Little known fact about Hellas, aka Greece, is that the main land has just as much to offer as the many touristy islands that are constantly packed with people on holiday. Our father happens to come from a much forgotten and overlooked part of Greece known as Komotini, Thrace located ~1hr drive from Alexandroupolis Airport or a ~3hr drive from Thessaloniki Airport. Komotini is situated south of the Greece/Bulgarian border and West of the Greece/Turkey border making it a great city to stop in if you are planning on traveling. Komotini is a small city that during a good portion of the year is filled with a young college population. When summer arrives, the city empties out and you are able to fully enjoy the culture that surrounds you. Grab a Freddo cappuccino in the early morning from the coffee places in the square Plateia Irinis, head down to the beach for a swim in the late afternoon, and return for food and drink in the small bars that can be found on El. Venizelou, or if you ask a local, that summers hit spot.
About a half an hour drive southwest of Komotini, through beautiful stretches of farm land and sunflower fields, you can find some beautiful beaches. The shoreline villages known as Fanari (Φανἀρι), Arogi (Αρωγἠ),and Paralia Mesis (Παραλἰα Μἐσης) have shores covered in sand and waters that are warm, calm, clean and shallow unlike the neighboring Greek Islands, Thasos, Samothrace, and Lemnos just off the coast. Most of the beaches have these super quaint beach bars that provide umbrellas and seating if you purchase a drink, typically around 3 Euro which Alexis and I gladly accepted.
We basically spent our time drinking coffee, eating food, and swimming in the water. Luckily our time in Komotini overlapped with a festival that is thrown every year on the full moon. Alexis and I went with a group of friends at the one beach bar in Fanari open all night for the festival. I decided to go night swimming and unfortunately had the luck of stepping on a sea urchin and had to have the spikes removed the next day.
We are lucky enough to be from such a beautiful place so check out a slideshow of more photos from our trip through Komotini, Fanari, and Arogi! If you pay close attention you might catch a glimpse of our brother making a cameo or two. Hope this post sparked your interest in visiting our small town. Most importantly feel free to comment down below with any comments or questions on how you can plan a trip to our neck of the woods! Stay tuned for our next post to find out how our trip to Athens and Crete went.