Imaret, Kavala, Greece
The Imaret was originally built by Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt in 1817, as a theological college for Imams. It then fell into disuse, and years later was bought by the Missirian family (tobacco traders from Kavala), who carried out the most perfect restoration.
Many of the rooms (and their plumbing!) are original, but they have created a wonderful, modern hotel with the ambiance of an early 19th-century seminary. The mosque still exists – now as a recreation room – and in keeping with its tradition, no alcohol or smoking is allowed therein.
It is located up a steep road fronting onto the sea, and the views over the curved bay and twinkling lights of Kavala are reminiscent of Menton overlooking Monte Carlo. Fountains play and a small swimming pool graces an inner courtyard.
Why would one go to Kavala? Partly as a stopping off point en route to points further East (it is infinitely preferable to Thessaloniki). But more importantly as a starting point for visiting the site of Philippi or the mausoleum of Vergina, tomb of Alexander the Great’s father and one of the best monuments in ancient Greece.
Visit Greece. Epic Greece Adventure Route © Monika Newbound