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May 02 2014

The Castle of Kavala

It was time to leave Xanthi but, since I had a late flight from Thessaloniki Airport back to London, I decided to stop off at Kavala for a few hours, having heard a bit about it.

When I arrived in Kavala by bus, I walked to the seafront, looked to my left and saw the castle on high.  I decided to head there first.  I seem to have ‘a thing’ for castles at the moment because I’ve seen quite a few recently in Wales, Italy, and now Greece!

After making my way up to the old city and up a bit more, I finally reached the castle.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I paid my money and entered.  I am so glad I did.  It was worth the effort for the views, since the castle towers over Kavala and the Aegean Sea, and for the picture-perfect setting.  For that reason, it’s this week’s Foto Friday.
Kavala Castle 2
Looking at this picture, you could be forgiven for thinking it was somewhere in England or anywhere else for that matter.  With the mountains in the background and the fluffy, white clouds hovering above, it really is very picturesque.

The city was originally founded in the 7th Century BC by settlers from Thassos Island, who called it Neapolis.  Later, in the 6th Century AD, it was changed to Christoupolis.  It wasn’t until the 15th Century that the city was renamed Kavala.

The castle was built in the 15th Century on the foundations of the Byzantine Acropolis of Christoupolis.  There’s an inner and outer enclosure.  In the inner enclosure is the arms and food depot, which later became a prison.  There’s also a water cistern, guardhouse, and a round tower.  The outer enclosure now has a summer theatre.

It’s definitely worth going up to the top of the tower because that’s the highest point and offers the best view.  It’s a bit of tight squeeze getting up there and the steps are uneven, so you do have to be careful.  The next best view comes from climbing up a few uneven steps to walk on the inner and outer walls of the castle.

I would imagine that it must get very hot in the summer, so perhaps an early morning or late afternoon trip in the summer months would be advisable.  I love watching plays in open-air theatres, so that would be a real treat in the summer and a great way to see the castle.


I got a bus from Xanthi to Kavala, which took about an hour and a half in total, stopping for about 10 mins in Chrysoupoli.  It took a lot longer than I thought it would.  The bus station in Kavala is very close to the seafront and you can see the old city from there because it towers over the new part of Kavala.

To get to Thessaloniki, I got a bus, which also took a lot longer than I thought it would.  It seemed to stop in every village and town from Kavala to Thessaloniki and took two and a half hours.  If, like me, you need to get to the airport, you can get bus number 78 from just outside the bus station (Macedonia InterCity Bus Station).  Buy a ticket at the kiosk and make sure you stamp to validate it when you get on the bus.

Have your say

Are you thinking of visiting Kavala?  Do you have ‘a thing’ about castles or is it just me?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.


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  1. Mig

    I would love to do a castle tour in Europe. Your pic looks like it was a beautiful day!


    That sounds great, Mig, but I think you would need a long time for that sort of tour, unless you narrowed it down to a certain type of castle or country.

    Yes, thankfully, it was a very beautiful day when I was at the castle in Kavala.

    Thanks for commenting!


  3. Jenna @ Green Global Travel

    Looks like a beautiful spot! We are heading to Greece later this year so we might have to plan in a detour to see this castle! Castles are always so fun to explore 🙂


    It is, Jenna. I really want to go back to Greece because I had such a great time there. Yes, castles are always good. I’ve seen, photographed, and written about so many lately that I think I’m turning into a castle blogger!

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    Best wishes,


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