From the point of view of nature Samothraki is known all over Greece for its Mount Saos and for its 'Vathres', the water ponds so unique for an Aegean island. The most spectacular, but also the most visited, are the water ponds in the gorge of the river Fonias (the murderer). Usually these ponds are below a waterfall, just as here.
To get to the Fonias gorge one drives for about 5km from Therma on the eastern road until a parking area. From here it is walking. The first, quite level part by the river, is pretty easy. After about 35 minutes one gets to the first pond with the highest waterfall. Most people stop here and the braver one's go here for a dip into the water, which even in summer is not warmer than 16-17°. Swimming in the nude is common, even if the place is full with people just visiting or taking a picnic.
For me the place was too crowded, so I took a steep path for about 20 minutes to the upper pool, where I was all by myself. The scenery is very beautiful here too, although just with a small waterfall. After a swim I went even further up with the path becoming more and more difficult. Good hiking gear is necessary.
While in the lower part there are many big plane trees, here one finds smaller arbutus and turpentine trees. The path continues on the upper sides of the gorge, but then after about an hour goes down again to the river, where one finds some smaller ponds. From here on I didn't see waymarks anymore. This third part is only for people fond of hiking, who want to enjoy the wilderness.
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