The most popular and impressive carnival in Northern Greece is organized each year in the city of Xanthi.
It began in 1966, and today has evolved into a full-blown festival in which visitors from all over Greece take part. The epicenter of the celebration is the central square of the city.
The events last an entire week and their peak is on the last Sunday of Carnival, when, with a traditional and at the same time phantasmagoric atmosphere, they burn the Czar (an efigee). During the whole celebratory week, Xanthi invites her residents and visitors to revel in the intense beat of entertainment and dancing in the city, a city does not appear to have sacrificed any of its natural beauty and its neoclassical face on the altar of modern-day living.
The old city of Xanthi still resembles the city of 1830, when it began to be built. The little alleys, the neoclassical houses, the traditional cafes, and the picturesque meze restaurants will put you in the mood to consume most of your free time in these enjoyable pursuits. At the center of the old city there is a local folk-art museum, which is itself an excellent example of Thracian architecture. It is built in neoclassical style and has decorated walls and a ceiling with impressive designs.
The little communities called “mahala” were the main characteristic of cities that were, at one time, under Turkish rule. Christians, Muslims, and Pomaks were accustomed to live in organized settlements around their respective religious center (church or mosque). The Turkish and Pomak community holds onto its authentic color even today, and is not to be missed by visitors to Xanthi.
A few kilometers before you arrive in Xanthi, you will come upon the river Nestos, which will entrance you with its beauty. This green place will draw your attention and you will want to stop to enjoy the area. On the bank of the Nestos river, you will find traditional tavernas for a relaxing meal in perfect tranquility.
How to get there: There are many alternative ways to get to Xanthi.
|By bus:||KTEL has frequent buses.||Athens tel.: 210.5132084 – Xanthi tel.: 2310.22740.||N/A|
|By rail:||on OSE rail||tel.: 210.5297777||url:http://www.ose.gr|
|By air:||Olympic Airlines||Chrysoupolis airport tel.: 25910.53333||url: http://www.olympic-airlines.gr|
|By car:||Xanthi is two hours from Thessaloniki.|