Drama is one of the richest natural environments in Greece. In the highlands there are some of the most important mountainous ecosystems with dense forests, like the unique Virgin Forest, natural springs, rare flora and fauna, subalpine meadows, rivers, caves, waterfalls, and artificial lakes.
Where is Drama Greece?
Drama is part of East Macedonia and Thrace in Northern Greece. Its capital is the town of Drama. It is the northernmost unit within the geographical region of Macedonia and the westernmost in the administrative region of East Macedonia and Thrace. The northern border with Bulgaria is formed by the Rhodope Mountains.
Map of Drama in Central Macedonia
What is Drama Greece known for?
Drama is one of the richest, in terms of natural environment, territories in Greece. In the highlands there are some of the most important mountainous ecosystems in Greece. Dense forests, among which is the unique Virgin Forest, natural springs, rare flora and fauna, subalpine meadows, rivers, caves, waterfalls, and artificial lakes.
In the prefecture of Drama 5 sites are protected under national and European law:
- Simida Forest, the southernmost point where beech trees form forests in Europe (NATURA 2000 site)
- Virgin Forest of central Rodopi, which is an undisturbed natural ecosystem (Preservable Monument of Nature and NATURA 2000 site)
- Fraktos Forest
- Elatia Forests at the central Rodopi range, which is the southernmost point of geographical spread of Norway spruce in Europe (NATURA 2000 site)
- The peaks of Mount Falakro (meaning: Bald) with its rare and endemic species (NATURA 2000 site)
What to see in Drama?
Lisse Fort Museum is a fascinating museum in Nevrokopi. The museum stands as a memorial and a tribute to solidarity and sympathy with the families who died in this battle (on both sides). The museum exhibits firearms belonging to the Greek and German armies, uniforms and personal belongings of soldiers and officers, and a 1941 map of the Battle of the Forts. Fort Lisse is located close to the village of Ochyro, 2 km from the town of Nevrokopi. Read more
Ancient city of Philippi – on the UNESCO World Heritage List is located 21 km southeast of Drama town. Named after Philip II, King of Macedonia, who fortified the city in 360 B.C. Earthquakes, Turkish conquest, and Slav raids left the place in ruins, and archaeological excavations beginning in 1914 continue till this day. The ancient theatre is a popular local attraction still in use during the summer months for concerts and performances.
Aggatis River Cave – is located 23 km northwest of Drama town, 80 metres underground. The 20-million-years-old cave was discovered in 1978. The stone tools and animal bones found in the cave date the first human presence to the Middle Paleolithic period, approx. 50,000 years ago. You can see this stunning cave from the 500 m lamp-lit walkway (built in the 1990s) and admire stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Drama Greece – Things to do
The prefecture of Drama is perfect for many activities besides skiing at Falakro Skiing Center. The area is ideal for trekking both in the lowlands and the highlands, mountain biking, off-roading, climbing and ice climbing, rafting, and canoeing on the rivers, hang-gliding and even bungee jumping. Read more
Rodopi Mountains National Park
If you love hiking and trekking in nature you will need a week or more to discover the many charms of Rodopi Mountains National Park. 70% of Drama region is covered by the mountain range of Rodopi. You can hike through part of the European E6 trail and enjoy the lush green mountains covered in trees and hiding waterfalls. You may also try canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking. Paragliders and hanggliders will find two great spots from which to launch from Aiolos with trainers, at Kedros (1200 m) and at Korylovos (500 m).
Ever since 2007 the “Virgin Forest Trail” races have been taking place here. Runners from around the world are participating. There are two events taking place: 30 km of mountain running and the “Rodopi Ultra Trail” of 100 km.
Hiking in the forested mountains
The forest of Frakto is located on the northeastern edge of the Prefecture of Drama below the highest peak of Central Rodopi at 1,953 m. It has been characterized as a virgin forest and is the only such forest in the country and considered one of the most important of its kind in Europe.
The Gorge of Petrousa – Pirgi begins north of the village of Pirgi ending in Petrousa. With a length of more than 10 km it is an obvious attraction for nature lovers -hikers, who can cross the bottom of vertical cliffs, in a stunning natural beauty. The slopes of the gorge host colorful wildflowers, durable xerophyte, and interesting arborescent vegetation. Furthermore, the gorge is a refuge for many species of wildlife. Take in some birdwatching, you will find woodpeckers, cuckoos, and golden eagles, as well as wildlife-watching, like wild boars, brown bears, red deer, the endangered Balkan chamois and otters in Nestos River.
