Few people ever venture into the arable plains of northeastern Macedonia, where attractions are sparsely spread among golden fields of corn and tobacco and incredible numbers of storks’ nests. Up near the craggy mountains that form the frontier with Bulgaria, artificial Lake Kerkíni is home to masses of birds, some of them extremely rare in Europe, making it as interesting to ornithologists as the Préspa lakes much farther west. The tranquil setting and rich flora mean it is not only for avid twitchers.

An alternative route to the Egnatía Odhós for reaching Kavála is the scenic route that climbs northeast out of Thessaloníki, first taking you via Sérres before passing Alistráti, worth visiting for its memorable caves, and then heading towards Dhráma and ancient Philippi along a quieter road that offers majestic panoramas of Mount Meníkio (1963m), Mount Pangéo (1956m) and Mount Falakró (2230m). Regular buses from Thessaloníki and between Sérres and Dhráma ply this road.

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