Greece Holidays around Komotini Town. It is also the seat of Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region and a transport interchange. During the Turkish occupation, Goumoultzina or Gkoumourtzina (as Komotini was known at the time) was the most important settlement of the region and became very prosperous.
During the second half of the 19th century it became major agricultural and breeding center of the area. It was liberated in 1913, but did not join Greece unitl May 1920 with the signature of the Treaty of Sevres. A great number of refugees settled in Komotini in 1922-1923. In the modern town the Christian and Muslim communities co-exist in peace as far as culture and every day habits are concerned. It is located 795 km NE of Athens and 281 km NE of Thessaloniki.
In Thracian cuisine, you’ll notice the heady aromas of cumin and paprika. And you’ll taste them in local sausages and preserved meats like pastourma. Keep a look out for kouskousi, similar to Moroccan couscous, which you can buy from the Thracian Women’s Cooperative, pickled cabbage in pies and with meat, as well as lamb with rice, a shepherds’ dish. Komotini is famous for its roasted chickpeas, a popular snack; pastelli (sesame bars) and soutzouk loukoum, gummy ‘sausages’ of Turkish delight; and sweets made with tahini, sesame paste.
Greece Holidays around Komotini Town
You’ll find excellent fish and seafood in tavernas and fine restaurants at Alexandroupoli and other coastal towns and farmed game at many inland eateries, such as Pentalofo near Evros. There’s even an all-organic restaurant at Prangi, Evros. Xanthi’s treats are wide-ranging, spanning both the Anatolian and mainstream Greek kitchen.
Thrace: Nine picture-perfect sights
1. Komotini: Make a point of walking through the bazaar of Komotini – half-Anatolian, half-Western – and the narrow lanes behind Orpheus Street, where old trades are still practised.
2. Xanthi: The old town of Xanthi. Aristocratic tobacco mansions, a pretty riverside and a Muslim quarter with labyrinthine streets and typical Balkan architecture.
3. Alexandroupoli: The lighthouse, Alexandroupoli’s emblem, welcomes visitors from Asia to their first city in Europe.
4. The Evros Delta: 200,000 sq m of incomparable value, home to 316 of the 420 bird species found in Greece.
5. Agios Nikolaos -Porto Lagos: A lovely church set on an islet in the middle of the lake.
6. Lake Vistonida: More than 300 species of birds live in this unique ecosystem.
7. Didymoteicho: It may be small but it has significant sights: Visit the twin Byzantine walls and its enormous mosque, the oldest on European soil.
8. The Pomak Villages: In this special corner of Thrace, the unsurpassed wild, natural beauty borders with Bulgaria. Fifty isolated settlements with their own identity, many of them close to Xanthi.
9. Haidous Forest: The Haidous forest in the Rhodope Mountains, an earthly paradise with beeches 30m high threatening the sky.