General information on the Prefecture of Evros
Source: CETI/ Athena R.C.
© Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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The Evros Prefecture is located at the northeastern borders of Greece; it is a natural border between our country and Bulgaria and Turkey to the east and represents one of Greece?s two so-called tri-national points. To the west it borders with the Prefecture of Rodopi and to the south it is washed by the Thracian Sea. It covers an area of 4,242 km2 and has a population of 148,486 inhabitants. Its land is fertile and endowed with the river Evros, which flows through it. Many of the locals' occupations are deeply rooted in the past, such as the production of silk and magnificent needlework at Soufli and the never-ending feasts with the bagpipes. The area consists of the following municipalities: Alexandroupoli, Vyssa, Didymoticho, Kyprinos, Metaxades, Orestiada, Orfeas, Samothrace, Soufli, Traianoupoli, Trigono, Tychero and Feres.
Findings that are 5 million years old verify the continuous presence of Thracians on this land. This Prefecture is a distinct Greek area, a witness to the long Byzantine history and a continuator of the area?s remarkable monumental heritage.
New super luxury hotel facilities are continuously being built on the prefecture's coast, rendering Alexandroupoli a town with a large capacity for hospitality, both in terms of beds and quality of services. In the interior of the prefecture, particularly in the two protected areas, the forest of Dadia and the wetland of river Evros, agro-tourism facilities and eco-tourism centers are being established that attract visitors from Greece and abroad. In addition, river Ardas is the venue of an annual youth festival, where many concerts by known artists are organised.
The coastline of the prefecture, from Mesembria and Makri to Alexandroupoli, forms an alluring blue stretch of land with popular holiday resorts, hotels and campsites, beaches and fish restaurants. More than 350 plant species, 46 fish species, 21 reptile species and 40 mammal species have been recorded in the lagoons of the renowned Evros Delta. The forests of Dadia, Feres, Didymoticho, Soufli and Orestiada, along with the villages that are situated in a landscape of verdurous cultivated expanses, are a cradle of life. Samothrace, the green and unique northernmost island of the Aegean, is three hours from the port of Alexandroupoli. The bright white lighthouse that dominates the seafront of Alexandroupoli is the capital's trademark. Coffee at the port with a view of the Thracian Sea is a good starting point for walking around the town, which was established as late as 1876 as a trading station. Russian engineers prepared the urban plan in 1877 during the area?s occupation by the Russians. The ruins of ancient Traianoupoli are only 10 minutes far from the eastern exit of the town. The municipal park, the picturesque church of Aghios Eleftherios, the neoclassical building of the Teachers College, and a few old houses compose a picture of the town. An archaeological collection is housed at the old Town Hall. The Museum of Ecclesiastical Art is accommodated in the cultural centre of the metropolis. The folklore collection of E. Filipidis includes woven textiles, embroideries, Sarakatsan traditional dress, etc. At the restaurants of Alexandroupoli visitors will have the opportunity to eat fresh fish and plenty of seafood. The town?s bustling nightlife centers around bars and clubs. For swimming in the sea, visitors may visit the beach run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT), which is equipped with umbrellas and sun beds, or one of the beaches all along the coast until Makri. If you have a boat, the marina only supplies water, while boats can be refueled by petrol stations. The town also has a football and athletics stadium, an indoor stadium, an indoor swimming pool and tennis and basketball courts. Sailing and rowing is available at the Alexandroupoli Yacht Club. Nautical week is celebrated every 2 years. Almost all the municipalities hold cultural events between 15 July and the end of August. Visitors will be astonished by a visit to the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, the Ecclesiastical Museum and the Natural History Museum in Alexandroupoli, the Archaeological and Folklore Museums of Samothrace, the Municipal Gallery of D. Nalbantis and the Military Museum in Didymoticho, the Silk Museum and the Folklore Museum in Soufli and the Folklore Museum in Orestiada.
The Prefecture is ideal for spa tourism (Traianoupoli and Samothrace Spas), mountaineering on Samothrace, therapeutic riding at Tychero, religious tourism (Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches with superb mosaics and wall paintings, the holy monasteries at Feres, Kornofolia, Dadia forest, Didymoticho, Makri), eco-tourism, conference tourism (Alexandroupoli has three 4 and 5 star hotels equipped with conference facilities), school tourism (educational seminars and international collaborations under development), agro-tourism and adventure tourism (canoeing, cycling).
The youth festival of the Municipality of Tychero, the Ardas festival, the dance festival at Samothrace, the Thrace Ethnic Festival, the national festival of traditional dances and the book exhibition provide an impressive array of events.
Kourta, in other words the shearing of the animals of Samothrace in May, is an old tradition. The "Tsitsi" tradition at Tychero, which is related to the arrival of the goblins, the kolinta and the kalantarades at Fylakto, along with the Kortopoula tradition that takes place after Christmas mass, all reveal the wealth of traditions in Evros, along with the richness of its peoples? feelings.