Hiking in Greece: Rhodope Mountain Range

Hiking in Greece can happen in numerous locations. In North Greece, between Bulgarian borders and Aegean Sea lies a land of legends and fairy tales, hidden in the mist that floats over mountains and lakes, waterfalls and gorges. This unique land is called Rhodope.

According to Greek mythology Rhodope was the daughter of Strymon and sister of Haimos. Rhodope and Haimos fell in love and Evros was born. But they were so arrogant that ventured to call themselves Zeus and Hera.

Their hubris was never forgiven by Gods who decided to punish Rhodope and Haimos by metamorphosing them into the respective mountains.

Through Rhodope’s heart the river Nestos flows sluggishly towards Thracian Sea. During its long journey Nestos sculpts Rhodope’s shape into scenic lakes, deep valleys, steep ridges, impressive gorges. Picturesque rocky landscapes, alpine meadows and lush forests create the perfect scenery for activities like trekking, hiking or mountaineering.

The best way for visitors to enjoy and admire this pastoral beauty is by walking on the same footpaths that once used to be the ancient trade routes that connected central Europe to the Byzantium Empire.

From the highest mountain in east Macedonia and Thrace, Falakro 2.232m altitude to the multicultural highlands of Xanthi, there are hundreds of kilometers of trails that scatter through Rhodope’s massif.

Trekking paths go through Norway spruce forests, oak forests mixed with other deciduous broadleaves, birch forests, Scotch pines and perennial beeches.

Hikers experience a remarkable natural environment rich in fauna and flora like brown bears, wolves, Balkan chamois, deer, birds of prey, rare capercaillies, and variety of orchids, fungi and many more. 60% of the European flora species can be met in Rhodope. 139 bird species and 45 different mammals inhabit here.

There are footpaths for relaxed ramblers or demanding trekkers, for anyone who likes bird watching or just wants to explore nature.

Hiking tours take place during all year round. In winter snowshoeing tours and ski tours are organized for those who prefer snow.

In autumn, when the foliage of the trees reminds Van Gong’s painting, the paths are covered with golden yellow and brown leaves, nature is at its best for someone to ramble.

In spring too or in summer, trekking in greenish trails which lead you to cool waterfalls can be a life time experience.

And as you are standing on a stone made bridge, you would not be mistaken if you think that you overheard a distant flute song or women’s laughter. Don’t forget that you are indeed in Dionysus land where ancient gods and water nymphs are still roaming in the misty mountains of Rhodope.

Check our hiking section for more ideas.

Some hiking in Greece ideas:

  • Nestos Gorge – hike along the river through the gorge on the trail that French mechanics constructed in 1875. (6 hours walking)
  • Virgin Forest Frakto – hiking in one of the most important ecosystems of Europe (6 hours hiking)
  • Preserved Natural Monument of Tsihla – hiking in beech forest and visiting the waterfalls of the area. (4 hours hiking)
  • Mount Falakro – mountain climbing on the mountain Falakro 2.232m altitude (8 hours mountain climbing)
  • Mount Paggaio – hiking upwards the mountain Paggaio along a cool stream which stems from an underground lake in the mountain guts.
  • Platanovrysi Lake – walking on an old trade way along Devil’s stream and then around Platanovrysi lake rich in aquatic birds. (5 hours hiking)
  • Koula’s peaks – hiking in the highlands of the multicultural Xanthi (6 hours hiking)
  • Thassos Island – hiking through perennial plane trees and fragrant junipers upwards the peak Ipsario (5 hours hiking)
  • Winter Falakro or Paggaio Mountain – ski / snowshoeing tour

The hiking in Greece are organized by professional certified Mountain Leaders. The itinerary of each tour can be tailor made to your needs. Rock climbing activities are also possible.

Article provided by Let’s Trek! Contact the organizers through: (+30) 6980211854.

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