How possible is it to take up a three hours’ drive for less than a 48 hours’ vacation? We did it and we haven’t regretted it, not for a minute!
We chose Xanthi and the Traditional guesthouse “Kokkymelon”, 13 km far from the town, in the village of Toxotes! We really hit the nail on the head! Peering out the nature of the plain from the restored stone house, with the dreamy decoration of a romantic farmhouse (we loved it!) was all we dreamt of! Once owned by a Turkish tobacco merchant, the house was transformed from its owner into a home that everyone feels its own! You can see it in the pictures and you will see for yourself when you visit! Quality in everything, especially the hospitality and grooming by Eleni, who prepared our handmade breakfast!
The tour of Old Town of Xanthi is first on the list! Walking on its paved streets, it is your pleasure to see the neoclassical houses of old smokers in the city of Xanthi, some restored and others with the time signs over them to witness times of acne, when Xanthi was hosting 4 consulates (Italian, Austro-Hungarian, French and Greek). Somewhere there, is the impressive building where the Folklore Museum is housed.
And if it is a Saturday morning, the Xanthi Bazaar, known for its oriental color, set up every Saturday near the city center of Xanthi, is one of the largest open-air markets in Northern Greece, full of colors, sounds and life. If you resist and do not shop, tell us how you managed it!
And it’s afternoon at a glance of time! At the corner in front of us, stands “Mezebar”! By entering, we feel that we have chosen correctly and by eating we knit the praise of the cook and the whole shop. As soon as the treated sweet is served on our table (“Seker pare” it was – not at all common!!!) we meet Mr. Vasilis, the owner, who tells us the story of the shop! We are so pleased! After the bill happy as well, too!
Evening at «Art Bar Favela Chic» for a drink, along with many others! They served us fast and willingly, though! Xanthi is a vivid city, with youths that fill its shops!
We reluctantly made our farewells to Eleni and went for a short walk to the “Straits of Nestos” , just 10 minutes far from the Train Station of Toxotes -Galani. The uphill path with the unique view of the river on our left, was short given the rainy weather. Next time we will take the train that starts from Toxotes railway station heading towards Stavroupoli and crosses all the straits of Nestos, … the “Thracian Tempi”, offering a unique view of the Nestos meanders, during the 20-minute route through dozens of tunnels! We asked for the itineraries, of course, and they told us that it starts at 8.30 in the morning! Hard time! Find out here: (Xanthi Tel. Tel. 25410-27030, 22581)
Porto Lagos then, where Lake Vistonida joins the Thracian Sea and as the weather makes, we enjoy the walk in the harbor and then on the wooden bridge that leads to the Monastery of Ag. Nicholas and then to Panagia Pantanassa. In the lagoon-habitat that hosts hundreds of species of birds, among them some rare and endangered, and flora that are all protected by international treaties. Gulls are so familiar that will eat from your hand and further on the flamingos, paint the landscape pink!
Our last visit was at the House of Shadow in Xanthi. It’s a workshop / exhibition, where Triantaphyllos Vaitsis creates works from … rubbish and waste materials, and after illuminating them properly, he projects their shadow on the wall. So you can see in the shadow of the sculpture some forms or even a whole scene and even with deep meaning many times. Really impressive!
A few bites before returning. We tried “Dromaki” at the entrance of the old town. The gastronomy of Xanthi did not disappoint us!
We experienced it all in such a way, so as to leave us the sweet memory and desire to be back!
Depending on your time and the weather you can:
- explore the area in a canoe, on a bike or a 4×4, experience rafting or hiking with Riverland that will provide you with the appropriate equipment and guidance.
- If the action is not your forte, there is also the relaxed choice to drive up to the location “Thea”, right above the village “Toxotes” towards “Imeros (11km distance) from where you can marvel at the meanders of river Nestos from high above.!
- Visit other sites in Xanthi! Make your choices through the tour guides provided in PDF here: http://www.pexanthis.eu/index.php/menu-tourismos/odigos.html