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Majestic and green mountains rise along the Northern borders of Greece: the Pangeon, the Belles, the Menoikion are just some of those places of great natural beauty of the region. The many rains and the Mediterranean climate offer to these mountains an abundant and luxuriant flora, a natural treasure! Trails move along streams that flow along the slopes of the mountains, crossed by ancient stone-built bridges. Ancient merchants used to cross the region along these trails to reach for Central Europe and midland Balkans for their business that brought wealth back in their homeland!
Picturesque villages, still conserving the traditional architecture seem to match the natural environment of the mountains of Northern Greece. Here, it is possible to relax and enjoy the calm of the mountain or taste the simple yet tasty local cuisine. Starting from Serres, pleasant little town, we can explore a wide variety of the surroundings: Mount Pangeon, where there were the main gold mines of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. At river Angitis canyon we will discover not only an unexpected landscape, but also the prehistoric carvings on the rock and the cave of Alistrati.
Just outside Serres we are following the ancient trail of the merchants, moving on the stone bridges and crossing abandoned villages, while on the slopes of mount Belles, we will discover a beautiful waterfall and the environment of lake Kerkini, habitat to many species. Finally, one day is dedicated to the city of Thessaloniki, second biggest city of Greece, a lively city with many interesting monuments from different eras and cultures.
Among the most impressive visits of the tour are:
Arrival at Thessaloniki international airport, meeting with the guide and the driver and departure to Serres. Upon arrival at Serres, hotel check-in and day at leisure.
Depending on flight schedule and arrival time, city tour of Serres visiting the byzantine churches and Ottoman monuments, like the famous Zincirli mosque.
Start from hotel in Serres heading for Mesoropi, on the foothills of Mount Pangeon. In the picturesque main square of Mesoropi we leave the bus and take some time for toilet in the kafeneia (caffeterias) around the square. We cross the village and just at the end we meet the sign indicating the path. The path of Mesoropi, leading from the village of Mesoropi to the cave Voskovrysi (Coban Suyu) was formed in 2006 by the Forest Authority of Kavala and now it is a pleasant way, with wooden benches and gazebos, protective fences in dangerous places, stylish wooden bridges and stone steps in places that were rugged and slippery. The path is easy and without orientation problems crosses three times the stream over wooden bridges to arrive at “Pouliana” – a naked hillside full of ferns – over the forest. Whoever does not feel like going further can stop here and turn the same way back towards Mesoropi. The rest, after passing two benches and a wooden hut and having come across the wooden railings on the first left hairpin, we turn northeast continuing uphill for 20, going to the right from the clump of trees that lies ahead in the rightmost point the slope, up to a height of 1,250 m and from here we proceed to reach Voskovrysi.
Approximate distance 10Km, Difference in level approximately 800m.
After breakfast, we leave the hotel in the direction of the Alistrati cave. We can visit the beautiful cave before we start our hike (entrance fee €8,00/person) and after that take some time for a little rest. The path starts just outside the arranged area of the cave and it is divided in two branches, both very easy. The first part will lead us along the river in a rocky landscape, in the middle of which, after an approximately 20 min walk we reach the place of the prehistoric rock carvings, primarily figures of animals.
We follow the same path back and start following the second part of the path, towards the stone bridge of the river Angitis. After crossing the bridge, we follow the easy and even path along the river in the direction of the bridge of Angista. At the end of the path, by the bridge we find a small rest areas where we will also meet the bus waiting to take us back to the hotel.
Approximate distance 11Km, Difference in level approximately 800m.
We leave the city of Serres following the road towards Ano Vrondou village. Approximately 18km from Serres we meet a crossroad with a small trail road leading inside the gorge. We begin descending towards the canyon, where we meet the so-called Devil’s bridge, Diavologefyra. We keep following the flow of the river and cross six more bridges, an old dam and a deserted byzantine village with its looted church still standing. At the end of the trail we reach Timiou Prodromoy monastery, masterpiece of byzantine art and architecture, where we can stop for some rest. From the monastery, the bus will lead us back to the hotel.
Approximate distance 16Km, Difference in level approximately 550m.
From the hotel, we head for Stathmos Mourion village, between the shores of the Kerkini lake and the foothills of imposing Mount Belles. Short stop at the central square of the village and proceed towards the former camping of the local diocese. Here we leave the bus and start following the trail road. After approximately 1,7 miles we reach the kiosk and the rest area. From here we follow the last, easy part of the trail that leads us among the luxuriant vegetation to the waterfall of Belles. Short stop before we follow the same trail back to the bus.
In the afternoon bus ride with stops around lake Kerkini and eventualy at Poroia village to appreciate the wonderful landscapes and traditional local architecture. Late afternoon return to hotel. Waterfall hike:
Approximate distance 6,5Km.
Morning check out from hotel in Serres and depart for Thessaloniki. City tour starting from the complex of the Palace of roman Caesar Galerius. We visit the Rotunda, Galerius’ Arch and main Palace, the churches of Agia Sofia and Agios Demetrios, the roman forum and end in the central market. Check in the hotel and time at leisure. After the city tour, check-in the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Before transfer to the airport for the flight of return, we visit the church of San Demetrius, patron Saint of Thessaloniki. After a brief stop at the picturesque Upper Town, where we can admire a stunning panorama over the entire city and the walls built by emperor Theodosius, we leave towards the airport of Thessaloniki, in time for check-in. End of services.