Kavala, the capital and main port of the Kavala prefecture is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo forming one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. The city’s breeze sweeps through its historic buildings, which perfectly reflect the city’s modern character.
Kavala is mentioned in most guidebooks only casually, although it is one of the most beautiful smaller cities in Greece offering a wide range of places of interest for tourism. A wealth of possibilities for excursions in the surrounding area, many beautiful not overcrowded beaches, archaeological sites and many places of natural beauty makes it a fun-filled vacation destination.
Port city Kavala, often used as a gateway to the northeastern Aegean Islands, is hitting its stride as a destination in its own right. Cultural highlights include the aqueduct of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, quality museums of history and industry, and fascinating Ottoman buildings scattered through its pastel-hued old town, Panagia. Sheer relaxation can be found at nearby beaches and bustling harbourfront eateries.
Modern Kavala was once ancient Philippi’s port. More infamously, Ottoman Pasha Mehmet Ali, eventual founder of Egypt’s last royal dynasty, ruled here. This genocidal Ottoman ordered his Egyptian Muslim fleet to slaughter tens of thousands of Christian Greeks on islands such as Kassos and Psara during Greece’s independence struggle. Islanders still commemorate these events annually.
Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past: neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses evoke the memory of a distant past when a wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. In the “Mecca of tobacco” as Kavala was named in the past, thousands of tobacco workers, male and female, earned their living. Their faces will remain alive for all eternity thanks to the black and white photos adorning the walls of the city’s Tobacco Museum. At the cobblestoned, lined with palm trees port, stand one next to another modern buildings and fish tavernas, while fish boats cast their reflection on azure waters.