Regions of Greece: Macedonia and Frace

Despite its original antique names, the two northernmost areas of Greece – Macedonia and Thrace – are part of the country less than a century. Macedonia (Makedhonia) was given to the Turks after the Balkan Wars in 1913, Greek sovereignty over Western Thrace (Thraki) was confirmed only in 1923, and so far with Turkey, and with independent Macedonia there are unsolved issues on a number of border areas.

The population of these places is very "motley" – Orthodox Greeks, in essence, are here a national minority, and most of the population make up Slavs, Turks, Albanians and representatives of other Mediterranean peoples. Therefore, these areas are a little apart from the rest of Greece, and not only ethnically, but also in architecture, language, cuisine, religions, landscapes, and so on. Yes, and they are managed by individual ministries.

These factors, combined with a lack of good beaches and much less developed infrastructure may explain why northern Greece is relatively little known to foreigners. However, this is where are the beautiful beaches of Halkidiki and the sacred Mount Athos, many monuments of Byzantine and Islamic architecture, the large shopping centers of Thessaloniki and Kavala, hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails through the picturesque mountain areas and some good national parks.

North-East Macedonia

Few tourists visit the north-eastern regions of Macedonia. These traditional agricultural areas to the north-east of Thessaloniki can not boast an abundance of attractions – for centuries they were the cause of strife between the neighboring countries, and now this area is the golden fields of grain and tobacco is famous, perhaps, only the abundance of storks, quiet village with a multi-ethnic population but an abundance of protected areas. The largest of the latter is the reservoir Kerkini (Kerkini), lies near the Bulgarian border mountainous and has the status of an international reserve thanks to three hundred species of birds living in these parts. Vast stretches of water around a large lake formed numerous branches of the river Strymon (Strymonas), forming a plurality of marshy plains, to which people have added tens and hundreds of channels.

a small village Alistrati (Alistrati) at the southern end Menikion ridge (1453 m) is a good starting point for a hike in the mountains and discover caves, lying just 6 km southeast. These underground caves are among the most beautiful and extensive in Europe, of those that do not require special equipment for research.

Regions of Greece Macedonia and Frace

Approximately 50 km from Alistrati in the south-east lies the town of Filipi, named in honor of the Macedonian king Philip II, who conquered it from the Thracians in 356 BC. NS. for nearby gold mines. In the time of the Romans, it was one of the richest cities in Europe, and the current capital of the region – Kavala (then she was called Neapolis, 14 km south) – was only his port. And it was here that the fightened battle for the empire occurred for the Empire (42 g. to N. NS.) Between the troops of Brut and Cassia on the one hand and Anthony with Octavian on the other. And it is here, as legends say, Saint Paul in 49. NS. Began his religious mission in Europe, so the townspeople consider themselves the first Christians of the continent.

Northeastern Thrace

Extensive Maritsa River Valley (Evros) stretches in the north-east of Alexandroupolis, forming the border between Greece and Turkey. It succeeds, but rather dull agricultural area, most of the cities which are clearly different excess military and unpretentious architecture.

The main points of attraction here are very Maritsa delta – huge space sleeves and canals, populated by more than 250 species of birds; forest Dadian reserve (Dhadhia Forest Reserve) – 352 sq.m. km of protected oak-pine forest covering the ancient volcanic mountain ranges Rhodopes; mountain Guibril (520 m), with its ruined Byzantine castle, Mavrovema canyon – one of the two European regions habitat of black vulture (the second is in the Spanish Extremadura), the old textile center Suflion (Soufli) with its excellent Museum of fine silk and yellow mansions, a beautiful village Metaksades (Metaxadhes, 5 km north of Sufliona), as well as a large Byzantine fort and mosque (XIV century. – the oldest and the second largest in the Balkans) border town Didymoteicho (Dhidhimotikhon, 30 km north-east of Sufliona).

Regions of Greece Macedonia and Frace

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