“Hurry up! It is 10 and we will be late” , my boyfriend was constantly repeating this  while I was trying to enjoy the breakfast at our hotel.

On the way to Dadia forest, I enjoyed the mixture of cultures. It is obvious that Turkey is just few kilometers away. The oriental style could be seen everywhere. I also realized that many notes are written in Turkish language.  While we were discussing the historical events, we have arrived at one beautiful village with warm people.

Dadia is a well known national park, famous by endangered rare bird species. That’s why it is one of the most important protected areas at national, European and international scale. It is one of the first areas in Greece to be declared as protected.

Dimitra from Forest Inn Hotel as a local and someone who knows every step of this park, welcomed me with a smile and a plan for a day. I didn’t have idea where are we going, but I decided to follow…

The first stop was the bird watching window!  I was so excited and honestly didn’t know what to expect. Dimitra told me that as we are late, there is possibility we will not see anything from there. During the summer, when the days are warm, the birds are on the field only in the morning hours. Logically, of course. However, i wanted to be persistent and have a hope that we will see one at least.

 Can you spot them?

Not one, we saw 5 of them! What is particularly impressive is that this park has  3 out of the 4 species of European vultures: the Black Vulture, the Egyptian vulture and the Griffon Vulture. Contrary to the rest of the raptors that hunt their prey, vultures are scavengers.  At this spot we also had a lesson about ecology as this birds may not exist in upcoming years.

* The real size of the Egyptian vulture, who is the signature of this park and me.

The Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park Information Center is located in Dadia, about 800 meters from the main square of the village.  Since 1994, it is open daily (weekends and holidays included), from 8:00 until 16:00 and visitors may get information about the National Park, organizing and scheduling educational visits and tours in the Forest.  Moreover, the Information Center hosts an exhibition room with photographs an information on the National Park, as well as a projection room, where documentaries about the area and other videos are projected. At the Information Center there is also a souvenir shop with gifts made from natural materials and handmade products from the cooperatives of the region.

Access to the trails is possible all year round.  For more info check dadia-np.gr.

On the way to Soufli, I asked Dimitra, where I can get souvenir and what is the best souvenir from the area?

That it is how our next destination came. Tsiakiris is a museum and the shop. We had a chance to see the silk worms (for the first time) and witness how the silk is made.  This family is responsible for the silk garments of many Parisienne, Italian, Greek and Turkish fashion designers!

Before showing us the final products, Giorgos showed us the little traditional museum that he collected during the years. May I say that his collection is better than many museums I have visited?!

Lesson learned: The woman would wear belt only if she is married, it was kind of the wedding ring. Maybe a bit more showing off way, or for the guy to protect their wife from others.

I fell in love with these old cameras! Would love to have them in my collection!
Soufli was always fashion town! The shoe made by local back in the past.

The passion that this family has is something unbelievable! They are still doing everything with their hands, respecting tradition in every possible way.

Did you know one silk worm can deliver up to 2km of silk thread?

The youngest in the family showed us the way how the worm looks like and how it is actually made. He also gave as a Turkish delight as a gift. Did you know that this area is famous by one made from roses?

When I got my scarf souvenir, Dimitra told me that we should visit the Silk museum in order to have the complete picture about this area. For my surprise, there was a bit different exhibition, dedicated to the brides.

traditional clothes with these astonishing belts

At this exhibition was a period between 19th – 20 th century also well known as a Beautiful Era.  Just by staring at those dresses, you would understand it! I also love the fact that fashion is coming back! Many of those pieces are still trendy!

The forest visit,  exploring of the silk center, made me a bit tired. In my head I only could think about food.  Instead of going to the main ring road, my boyfriend suggested that we go through Ferres. I have heard about this city when I was younger and something made me to wish to visit it!  One more time, need to say, bravo Kosta!

I heard about this monastery as a small version of Agia Sophia church.

Fortunately it was open! A monk was waiting for us inside, politely showing us that photographing is not allowed. But it is fascinating! The iconographic decoration is a magnificent specimen of high quality painting of the School of Constantinople, dated to the 12th century. The monastery includes a fortress wall (with towers and a gate) and a catholicon (main church). 

It was founded in 1152 by the sevastokrator Isaakios Komnenos. Two hundred years later, the catholikon was converted into the mosque of Suleyman, and five and a half centuries later was again converted into a Christian church.

And finally the food time came! Whoever I spoke about my trip to Alexandroupoli, everyone was saying to me to visit Nisiotiko. Usually, I would tell you that the best restaurants are the ones where locals go to eat. But, what would you think about place that people are just travelling there to eat again at the specific spot?

I knew that this is a fish restaurant and nothing more. Just from the entering to the place, I fell in love!  It was enough! The restaurant is chick and classy but again casual enough for making everyone comfortable!

I was surprised by the fast and very professional service.  As discussed with Kyriakos, the owner of Nisiotiko, I wanted to try his favorite plates. I didnt want to be spoiled, but I wanted to understand the message that Nisiotiko has. I already learned that he is inspired by Mykonos. That’s why the plates are island minimalist style decorated. Without extra sauces, spices, just a pure flavor. Kyriakos said that the fresh fish is the most important for every dish. I guess he learned that from his fisherman father.  He is still going every morning to take a fresh fish from the locals. The time passed while we were talking and plates started to arrive.

It was like flavor explosion! A bit spicy, bitter, than sweet, but refreshing! Soft, that it is melting with bites! I couldn’t make forkt away from the plate. These were the most delicious shrimps I ever tasted!

The best sea food the one we caught in the morning.

And that ice cream from above, is the taste I want to remember! Nisiotiko is making their own ice cream with Turkish delight! Can it be better than that? !

In the case you wish to visit Nisiotiko you can check more info here  nisiotiko.gr. And say hi to Kyriakos from me!

The next day was our last day. We strolled a bit and wanted to see the light tower in the center of the city. The reason why it is located here is unknown, so if you know it, write me in the comments below!

I will use this tower as orientation as Nisiotiko is just around the corner. I am craving for the sea food and that ice cream!

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I would like to thank to Dimitra from Forest Inn Hotel, and also Kyriakos from Nisiotiko restaurant for their hospitality. Also to Ramada Plaza Thraki Hotel for helping me to organize the whole trip.

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