festivals have since dwindled in frequency. Nevertheless, Samothraki remains a magnet for the eco-friendly and environmentally conscious: the island’s unique delights include waterfalls, rock pools (or "vathres"), especially along the Fonias river and the lunar landscape of Yali, plane, chestnut and pine trees, remote coves and unspoiled beaches.
The island’s Chora, a traditional, amphitheatrically-built town of narrow streets and red-tiled roofs is perched on the slopes of Mount Saos beyond the reach of the pirates of centuries past, and has its own cliff-edge Byzantine castle. Kamariotissa, the island’s main port, gets very busy and loud during peak season and is one of Samothraki’s nightlife hotspots. Therma (Loutra), further up and surrounded by lush foliage are the curative thermal springs, attracting a unique mixture of the elderly, and campers a fraction of their age. Pachia Ammos includes sections of beach furniture and seaside eating but the beach is big enough to include stretches of pristine nature. The beach of Kipi is comparatively less busy, slightly larger and, like every other swimming spot on Samothraki, comes with crystal-clear waters. Vatos, a remote sandy beach with rock pools and interesting geological formations is accessible only by boat or seasoned hikers.