• Sign up in our newsletter


  • Sign up in our newsletter

Photo gallery

"Emerald Lake" - Skra Waterfalls

Memories of Greek historical moments are mixed with the rare beauty of nature and the turquoise waters of an ancient lake.

These are the emotions one feels and the images that one sees as a visitor of Skra, the waterfalls and the famous "emerald lake".

Skra is only 4 km away from the borders with FYROM and it spreads on the Northeast slopes of Paiko at an altitude of 520m. Its previous name was Lioumnitsa, while the current one is due to the proximal top Skra di Legken that during the First World War was the place of the homonymous battle field (Skra - Ravine). The battle was a decisive one for the course of the Greek State and the First World War. The main feature of the village is the huge old plane tree in its central square.

Near this settlement, the visitor faces a small miracle of nature. Through a wonderful path one can reach an area with rich vegetation, where one meets the first waterfall of Skra, at the root of which there is a small cave with stalactites. A little further on the path, the visitor is stunned by the beauty of the small "Blue Lake" or "Emerald Lake", which owes its aquamarine emerald color of the water to the calcified and fossilized organisms of its bottom. Continuing on the path, the vegetation thickens and the ground is steeper. Here, one can see the second waterfall of Skra that falls with thunder over the rocks creating a stunning natural landscape.


A Dive in the Emerald Lake (Goumenissa - Skra)

Perfect for visitors from the surrounding prefectures

Arrive to the scenic and beautiful Goumenissa, famous for its traditional architecture, abundant water springs, delicious wines and the unique "Halkina" bands of self-taught musicians, which is an attractive destination for every season.

Rest in one of the charming cafes of this traditional town, take a stroll through the narrow streets with old houses and visit the folk museum with the wonderful folklore exhibits, that is located on the road to the nearby village of Griva.

Then, continuing on the same road with final destination the village of Skra and after we have travelled a distance of 8 km from Griva, we arrive at Kastaneri; a nice mountain village surrounded by beautiful forests of chestnut and beech trees, full of trails and view posts.

Livadia, a settlement that was established in the mid 18th century by Vlach-speaking Greeks, which is almost deserted during the winter while in the summer its residents return, lies at another 12km ahead on the road.

Then, travelling on to the northern outskirts of Paiko and bypassing the village Archangelos in Pella, we arrive in Skra, after 26 km of beautiful mountain nature.

We propose a visit to the "Museum of the First World War" of Skra, with exhibits from the historical battle of the adjacent mountain top Skra di Legken on 17/30 May of 1918. Heirlooms from the war front, documents, photographs, uniforms and many other objects revive the victorious Battle of the Greek soldiers against the Bulgarian army.

Next stop is the final destination of our trip, the excellent Emerald Lake and the waterfalls, located between Skra and the settlement Koupa.

During the winter, you can simply admire the natural beauty of the landscape and perhaps see some of the waterfalls frozen, while during the summer we have the opportunity to dive in the blue waters of the lake.

To get to the Emerald Lake we leave Skra and follow the signs to the village Koupa and then the signs for the Waterfalls, until we arrive at the parking lot, where we can park our vehicle.

Following a forest path with rich vegetation, we arrive at the first waterfall.Just ahead, passing across a wooden bridge we can see the "Emerald" or "Blue Lake", a name derived from the blue-green color of its water, which is due to the calcified and fossilized organisms at its bottom.

A rope tied to a tree, hovering over the small lake, is there to help guests enjoy the emerald waters by diving in amidst a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty. A little further along the bed of the stream, we can admire the next waterfall which falls with a loud splash onto the rocks, creating a beautiful natural setting.

After visiting the Emerald Lake, we get back to Skra to dine.Select one of the traditional taverns that offer a wide variety of traditional dishes, meat dishes, salads and desserts and then enjoy your coffee in a traditional cafe.

Our escape in the beauty of Paiko and the blue lake of Skra is concluded by travelling back to Kilkis, following the road through Axioupoli we return to our base.

