IN THE TOWN OF KAVALA
RESTAURANTS: The program's tuition includes breakfast every day and dinner for most (but not all) days. That is on purpose. We want our participants to have the experience of having a meal in a quaint tavern in the old town or by the port. Prices tend to be quite low, no more than 10-15 euros per person. As a mere suggestion, there are several tavernas on Poulidhou street, the main road in the Old Town (e.g., Tembelhanio, To Araliki). There are also three very good seafood restaurants by the waterfront that offer reasonable prices, Orea Mytilini, Zafeira (next to it), and Apiko not far from them. Finally, you may also want to drop by a hole-in-the-wall called Ta Karvounakia, a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel; it makes excellent (and cheap) sandwiches. Try the ones with gyro or meatballs (soutzoukakia).
TIPPING: No tipping is necessary in restaurants or taxis although leaving a couple of extra euros will be highly appreciated particularly by the staff of businesses catering to tourists since they tend to be poorly paid.
NIGHTLIFE: There are two clubs easily accessed from the hotel. Selini, the more sophisticated of the two, is located on a cliff of the bay right after the one Lucy hotel is in, about a kilometer away. There is also Aqua located in the center of Kavala which tends to gather a younger crowd.
PLACES WITH VIEWS: It is highly recommended to visit the roof gardens of one of three hotels in the center of Kavala for spectacular views of the town: Oceanis, Galaxy, and Nefeli. One, also highly recommended, café with nice views of the city is Briki located in the old section of the town. The café doesn’t have its own website but you can find it on Facebook or by asking locals for directions. Greeks tend to be very friendly with tourists and if you ask someone of a younger age it is very likely they speak English.
CULTURAL EVENTS: There are two major festivals that take place in the middle of the summer (hence not available for participants of the May program). The Philippi festival includes weekday and weekend performances in the ancient theater which are usually either music shows or modern revisions of plays written by the likes of Aristophanes and Euripides. The second festival, Cosmopolis, takes place in the old town of Kavala and involves dance and music troupes from all over the world. We will provide information on the programs of both festivals once they become public.
MUSEUMS: There are a couple of interesting museums one may wish to visit: the Archeological Museum and the Tobacco Museum.
SHOPPING: If interested in shopping, the main commercial thoroughfare is Omonoias street as well as the small streets to the south of it (towards the waterfront). Shops are open every morning, Monday to Saturday from 9am to 2pm. They are also open, following an obligatory siesta which Greeks are very fond of, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30-9:30pm. All shops are closed Sundays. Bargaining is common among Greeks as long as it does not take an aggressive and persistent form.
BANKING HOURS-CURRENCY EXCHANGE: Banks are open to the public Monday to Saturday during the hours 8am-3pm. Participants of the program can use the plethora of ATMs which can be found all around town. For those who have cash other than euros (e.g., dollars), the only bank in town they can exchange it is the Bank of Greece (Trapeza Tis Ellados, in Greek) located at 26 Megalou Alexandrou Street, a pedestrian street in the center of the town.
A VISIT TO THE ANCIENT SITE OF PHILIPPI: A must-do when visiting Kavala is a tour of Philippi, one of the most important sites of Christianity. The town was established in 356 BC by the Macedonian king Philip II. Perhaps the most important event in the history of the town was that it was visited a few times by apostle Paul, the first time in 49 or 50 AD; about a dozen years later he wrote the famous Epistle to the Philippians. Philippi was the very first location the apostle preached on European soil. The town thrived since its establishment but a major earthquake in 619 AD had a devastating effect from which it never fully recovered. Today’s site, which includes the ruins of the ancient town and its theater (still used for cultural events in the context of a summer festival, see above), has recently being designated one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Near Philippi is Lydia, the spot where the first Christian woman was baptized on European soil. A beautiful little church has been built on the spot. A visit to Philippi can be undertaken solo by riding a local bus, 20 minutes from Kavala, or through an organized tour. If the former, the academic director of the program would be happy to organize the logistics and accompany the interested parties. If the latter, we highly recommend considering activities run by two very energetic local young ladies by visiting: http://tours.philippipark.com/
OTTOMAN HISTORY: Xanthi is an inland town about an hour away from Kavala which is worth visiting for the interesting architecture of its old Ottoman quarter and its tavernas which are famous for their tasty food. To get to Xanthi you can catch a bus from the main bus station (KTEL) in the center of Kavala. Whenever you venture beyond Kavala make sure you know what time is the last bus getting back (if you don't wish to use a taxi).
MORE OF THASSOS: The island of Thassos is one of the most beautiful of the Aegean islands and quite distinct in that is very green. The participants of the July programs may wish to visit it for a few extra days, in addition to our day trip, either before or after the summer program.