A folk festival or rather a big family gathering would best describe the yearly event called Philoxenia.
The meeting with the friendly, happy, tourist guides, was a good start to learn and get to know another chapter of Greece: a region called Serres.
On our arival in restaurant "AKROPOLIS" - Touristiko Periptero,
we where greeted with music, tsastsiki,scordalia,souvlaki,
kalamari and wines from the region. I realized right away,
I was at the right place at the right time.
We started our journey in the morning to a nature reserve called Kerkini. It is a man made lake or reservoir fed by the river Strymonas kept and preserved in it's natural state any passionate nature lover will wonder at the multitude of animal life, flora and fauna. But it did not last long, our tranquility.
On the border with Bulgaria, we where confronted with a recent capital of Greece's history. Fort Roupel a bastion made famous for it's defense against the German army in WW2. We crawled through under ground tunnels, left intact the way they where, accompanied by a Greek army officer which really brought home the feeling of what the Greeks endured during the war. After this eye opening experience we went to another "front" the thermal springs of Sideroskastro. In the hotel Siderokastro we found a experienced team of professionals there to help and aid in any way against diverse pains and aches of the tourist.
On returning to Serres, we traveled through Siderescastro.
Do not miss the chance to experience the regional cuisine.
A visit to the historical museum will be a wonderful end of the excursion.
Visit to the monastery St. John Prodromos: It is a monastery, build like a fortress, in 1270 and is also the place where the last orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople is buried. Tours are guided by nuns that also oversee the upkeep of this site.
Important tip: Do not take pictures of the nuns, and dress appropriate, this applies to all religious places in Greece.
Fascinating caves: It has only been a few years, since the gigantic
Cave of Alistrati was discovered and made accessible to tourists (including wheelchair). It is an experience you should not miss. The beauty of these caves will awe you.
Within a short distance you will see the Agitis river flowing through the Alistrati canyon. 400 bc, King Philippos, father of Alexander the Great, enlarged this massive canyon for strategic reason and today it is a paradise for white water Rafting and Kayaking.
Your cultural hunger should be stilled by now, but to satisfy you hunger for fresh fish, that is best done near the village of Kerdillia, directly on the see, in a romantic fish restaurant.
The museum of Amphipolis hosts many relics of past eras.
We calebrated our departure with our Greek friends with a supper of Souvlaki, (traditional Greek fast food), which made saying farewell somewhat easier.
Breathtaking: A ethnic dance group.
hiking, mountain climbing
Bicycle tours are readily available in many places in Serres.
Horseback riding, guided tours and riding lessons are offered by diverse stables.
Tennis is available at select hotels.
Serres (GR) Motorsport:
Formula 3-standard circuit
Many organized tours are available and offered by diverse tourist organisation.
The highly qualified guides from www.Kinissi Tour Operator
are there to guarantee a memorable vacation.
(Unfortunately the site
is only in Greek).
With the friendly support of the Greek center for tourism in Austria.
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