Degree of difficulty: easy (1/4)
Minimum height above sea level = 49 m. / Maximum height above sea level = 515 m.
Approximately 93% of the route follows stone based paths
The first leg of the official Nestos-Rodopi Trail runs from Galani to Kromniko and passes through the Stena Nestou. As far as environmental aspects are concerned, this route is one of the most beautiful and richest footpaths in Northern Greece. The first part of the route follows the old Thrakika Tempi railway track along the path that was carved out of the Straits rock so that the railway line could be built. The path follows the railway lines, winding through the terrain until it arrives near the Kromniko Railway Station in a large flat area, very close to the river, with dense waterside vegetation including poplars, willows, alder trees and plane trees.
The route crosses the railway line and joins a very good paved path that climbs up a long steady slope amongst dense Mediterranean scrub. Gradually, the path joins a ravine which it follows to the plateau of Kromniko.
Kromniko is one of the many villages where Pontians settled after the exchange of populations at the end of the Balkan Wars in 1923. Despite extensive grassland resources, the site did not have the natural advantages to be able to house the small community of farmers who then moved to various other places in Xanthi and Thessaloniki after the Second World War.
The route finishes on the asphalt road, at the top of the valley. The route is surrounded by rich and varied vegetation which includes both riparian zone species and species that thrive on the limestone walls. An interesting example of this is (Haberlea rhodopensis) which is endemic to Greece and Bulgaria and is believed to be a survivor from the ice age.
Accommodation & dining
There are restaurants, tavernas and cafes in Toxotes.