Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

Holy Monastery of Taxiarches (Sipsa) – Adriani – Platania – Paranesti – Holy Monastery of Prasinada - Drama

Taxiarches and the Analipseos Monastery are a 16 minute drive(13km) from Drama, via the Drama – Skaloti provincial road (direction:Sidironero). Telephone: +30 25210 45023 Taxiarches Holy Monastery (Sipsa) The blessed elder Georgios Karslidis (1901-1959), latter day saintof the Saintly Orthodox Church in Greece was the first “resident”and founder of the monastery in the year 1930. There is a flourishingmultitudinous sisterhood of nuns here today, who occupythemselves with the Iconography of handheld pictures, gold embroidery,knitting and waxwork. From Taxiarches, return to Drama and take the Drama – XanthiNational Highway. The historic town of Adriani, known for itsexcellent local wine and tsipouro, is 11km from Drama. A littlefurther on, in Platania, the archaeological trowel has brought tolight artefacts from different eras in the citadel of the settlement,whilst excavations by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki haverevealed significant paleontological findings (rhinoceros, giraffes,gazelles, antelopes and ponies) which testify to the existence of avast nine million year savannah. Just before reaching Paranesti Village (48km from Drama), youcross a bridge over the River Nestos. For the Museum, turn leftand go uphill. Museum of Natural Historyin Paranesti, Drama Here the visitor can find informationabout all the natural attractions in thearea. The museum is interesting forchildren as well as adults, providing awealth of information about geomorphologicfeatures in the area as well asits rich flora and fauna. The three-dimensionalreconstructions of Rhodopehabitats are particularly impressive.Operating hours:Tuesday to Saturday: 8:00-14:30 Sunday: 11:00-14:30Mondays and holidays: closed.Telephone: +30 25240 21010 From Paranesti to the Metamorfoseos SotirosMonastery in Prasinada The route is probably unsuitable for coaches, as flocks of animalsusing the roads are a common occurrence.From Paranesti, go towards Ano Tholo. A point of interest on theway is the former factory “Porsel” 5km from Paranesti. Cross theArkoudorema iron bridge and go past the road on the left leadingto Platanovrisi dam and the Hot Mineral Springs of Thermes.Arkoudorema is on your right. The landscape, with its luxuriantvegetation, has a wild charm of indescribable beauty. Carry on towardsthe villages of Silli and Prasinada. 13km after Paranesti, theroad forks: take the left uphill fork towards Prasinada. You reachthe village after 6km. Prasinada is on your right. Continue straighton to the Holy Monastery of Sotiros Metamorfoseos from wherethe view of the ravine is breathtaking. The monastery was builtrecently on the site of a 5th century Byzantine monastery, whichwas destroyed in the late Byzantine period.Return to Paranesti. You have some excellent options: pathsthrough the rich interesting interior in un-spoilt forests, streamswhich flow into the River Nestos, spectacular waterfalls, artificiallakes and thermal water. The most important paths go to thenorth and east towards the Virgin forest of Fraktos and the waterfalls,north and west towards the River Nestos lake and dams.The trails from the Nestos banks to the slopes of Rhodope arenumerous and fascinating.