It’s certainly the type of city in northern Greece that remains unaffected by massive tourism, yet it offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy a relaxing and different weekend.
Located 150 km from Thessaloniki, Drama is quite ideal for a break, taking pride in a charming center with vibrant cafés lining the Agia Varvara turquoise springs, as well as the central park which offers a splendid opportunity for a picnic. Cafe Anoi, which dates from 1897, features an old gramophone upstairs while the whole space invites you to relax and spend time leisurely reading some great book or simply day-dreaming.
Things to do in Drama
A stroll down Drama’s Old Town is going to intrigue you with its genuine and interesting mix of old and new. Architecturally influenced by northern Europe, the city takes pride in its Byzantine walls and the Church of Agia Sofia as well as the must-see Archaeological Museum near the center.
Things to do near Dama
But, it’s the wider region of Drama that will truly capture your senses.
For a refreshing escape from the heat you should head 23 km northwest of the city to the spectacular river cave of Aggitis in Prosotsani. Merely 80 meters underground will get you exposed to a lovingly mild 17˚C.
If you love the outdoors, you are going to need at least a few more days to explore the many treats of the Rodopi Mountains. Designated as a national park in 2009, it covers almost 70% of the region of Drama, offering many opportunities for hiking – notably through part of the European E6 trail – or just simply enjoying the birch trees and the waterfalls in the many different forests.
Also, during the snowy season, the Falakro Ski Centre (1720 meters) awaits you to ski, snowboard or sleigh your way down the magnificent, wooded slopes.
All of the natural wonders, as well as its fine wineries, are best explored by car, as they are quite spread around the area.
The area’s wines are renowned throughout the country and recently a new festival celebrating Dionysos, the god of wine, has been introduced, every June: Dramoinognosia. There are six wineries in the region of Drama that are open to the public while the most popular local wine styles are either light, perfumed whites from Sauvignon Blanc Assyrtiko grapes, or medium-bodied but fleshy reds.
As far as foodies are concerned, the local potatoes of Nevrokopi are delicious as they get served simply skin-on, occasionally sprinkled with cheese. You should also try pastourmas, a notorious local spice- and air-cured type of beef, as well as the local pasta served with spinach or tomato called Giofkades.
If you find yourself touring the area in mid-September, it’d be great if you took up the opportunity to attend Greece’s leading short-film festival that’s also an annual meeting place for filmmakers and industry professionals. Its success lies in the fact that new creators have been favoring it for more than four decades now for the nationwide premiere of their films.
Cover Photo Credit: Γιάννης Χουβαρδάς