At Europe’s borders: Evros delta

The Evros is perhaps the less touristy area of Greece, although it is an obliged passage for getting into Turkey and even though, at least one third of Greek male population have spent there from a few weeks to several months … and not to enjoy nature!

evros_autostradaGreece, Thrace, river Evros (Maritsa or Meric)
The borders with Turkey are a delicate area. Although in theory the risk of an invasion is rather ridiculous and the tension of the past, with its deployment of military forces, has faded, in reality this small piece of land remains a problem, having become one of the favorite passages for illegal immigrants and smugglers to enter Europe. The fact that the boundary itself is merely the bed of the river Evros, makes it extremely difficult to control the passage and the minefields and patrols did not succeed much in deterring those who think they came to find a better future in the West. Nowadays, with the construction of a separation wall, things should improve, but it is still too early to draw conclusions.

Greece, Thrace, river Evros delta, restricted area (borders with Turkey)

For nature lovers Evros delta is a stop which, depending on the season, can be very rewarding. Indeed, it is the permanent home of many species of birds, some of them very rare. Just think that of the 422 species of birds recorded on the Greek territory, 316 can be encountered in the delta. What remains unexplainable is how is it that hunting is permitted in this natural park …bah …

evros_delta_06Greece, Thrace, river Evros delta. Flamingos in Nimfon salt lake
Greece, Thrace, river Evros delta. Wetlands burnt dowm by cattle-breedersGreece, Thrace, river Evros deltaGreece, Thrace, river Evros delta. Drana salt lake

The roads are unpaved, but in decent condition, the motorhome will deal with them without problems. For those unwilling to venture alone, the center Evros Delta organizes training with their minibuses and boat trips to the lagoon for bird-watching. Their offices are near the Baths of Traianoupoli.
[GPS: N 40.865783, E 26.031728 ]

Greece, Thrace, river Evros delta. Flat bottomed riverboats (plava)Greece, Thrace, river Evros delta. Flat bottomed riverboats (plava)

Near the Egnatia road there is not much more to see, apart maybe from the twelfth century’s church of Feres. (see photo below). For those who would like to make a stopover in this area, my advice is to avoid isolated places, illegal immigrants, smugglers and patrols could make it a noisy night! Best places are: Alexandroupoli, in the parking lot of the port, anywhere in Feres town, or even at Kipoi in the parking lot of frontier with Turkey.

Archaeological remains of Traianoupoli.

evros_alexandroupoli_faroThe lighthouse of Alexandroupoli.
Landmark of the city.
evros_doriskosBell tower of the church of St. Demetrius
in Doriskos. Seventeenth century.
evros_feresPanagia Kosmosotira in Feres
Twelfth century.

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