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την Τετάρτη 15/01/2020

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List of Sights


 Nestos Straits – Aesthetic Forest:

Ποταμός ΝέστοςThe “Nestos Straits” are surrounded by wetland areas under NATURA 2000. They consist of a narrow valley, which is located between Stavroupolis and Toxotes, and traversed by the river Nestos. Alongside the river there is a path that begins in Galani, while the ride by train is also magical. There are rare types of habitat in this area, as well as rare plants (Haberlea, Rhamnus of Rodopi, Melia azedarach) and animals (Otter, Barbus, the European Honey-buzzard, the Peregrine Falcon etc.)


The Meandering of Nestos:

Μαιανδρισμοί ΝέστουNestos river passes through an area of exceptional natural beauty, where the water plays with the soil, creating impressive meanders; along most of its length visitors can admire rare wildflowers and a large variety of birds. The image of the horizon from the “Thea” location is breath-taking.

The Nestos Delta:

The area includes the NATURA 2000 wetland areas and consists of a series of saline lagoons and arable crops, interspersed with fragmented freshwater swamps, meadows, salt marshes and wooded areas. Nestos river flows into the sea and creates a large delta, which used to be covered by an aquatic forest. The part of the forest that still remains is home to jackals and wild boar, while many rare animals live in the surrounding area, such as otters, the Striped-neck Terrapin (Mauremys rivulata), the Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata), the Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) etc.


Vistonida Lagoon – Porto Lagos:

Λιμνοθάλασσα ΒιστωνίδαΒιστωνίδα - Άγιος ΝικόλαοςVistonida is one of the most important lakes in Greece. It covers over 4,400 ha and is located in the southern part of the prefectures of Xanthi and Rodopi. It is a complex of wetlands with abundant fish and rare birdlife. Of the 260 bird species found here, at least 9 are rare or endangered on an international level. These include the Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis), the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus), the Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), eagle species such as the the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and the Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), the Kestrel (Falco Naumanni) and the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), as well as the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) and the Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris). The local avifauna includes species endemic to the region, migratory birds that stop over during their journey and other species that winter on the local coasts.


Villages in the mountainous regions

Χωριά Ορεινής ΠεριοχήςΟρεινή ΞάνθηThey are villages located in the mountain range of Rodopi, characterized by a beautiful natural setting and a wealth of folklore and cultural heritage. They became known through the cultivation of a tobacco variety of exceptional quality, known as basma. Their inhabitants, who are Muslims, are renowned for their hard-working nature and deep religious faith. Temples, traditional bridges over the rivers Kosynthos and Kompsatos, and traditional-picturesque costumes make up the mosaic that attracts the attention of visitors.

Leivaditis Waterfall:

Καταρράκτης ΛειβαδίτηThe impressive waterfall of Leivaditis in remarkable natural surroundings, and a height of over 35 m, is a characteristic feature of the mountainous part of Xanthi prefecture.

Haidou and Koula Mountains:

Όρος ΧαϊντούThey are part of the mountainous and hinterland regions that belong to the NATURA network. This area is a section of the Rodopi range; it covers an area of 3,209 ha and has a mean altitude of 1,400 m. The highest and easternmost peak of the group is Gyftokastro (1,827 m), and is located right on the border with Bulgaria.

Όρος Κούλα

This area has been named a “monument of nature”. It is mostly covered by forests created by deciduous oak, beech, black pine, forest pine and birch. A large number of plants also grow in this area (Anthemis carpatica, Geum rhodopeum, Soldanella rhodopea, Viola rhodopeia etc), which are rarely found in Greece.

Haidou is one of the most important habitats in Greece for all large forest mammals (bears, wolves, jackals, the Greater Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), the Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata scabra), Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni), the Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) etc). The forests are in good condition, although the forest roads are relatively dense and there is extensive logging. There are 102 bird species in Haidou; almost all of them use the local forests to breed. For many of the bird species, this area and the wider Rodopi range are where their main or only populations still exist. More specifically, such species include: the Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia), the Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), the Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) and the Nutcracker (Nucifraga).



paralia2The whole southern part of Xanthi prefecture is covered in lovely beaches, open to the Thracian sea, which are interrupted to the west by the Nestos Delta and to the east by the lagoons of the Vistonida lake complex.

Organised beaches for swimming and water sports are the ones in Erasmio, Maggana, Myrodato, Avdera and Mandra. The shallow waters and abundant fish do not only attract tourists but amateur fishermen also.>

Παραλία Νομού Ξάνθης

Almost all beaches have facilities offered to bathers, such as cafes, umbrellas, kiosks, as well as showers, WC, etc.

