Island Monastery: St Nicholas Chapel
Saint Nikolas Chapel is a Monastery Church which is located and built in the centre of Vistonis (Vistonida) Lake, the second largest Lake in Greece. The monastery complex is built on two small islands in the Porto Lagos lagoon. Access to the Chapel is a wooden pedestrian bridge that connects the two islands and a second one is linking them with the mainland. On one small island resides the church of St. Nicholas and on the second one the chapel of Pantanasas where there is a copy of the miraculous image.
On the edge of the Lake is the Town of Porto Lagos which is a small fishing village near Xanthi. Many Locals believe that at the bottom of the lake are the ruins of Ancient Vistonis.
Lake Vistonis is an important wetland area rich in flora and fauna where At the Vistonidas lake one can observe huge flocks of geese, ducks, swans and pelicans, as well as many thousands of species of migrating birds take refuge. It is a Lake surrounded by a unique natural beauty.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
"Christos Pavlides" Municipal Gallery
The gallery is housed at Kalevras Mansion, at the heart of the old town, and presents a collection of about 300 paintings. Some of them are works of Christos Pavlides, a local painter, that have been donated to the Municipality of Xanthi.
Museum of Traditional Costumes
Housed in an historic building, built in the beginning of the 20th century, the Museum of Traditional Costumes presents a rich collection of traditional mens' and womens' traditional costumes of the grater area of Nothern Greece.
The largest mosque in Xanthi is not exactly historic, but it is quite pretty and has a lovely garden on its grounds. It is not in the old city and a bit of a walk from Plateia Kendriki (maybe 10-15 minutes, but it is not a direct route). You can enter the grounds, walk around and take pictures, but I don't believe that you can enter the actual building. Its a pretty whitewashed building in the middle of a modern, primarily Turkish part of Xanthi.
The Plateia Kendriki (Central Square) has a working clock tower and is the centre of pre-supper nightlife in Xanthi. It has a number of cafés (all of quite good and much cheaper than elsewhere in Greece - a frappé costs 2.50 euro). Its a great place for peoplewatching, particularly after 9PM as parents will bring their children to play and what seems like the entire town converges on the Square.
National Bank of Greece
The National Bank of Greece (Ktirio Ethnikis Trapezas) is an impressive building on the edge of the Old City. You can't go in and look around, but it is quite a beautiful building in neoclassical style set against the backdrop of the buildings of the old quarter (in traditional Macedonian style).
Folk Museums aren't really my thing; once you've seen one collection of costumes and dishes, you feel like you've seen them all, despite the fact that every folk museum is different by virtue of being in a different region. The Folk Museum in Xanthi isn't terribly different and it lacks any information on the region's Turkish and Greek Muslim populations - even though Thrace is unique in that it was not subject to the Population Exchange. The Museum holds various collections of costumes, recreations of the Kougioumtzoglou household (the Museum is in their former mansion) and evidence of the population's economic and social activities from the 1930s.
Lying twenty-eight kilometres from the town of Xanthi in the northwest side of the prefecture, the municipality of Stavroupoli borders on the prefectures of Drama and Kavala. Its homonymous seat, the small country town of Stavroupoli, is built on the slopes of low hills, beside the Nestos River. The municipality of Stavroupoli is an ideal pleasure destination offering options on alternative tourism both to the locals and visitors. Its houses are perfect examples of folk architecture. Many of them have been restored and transformed into comfortable tourist guesthouses. The Folklore Museum of Stavroupoli displays interesting exhibits reflecting the tradition of this land
The municipality of Stavroupoli constitutes an ideal destination for all visitors as the relief of its soil surface allows the development of beautiful mountainous landscapes with many alternations.
The entire municipality has well-organised accommodation and food facilities (restaurants and cafes), where you can relax, invigorate yourself and taste local dishes.
Useful telephone numbers:
The municipality of Stavroupoli (tel.: 2542022226).
The “Nestos-Rodopi” Municipal Development Society (tel.: 25420 21008).
The Stavroupoli Police Station (tel.: 25420 22100).
Summer Clubs at Xanthi
Ex Grammes., ent 5.2e, untill 05.00 - good music decor + swimming pool/ greek and foreign hits music
RODON LIVE SUMMER
4rd km Xanthi-Kavala road, ent 5.2e, greek/foreign music, untill 05.00 (06.00)
2nd km Xanthi-Kavala road, ent 5.2e, pop/rock greek untill 05.30 (06.00) -ex Buzios
2nd km Xanthi-Kavala road, ent 5.2e, greek music, untill 06.00
THEATRO LIVE4rth km Xanthi-Kavala road, 4.5- 10.20e drs Greek mostly
ANEMOS SUMMER CLUB
, Aspida stadium, 4.5e mix music.
Stena Nestou (Nestos Straits)-Stavroupoli Village
A small scenic village located to the north of the city of Xanthi. The village may be the starting point for a number of colorful excursions to some of the most idyllic locations of Hellas. Among them the Stena Tou Nestou, (Nestos's straits), located at the boundaries of the Xanthi and Kavala provinces. The railway line leading from Xanthi to Kavala passes through the straits and offers the traveler an idyllic, scenic view of pure beautiful Hellenic nature. The place apart from its natural value has also a significant ecological value and is considered among the most important Aesthetic Forests of Hellas. The Nestos's straits have been described as a natural botanical garden due to the extremely rich flora of the area. The area is also the reproduction site of numerous mammal and bird species. The best time to visit the area is during May and the September-October period.
Porto Lagos is a seaside village located at the narrow land straits that separate lake Vistonida from the synonymous nearby bay. This is the land of mythology as Hercules visited the area in order to obtain the wild horses of king Diomedes. The fishermen still believe that the mythical capital city of the state of Diomedes lie at the silent depths of the lake. The greater area forms the combined aqueous ecosystem of the Vistonida lake and the Porto Lagos swamps and marsh-lands network. The flora and fauna of the area is extremely rich and the landscape is a colorful combination of interchanging riverside forests, cane-fields and marsh-lands. From Porto Lagos the traveler may tour the lake and visit the monastery of Agios Nikolaos which is built on a islet at the center of the lake. The view of the lake from the monastery is majestic and the idyllic and tranquil landscape will offer a few peaceful moments of pure rewarding recreation.
- National/State Park
The village of Avdira is located only a small distance from the archeological site of the ancient city of Avdira. According to mythology, the city was founded by Hercules in commemoration to a companion of his, named Avdiros, who was killed in one of Hercules's quests against the wild horses of Diomedes. The ancient city of Avdira was a major cultural and spiritual center of the greater Hellenic area during the classic period and the place of origin of famous philosophers and scientists, such as Protagoras and Demokritos respectively. Extensive excavations that have been conducted in the area over the years have unearthed the ruins of a thriving, powerful, typical coastal city of the classic period. Numerous landmarks of the ancient city has been brought to light. These include a fraction of the city's wall and other impressive fortifications, flagged streets and alleys, the two harbors of the city, the ancient theater and a number of fine works of art and beautiful mosaics. But the most significant landmark of the site is the ancient graveyard of the city which has been the source of very significant discoveries. The city continued to prosper through the Roman and Byzantine periods as is signified by the discovered ruins of the Roman baths and early Byzantine churches.
- Historical Travel
Laografiko Mouseio (Folk Museum)
Xanthis' folk history museum is located in a double mansion built between 1870-1880. The imposing residence, which today features all the original furnishings and is decorated throughout with paintings and ornamental flourishes, was built by the Kouyioumtzoglou clan, a family enriched by the tobacco trade during Xanthi’s late-19th century peak. The mansion also features various relics and texts of historical value. The friendly staff will be happy to show you around.
Xanthi Folklore Museum
Housed at the Kuyumtzoglou mansion, at the old part of the town, the museum presents the life of the middle class living in Xanthi in the beginning of the 20th century.
Theou Sofias Church
This church is near Plateia Kendriki and at the time I visit Xanthi (June 2007) it was under renovations. Nevertheless, there are some beautiful paintings and mosaics on the façade of the church.