Entering Greece from Asia, Alexandroupoli is your first stop. It is now a major centre for transit shipping, situated as it is at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkan peninsula. Everyone who passes stops here, and so will you. The streets are broad and well-planned, the waterfront is lined with tavernas, seafood restaurants, bars and luxury hotels. Alexandroupoli is a holiday destination that caters to your every need. Outside the town, travelers of the feathered variety make use of the facilities provided by the Evros Delta.
What to do in Alexandroupoli
The lighthouse, Alexandroupoli’s emblem
The lighthouse stands 27m tall, six storeys of stone steps, and its light can be seen 37km away. It’s hard not to notice the city’s main and most luminous attraction, which has stood in the port since 1880. Tirelessly guiding seafarers, on nautical maps it is still listed with the town’s old name, Dede-Agats.
The Evros Delta, a way station for flying migrants
When it comes to artistic flair, Nature is the real ‘old master’in these parts. The Evros Delta is a nature lover’s dream. Fresh water mixes with the sea to create a rich wetland habitat and vital sanctuary for large numbers of water birds. Of Greece’s 400 species, 300 hundred pass through here, while the river itself boasts 46 kinds of fish, 7 amphibian, 21 reptile and more than 40 mammal species.
The Dadia Forest Ecotourist Reserve: Discover Greece’s wild nature
Sixty kilometres outside of town, the amazing Dadia Forest is another magnet for bird watchers and nature lovers travelling to Alexandroupoli. The hiking and birdwatching trails within the hundreds of thousands of acres in the reserve will bring you close to eagles, hawks, vultures and dozens of other majestic birds.
Panagia Kosmosotira, a church on the frontier
At Feres, next to the bridge crossing the border between Greece and Turkey, is the church of Panagia Kosmosotira, important both ecclesiastically and architecturally. The religious complex and the monastery it was part of were built in the mid-12th century, and are among the most significant sights in the area.
Hidden gems of Alexandroupoli
The thermal springs of Evros
Whether in need of bodily or spiritual renewal or you just craving a hot bath, take a pause at Trajanopolis. The brick-domed hostel for world-weary travellers was reputed for the healing powers of the springs even back in the 14th century. Take note of the piping in the walls, an object lesson in central heating.
A trip to the Cyclops' cave
You can visit one of the numerous caves of the Cyclops at the modern small port of Makri.
Air conditioning in antiquity
In Evros, in the ancient coastal town of Mesembria-Zone (7th century BC), the inhabitants buried amphorae under their living rooms to combat the humidity, a sort of ancient air conditioning.
- The lighthouse, Alexandroupoli’s emblem
- The Evros Delta, a way station for flying migrants
- The Dadia Forest Ecotourist Reserve: Discover Greece’s wild nature
- Panagia Kosmosotira, a church on the frontier
- The thermal springs of Evros
- A trip to the Cyclops' cave