The city was named from the mythical Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnistra. The tragic hero reached the area after a prophetic directive to baptise himself where the waters of three rivers met (Arda, Evros and Tountza) in order to be forgiven for the matricide he committed. Mythology also holds that at the junction of the three rivers is the area where the nymphs Orestiads used to live.
Modern Orestiada was built in 1923 from immigrants coming from Eastern Thrace with the population exchange agreement between Greece and Turkey. Its inhabitants mainly worked in farms and agriculture. The town has a folklore museum that you may familiarize yourself with its history and its inhabitants cultural roots. Close to the town you can find archaeological sites with ancient megalithic tombs.