Περιφερειακή Ενότητα Δράμας

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Through the paths of history and nature



The whole prefecture is a challenge for exploration. Mount Falakro dominates all over bouno10falakrothe prefecture. Leaving Drama from the west and passing Prosotsani village, we meet the «gate» that leads to Nevrokopi Basin. Following the bed of a stream, we approach the coldest town of Greece, Kato Nevrokopi and the northern borders with Bulgaria.
Our destination is Granitis, which consists of the old residence - built in the riverbed Granitis - and the newmonopatigranitis 8 residence that was developed on the road Drama – Exochi Customhouse. Today, it looks like a stream, because its waters are gathered for exploitation.
Our trip starts from the central square of the village, which is located on the road. We follow the path that is on the left and leads to the old residence.
Our course is to the left, alongside the stream, which formerly played an important role for the development of the village and its waters were used for irrigation and the operation of watermills. Three mills existed along the stream. The corpse of Karatzas mill (450m from the start), is on our left, drogranitisdramas7wned in vegetation. On the right, there is the information sign for the environmental trail, which was created and organized by the Forestry of Kato Nevrokopi.
We continue our trip on a smooth, earthen road through the lush vegetation, which begins to get off and the horizon to appear. The water is drinkable and useful for the rest of our journey. Despite the fact that the road continues straight ahead, we turn right, where we meet another earthen road with some stone on the left side. Here, begins the most difficult part of the journey, as the field is full of stones and we need to do continuous maneuvers to avoid them.monopatigranitis 7 Furthermore, it is uphill with average slope of about 7% and in some small parts even bigger. At the beginning, the vegetation is bushy and we can make out low masonry, which previously determined the borders of the fields.
On the east, we see mountain range of Falakro. It is about a mount that was created by nature millions years ago. As you ascend, the vegetation becomes denser and taller. The soil becomes softer and without many stones. In some places through the dense foliage, we distinguish points of the settlement and we can also hear monopatigranitis 3noises from the main highway. During the journey, we see various obscure earthen roads of different directions. Most of them lead to old mines and other kind of mines (metal). Some of them remain from the ancient times.
As we approach the end of the climb, the vegetation is less and we reach a plateau with panoramic view (8,2km far from the starting point). Following the same direction we see, so close, Perithori village, Kato Vrontou and on the other side, in Serres prefecture, Ano Vrontou.
We go through a forest with tall beeches (8,5km far from the start). The trail continues straight ahead, as we pass the first monopatigranitis 2gully. We follow the path that goes right across the slope and plunges into the gorge that we just passed. Going down, we reach a location, where only one beech tree exists and not so far, some others grow around it (approximately 8,9km far from the starting point). For us, it is a short stop, as our route becomes more difficult and demanding. The slope is growing and it is a great opportunity, not only for walkers to experience their balance, but also for cyclists to check their brakes and their abilities downhill. This section of the route is called by the locals «Glistra», because, when they cut the forest trees, from this place, they threw the cut trees, in order to get a lower point and then, having the mules, to get them out, on the road... Slipping on the «floor» (surface) of the forest, we suddenly come out on a well built path. We turn right and come across with an information sign, relevant to our entrance to the environmental path (9,7km far from the start).


The environmental path was designed and implemented by the Forestry of Kato Nevrokopi. It aims to highlight a particular area of ​​the natural monopatigranitis 10environment of Granitis and - with the biodiversity that presents - to become a pole of attraction for the acquaintance with flora and fauna of the place. The biggest part of it is paved with gravel, so there is no problem with mud. Wooden steps make the descent smoother and labels help us to get know the animals of the forest. There are information signs to get know about the species of the trees, such as the oak, beech, maple, vitiligo, tremusa, the fir tree, fraxos, dogwood withgranitisdramas red berries in autumn, ,wild pear tree and gortsia with small hard fruit, wild filbert tree with small hazelnuts the period of fruiting, wild apple tree and chestnut. On the way, it deserves to deviate and see the perennial chestnut trees of the forest. One admires their size and their trunks that depict their lives - their heavy winters with lots of snow, lightning, disease, scratches from insects, etc. Wild fruit trees are remnants of earlier cultivation of the people who lived on the slope. These, over the years were abandoned, but the trees continued to produce and get reproduced. Binder plants, between the trunks of trees and soil, are ivy and vines. Their foliage, create a kind of curtains that cover what the forest hides from us. Wild roses accompany us in many parts of the route - the brambles do the same, too. Koufoxylia with small pink - purple flowers is there, too. Juniper and kraetagos claim their own space. Lower, on the monopatigranitis 5surface of the soil, we find wild strawberry, pentanevro and polytrichi, in wet rocks. Fteri, with its green small leaves, creates a thick quilt. Flower bells, kentavries, crocus, salvies and etc, give color over the green landscape. Especially in spring, the color contrast is great. The forest can feed us. So, if you run into fruiting season in it, it deserves to taste the fruit, which are offered to you generously. However, we should pay attention to mushrooms and fruit of ivy.
Despite the fact that we may move carefully along the path, we do not encounter birds, but we hear them chirping... Hoopoe with its crest and woodpecker appear, hitting with their beaks on the tree trunks. Tsichla appears, too, with quick nervous flying. The monopatigranitis11turtledove is a kind of a platform on the trees, melissofagos (a bird which eats bees), has a soft chirrup call, the quail that we rarely see, but often hear, the social and intelligent crow, the cuckoo that is hidden in very tall trees and from April starts singing, saini, whose silhouette resembles with the falcon’s one and kirkinezi that looks elegant with its pointed wings, the narrow tail and close the quick flutter – all the above mentioned species are the identified birds. According to the wolf, it appears in the winter months, especially during the snowy periods. Boar leaves traces of its passage and finds a variety of food in the forest. Badgers, weasels and ferrets are granitisdrama10very common species in the area. On rainy days, we meet salamanders. They have flexible black body with yellow spots along their trunk and tail. The forest turns into a magic place, during the spring and summer months with the appearance of butterflies.

