Avdira

Modern Avdira (also called Abdera) is a small farming village several kilometers from the coast, and about 20kms (12 miles) south of Xanthi. It also gives its name to the nearest beach, which attracts many Greek visitors in the summer, though few foreign ones as it is rather out of the way – and all the more charming because of it. 

Lake Vistonida

Nearby is Lake Vistonida, and the marshlands around the lake are an important area for wildlife, especially birds such as waders and rare raptors too, like the magnificent sea eagle. There are some observation towers for those who want to study the area’s rich natural history.

Ancient Archaeological Site of Avdira

Near the beach of Avdira is the archaeological site of ancient Avdira (on open access), from which many of the best finds have been taken to be put on display in the Archaeological Museums in Komotíni and Kavála. The site is rather overgrown and requires a little dedication to get the best from it. 

It stands on a small headland, surrounded by the remains of the walls of the acropolis, and there are also the few remnants of a theatre and it is possible to identify a Roman bath-house. Nearby are the foundations of some Roman houses, and the entrance gate to the city also remains, flanked by two towers.

The city, as it was, was founded in about 656 BC by refugees from Klazomenae in Asia Minor, then re-founded in about 500 BC by more refugees, from Persia. It grew into an important member of the Delian League, and was known to be a fair-sized city until at least the 9th century AD, when it was still the site of a bishopric.

Excavations did not begin until 1950, and some valuable items have been unearthed, including in one place some 2000 small votive vases. While the site is not especially attractive or spectacular, for that very reason it does not get crowded and you may well be able to wander over the large remains by yourself. This can be an evocative experience and just as rewarding as visiting more significant sites in the company of hundreds of other visitors.

Avdira, South of Xanthi, in Thrace, Greece

You might like these other Thrace pages...

  • Alexandroupoli in the Thrace region of Greece

    Alexandroupoli is a city in the Thrace region of Greece, in the extreme east of the country, the closest Greek city to the border with Turkey.

  • Northern Greece Guide

    The Bradt Guide to Northern Greece is a detailed guide to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Thrace, The Pelion, The Sporades and the rest of Northern Greece.

  • Xanthi in Thrace, Eastern Greece

    The city of Xanthi in Thrace is a lively university town with several museums, old mansions, and one of the best markets in Thrace.

  • Philippi

    Philippi is an ancient archaeological site near Kavala in East Macedonia and Thrace and is famous for being the place where the apostle St Paul was imprisoned.

  • Macedonia and Thrace

    Macedonia and Thrace are the regions in Greece where travelers will find Thessaloniki, Mount Athos monasteries, Halkidiki and sites like Dion and Pella.

  • Komotini in Thrace, Greece

    Komotini is a town in eastern Thrace in Greece, with many Turkish influences, and it is also home to the Pomak people.

  • Evros Delta National Park in Thrace, Greece

    The Evros Delta National Park is one of the most important wetlands in the whole of Europe, and a magnet for birdwatchers, with nearby accommodation.

  • Dadia Forest Reserve and Ecotourism Centre

    The Dadia Forest in eastern Greece is famous for wildlife, especially birds, with accommodation and information available at the Dadia Ecotourism Centre.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Greek Recovery Funds to Go into Acropolis Upgrade Works

    Twelve projects including upgrade works on the Acropolis have been cleared for funding out of “Greece 2.0” – the country’s recovery plan approved earlier this month. Alternate Finance Minister Theodor…

    Read More

  2. US Keeps Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Due to Delta Variant

    The United States will keep all existing Covid-19 travel restrictions in place due to concerns over the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announce…

    Read More

  3. Chania, in Western Crete

    Chania is the main city in Western Crete with a lovely setting and a beautiful harbour as well as several museums.

    Read More

  4. Cyprus Obliges Travelers from Greece to Undergo Testing Before Arrival

    Greece has been placed on the Covid-19 orange list of Cyprus’ colour-coded country categorization travel system, based on a new epidemiological risk assessment of countries. The new changes come into…

    Read More

  5. Greece’s Indoor Restaurants, Venues Only for the Vaccinated

    Starting Friday, July 16, indoor venues such as restaurants, bars, and theaters will only be accepting vaccinated and seated-only customers until August 31, Development and Investments Minister Adonis…

    Read More

  6. AEGEAN Begins Operation of Seasonal Base on Mykonos

    Greek carrier AEGEAN has started the operation of its seasonal base on Mykonos, aiming to enhance its flagship quality services and improve the connection of the popular Cycladic island with major int…

    Read More

  7. UK Revises Advisory for Greece, Paves Way for Travel

    The UK’s FCDO revised its travel advisory for Greece after announcing on Thursday that as of July 19 travelers from amber-listed countries would not be required to self-isolate upon return.

    Read More

  8. Greece to Launch ‘Covid Pass’ App that Checks Customer ‘Safe’ Status

    Greece said this week that starting July 15, restaurant and F&B business owners would be able to download an application that will check whether the health/vaccination status information provided by c…

    Read More

  9. Authorities Recommend Self-test for Land Travel in Greece

    Travel by road domestically in Greece will not require a negative rapid test but the presentation of a negative self-test is highly recommended, said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias d…

    Read More

  10. Covid-19: Greece Extends Rules for Domestic Flights to the Islands

    The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) has extended the travel rules for passengers of domestic flights traveling from the mainland to the islands, until 6am, on Thursday, July 15.

    Read More