Although situated just 28 km northeast of Xanthi, one of Thrace’s most beautiful and historic cities, the Town of Stavroupolis is an alternative travel destination that offers a wide variety of outdoor and cultural activities in a spectacular natural setting.
Its location on the banks of the river Nestos makes it an ideal staging point for a wide variety of recreational and tourism activities in one of Greece’s most verdant and untouched ecosystems.
Although easily accessible by car, bus or train all year round, an ever increasing number of flights to nearby “Megas Alexandros (Alexander the Great)” International Airport (only 40 km away), and the recent completion of the new Egnatia Superhighway has made it easier than ever to visit this land of striking contrasts and rare natural beauty.
Lush green mountains, waterfalls and natural springs, rare endangered species and local flora, unique traditions and flavourful cuisine, all come together to create an enticing destination that will appeal to all those seeking a truly unique holiday experience in Thrace.
Only if one follows the serpentine course of the mighty Nestos River as it meanders through deep canyons and lush forests – either on foot, on horseback, mountain bike or via kayak – can the strategic vantage point upon which Stavroupolis is located be fully appreciated; having stood guard for centuries on the ancient trade routes that once connected Central Europe to Constantinople and the Mediterranean shipping lanes.
Adding to the natural beauty of our area, there are numerous “undiscovered” archaeological sites of tremendous historical significance, such as the Kalyva Fortress site which dates back to the reign of King Philip of Macedonia (356 B.C.), as well as one of the best preserved Macedonian Tombs in the world, located just outside the riverside community of Komnina.
However, in Stavroupolis ancient history meets the more recent past of the Balkans, as medieval stone bridges from the 1500s and numerous examples of 19th Century rural architecture connect it to its Byzantine and Ottoman past, while graciously complementing all the beauty that nature has so generously bestowed upon our area.
We look forward to welcoming you to Stavroupolis, and sharing with you all that our area has to offer!
If one seeks to discover all the natural and man-made treasures of Stavroupolis, a car or mountain bike, as well as a good pair of hiking shoes are the minimum requirements. However, it is also possible to combine a scenic train ride and/or kayak excursion through the Nestos River Gorge, which provide even more opportunities to appreciate the area’s unrivalled natural landscape.
Stavroupolis is characterized by a mix of gently rolling hills and jagged mountain peaks which come in a variety of shapes and sizes: the lower elevations are typically lush and densely forested; while in the higher elevations of the Rhodope Mountains the scene is characteristically alpine.
Picturesque footpaths provide access to impressive rock formations and vantage points, deep ravines with hidden natural springs, creeks and waterfalls, and unique access to the area’s exceptional flora and fauna.
Each season provides travellers with an ever-changing palette of colours and views, with autumn providing a particularly exciting melange of bright reds and yellows. The low hanging clouds and mist that sweep through the valleys, the wind and the gentle rains, the frost and the snow: all serve as natural filters that constantly transform the scenery, keeping it ever new and appealing to even the most demanding of nature lovers.
Broadly speaking, the Town of Stavroupolis constitutes the north western part of the Prefecture of Xanthi, bordering to the north and west with the Prefectures of Drama and Kavala, essentially following the eastern bank of the River Nestos – the natural “boundary” between Macedonia and Thrace. However, the villages of Paschalia, Halepi and Myrtousa which are situated on the western bank of the NestosRiver are also part of the Prefecture of Xanthi and within Stavroupolis’ town limits. Following the river southbound, Stavroupolis extends as far as the villages of Toxotes (a popular staging point for kayakers and hikers alike), Petrochori and Chrysa. To the east, Stavroupolis incorporates the villages of Margariti, Kallithea and Isaia, and extends as far as the Xanthi city limits. To the north, Stavroupolis extends as far as the villages of Komnena and Pilema.
Visiting Stavroupolis via mass transit is easy, as it is serviced by regularly scheduled train service via the National Railroad System (OSE) and regional bus service (KTEL) originating in the cities of Xanthi or Drama. KTEL buses also provide daily service to almost all the other villages in the area.
Driving from Thessaloniki or Kavala, the best way to reach Stavroupolis is via the Egnatia Superhighway. The quickest and most scenic route is to exit at the Chrysoupoli / Zarkadia Junction, and then follow the signs to Zarkadia, Kehrokampos and Stavroupolis. Coming from the east, the quickest way to reach Stavroupolis is to exit at the Xanthi East Junction, and after reaching the center of the City of Xanthi to follow the National Highway to Stavroupolis and Drama.