Our senses are awakened and we descend more and more towards the village. Suddenly, we see a church, just in front of us (10,7km far from the start). It is dedicated to Virgin Mary’s Assumption. The door is always opened tooikismosgraniti 12receive visitors. It is attentive, with a clean yard. It provides a small wooden gazebo for getting some rest and a quick meal. The view of Granitis is in front of us.
The environmental path continues behind the Church to reach the dirt road from where we started our journey home and its output is opposite the watermill Karatzas. We do not continue on the environmental path, but we descend the concrete road, opened by on the left. Then, we turn right on the earthen road that we encounter and go forward to the Church of the old town (11km far from the start). The old settlement of Granitis is extended on the left and ahead.
The Chuekklisiataksiarxon 2rch is dedicated to the Archangels Gabriel and Michael. It is one of many churches that were built in the area, during the last years of the 19th century.
Dwellers prepare the Church, when Archangels celebrate on 8th of November. Leaving the courtyard of the Church we see, right across, a narrow alley and we follow it. It passes between the fence of a courtyard and a garden fence. We approach the stream, with lush vegetation around. We find a bridge that passes us on the opposite bank (11,1km far from the start). It does not present any particular architecture. It is arched and low. We turn left and go out on the road, down from the main square at the start of our journey. We do not follow it, but we continue straight ahead, entering an earthen road. It is notable that throughout the network of earthen roads - that exist in the village – we stand out crushed black white and green stones. These are «kalderimia» (streets) that were paved with granite stone from the old quarry.


Continuing our way, we find on the right, another old spring on the left bank and we see renovated old houses. We follow the old road that is between the stream and the current monopatigranitis 1asphalted road. The undergrowth of weeds and flowers - that is right and left of the path – it takes us back close to nature. If we observe more carefully, we will identify multitude of herbs - such as mallow, clover, mint, fennel, wild, etc – which is like a botanical garden. Thousands of butterflies visit this «garden» from spring to autumn. A survey indicated that there are endemic species of butterfly – something that makes Granitis to acquire special environmental interest.
We arrive at the camps of Holy Metropolis of Drama (12,1km far from the start). On the right is the new way. Turn left. There is a sign to inform you that the path leads to the top of Agios (Saint) Pavlos. The road is paved now. A stream with running water and lush vegetation makes the place dreamful. Small plateau with grass or cyclamen and crocuses or wild strawberries - depending on the season – look like a human hand has planted and take care them. Locals call the area Kryoneri (cold water), because there oikismosgraniti20are available springs. This elaborate road, reaches to a distrato (double road) - (13km far from the start). We can go on the left road and take the path that leads to the top of St. Pavlos, while the right, leads to a cobbled stone building. «Fans» of mountain peaks following the left, earthen road, discover the faded markings of the trail. Traversing them through a dense beech forest, the trail leads to a glade. Glades are large lush meadows with wildflowers and if we cross them, they lead us back in beech forest, to reach, finally, a pass that leads them to the ridge. The ascent of the ridge is the way to the top. The Church of St. Pavlos - at 1,770m altitude - and the spectacular views in all directions – on the east Falakro Mount, north Kato Nevrokopi basin and Orvilos, south Menikio and southeast the plain of Drama and Paggeo Mount- is the hiking – climber’s reward.
In distrato (the double road), we follow the rightoikismosgraniti 7 direction, which leads us to an abandoned building, sanatorium, as the locals call it. The lush vegetation is very attractive again. Beeches and firs cover the whole place. The humidity has helped, so there are plants everywhere. The ivy climbs on the trees and walls, creating veils in shades of green.
The tall vegetation disappears and we find bushes. We stand out, in some roadside, stone masonry. As we descend, we approach the basin. In front of us, the west side is opened and in the background, stands out Orvilos Mount. We see the first protection works, an anti-tank wall on one side and a pit on the other.


On the left, is Ochyro village along with the hill – we stand out on it, Fortifications of Lisse.
Our trip continues to move at the base of thoikismosgraniti 15e hill, as we steadily go down the winding road. The earthen road we followed till now, meets the old asphalted one, which has been abandoned now. New antitank projects and a guardhouse, constantly emphasize that we are close to the border (approximately 17,7km far from the starting point).
The vegetation begins to thicken again, as we enter the opening passage of Nevrokopi basin Drama. The drive is gently uphill, but without difficulties. The road is dirt sometimes and sometimes with asphalt. Moving a few meters further, we find a small shrine. Here, is a local tradition, mentioning the existence of a «Byzantine path». There are some points lost in vegetation and gorges and on the current forest road, where an observant eye can distinguish remnants of a paved path and a built masonry side. Continuing on the right, there is the chapel of St. Georgios and the camp entrance of Metropolis. (20,4km far from the starting point). We go out of the road. We can safely return to the village, following the route through the «botanical garden». However, if we move carefully along the asphalted road, we come back to the village square.