The following day unfolded as a beautiful tapestry of exploration and discovery, beginning with our enchanting visit to Komotini, a city nestled in the heart of Thrace, northeastern Greece.
Here, the vivid Turkish influence welcomes you with open arms, as numerous minarets and the majestic domed roofs of mosques grace the town’s skyline. It’s an authentic glimpse into history, with 14 mosques still standing tall and in use today.
Our journey then led us to the captivating Lake Vistonida, where nature’s wonders embraced us in their serene beauty. We were truly awestruck by the breathtaking St. Nicholas Monastery, a testament to faith and architectural grace.
Continuing our adventure, we arrived in Xanthi, a vibrant university town nestled amphitheatrically at the foot of the Rodopi mountain chain. Xanthi, with its charming old mansions, numerous museums, and bustling markets, welcomes you with open arms.
Here, you’ll find yourself at the crossroads of the Black Sea and the Aegean, Europe and Asia. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the city’s delightful shops, savor the flavors of its restaurants, and savor the atmosphere of its cozy cafes.
Our path then led us to the picturesque coastal city of Kavala, where the fusion of east and west paints a unique portrait of Greece. Easily accessible by plane or road, Kavala unveils a different facet of this magnificent country. Our stay at the exquisite 5-star Lucy Hotel and a sumptuous dinner at Trufa added a touch of luxury to our journey.
Yet, the pinnacle of our journey was a visit to the summit of the Rodopi mountains, offering a perfect vantage point to witness the meandering Nestos River.
As it winds its way through the landscape, forming a natural border between Kavala and Xanthi, the adventurous souls among us found endless opportunities for outdoor activities and thrilling riverland adventures.
The following day brought us another extraordinary unesco heritage experience as we ventured into the ancient city of Philippi, now a prominent archaeological site in Eastern Macedonia. With its fortification walls, ancient theater, public edifices, and private residences, Hellenistic Philippi beckons history enthusiasts and curious souls alike.
Next, we ventured to Ktima Pavlidis, nestled in Kokkinogia, Drama prefecture, where vineyards and a winery were founded in 1998 by Christoforos Pavlidis.
Here, we indulged in delectable pies and savored remarkable wines, immersing ourselves in the art of winemaking.
Our journey continued to the mesmerizing Aggitis River Cave, where an expert guide unveiled the cave’s secrets.
The cave’s interior is a spectacle to behold, adorned with white and red stalactites in various captivating formations.
The “Hall of the Wheel” earned its name from the presence of a massive hydraulic wheel that once powered the region during the Ottoman era.
Our final destination was the city of Drama, where the festive spirit of Christmas embraced us.
The Oneiroupoli of Drama, enchanting visitors for two decades, promises joy, sweet memories, and a whimsical atmosphere for all, especially the little ones.
Yet, the crowning jewel of Drama awaited us at the Anastasiadis Mansion, also known as the “Marble House.”
Here, we were privileged to explore the exhibition space dedicated to the life and work of the renowned Greek photographer Nelly, or Elli Sooyouultzoglou-Seraidari, until February 2024. This is an experience that should not be missed.
In essence, this was the extraordinary journey I undertook, and I wholeheartedly invite you to explore the captivating destinations of East Macedonia and Thrace. Greece’s treasures extend far beyond its renowned islands. The enchantment of nature throughout this region will fill your heart with unexpected wonder. I urge you to embark on this incredible adventure and discover the magic that awaits. Your own unforgettable journey awaits.