Birdwatching and Silk: A Road Trip from the Evros Delta to Soufli

This route along the Greek-Turkey border takes you from key wetlands and forests rich in birdlife to the onetime silk capital of the country.


This route takes you to the country’s most northwestern corner; running parallel with the Greek-Turkey border and the Evros river, it passes through landscapes of rare natural beauty.

 

14km from Alexandroupolis, in the village of Trainoupoli, you will find the Information Center for the Evros Delta, a protected natural ecosystem rich in wildlife. The center organizes tours daily – weather allowing and depending on the number of people (bookings are essential and can be made by calling tel. +30 25510-61000).

The Evros Delta is one of Europe’s most important wetlands and is home to rare species of birds, 46 species of fish, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and over 300 types of plants. At the Information Center you can find out more about the routes you can follow (with or without a guide) either by car or on foot.

Head north towards the forest of Dadia and after 39 easy kilometers you will reach the village of Lefkimmi. There you will find the wood and stone bungalows of the hotel Apolithomeno Dasos (tel. +30 25540-33371, ap-dasos.gr, from 80 euros with breakfast).

Dedicate the next day to the Dadia National Park. Start at the information center in the village of Dadia (tel. +30 25540-32209, daily 08.00-16.00), where you will learn more about the ecosystem and the rare birds of prey that it is home to. Three of Europe’s four species of vulture find food and shelter here, and during your visit to the park you may get the chance to see black vultures, one of the rarest birds of Dadia.

A mini coach run by the Management Body of the national park will take you to the Birds of Prey Observatory. Steep rock formations, streams, dense forests of black pine and oak, butterflies and bats all enrich the fairytale setting.

In the village of Dadia, the taverna Folia tou Pelargou (tel. +30 25540-32481) serves game, meat and pies made with hand-rolled filo pastry. In the same village, the guesthouse Forest Inn (tel. +30 25540-32263, from 75 euros for a double with breakfast) features warm and comfortable rooms and a rich breakfast made with local products.

The last 14 kilometers of the route from Dadia to Soufli, once a major silk-producing town – are equally rewarding, as you will be driving alongside the forest. In the early 20th century nearly all of Soufli’s residents were involved in producing silk, but artificial textiles and technological advances saw the value of silk tumble make this activity unviable. Visit the Silk Museum (Eleftheriou Venizelou 73, Soufli, tel. +30 25540-23700, open daily except for Tuesdays 10.00-17.00) to learn firsthand about the entire process: from cultivating the silkworms, to unwinding the silk thread of their cocoons and creating and dyeing the fabric. Finish off the day with a meal at the taverna Bereket (Vasileos Georgiou 50, Soufli, tel. +30  25540-23233).

The suggested route from the Evros Delta to Soufli is 72 km.



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