Alternatively we suggest, depending on the available time, to stop in Kilkis, in the hill of St. George and take the half an hour tour into the cave that is located at the foot of the hill, which holds the 17th position among 10,000 similar caves around the world.

The cave has a rare decoration of coral material, stalactites and stalagmites that confer unique beauty and it has been judged suitable for cavetherapy to help treat diseases such aschildhood bronchial asthma.

Our stop in the town of Kilkis can end with coffee on the hill of St. George, an ideal location to enjoy a refreshment, just before we leave this city.


Folklore museum of Goumenissa:Dimitriou Kakavou 18. Tel .: 2343041362, 2343041525. Free Admission.

War Museum of Skra:Former Community Library.Tel .: 2343031656, Hours, Daily 9: 00-14: 00 17: 00-20: 00.Visit after a telephone consultation. Free Admission.

Cave of St. George:Hours Tuesday - Friday: 09: 00-14: 00 Weekends: 09: 00-14: 00 & 16: 00-18: 00.Phone: 23410 20054 & 6977561800


Axioupoli, Dreveno Position and Toumpa in Paeonia

On the Greek side, two places were the most likely to claim the position of the historical Gortynia. The position Dreveno in Axioupoli, where few sherds of the 4th century BC were found in the gardens of the locals and the archaeological site with the settlement and the remarkable funerary monuments in Touba,Paeonia. Both settlements are exposed by their geographical location, without the natural protection of the narrow entrance on the west side of Axios. 

Their position was certainly an easy target for the intruders and it justifies their allegiance to Sitalkes. It might be that one of the two positions was identified asGortynia. Etymologically, the name of Gortyniais associated with the city of Gortyna in Crete. The first signs of habitation inAxioupoliscome from the main cemetery of the Iron Age and early archaic period, which was found –and a small part of it has been excavated- in the position Byron, on the way to Pigi. The high cultural level of its art, for that period, shows remarkable growth and wealth. 

The modern building activity has covered the area of ​​the settlement and has destroyed its embankments. Unconfirmed reports speak of graves and findings of historical times from contemporary Axioupoli. But the connecting links to complete the path from the prehistory to the classic years are missing.


Axioupolis, Natural History Museum

It has been described as the most important Museum of Natural History after the Goulandris Museum. The Natural History Museum in Axioupoli, housed in the impressive building of the old elementary school of this city. 

In the halls of the Museum impressive specimens of the fauna and flora of the region are exhibited, along with rare rocks and impressive illustrations from the creation of the universe to that of the planet Earth.


Battle of Kilkis Monument

Another impressive monument is located south of the city of Kilkis, in a stunning natural environment, and it is dedicated to the fallen of the murderous and decisive Battle of Kilkis. This battle took place on 21st June 1913, while on the same location the War Museum of Kilkis operates since 1966, exhibiting rare artifacts from the Balkan wars.

Europos, Archaeological Site

Europosis locatedSouthwestof NeoGynaikokastro. The ancient city of Europos has been inhabited since the 6th century BC and is located at about 1 km southwest of the present one. Here, significantly funerary monuments of the late Roman period were found, as well as the famous Kouros of Europos, which is unique in the Northern Greece. Today you can see Kouros in the Archaeological Museum of Kilkis.

The nearby Toumpa is believed to have been a center of Macedonian domination of that time, since interesting Macedonian tombs have been foundthere, that attest to the Greek character of the area for 2500 years.

The data for the city of Europos come mainly from the cemetery of the ancient city. The exposure of a section of the necropolis of Europos turned the graves of its citizens in "lalounta" monuments / symbols of development, culture and history of their city. The oldest evidence of habitation of the city comesfrom the prehistoric settlement in the heart of the current Municipality of Europos.

