Situated on the Bay of Kavala across from the island of Thasos, the northern Greece city of Kavala is the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and capital of the Kavala prefecture.
Kavala is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo, thus forming one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. From its cobblestoned, palm tree-lined port to the Old City, Kavalas features an eclectic blend of ancient and modern landmarks, mansions and districts highlighted by inlets, capes, harbours and idyllic beaches.
According to archaeological finds, Kavala's Panagia District has been inhabited since the 7th century B.C. The city's strategic and economic importance over the centuries is attributed to its strategic position in Via Egnatia. Built during the Roman Era, Via Egnatia traversed the city, connecting east and west to its port and the natural fortification of the peninsula on which the Old City was built. Kavala endured numerous invasions and battles during the Byzantine Era. The city was occupied by the Ottoman Empire for several centuries, and Bulgaria during the first Balkan War and World War I. Following the Greco-Turkish War, Kavala entered a new era of industrial and agricultural development that was greatly influenced by the processing and trading of tobacco.
Today, the modern city of Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past; the city's Neo-Classical mansions, large tobacco warehouses and Tobacco Museum evoke this era of prosperity. Kavala's lovely waterfront is home to modern buildings and tavernas, while fishing boats cast their reflection on the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Among the city's most popular destinations are Eleftherias Square and Megalou Alexandrou Pedestrian Street, which features chic shops, cafes, bars and a tobacco warehouse that has been transformed into a bustling shopping centre.
Kavala's history is perhaps best-explored during a visit to the Panagia District, home of the Old City. Numerous historical sites found here include the imposing Castle of Kavala, Acropolis, Imaret, Aqueduct, Old Lighthouse, and archaeological ruins of the ancient city of Philippi. The most important landmarks in the Old City are the Mehmet Ali Square, which is dominated by the home and statue of this legendary figure, and Church of Panagia, built in 1965 on the ruins of an older, post-Byzantine basilica. A tour around Mehmet Ali Street leads to the oldest district of the city and Hussein Bey Mosque.
The abundant inland and coastal splendour of Kavala is ideally-suited for sightseeing, hiking, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, boating, sea-kayaking, and a wide array of other popular outdoor excursions during your visit. A host of idyllic, sun-drenched beaches on the shores of the Aegean Sea include Tosca, Batis, Kalamitsa, Periyiali, Rapsani, Navagos, and Ammolofoi, one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in northern Greece.
Due to its compact size, Kavala can be easily explored in just a single day.
Going Ashore in Kavala
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Kavala Pier. Kavala's town centre can be reached via a 328-yard (300-metre) walk on-foot. If needed, taxis are available on the pier. Please make sure to establish a price before starting any journey.
Shopping opportunities in Kavala's town centre include open-air markets, malls, shops and boutiques offering food, handcrafted items, souvenirs, arts and crafts, jewellery, candles, coffee, tea, spices, pottery, fabrics, clothing, sandals, and more. Popular shopping venues include the Agiou Nikolaou Market Area, Kavala Muncipal Shopping Centre, Panagia District, Elli.nico, Armenos, Faliro Park Bazaar. The local currency is the Euro.
Kavala offers an exquisite selection of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine featuring olive oil, garlic, herbs, lamb, fresh fish, and seafood, including mussels, mackerel gouna, and sardine pantremeni. Other local favourites include stuffed eggplant, artichokes, courgettes and peppers, meat, produce, locally-produced wine and tsipouro liquor. For dessert, try moussaka, baklava and sugar-coated almond cookies, or kourabiedes. Popular dining locales in Kavala include Oraia Mytilini, Delikaris ola sta Karvouna, Savas Taverna, Mpahari, Palladio, Bar Restaurant El Greco, Apiko, Ostria, and Kanados.
Kavala's city centre is easily accessible on-foot. Its bustling marina is filled with graceful yachts and fishing boats, and its narrow streets and sunlit waterfront are highlighted by stylish cafes, tavernas, shops, boutiques, and a shopping centre.
Archaeological Museum of Kavala
Built next to Faliro Park on the left side of the port, the Archaeological Museum of Kavala features objects made of stone and clay from the Neolithic Era and Bronze Age, as well as artefacts found at the Dikili Tas settlement and ancient Amphipolis. There is also a special room with the artefacts of Neapolis, including remnants of the temple of Athena Parthenos, and archaic and classical black-figure vases and figurines.
This thematic museum includes objects and archival material regarding the cultivation and production of tobacco, commercial and agricultural processing, industrial tobacco products, and exhibition samples. The museum also showcases the social history of Kavala, and the rest of eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Its rich collection includes objects used in the cultivation of tobacco, machinery, photographs, rare documents, maps, books, drawings, furniture, and more.
Old Aqueduct of Kamares
This renowned aqueduct was constructed during the Byzantine Era in 1550, and repaired in the 19th century by Mehmet Ali to serve the water supply needs of the city. Its monumental construction is 171 feet (52 metres) in height, and consists of 60 arches. Kamares also features some beautifully-restored refugees' houses and modern shops.
Castle of Kavala
The Castle of Kavala dominates the top of the peninsula, where the Old City was built. Since the Byzantine period, repeated reconstruction works and fortification repairs were made by the Byzantines, Venetians and Turks. The castle in its current form was built in the early-15th century on a foundation from the Byzantine period. Cultural events are held in the outdoor theatre.
The Acropolis was built by the Ottomans between 1425 and 1530 on the ruins of a Byzantine castle. It consisted of inner and outer walls that connected the Acropolis to the peninsula's walls, thus fortifying the lower part of the hill on the side of the port.
House of Mehmet Ali
The House of Mehmet Ali is located in the Old City's Mehmet Ali Square, and was the birthplace of Mehmet Ali, Ottoman Albanian ruler and founder of the last Egyptian dynasty. This beautiful two-storey building, an example of Macedonian architecture, is considered to be the property of Egypt. A bronze equestrian statue was built in the centre of the square in 1934 in his honour.
Ancient City of Philippi
The ancient city of Philippi was first unearthed in 1861, and completed in 1956 by Greek archaeologists. Major findings are the Via Egnatia, Roman ruins, Prison of St. Paul and ancient Theatre, which has a circular orchestra. Across from the Theatre are the ruins of the ancient city of Philippi. The walls of the city started from the top of the hill and went down the south side, enclosing a part of the valley.
Located on the west side of the Old Town, this classic example of Islamic architecture from the late-Ottoman Era is among the last of its kind built during this period, and the only one that has survived nearly intact. The founder of the last Egyptian dynasty, Mehmet Ali, built its largest part between 1817-21. Partially demolished in 1931 and abandoned in 1967, it has since been restored and converted into a luxury hotel.
Kavala is home to a host of idyllic, sun-drenched beaches on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Included are Tosca, Batis, Kalamitsa, Periyiali, Rapsani, Navagos, and Ammolofoi, one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in northern Greece.
One of the most beautiful cities in Greece, Kavala offers a wealth of outdoor activities to discover. Included are ample opportunities for sightseeing, hiking, off-road exploring, sailing, boating, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, and more.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship.