But also the journey by train from Xanthi to Stavroupoli gives an alternative way to cross the narrow straits of Nestos. At the same time there exists the possibility to cross the straits by boat, which would be the easiest way, like the journey Paranesti-Stavroupoli by rafting. People who are lovers of canoe-kayak can enjoy a very beautiful passage from Stavroupoli to Toxotes (for further information contact the agencies: Vistonis +30 (0) 5410 21 084, Maiandros +30 (0) 5420 22690, Strovilos +30 (0) 5410 93700, Forestland +30 (0) 5410 62488).
In the mountainous region of Xanthi the shelters Leivaditis and Kallithea are at a distance of about 50 kilometers of the city (for further information contact the Climbing club of Xanthi + 30(0) 5410 24 818, the shelter +30 (0) 5420 31 044, capacity 36 persons) and 30 kilometers of the city (capacity 20 persons, contact the nature Club of Xanthi +30 (0) 5410 20 285) respectively and they represent the perfect place to plan an excursion in the region.
Many shelters we can find also in the region of Drama and especially in Micropoli (mount Menoikio, at the Kastanodasos, at a distance of about 30 kilometers of the city of Drama towards Prosotsani and Kokkinogeia. capacity 8 persons, contact the municipality of Micropoli ^30 (0) 5220 31202). as well as the following places that are under the responsib’rty of the Climbing Association of Drama (for further information contact: +30 (0) 5210 33 049. 21 893.42 822 . Kouri (journey of about 38 kilometers, capacity 10 persons), Lamarina (journey of 42 kilometers, between the ski center and Kouri) and Bartiseva ( a journey through Volakas, capacity of 10 persons).
Three more shelters are at the disposal of the visitors in the region of Kavala and on the Paggaion mountain that complete the idea of the shelters in the mountainous part of the department of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia. These are: Kallithea (capacity 15 persons, telephone number of the forest guard: +30 (0) 510 461 807, 38 kilometers from Kavala towards Eleftheroupoli and Akrovouni), Petalouda orVlachika Kalyvia (capacity 15 persons, 40 kilometers from Kavala towards Eleftheroupoli and Akrovouni, for further information contact +30 (0) 510 227 727 or 835 952) and Chatzigeorgiou (capacity 80 persons, restaurant, 45 kilometers from Kavala towards Eleftheroupoli and Akrovouni, for further information contact: +30 (0) 510 227 727 or 835 952).
Apart from the excursions, the visitors having special hobbies like climbing, could go eastwards and southwards on the mountain Falakro and enjoy the natural paths that are formed with a parachute. People who love extreme sports they can practice rappel climbing of a height of three kilometers sidelong the peaks of Kaltaka. Faraggi. Xionotrupa. Profitis Helias. Pseytodonti, Vvardena, Sitna. Falakro. The ski station of Falakro mountain disposes of a shelter, has a hotel of 80 rooms. School of ski apprentice, six lifts, a special way for marching of 5000 meters, ski scooters etc.
In the past the department of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia was covered at a percentage of 80% of its total surface with forests. Nowadays, although the forests are destroyed and devastated, important parts still survive and mostly in the mountainous regions the percentages of reforestation reach 55% per region.
From the city of Alexandroupoli the visitor can reach the island of Samothraki. which is the sole island not only of the region of Evros but also of the department of Thrace. On the island we can find beautiful forests with planes, menthol plants and other kinds of vegetation though in higher altitudes there are many chestnut trees and rare kinds of plants such as the species Enysinum OrizontaJe and Symphyandra Samothracica.
Near the small village there is a protected coniferous forest of pines (of the endemic species called “thassitika” of the gender Pinus Brutia and “mauropeuka”that are endemic black pines) oak trees and beech trees as well; it is world wide known for the predatory birds that live and reproduce in the said forest. Northwards from the city of Alexandroupoli, and towards Avanta-Aisymi-Kallithea-Dereio, there are dense forests with pines oaks and beeches.
MACEDONIA MOUNTAINOUS TOURISM Photo Gallery
In the region of Rodopi and northwards of the city there are suburban forests of recreation (4 kilometers distant from the center of the town for further information contact: +30 (0) 5310 71 541-2) at the lower latitudes there flourish the pine and the beech, though in the higher altitudes we do find oak trees. The flora of the region is rich enough and we can find many rare kinds of trees and plants, such as nut trees, chest nut trees , oak-hornbeam trees and a great variety of herbs and aromatic plants. The forests of Paterma at the northern part of Komotini are very well known for their natural beauty (journey from Kmotini-Roditis-Gratini-Paterma); the oak and the beech are predominant in the area. Another important and beautiful forest is the forest of Chionorema at the northwest corner of the region as well as the zone of the village Kexros at the northeast of the region (66 kilometers from the city of Komotini, journey from Komotini -Sapes-Nea Santa- Kechros). It is a unique sign of mother nature (protected as well), with small trees, which we could say that could be a natural replica of normal sizes’ forests, the visitor can see there flourishing the rare species of black pine, having a lower height of growth than the one we can normally find in other forests. The forests are located in the area Petrota (south-east of the region, journey Komotini-Maroneia-Krovili-Petrota) in a zone of 2000 hectares.