The region around the city of Xanthi in north-east Greece is the perfect place for a hiking holiday. There are a number of interesting paths and trails that link up with longer-distance routes that cross more than one country.
The mountain village of Livaditis, around 50km from Xanthi, in the west of Thrace, is the epicentre of much hiking activity. There are a number of signposted hiking paths, all of which connect to the E6 hiking trail. There is a stunning waterfall here, as well as some fantastic mountain views. In the village of Evrimanthos, the lush greenery crowds around as you walk and mushrooms are a real local delicacy, highly prized. The Chaintous forest and the area of Arkoudorema (bear stream) are an area not to be missed by anyone enamoured of unspoiled nature.
High atop the Rodopi Mountains, peaks of which are nearly 2000m high, the virgin forest of Frakto is one of the most unspoiled forested areas in Greece – if you hike in this region then be sure to leave it as you found it as this is a precious habitat and one that no one wants to lose.
If mountain climbing is your thing then you may enjoy hiking up Mount Falakro, 2232 m high, or Mount Paggaio. The multicultural highlands of Xanthi provide Koula’s peaks, which can be hiked in around six hours. Climbing can be done year-round as long as you are properly prepared. Snow shoe tours are available in various locations during the winter, though these should probably only be undertaken by those in peak fitness.
Winding its way through the region, the Kosinthos river provides many pleasant strolls through the landscape of Thrace. There are old stone bridges, watermills, the one at Halil is one of the few that still exists, age-old villages and half-forgotten locations. Journeying through this area can be like stepping back in time to a simpler age.
The Nestor River and its Delta are the focus of much of the eco and outward-bound activity in the area and have been for some decades. People have quietly been coming here to hike, bike, kayak, birdwatch, mountain climb, rappel or ride horses for years, but the area still retains a simple and uncrowded feel that allows you to enjoy the beautiful countryside of the land of Orpheus. Delightful spots from which to enjoy the varied eco outdoors pursuits include Galani, Komnina, Kromniko, Livadero, Stavroupolis, and Toxotes, magical corners of this area just waiting to be discovered. Where the river meets the sea in Xanthi is extremely picturesque and a unique and interesting area of habitat is found in the area of Abdera where there are lakes, lagoons and valuable wetlands beloved of a whole range of birds and other wildlife.
The magical area of Thrace is filled with fairytale scenes and fantastical scenery to explore. This is the perfect place to hike your way into a story book and make some fantastic memories along the way.