|EVROS - ALEXANDROUPOLI|
EVROS - ALEXANDROUPOLI
Welcome to the prefecture of Evros the northernmost region of Greece with the capital city of Alexandroupoli being the crossroad of sea and land to connect Europe and Asia, East to the West, Greece with Turkey and Bulgaria. Blessed with exceptional natural beauty, verdant mountains with lush forests and wild vegetation, rivers and significant ecosystems, a large number of monuments, castles sites and museums, along with wonderful beaches, Evros is a destination to impress every visitor.
Visit the capital city of Alexandroupoli to admire its imposing Lighthouse and feel the modern every day life of the locals while feeling the reflections of its glorious past. The house of the Greek silk, Soufli can be a trip to the old traditions that result to the wealth of the area. The wonderful island of Samothraki with its green forests, famous waterfalls and tranquillity as a unique summer destination. Above all a visit at the Evros River's delta is a unique experience being a site of natural beauty uniquely found at this area of the country.
The regions of Evros along with Alexandroupoli attracts large numbers of tourists with ecological, religious, thermalism or just relax tourism along its wonderful coastline. Several luxury hotels and resorts with excellent conference facilities can ensure a pleasant stay and high quality services, while the authentic parts of the highland offer traditional hotels harmonized with the natural environment. Throughout the year, the region remains among the most beautiful, pure and authentic regions of Greece.
The area of Evros, although being the most remote area of Greece, is well connected with the rest of the country by air, sea, and road. The city of Alexandroupoli with its popular airport connects with Athens and Thessaloniki regularly, along with other Greek cities and islands, while during the summer, charter flights link the area with major European cities. The railway system of Greece well connects with the northern part of the country with a route from Athens to Alexandroupoli through Thessaloniki, also used as an interchange to reach the neighbouring Istanbul in Turkey. Finally, ferries provide access to the area from the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki along with other Greek cities and the adjacent islands.
The city of Alexandroupoli, named after its founder Alexander the Great is the commercial and cultural hub of the whole prefecture, and the crossroad between Europe and Asia, both through sea and land. The landmark of Alexandroupoli and the whole area is the Lighthouse of Alexandroupoli built by the French during the 19th century next to the most popular streets of the city. Being one of the very few supervised lighthouses around Greece, to assist to the passage towards Ellispontos bay, the impressive 27m high lighthouse illuminates for over 44km to ensure the ships' safety. The rich trading and commercial activity of the area is reflected at the wealth of the numerous neoclassic buildings surrounded by pedestrian streets and wonderful squares such as St. Nicolas Cathedral Square and Zarifios Educational Academy, along with several museums. This wonderful city also retains a part of its old fisher village to evoke memories of its past as the legendary Orient – Express to connect Thessaloniki with Istanbul. The town of Soufli is a must visit destination, as the mountainous landscape of the area awes every visitor, while being a historic area of critical importance during the Greek revolution against the Turks and a major production centre of silk. Further to the north is the modern city of Orestiada built next to fertile valleys to host the immigrating refugees that moved from the Turkish to the Greek lands in 1923 to feature a busy city with modern structure and several monuments. The island of Samothraki as the homeland of the famous statue of Nike exhibited in Louvre, is an island of unique natural beauties with its famous waterfalls, lovely beaches, several important archaeological sites and museums, well worth a visit while being at the area as it can be easily accesses by the port of Alexandroupoli.
