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Samothraki Page 3

The Samothraki Dance Festival

Since 2002, there has been an electronica dance festival here at the end of August. It's a seven day camp-out on the Multilary Camping Grounds with thousands of participants who dance and chill on the island of the Great Mother.

Drinking and Dining

There are quite a few cafes, bars, ouzeria, and other eating establishments with decent food.


See our Greece hotels for a complete look at accommodations available on this island.


In ancient times devotees would come from all over the Mediterranean to be initiated into the Chthonic worship of Anatolian gods, including Cybele, the Great Mother. This involved baptism with warm bull's blood.

Poseidon sat atop Mount Fengari to observe the tides of the Trojan War, according to legend. Samothraki was visited often in antiquity and was the site of a cult centre of the Great Gods of the Underworld, which brought the many who sought the baptism mentioned above.

According to Herodotus, the oldest shrine on the island was built by non-Greeks adept at the old mysteries. These islanders introduced herms or statues of Hermes with an erect phallus, to the Greek religion. By the mid 5th Century, Samothraki's sanctuary was well known. Fascination for the religious rituals begun here lingers, even making its way into Geothe's Faust.

Hellenistic and Roman rulers used the island for a naval base, thinking that its sacred soil would protect them from harm. The sanctuary operated until the 4th Century when Theodosius the Great banished paganism from Greece. After that, the island was mostly forgotten, although it suffered the usual Aegean attacks from pirates, Turks and others.

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