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Greek Mountains: Elatia (Straborema)

Walking among the most beautiful mountains in Greece, especially in autumn. A mountain place full of paths, stone houses, wild animals, and many taverns and green meadows where you can camp freely. For those who want, even a lot of off-roading!

Straborema from Thessaloniki (stop at Aggitis Caves)

From Thessaloniki we proceed north-eastwards towards Drama, partly skirting the sea until reaching the city. A few kilometers away you can visit the magnificent and unique Aggitis caves (Aggitis Caves) which will surprise you with their story of how they were discovered and why they are so famous and important in Greece, thanks to the expert guides who will accompany you.

Returning to Drama, set the navigator to Straborema which will pass to Drama - Skaloti Bridge (Nestos river), where the uphill road towards our stop will begin.

From here on you can have fun on the curves, admire the wild horses free in the forests (just before Straborema), enchanted by the autumn colors of the leaves and the view of the mountain Falakro! 10 km before arriving in Straborema you will continue along a simple dirt road in the middle of the forests which takes you directly to the established place.

Aggitis Caves

The Aggitis caves are river caves, there is a river that passes inside them and then returns free into nature. Due to the water present on the seabed, the cave has only stalactites and not stalagmites (which do not grow from the ground in the presence of water) and it is possible to see fish and bats. They were discovered by chance, like most caves, and the guide will explain the whole story to you. Unfortunately, only the first 500m can be visited as at the end of the route the rock reaches the water level, preventing continuation. However, the speleologists overcame this obstacle by immersing themselves in the waters and then discovering further kilometers of caves until they reached what they call the "Acropolis". Don't worry about shoes, the walkway is suspended above the river but it is better to dress appropriately because the temperature inside is much lower. I stole a few shots towards the end of the caves as photos are prohibited. The surrounding nature outside is made up of beautiful plane trees and relaxation and picnic areas, so take some time to relax.

In summertime from 10.30 to 19.00, in wintertime from 10.30 to 17.00

🥪 You can enjoy the surrounding nature and have a picnic or a walk

☝️ Attention: inform yourself in Spring about the possible closure due to the overflowing of the Aggitis river

🚗 Large and free parking

💸 7,00 EUR with English-speaking guide


Straborema is the perfect place for camping. You arrive after a few km of simple dirt road and there is room for everyone. The area is located in the middle of the forest a few km from Bulgaria, and there are free services such as running drinking water, tables, benches anchored to the ground, and benches with a canopy on the hill above. You can take walks in the woods, go mushroom picking, or walk along the stream. Fires can be lit in places In the summer there were a lot of people, I went alone at the end of October and it was very cold at night and what's more, there wasn't a soul to keep me company.

🍴 There are many taverns on the street, the most inviting is just after the Drama - Skaloti Bridge where to find To Xylino or Cafe Grill "O TAKIS"

Sarakatsani Village

After the night in Straborema, we continue back towards Drama, shortly after finding the asphalt again we turn left onto a dirt road, and in 300 meters we reach the Sarakatsani village and see the "field" where a Sarakatsani hut is kept and small huts where you can camp and enjoy the cool air in summer. The Sarakatsani are a Greek ethnic group of transhumant shepherds, native to Greece, with a presence near Bulgaria, southern Albania, and North Macedonia. As Wikipedia says, until the beginning of the 20th century they lived on pastoralism, in a permanent transhumance across the Balkan peninsula, marrying only within the community and mixing little with the settled populations they came into contact with. In 1938, with decree nº 1223 of May 4, 1938, General Ioannis Metaxas, Greek prime minister, and dictator, forced the Sarakatsani to abandon their culture and proceed to forced sedentarization.

Here too, all around there is a vast field of grass surrounded by fir trees. There are also BBQs for those who want to grill a bit!

🛌 It looks like a free camping spot but I have no info on it

🍴 Better to bring take-away food in low season

Off Road !!

Oh yes, in Greece we have lots of dirt roads or completely off-road ones, just ask! To make a very fun off-road, once you return from Straborema, you must return to the Drama-Skaloti Bridge (Nestos River) and more precisely to the bridge before the river or the Nestos Papados Bridge and turn right (northbound) and continue along the Epar.Od road. K.Nevrokopiou-Potamon towards Mikromilia which after a few kilometers becomes a completely pure dirt road. After about 10km the road returns to asphalt and you can continue curve after curve towards Thessaloniki with an enchanting landscape. The worst part of this dirt road is right at the beginning, when the asphalt becomes dirt and a climb begins with several rocks on the ground. To face the climb you just need to open the throttle and then everything becomes more fun!

What to visit around:

  • Trachoni or Livaditis waterfall

  • Rhodope Mountains National Park

  • Γέφυρα Νέστου τεχνητής λίμνης Πλατανοβρυσης (incollare su Google maps)

  • May Roman Arches

Helpful tips:

  • Motorbike: at the end of October 2023 the temperature was still pleasant, but at night everything changed, it is better to be equipped with a nice sleeping bag.

  • Tent: a good tent is useful for the cold and humidity, especially in the low season where it is comfortable during the day but cold at night.

  • Power Bank: bring an excellent power bank where you can recharge your devices for several days.

  • Petrol: my motorbike consumes a lot, both the Cagiva and the Yamaha, I forgot to fill up again after Drama and I returned to Drama with difficulty, so it's better to refuel in the city.

Have a good trip!



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