SIGHTSEEING & MONUMENTS
The rich history along with the strategic position of the area offers a vast range of monuments scattered around the area each one to reflect different aspects of the local heritage. The Cyclop's Cave at Makri reveals signs of inhabitation of the area since the Neolithic period. The area of Dikella houses remains of the Mesimbria – Zoni Archaeological Site as part of Alexander's empire featuring a buildings complex, walls, sanctuaries and everyday objects. In the island of Samothraki is the Sanctuary of the Great Gods where the mystical Kaviran Mysteries used to take place during the Ancient Greek and Roman times. Ancient Tombs can be found at the areas of Roussa and Elfochori, while Mikri Doxipara is a tomb of treat importance as remains of human and horse bones where found along with several personal objects. The Archaeological site of Traianoupolis close to Loutros village is a must visit destination, featuring the site of Hana with a 4th BC century arched building housing the archaeological school of Taraianoupolis, a Roman acropolis, a burial tomb, the medicinal baths as well as an opium den. Nearby the area of Feres, is the imposing Byzantine reservoir of Feres that brought water from a source far away to the convent. Remains of Castles are located in Samothraki with its imposing remaining towers, the castles of Avantas and Potamos along with the most characteristic one being Kale Castle and Pythio Castel built during the 14th century at Didimoticho, is well preserved to constitute a magnificent example of military architecture of the late Byzantine years. The rich history and local traditions are also well reflected at the numerous museums across the region. The tradition of silk production during the 20the century can be admired at Soufli town at the Tzivre Silk Factory and the Dalessi Cocoon House, the Museum of Silk Art and Soufli Silk Museum. Soufli also hosts the Folklore and Historical Museum, with other forlclore museums to be found in Alexandroupoli, Orestiada, Feres, Didimoticho and Samothraki to reveal all aspects of the local's life. Other museums to be found in Everos is the Ecclesiastic Museum and the Natural History Museum in Alexandroupoli, the Military Museum in Didimoticho and the Archaeological museum of Samothraki. Finally religious monuments also worth a visit such as the Byzantine monastery of Feres Panagia Kosmosotira with its imposing dome as well as the Great Mosque of Didimoticho of great architecture.
THINGS TO DO
Evros is a must destination for nature lovers as most of the available activities can be practices along its wonderful grounds. River Evros is the second larges among the Balkans, where its mouth forms a magnificent delta shaped by the enormous amounts of soil, mud and tree trunks that the current carries on its estuaries. This significant wetland houses a biotope of extreme importance as it is a shelter for a large number of plants, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. Bird watchers find a holiday paradise in Evros, not only at its wetlands, but also at Dadia Forest as it is the last remaining bird refuge among the whole Europe. Several hiking trails or even frequent mini- van services are there to make the exploration of this wonderful are an unforgettable experience with the view of wild animals in a dense forest with various large trees and wild flowers. Another site of natural beauty and importance is Ardas Bayou with rich flora and fauna while being a leisure area for sports activities festivals etc. The Traianoupoli Recreation Area of Profitis Ilias is an ideal and fully organized spot to welcome those wishing to enjoy a day under the shade or the plane trees and the crystal clear water of the surging streams. The Ecotourist Centre in Tichero is a fully organized settlement offering sports facilities such horse riding amenities. Visitors at the same area can also admire the Fossilized Forest of Tichero, with fossilized tree trunks to retain their details in perfection, as a reminder of the area's volcanic activity. Near the ancient city of Traianoupolis there are thermal springs with healing qualities to welcome every visitor. Samothraki is another destination of rare exceptional beauty worth exploring and especially the unique natural phenomenon of the consecutive waterfalls to reach lagoons or “vathres” naturally made by the gushing waters, with the most famous being the one of Fonias.
The Prefecture of Evros has beaches small in numbers but large in beauty such as the fully organized beach of Aghia Paraskevi, along with the ones of Makri and Dikella surrounded by olive groves and tall mountains. The city of Alexandroupoli with the myriads of visitors also features a large cosmopolitan beach offering all necessary catering, recreational and accommodation amenities. However, the most spectacular beaches can be reached only by boat, with Vatos being the most beautiful one. The island of Samothraki as part of the prefecture boasts beautiful and clean coasts, some of the most distinguished ones being Kipi and Pachia Ammos.
The local cuisine of Evros combines local fresh products and cooking techniques influenced by the neighboring countries Turkey and Bulgaria. Numerous women's cooperatives produce several local delicacies so as to maintain the rustic eating traditions to also support the economy. Other than the several restaurants and cafes they run offering local dishes, women also produce home made pasta, couscous, trahana, herbs like oregano, linden and chamomile as well as home made liqueurs, hand made fillo pastry, pies with several fillings and the local desert ritseli of several fruits, jams and Turkish delights from traditional local recipes, as well as wine and the local strong aperitif tsipouro. Once being in Evros visitors should get a taste of the local kavourmas a local meat preserve or the traditional dishes of manti, local type of tortellini, the wrapped pie kolbourek, chicken soup kiul, among many others.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Airport of Alexandroupolis: +30 25510 89300, 89322
Port Authority of Alexandroupolis: +30 25510 26468, 38503
Evros Railway Services: +30 25510 26395
Evros Bus Services: +30 25510 28844, 20220
Alexandroupolis Police: +30 25510 66100
Alexandroupolis Hospital of: +30 25510 75461