Located at the eastern edge of Macedonia, the prefecture of Serres in recent years has been making concerted efforts to project its many attractive forms of alternative tourism, both with infrastructure works and numerous promotion campaigns in Greece and abroad.
Serres does not aim to compete with those areas of the country which monopolise the interest of tourists in summer holidays by the sea. However, there is a firm belief that the region can attract the interest of tourists all the year round, with proposals that offer the visitor the chance to combine leisure and entertainment with the acquisition of knowledge, to relax while experiencing the wonders of nature, to enjoy unforgettable holidays while becoming acquainted with the unique history and culture of the region.
Below are brief descriptions of just some of the many attractions of Serres.
Considered by many speleologists to be one of the biggest and most beautiful caves not only in Greece but in all Europe. Here, nature has created a wonderland of passageways, arches, chambers, stalactites and stalagmites.
The cave, which has gentle inclinations, covers an area of 25,000 sq.m. and the underground passages explored so far stretch for 3,000 m. It has a steady temperature of 20C and humidity of 70-75%.
Lying 6 km. SE of the town of Alistratis and just 30 km. SE of Serres, the cave can easily be reached by road or rail.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23240 82045)
AGGITIS RIVER GORGE
A deep, narrow river valley extending for approximately 15 km. with vertical marble slopes towering 70-80 m. high. The river follows a meandering course and in many places the rushing water washes the walls of the gorge. For the bold, the river provides a great opportunity for rafting, while the more laid back can enjoy a unique, awe-inspiring guided walk. The gorge passes just 500 m. from the Alistratis Cave, which makes the area particularly attractive to visitors. For those wishing to walk through the gorge, its starting point is near the village of Symvoli.
(Information for rafting: +30 6944229876)
A wetlands area of enormous importance, protected by the RAMSAR Convention, with a huge variety of vegetation, hundreds of bird species, waters teeming with fish and numerous species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Undoubtedly the richest wetlands in Greece from an ornithological viewpoint, with more than 300 species of birds and the largest colonies of heron, cormorant and other species in the southern Balkans and the most important winter nesting site for the silver pelican in all of Europe. It also has the greatest area of water covered by water-lilies, while around the lake live the greatest number of water-buffalo in Greece (about 500).
Visitors can enjoy guided tours on and around the lake, while the Environment Centre in the village of Kerkini has created a fine infrastructure with observation posts, field glasses, etc. for their use. The lake is located 37 km. north of Serres and can be reached by road and rail.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23270 28004, +30 6944437995)
An area of great archaeological significance, Amfipolis has yielded rich finds (ancient walls, ancient wooden bridge, Roman villa) which evidence its importance throughout the centuries. The recently built Archaeological Museum with some fine exhibits complements the actual sites.
Amfipolis is 55 km. south of Serres near the mouth of the Strymonas river. It is easily reached by road and rail.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23220 32474)
The Lailias Forest lies 25 km. from Serres, high in the Vrontos mountain range. A true shrine to nature's beauty with rich flora and fauna. The forest is ideal for both summer tourism, with its marvellous hiking and footpaths, as well as winter tourism, with its ski centre where local, national and international competitions are held annually.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23210 58783)
The spas of Sidirokastro and Nigrita have modern hotels installations for relaxation, leisure and therapy (rheumatism, etc.). The Sidirokastro spa has two hotels which operate all the year round.
(Sidirokastro Spas, Tel.: +30 23230 22422, Aggistro Spas, Tel.: +30 23230 41150, Nigrita Spas, Tel.: +30 23220 22892)
There are a large number of interesting churches and monasteries throughout the prefecture, some dating back to Byzantine times, with an abundance of relics and icons.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23210 74623, +30 25920 61566)
FOLK ART EVENTS
Serres is proud of its local customs and traditions, which remain very much alive. Throughout the year, a number of fascinating folk festivals and local celebrations are held, which are a truly memorable experience for visitors.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23210 41239 - 88262)
A unique and one of the best in Europe speedway, where many races take place each year for a visitor to watch.
(Information, Tel.: +30 23210 39699)