3 experiences in Xanthi to enjoy its natural beauty

Livaditis Waterfall

Forests, waterfalls and rich ecosystems in a beautiful corner of Greece

The city of Xanthi is one of the destinations that those who visit it are fascinated by and seek to visit again. However, it is not only its architectural and culinary value that makes it special. Not far from the city, unique landscapes of natural beauty unfold. Forests, waters and paths are definitely must-sees on the list of every nature lover who can't get enough of exploring.

Here are three stops that will unlock the beauty of Thracian nature:

Haidou Forest

Haidou Forest
Haidou Forest

In the most remote area of ​​our country, on the border with Bulgaria and the Rhodope mountain range, there is a forest of fantastic beauty. The Haidou forest to the north of Stavroupoli is a spectacular flora and fauna—two forests and a waterfall will delight your eyes and ears.

It is covered for the most part by huge centuries-old beeches and a multitude of other trees, but the humble yellow lily that is found in the mountains of the area wins the impression.

The presence of animals is equally exuberant as they find shelter there from bears and wolves to deer. A part of the Haidou forest, with continuous stands of beech, has been declared a Natural Monument and designated a protected area.

Access is through the village of Erymanthos, which can be the starting point for endless hikes under the towering trees of 30 metres in height.

Stavroupoli – Livaditis Waterfall

Livaditis Waterfall Xanthi
Livaditis Waterfall

Although unknown to many, it is the largest waterfall in the entire Balkans. It is located outside the village of Livaditis at an altitude of 1,300 metres and is relatively easily reached by a dirt road in a forest of amazing beauty made of beech, maple and other centuries-old trees.

The closer the visitor gets to the waterfall, the more intense its formidable sound presence becomes. An even more powerful image is when one stands at its base and sees the water falling from a height of almost 60 metres.

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If you manage to take your eyes off it, you will enjoy a beautiful virgin forest, especially in autumn, where the fallen leaves and bright colours are literally dizzying. Those, however, who arrive after it is very cold in winter will see the waterfall frozen in a setting straight out of a fairy tale.

Koja-Orman Forest

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Koja-Orman Forest

One of the most beautiful forests of our country, which grows on the banks of Nestos, has lush vegetation that, in some places, strongly reminds us of the Amazon jungle. Its name remains today in Turkish and means "Great Forest", and references to it are made even from antiquity.

Towering trees of poplars, maples, and the rare wild lilacs, together with a multitude of wild animals, create a precious ecosystem that is one of the most well-preserved that exists in Greece.

Access to this wonderful forest is mainly through Kavala, and from Keramoti and the Delta Nestos information centre, a well-marked and easy one-hour hiking route begins, which reveals to the visitor the beauty of the forest in all its glory.

Panagiotis Tritari is a columnist for Travel

READ MORE: From Samarina to Florina – A mountainous weekend in Western Macedonia.

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This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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