Orpheus' Valley // Pangeo Mountain
MYTHS AND CULTS
Mt. Pangeon is among those holy peaks that powered out upon the ancient world mystical cults and religions brewed together, whose influence cannot possibly be denied. When Mt. Pangeon was inhabited by pre-Hellenic Greeks (or Pelasgi), river Strymonas was worshipped as a god. After that,Thracian tribes (Satres, Eodoni, Pierians) worshipped Mars,Dionysus and Hermes.The Satres had under their auspices and superintendence the world famous sanctuary of Dionysus, which lied on the mountain s highest peak. Another issue connected to the ancient cults of Mt. Pangeon was the worshipping of Orpheus and of the Pierian Muses on the mountain and in the areas surrounding it. Mt. Pangeon also staged, with Dionysus or Bacchus, the gratest Thracian god as leading actor, the myth which described by Homer in Iliad and which constitutes one of the first written moral lessons of mankind, i.e. that human arrogance must not go so far as to compete and clash with God.
Peak, 1956 meters above sea level. Covered in chestnuts and oaks. Many springs with running fresh water, trees clinging to hilltops and mountain slopes have the appearance of nature's bristles brushing the crisp skies. Known also for its ancient gold mines. An asphalt road approaches top of the mountain. Near the top, at 1760 meters, there is a ski-run and a refuge for climbers. Mt Pangeon is a grate botanical garden, occupying a space of 324.000.000m2. The significant bio-diversity that characterises its flora and fauna led the Greek state to declare the greatest part of the mountain a permanent wildlife refuge, in 1979. Mt. Pangeon is among the richest areas of Greece, where an important number of plants and animals have been recorded, including endemic, protected and andangered species. Counting many impresive species of butterfly, among which the most important is Saturnia Pyri, the biggest butterfly in Europe, with a wing span that reaches up to 150mm!
WHAT TO SEE
Philippi is 15 km from Kavala and a dazzling archaeological site - easy to get to and well worth a visit. The city of Philippi was founded by Thasians in 359 B.C., named after King Philippi II - father of Alexander the Great. It is located at a distance of 15 km from Kavala and, thanks to conscientious archaeological digging work, it currently offers visitors deep insight into the ancient Greek, Roman an Byzantine history. You can visit the Ancient Theatre, the Town Walls, The Roman Forum, Basilicas dating back to the old Christian times, the Octagon. In the summer the ancient theatre hosts cultural events, with emphasis on ancient Greek tragedies and comedies. Saint Paul the Apostle stopped off in Filippi and founded the first Christian Church in Europe. One of the most important wetlands in Europe is nearby, the Nestos river, just 40 kilometres east of Kavala on the border with the neighbouring Greek county of Thrace. This runs for over 20 kilometres and you can drive along this stretch to the rivers mouth at the sea. Some river-kayaking is also practiced here - perhaps a stunning experience of being at one with the wildlife. See Cormorants and flamingo.
Perigiali beach (1.5 kilometres east of Kavala).
Rapsani Beach (200 meters from Kavala).
Batis beach (3km).
Tosca beach (4km).
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