Once upon a time in Stavros

Stavros was not the first and  also even second choice  but the accommodation was the deciding factor , the apartment was on the ground floor, the beach was near… What more can you wish for…

This small town in northern Greece, is located in the Strimonikos bay, in the hinterland of Mount Homolokos. Stavros is green and it is also called the air spa.

In tourist aspect Stavros is in the shadow of the much more famous Asprovalta with which it shares the same bay. But it is still big enough because there are 4,000 permanent residents and history sayes that this town was founded by villagers from several antique villages looking for protection in the hinterland of Mount Homolokos.

During the Turkish rule, Stavros was leveled at one point, only four houses were left from the former 300, but the people did not surrender, and at the beginning of the 20th century, the lower part of today’s Stavros is was settled by refugees from Asia Minor, who have been living with the ancients for some time in peace until they finally split into Ano Stavros and Stavros.

In other words, Stavros in Greek means cross, and there are various theories about how Stavros got his name. In one version it’s name evolved from, Stagira (Stagiros, Stagros, Stavros), and on the other Stavros was at the very important crossroads of the routes of the Roman Via Egnatia and the road to Atos.

The bay in which Stavros is located is great and your gaze constantly focuses on the very dominant mountain Paggaio near Kavala.

Stavros is weird because however you turn in it, the Sun will always be behind you, and it will rise on your right and set on your left. Sometimes it’s unusual, but you get used to it.

Stavros has a place before the beach Milies very near where I was settled, there is the area of Platanodosos or Platania where the 100 year old plateau trees grow, which go up to 50 meters. it wasn’t noticeable that the trees could grow so close to the water. This area was a resting place for tired travelers who travelled to Atos, and so it got the old name Palioxano.

They say that in the pick of the season, here under the trees everyone is looking for shade like in the ancient times.

Stavros also has a harbor in which every morning fishing boats , that the locals call kaikia, bring fresh fish.

It’s just a pity to eat anything else besides what is on offer, you just have to be an early riser.

The bay is full of fish, but I did not see anyone from enthusiasts on the coast catch anything

It’s not that they did not bother, but it looks like the fish are not from yesterday. Just catch them yourself or go strait to any tavern, the fish will definitely be fresh.

On Thursday, Stavros  has a serious market where you have such an offer that you will feel sorry that you ca not frie them at the very spot.

All this fish ended like this

The most important beach in Stavros for me was where I found what I did not expect at all, a way into the sea.

The ramp and Sea track system was invented by a group of Greek enthusiasts and for that they got a prize, and a big thank you for it. It works on solar power.

The remote was in the neighboring bar, everything worked like clockwork and there I was in the sea.

The water is clean and the good hosts put sand bags in places where there were bigger stones, which I consider to be a special attention to everyone.

In Stavros, as well as in all of Greece, there are those little chapels which represent the gratitude of person who could have died on this place.

This was explained to me by the wonderful people from Nikos keramikos where these cute houses can be bought as well as some other memorabilia to remember the summer.

In Stavros, you can eat as a Greek if you buy jogurt with kajmak that is so dense that when you put a spoon in, it stands.

In Stavros, you can also feed cats, first one, then she brings her friends and then they start climbing on your head. You do not want to make these mistakes.

In Stavros, you can collect shells and take a piece of sea with you, they are everywhere.

In Stavros, you can eat figs directly from the trees

You can also buy souvenirs. Greek oregano is absolute must, totally different from ours.

There is also a green house close by so you can buy a small bugenvillia tree and pretend that it will not wilt as soon as you come home. But if you put it in beautiful Nikos’s pots, that’s another story. Your flowerpot remains.

Conclusion

Stavros was a suprrise to me.

I did not expect anything but a walk in a place with a little social reputation.

Instead, I got so much. Stavros has shown me that I need to see every thing with my own eyes and not just that.

Stavros sent me home with a lot of good memories that I was afraid to go back so that I don’t spoil them. But seriously.

Traveled and enjoyed, Marko Veličković

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