Xanthi, the noble Lady of Thrace
Amphitheatrically built on the foot of Rodopi mountain chain, Xanthi is located in Thrace (Northern Greece), the crossroads of the Black Sea and the Aegean, Europe and Asia. Kosynthos River divides the city into the west part, where the old and the modern town are located, and the east part, the “Samakov district”, that boasts a rich natural environment. Both parts still preserve their traditional flair, mesmerizing visitors with their nobility and magnificence. The cobbled narrow streets of the Old Town are decorated by gorgeous mansions, whose architectural style is a marvelous blend of local and ottoman architecture as well as Greek Neoclassicism architectural style. Together with the Byzantine churches and the picturesque squares, the city’s Old Town could be said to be an open museum, the glory of which remains untouched through the years. The modern part of the city boasts a beautiful square with a Clock and the renovated tobacco warehouses including the famous “Π», on Kapnergaton str., which took its name from the shape of the 1890’s edifices. Don’t forget to visit the flea market with its distinctive local flavor taking places every Saturday at Zoagoras Square!
Get a deeper insight into the rich history of the area through your visit to the Folk Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Municipal Gallery and Avdera Archaeological site. Colourful cultural events organized throughout the year provide another strong reason for visiting Xanthi; experience the party atmosphere of the renowned Carnival of Xanthi, standing out for its focus on the traditions and folklore of the region through a modern approach; the Old Town Festival in September, during which all events take place in the narrow paved streets of Xanthi’s Old Town; the Youth Festival and River Nestos (Music) Festival in summer, particularly popular among young people.
Nature lovers will discover that Xanthi is an unspoiled paradise: the serpentine river Nestos, its Delta (the unique aquatic forest of Europe) and its passes, the Drymos Forest (or Haidou), Lake Vistonida, the forest village of Erimanthos and Rodopi mountain range with its virgin forests and traditional villages are only some of this destination’s gems. Among the mountain villages stand out the “Pomakohoria”, a cluster of approximately 40 villages north of Xanthi, renowned for their cultural and architectural uniqueness.
Action fans and nature lovers will feel excited by the variety of possibilities offered: canoe-kayak in Nestos passes, hiking, cycling, bird watching, archery, off-road driving and horseback riding are only a few of the activities that someone can pursue in Nestos, Livaditis or Vistonida area.
Whether you are a history or tradition fan, a lover of nature, a gastronomy specialist wanting to indulge in delicious local specialties and eastern type sweets, or even an entertainment addict seeking to experience the city’s vibrant night life, the region of Xanthi will definitely satisfy even the most demanding ones amongst you. Take the chance to discover this unspoiled destination and let your spirit free to enjoy sounds and colours that will uplift your senses.
City of Xanthi official site: www.cityofxanthi.gr