Hidden in a stony but thickly wooded ravine between the tiny hamlet of PALEÓPOLI – 6km northeast from Kamariótissa, and 3km directly north from Hóra – and the plunging northwestern ridge of Mount Fengári, lie the remains of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. From the late Bronze Age (around the eighth century BC) until the early Byzantine era (fifth century AD), the mysteries and sacrifices of the cult of the Great Gods (see box, p.658) were performed on Samothráki, in ancient Thracian, until the second century BC. Little is known of this dialect except that it was a very old Indo-European tongue, related to and eventually replaced by ancient Greek. The spiritual focus of the northern Aegean, the importance of the island’s rituals was second only to the Mysteries of Eleusis in all the ancient world. The well-labelled site strongly evokes its proud past while commanding views of the mountains and the sea.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Greece features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

11 tips for travelling in Greece

11 tips for travelling in Greece

Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many r…

06 May 2016 • Nick Edwards insert_drive_file Article
Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greeks love their food. They love to eat and love to feed others; this is one place you’re guaranteed never to feel hungry. Unlike the typical British or Amer…

15 Mar 2016 • Esme Fox insert_drive_file Article
This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

You’ve dug a moat, successfully sculpted a mound higher than your knees and managed to drizzle a viscous mixture of sand and salt water over the château spir…

16 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month