This river is in itself an excellent reason to visit Xanthi. A river that traverses several countries stems from the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria and flows into the Thracian Sea, opposite to Thassos island. It is an enchanting river with unparallel natural beauty, and it’ll make you feel awe whether you are walking at the river bank or going downstream in a rafting boat or a canoe kayak.
Nestos Straits in between the village of Toxotes and Stavroupoli, at the point where Nestos separates the mountainous parts of the southern Rhodope Mountains, and there lies the amazing Aesthetic Forest. It is a parallel to the riverbed land-strip, an area of approximately 2.300 acres. The Aesthetic Forest and Nestos Straits are a home to over of 150 of the 200 species of birds that have been observed in the general Nestos area. It is a designated “Birds Important” and “Special Protection Area” according to European & International Standards. Apart from the fascinating avifauna in the area, one may find various types of local flora.
A characteristic feature of Nestos are its numerous meanders. In its Straits, Nestos flows like a snake, a unique spectacle that one may enjoy in all its glory from the Observatory about 10 km from the Toxotes village. The Observatory is “hidden” behind an antenna and is situated at an altitude of 891 meters. The Cultural Development Centre of Thrace has created a quite elaborate site from which you are able to enjoy a panoramic view of Nestos, as well as observe all the surrounding villages and natural vistas, as for example Mount Paggaio, Falakro , the Nestos Delta and so much more.
VIEW FROM THE TRAIN RAILS
From Toxotes to Stavroupoli the train travels along Nestos River offering amazing views to its tranquil waters, beautiful surroundings and the Aesthetic Forest. The view is interrupted only by the several stone tunnels that have been made long ago, more than 15 tunnels during a 17km distance in between Stavroupoli and Toxotes villages. The route lasts approximately half an hour and is accessible by an OSE train (National Railroads)
(Railroad offices phones: Xanthi: 25410 22581, Stavroupolis: 25410 22233)