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Discover Rodopi Sierra of Drama

Discover Rodopi Sierra of Drama, the famous forest of Elatia, the Virgin Forest of Fraktou, Achladorema Waterfalls and Falakro (Bald) Mountain.

Elatia Forest

At a distance of only 60km. from the center of Drama, the visitor of the area meets one of the most beautiful forest complexes in the country, the famous forest of Elatia, whose richness in fauna and flora in the mountains of Central Rodopi is a reference point for the prefecture and northern Greece. Elatia or Karantere is a mountain in Macedonia with a maximum altitude of 1,826 meters (Tsakalos peak).

Discover Rodopi Sierra, Elatia Forest of Drama
Elatia Forest of Drama

It is located in the prefecture of Drama and is part of the mountain range of Central Rodopi. Apart from Tsakalos (altitude 1826m.), Other peaks are: Oxies (altitude 1811m.), Elatia (altitude 1647m.), Bouzala (altitude 1631m.), Pyramid Koutra (altitude 1628m.). ), Zervos (altitude 1578m.), Kalivia Gravani (altitude 1556m.) etc. In Elatia, there is the Forest Village of Elatia, near the top of Pyramid Koutra, at the site of the oldest Sarakatsana named Kalivia Koutra.

There, every year on the 20th of July (of the Prophet Elias) a meeting of Sarakatsana people takes place. The Forest Village is located in the center of the Forest of Elatia. The forest of Elatia is the largest in Greece in area (700 square kilometers), and consists of spruce, pines, cedars, beeches, birches, poplars, maples, oaks, wild roses, etc. In the western part of the mountain, in Magoula, there is the Simidas forest, the only one of its kind in Greece.

In the forest of Elatia and mainly in the Virgin forest, we find conifers unique in their kind, up to 60 meters old, 300 years old, as well as a variety of fauna from hares to brown bears. In 1980 it was declared a protected monument and is considered a European Park. The area is suitable for hiking in dense forest with a variety of vegetation from oak, chestnut, hazelnut and beech.

Virgin Forest of Fraktou

The Virgin Forest is its only country and is considered the most important of its kind in Europe. It was registered as a virgin (area 11,000 acres) in 1979 and immediately in 1980 it was declared a protected natural monument, due to its great phytogeographical, ecological and historical value. It is located at the northeastern end of the prefecture of Drama, below the highest peak of Central Rodopi at 1,953 m.

Discover Rodopi Sierra, Virgin Forest of Fraktou
Virgin Forest of Fraktou

Since then until today it is in a state of absolute protection, since no human activity is allowed except scientific research. It is virgin, because its evolution followed the rules of nature and was not disturbed by man for at least 500 years. Of course, by the word virgin we do not mean that there was no human presence and activity, but that the hitherto mild human effects did not affect the character of the undisturbed forest ecosystem. The form of the virgin differs from the common forests, because in it coexist different species of broadleaves and conifers from young ages and heights to old or dry trees of great height.

The visibility is low due to the dense vegetation, while it is impassable due to the nearby trees. In the virgin the probability of encountering a wild animal is high, because they are found in large populations and are not afraid of our presence, since they are not accustomed to human disturbances. Peripherally of the virgin there is a wider protection zone which together with it is called Fraktos forest. In the peripheral zone, the forest resembles the forests of Central Rhodope and is under partial protection, as grazing and hunting are prohibited, while wood production and forest recreation are allowed. Functional center of the forest is the forest site of Fraktos located 8.5 km before the virgin.

Virgin Forest of Fraktou
Virgin Forest of Fraktou

The area “Vilaora“, southeast of the construction site and at short distances of 3-7 km, is suitable for hiking in clusters of beech, forest pine and oak. Scattered in the area you can find wild roses, rowan, birch. There is a dense network of forest roads in the area. The view from the ridge of the area justifies the name “Vilaora”, as with a clean atmosphere there are endless consecutive ridges. South and lower of the Virgin Forest, below the rock formations, with vegetation mainly broadleaves, many of which are fruitful, is Ahladochori. In the area there are still ruins of old settlements. From here “Achladorema” forms its central riverbed, after collecting the waters of the Virgin Forest from the gutters and the five waterfalls. The three are continuous flow and you can reach them by following the existing paths.

Discover Rodopi Sierra, Achladorema Waterfalls
Achladorema Waterfalls

For the best possible tour and guided tour of the wider area of Fraktos, you can be accommodated at the forest construction site (from July 1 to November 30) after consultation with the Forest Service, thus devoting an entire day to the forest core, the waterfalls of Arkoudorema and Vilaora location.

Falakro (Bald) Mountain

Falakro is a unique mountain in beauty and biodiversity characterized by large alpine areas, steep cliffs and dense forests, defining the landscape and wildlife in the east of Macedonia. At an altitude of 2,232 meters, Falakro dominates with its volume in the northern part of the Prefecture of Drama. It is one of the most beautiful mountains of Greek nature, because despite its name, which is due to its characteristic peak, it is not only bare.

Discover Rodopi Sierra, Falakro (Bald) Mountain
Falakro (Bald) Mountain

At lower altitudes, dense oak, beech and coniferous forests dominate. Above the trees, in the alpine Zone, the visitor is surprised by the great variety of wildflowers. No one is disappointed with a visit to Falakro. The simple hiker will discover friendly slopes and gentle trails, such as the famous E6, that will make him feel the joy of returning to nature. Climbers and adventure people will feel the intense challenge, to test their endurance and skills on the very high and steep slopes. At the foot of Falakro are the picturesque villages of Volakas, Pyrgi and Granitis with their special cultural identity, the traditional environment and the wonderful local cuisine. Falakro always remains friendly and accessible to the visitor, since at any time of the year, the car can reach, after an excellent route, up to 1750 meters. There, sheltered in the arms of its high peaks, is a very well organized ski resort, which “comes to life” every year for at least five months. Thousands of ski lovers come to enjoy the famous snow for its quality, which lasts from the end of November to April.

Falakro (Bald) Mountain
Falakro (Bald) Mountain

Every season of the year Falakro presents a different fascinating picture. Thousands of wildflowers adorn its slopes in spring, while in autumn the foliage of the trees captures the warmest colors of nature. As winter comes and the cycle of nature completes, a vast white silence covers peaks, slopes, trees and paths. As Falakro is presented before our eyes, it is the imposing symbol of the prefecture of Drama, this place of our country, where Nature is always at its best.

 

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