Although written off in some books about Greece as being mainly a military base, Alexandroupoli is in fact a very pleasant seaside resort with a long promenade and a long stretch of sandy beach. It is very much a family resort, and the beach has lots of facilities for children, as well as water-skiing, parascending and other watersports for the adults.
Narrow Old Town Streets
Beyond the promenade is the old part of the town, a warren of narrow streets with a delightful mix of workshops, junk shops, food stores, souvenir shops, bars and several good restaurants and cafés. In the evening the promenade fills with Greeks – locals and visitors alike – doing their evening volta, or parade up and down, prior to eating and drinking. It is a lovely sight, when you will see grandparents walking hand-in-hand with tiny grandchildren, and groups of girls and boys taking the chance to eye each other.
The Alexandroupoli Lighthouse
Also on the promenade is the town’s most notable sight, its lighthouse, which was built in 1800 and is illuminated at night to add to the atmosphere. Alexandroupoli is a port as well, with ferries to the North-ast Aegean Islands and as far south as Rhodes and Kos in the Dodecanese. It is also the closest town to the Turkish border (about 45kms/28 miles by road), and has rail links with Istanbul in Turkey, Sofia in Bulgaria, and with Athens via Thessaloniki.
Despite these links the town is not as multi-cultural as Komotini or Xanthi, as it only expanded in 1878 during the Russian-Turkish war when the Russians turned it into a purpose-built modern city. It was known then by its Turkish name of Dedeagac, which it had had since the 15th century, when it was merely a small and insignificant fishing village. It only acquired its modern name in 1919 after the then Greek King, Alexandros. It still is a military base, and you will certainly see soldiers in the streets, but it is much more pleasant than that limited description implies.
The city of Xanthi in Thrace in eastern Greece is a lively university town with several museums, old mansions, one of the best markets in Thrace, and a population of indigenous Pomaks.
The island of Lesbos or Lesvos is in the North East Aegean Islands in Greece, and on this page from the Greece Travel Secrets website you can also see information including flights and ferries.
The island of Thassos is in the North East Aegean in Greece, and on this page from the Greece Travel Secrets website you can also see information about flights and ferries to Thassos.
If you're going to Corfu take a look at our travel guide for the Kindle: Corfu and Beyond. This is what one US 5-star review said: 'Just back from our trip to Corfu and this was by far the most helpful of the travel guides we read.'
Click on the cover to go to the Amazon UK page for the book. Click here if you want the Amazon USA site.
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