Sunday, April 21, 2013

Driving Greece’s Egnatia Odos

Greece's Egnatia Odos is a two-lane motorway rich with scenery, culture, and historical sights. Greek for modern road, it extends 420 miles and runs west from Igoumenitsa to Kipoi in Northeastern Greece. It is part of the European E90 highway between Istanbul to Italy. See much of the country's best sites as you travel the roadway.

Scenery of Egnatia Odos

Egnatia Odos dazzles travellers daily with its scenic sights. Terrain of mountain ranges, lakes, and valleys all welcome you as you travel the motorway. If you were to travel from one end to the other, you would drive on 1650 bridges and go through 76 tunnels! The motorway consists of paved roads, tunnels of solid rock and drives along cliff-tops.

Pass through the mountainous areas of Vermio and Pindus by car. The peak of the Pindus mountain range is 2,637 meters tall. Enjoy the drive with gorgeous views below of luscious forests.

There are many resorts in the Pindus mountain range, with ski facilities and restaurants of local cuisine. Drive through the deep canyons rich with broadleaf forests. There are serene lakes to stop and watch herons fish the waters. If you do not have a car, one is easily available through rental companies like Alamo that operate in the area.

Culture, History, and Culinary Delights

Stop to wander through any of the 11 cities you pass through on the modern road. Egnatia Odos, completed in 2009, passes by many settlements with historic, cultural, and culinary treats worthy of a visit.

One place to stop is Alexandroupoli. The port city is popular for its seafood dishes and offers fast connections by ferryboat. If you desire another journey, take a ferry from Alexandroupoli to Samothraki Island.

In the city of Komotini, culture surrounds you. The minorities speak Turkish and make local desserts such as baklava and lokum. The architectural museum there is a highlight, as well.

The Greek city of Thessaloniki provides cultural exploration as you browse museums and Byzantine churches. The city, which has a historic look, is home to many cafes and restaurants. The student population is large, which means the area's nightlife is a full of excitement.

If you wish to explore nature, Kastoria is a must-stop location. It's famous lake fascinates birdwatchers as it attracts exotic birds like Dalmatian pelicans. Take time to hike or ride bikes around the lake. Next, take a tour of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle to learn more about the area.

In Central Macedonia, the city Thessaloniki beckons you. Stop at the famous White Tower, built in the 15th century, or look at mosaics at the Rotunda or the Arch of Galerius.

There are many culture-filled areas to explore along the Egnatia Odos. The motorway covers a glorious terrain of mountains and valleys. Visit the cities along the route to experience all the Greece has to offer.

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