Amphitheatrically built on the foot of the Rhodope mountain range, Xanthi is located in Thrace (Northern Greece), the crossroads of the Black Sea and the Aegean, Europe and Asia. Kosynthos River divides the city into the west part, where the old and the modern town are located, and the east part, the “Samakov district”, that boasts a rich natural environment. Both parts still preserve their traditional flair, mesmerizing visitors with their nobility and magnificence. The cobbled narrow streets of the Old Town are decorated by gorgeous mansions, whose architectural style is a marvelous blend of local and ottoman architecture as well as the Greek Neoclassicism architectural style. Together with the Byzantine churches and the picturesque squares, the city’s Old Town could be said to be an open museum, the glory of which remains untouched through the years. The modern part of the city boasts a beautiful square with its Clock Tower and the renovated tobacco warehouses including the famous “Π”, on Kapnergaton St., which took its name from the shape of the 1890’s edifices. Don’t forget to visit the flea market with its distinctive local flavour taking place every Saturday at Zoagoras Square!
Get a deeper insight into the rich history of the area through your visit to the Folk Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Municipal Gallery and Avdera Archaeological site. Colourful cultural events organized throughout the year provide another strong reason for visiting Xanthi; experience the party atmosphere of the renowned Carnival of Xanthi, standing out for its focus on the traditions and folklore of the region through a modern approach; the Old Town Festival in September, during which all events take place in the narrow paved streets of Xanthi’s Old Town; the Youth Festival and River Nestos (Music) Festival in the summer, particularly popular among young people.
"Text by Greek National Tourism Organization - www.visitgreece.gr"
Across the southern part of the Prefecture of Xanthi lie beautiful beaches, open to the Thracian Sea, bounded to the West by the Nestos Delta and to the East by the Vistonida lake lagoons complex. Worth-visiting are the organized beaches of Erasmio, Mangana, Avdira and Mandra, that can be easily accessed from Xanthi. The sandy beaches of Xanthi stand out for their cleanliness, shallow waters and picturesque bays that attract vacationers and fishermen alike. These areas are also worth-visiting during the winter months as they offer many opportunities for bird watching.
Τhe Carnival of Xanthi - Thracian Folk Festival is the longest running institution in Xanthi, launched in 1966. It began in an era of urbanization and industrialization – a time with crucial economic and identity issues – and went through various phases of development before reaching its current form. The Carnival of Xanthi includes a number of cultural events such as music, dance and theatre, events with visual or other content, lectures, book presentations and film screenings. During these two weeks of events in the city of Xanthi, another form of social performance, the party, also takes place and one encounters it in many different places and forms. The Carnival concludes with the carnival parade and the custom of burning of the effigy of Tzaros.
The Old Town Festival is another institution of Xanthi, which continuously takes place at the beginning of autumn ever since 1991. The majority of these events take place in the "Old Town" of Xanthi, a traditionally preserved settlement, at the streets of which the haunts of the cultural and carnival clubs of Xanthi offer food and drink. In the haunts of the clubs of Xanthi, one can join the festivities, while events similar to those of the carnival also take place throughout the city.
The Youth Festival, taking place in late spring, started in the same year as the Old Town Festival, and as its name indicates, it focuses on the city youth. During this celebration, students are given the opportunity to take centre stage both on stage and at the audience. This way the locals can get to know the happenings of the urban space either through a creation - production process or through a participation - consumption process.
The Manos Hadjidakis Festival began in 1995 in honour of the great Greek composer, who was born and raised in Xanthi. This festival hosts concerts from Greece and other Balkan countries and offers an opportunity for choirs from all over Greece and abroad to present their work at the Municipal Auditorium.