It is one of the most inaccessible places in Greece and at the same time one of the most impressive natural landscapes. The Fraktos Forest is located in the northeastern part of the Rodopi mountain range, near the border with Bulgaria.


The nearest settlement to the forest is Paranesti, but by “near” we mean 53 difficult kilometres away, full of twists and turns, many of which are on dirt roads that require an off-road vehicle or a pickup truck. Fraktos forest is usually is usually described as “virgin”, which means that it was created, grows and regenerates without any human intervention and evolves according to the laws of nature. And indeed, until the 1970s, when a rudimentary road network began to be built in the area, one could hardly detect a human presence in the 5,892 square metres that now make up the pristine Fraktos forest.

The morphology of the area with the peaks enclosing the forested basin and the only way out to the south is what gave the forest its name, which essentially means blocked. The steep slopes and the geographical location have kept away cattle farmers and loggers and only in recent decades has there been more frequent access to the area.

Even so, Fraktos forest is one of the wildest and most unspoilt forests in Europe and efforts are being made to include it in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Already since the 1980s it has been declared by the Greek state as a protected natural monument.

It is also the southernmost point in Europe where you can find the Norwegian spruce which forms large forests in Northern Europe. The virgin forest of Fraktos is a treasured natural haven for dozens of valuable flora and fauna species. The surrounding peaks are not particularly high – Deliboska, the highest peak reaches an altitude of 1,953 meters, but the forest complex is rich and fascinating. The number, density and height of the trees, the abundance of waters, rare flowers such as the Rodopi lily and the presence of bears, red deer and birds of prey make up a unique setting.

To visit this heavenly forest, you will need a reliable vehicle and with it you can reach the forest village of Fraktos, namely a small settlement consisting of 10 wooden huts and a communal area with a stove and a refrigerator. It operates under the responsibility of the Forestry Department of Drama and is used by the loggers working in the forest. The huts are provided free of charge by the Forestry Department to anyone who wants to visit the forest upon request.(For more information call 2313-309890).

From the forest village there are paths through dense forest, which pass by impressive waterfalls and natural pools. If you can stand the cold, a dip in the crystal clear waters is a must, although, even in summer, temperatures in the area are low. At night, turn your gaze upwards: light pollution here is minimal and you’ll see the most starry sky you’ve ever seen.

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