Along this coastal zone, you will find some of the biggest villages in the prefecture, such as Erasmio, Maggana, Myrodato, Avdera, Mandra, Lagos, Kessani.

It is worth noting that the economy of Xanthi is minimally linked to marine activities.



Παρακολούθηση πουλιώνΠαρακολούθηση πουλιώνThe coastal areas of the prefecture present an unspoilt charm also during the winter months, when they provide a large number of rare opportunities for birdwatching. Over 100 bird species have been observed along this coastal zone, some of which are globally threatened, such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus), the Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) and the Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga).


 Μonastery of Panagia Archaggeliotissa:

Παναγιά ΑρχαγγελιώτισσαBuilt in its present form in 1841; however, references to the monastery date back to 1559. It is dedicated to the Eisodia tis Theotokou (Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and dominates the NE corner of the town of Xanthi, at the foothills of mountainous Rodopi.




Monastery of Panagia Kalamous (Virgin Mary of the Reeds)

It was built during the iconoclasm by iconophile monks. It stands above the gorge of Kosynthos, offering a panoramic view of the valley of Xanthi. The name of the monastery originates from an icon of the Virgin Mary that was found in a reedbed. 

Monastery of Pammegistoi Taxiarches

It most probably dates back to the 16th century, and is built inside a forest of acacia trees and pine, below the byzantine acropolis of Xanthi. Inside you will find interesting mosaics and rare byzantine-style icons on the iconostasis, from the same period.


Agios Nikolaos

th vistonida_agnikolaos3A metochi (dependency) of Vatopedi Monastery, built on a small island in the heart of Vistonida lake during the 11th century. It was fully restored and embellished in 1904. The surrounding landscape is idyllic; it is only a 20-minute drive from Xanthi.

Macedonian Tomb:

A vaulted Macedonian Tomb of the 2nd century A.D., it is the largest one in Western Thrace, and one of the most impressive in Northern Greece. It is located in Komnina, just past Stavroupolis.


Relief of Mithras, the bull-slayer:

An extremely rare rock painting of the 2nd to 3rd century A.D. in mountainous Rodopi, at Thermes settlement. It depicts the Persian god Mithras sacrificing a bull, and testifies to the dissemination of the cult of Mithras in the mountains of Rodopi during the last years of the Roman Empire.


Muslim Temples - Tekedes:


Places of worship for the Muslim population, found mainly around the city of Xanthi and the surrounding villages, such as Genisea, Selino and Kidari. They have a minimal decor and have a distinctive exterior that consists of the main part of the Temple and the minaret.

Castle Ruins of Kalyva:

Above Nestos river, at an altitude of 627 m, there is a notable archaeological site, featuring a well from the time of Philip II. There is also a forest recreation area and a photography exhibition to enjoy.




Traditional bridges:

Παραδοσιακό ΓεφύριΠαραδοσιακό ΓεφύριThirty-five stone arched bridges have been recorded in the prefecture of Xanthi, mainly constructed by specialized craftsmen from Epirus. Most of them are located in the mountainous areas, over the rivers Kosynthos and Kompsatos; they formed a very important part of the network of old paths. Twelve of them have been officially declared as listed bridges.

Most of them date back to the 18th and 19th century, and there are also some that are more recent. They vary in size, shape and in the number of arches. The central arch is usually a semi-circle, and there are also the so-called "relief arches " or “windows” whose aim is to make the whole structure lighter and to facilitate the passage of water.


Sports facilities:

Modern sports centres, a swimming pool, football grounds and an indoor basketball court are available for young people to exercise in and for fans to watch their favourite teams.


Recent monuments – The Old Town of Xanthi:

Παλιά Πόλη ΞάνθηςXanthi Prefecture still retains a large number of noteworthy monuments displaying its more recent architectural heritage, as well as industrial buildings (tobacco warehouses), residential complexes (Old Town) and individual more recent monuments that are scattered all over the prefecture. In recent years and after 1829, the town of Xanthi was gradually rebuilt, after being destroyed by two earthquakes. A remnant of those times is the Old Town of Xanthi with its traditional and neoclassical buildings, and its picturesque cobbled streets.

ΚαπναποθήκεςXanthi was a modern urban centre in its time, built amphitheatrically, with its narrow streets and neoclassical, traditional buildings forming a dense complex, covered in greenery, gardens and courtyards overflowing with flowers, which still give the impression of the wealth and easy life enjoyed by those who originally built and developed the town.

The contact with the west and the know-how of the Epirot craftsmen, combined with the prosperity, mainly of the tobacco merchants, was what bestowed these neoclassical mansions upon the town, like a dowry and a debt that the future generations would have to maintain.