Skiing in Drama
Falakro Ski Center operates with these facilities:
- 3 lifts
- 1 four-seater air chair
- 1 air two-seater
- 3 babylifts
- 21 ski tracks
- 1 track snowmobile
- 3 chalets – Two of the chalets are at the base of the ski resort and one to end the four-seater chair, with panoramic views at an altitude of 2110m. In one of the chalets at the base of the center, you will find a restaurant, the chalet meets the needs of 80 people to stay overnight. The third chalet is in the end the four-seater chair at an altitude of 2100 meters with panoramic views across the region. There the visitor can enjoy a drink and admire the rare climbing slopes, the Nestos river, villages and settlements in neighboring Bulgaria, the edges of Western Rhodopes with Greek villages, the gorge of Towers and the plain of Drama, and a panoramic view of the ski resort.
- Focal points
- Points of sale and rental of skiing equipment with ski schools
River rafting on Nestos and Aggitis rivers
River Nestos, with a total length of 234 km, (its spring in Bulgaria) runs through almost the entire prefecture of Drama. It enters the Greek territory at the borders in the municipality of Kato Nevrokopi, then runs through Paranesti and into Thrace to end its flow in the Aegean Sea. Much shorter (40 km), but not less important in the prefecture of Drama, is the river of Aggitis. It is in the regions of Serres and Drama. River Aggitis is an important tributary of the Strymonas, and an important playground for different extreme sports, including rafting.
The beautiful cave of Aggitis is 21 km long. A short distance from the cave is the gorge of the river Aggitis, 15 km in length and depth that reaches 100 m down to the riverbed.
The unique microclimate of Drama (semi-continental rather than Mediterranean) combined with its position just south of the Rodopi mountain range (and thus protected by the cold northern winds) makes it a great spot for growing wine and a must-visit for oenologists. The wines from Drama are renowned in all of Greece and exported to the whole world. During the last years Drama has started an annual festival celebrating Dionysus, the god of wine. It is named Dramoinognosia where you can enjoy wine-tasting, food, music, and dance for four days in June.
Many international grapes are grown in the region of Drama, assyrtiko being the most popular local wine.
In the region of Drama there are 6 wineries open to the public, and many of them are worth a visit.
- Oenogenesis – beautiful buildings in the grand Macedonian architecture
- Château Nico Lazaridi – includes an art gallery within its estate to a display of its wine labels.
- Wine Art Estate – a small boutique winery in the village of Mikrohchori has more than 100 international medals.
- Domain Costa Lazardi – winery and distillery, producing tsipouro in Adriani. Tsipouro is a Greek grappa, similar in taste to ouzo. It is extracted from grape skin and therefore healthier than ouzo.
Tip: In the village of Kokkinogeia you can find some delicious liqueurs made from “krana”, which are cranberry-like fruits rich in antioxidants grown in the mountains. Together with plums or pomegranate they are for sale at the Women’s Cooporative in the village.
Drama Old Town and Agia Varvara
Walking around the old town of Drama you will discover a charming mix of old and new, slightly influenced by north European architecture. The town has been influenced from various cultures during its long history (Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman rule), making its style quite unique. Both the Church of Agia Sofia and the Byzantine walls date from the 11th century. If you fancy history, you should visit the small Archaeological Museum near the town centre.
The most beautiful feature of Drama town is the Agia Varvara Springs. Do not miss the opportunity to picnic in the park next to the springs or walk the path through the springs, where you will find cafés, restaurants, and bars.
Culinary highlights in Drama
The combination of fresh mountain air, wild herbs and a thriving organic industry in Drama creates the perfect conditions for growing quality food. Wild berries are growing in abundance in the mountains, as do musrooms. Try the meat, which is excellent here, maybe with Nevrokopi potatoes, served with their skins speckled with butter and local oregano. Or maybe the local delicacy of feta in fried pastry drizzled with honey or a slow-cooked goat with smoky aubergine. Other local delicacies are Pastourmas (seasoned, locally cured beef), Fasolada (traditional bean soup), Giofkades (pasta with tomato or spinach).
Drama – How to get there?
If you arrive in Greece by plane to either Athens or Thessaloniki you can reach Drama by bus or train, and by bus from Kavala as well. If you arrive in the Aegean islands you can sail or fly to Kavala and then take the bus or drive from there by a rented car. The distance between Drama and Kavala is less than 70 km. The drive from Thessaloniki to Drama lasts approx. 2,5 hours and the distance is about 185 km.
Drama – Nearest airports
The nearest airport is Kavala International Airport “Alexander the Great” (KVA) located just 30 km from Kavala. It serves daily flights from Athens as well as international flights from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland, and other European countries. Also, Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia” is nearby. It is about 20 km from Thessaloniki city centre operating domestic as well as international flights all year.
Drama – Weather and Climate