Top of the archaic findings, not just for the site of Europos, but for the entire prefecture is Kouros. It is a colossal sculpture of a young man, a statue of the type Kouros. It is a product of an islander and possibly a Cycladic laboratory, as evidenced by the origin of its marble. Dating back to the late 6th century BC and can be viewed as one of later examples of the range of Kouros, because its hands and feet are almost detached from the body. The young man is depicted with short hair, without the characteristic headdress of the others. It was obviously giving an "Epitaph label", according to the customs of the time, of a prominent European (from the city of Europos) citizen or local settler from South Greece, living in the city. Its finding confirms the early commercial and socio-economic relations between Europos and the rest of the cities. Witnesses of these relationships are the shellfish-pieces or vases – of Korinthian or Attic black-figure and red-figure pottery that the excavation revealed. During the 5th-4th century BC, it seems to have been one of the most developed and fortified cities of Bottiaia. For this reason,Sitaklis endeavored to capture it and thus ensure the military control of the area. The unsuccessful attempt of the Thracian intrudersuggests the existence of a strong wall that enhanced the bastion of the city.

The majority of the graves are “akteristoi” (graves without any goods for the dead inside). There are tombs “kterismenoi” with vases, weapons, tools, figurines, jewelry and coins, pit-shaped and covered with tiles, which show homogeneity withthe burial customs and practices with the rest of Macedonia. The variety of grave goods offersus an impression on the everyday life, occupations and metaphysical beliefs of the people. Findings of the graves reveal coquetry, a timeless female characteristic: pyxides- a kind of clay vases- in which women placed their jewelry, leaden pouches for cosmetic creams "Psimithia", jewelry of every type made from gold or silver.


Europos, Rural & Cultural Heritage Museum

The Museum of Rural & Cultural Heritage in Europos was founded in order to gather in its halls precious mementoes of a long tradition that was carved through dense cultural conversations. Ionians from Foulatzik and Kizdervent, Thracians from Tzelepkioi, the Judd and Almpasaniof the Eastern Thrace, native Macedonians, Vlachs and Pontiansfound in their storage, drawers and old chests these valuable objects, heirlooms from the memorable lands and from customs that go far back in the centuries, and they offered them to the museum.

This rich cultural and folklore heritage is hosted since 2009 in this museum that is housed in the old elementary school, which was built in 1928 and renovated in 2000.

At the entrance of the museum a small classroom has been set up, with reference to the 60s (old school desks, student aprons, indicative etc.). The "Hall of weaving" is also prominent, while in the remaining rooms one can see family photographs, holiday memories and recordings of agriculture and everyday life, located near the original exhibits to illuminate the same tradition constituting valuable testimonials.


Museum of Rural & Cultural Heritage


Fresh fish in Doirani (Mouries & Hilia Dentra)

Perfect for visitors from the surrounding prefectures

Arrive at Mouries that are located at the foothills of Mount Belles near the lake Doirani, about 80 km away from Thessaloniki.

We head to the location Hilia Dentra (a Thousand Trees), in the forest of Mouries, abeautiful natural forest with mixed vegetation of oak and ash trees that has been declared a "Natural Monument".

Here, there is a beautiful recreation area, in the center of the cluster of old oak trees, aged up to 400 years, where we can drink a coffee while enjoying the beautiful nature.A walk in the surrounding villages, Mouries, Platanies, A. Sourmena, can lead us through a unique path, in an area with rich vegetation.

We, then, head to the village Doirani, in the south of the lake, following a wonderful lakeside path.

Doirani features a wonderful ecotourism system that hosts 19 species of fish that live in the lake, such as carps, scheiders, gobies, crusian carps, eels, painted combers, and a significant number of birds such coots, snipes, various species of ducks, grebes and grey herons.

The monument in commemoration of the Battle of Doirani dominates the visitors, but there are many other attractions such as the Museum of Lake Doirani. The beach of the lake is planted with trees and there are playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, soccer courts and other facilities for visitors, as well as bars and fish taverns offering delicious appetizers and carp.

Here, we can select our favorite tavern to enjoy fresh fish. Doirani is famous for its unique fishing practices.Local fishermen use the reeds that grow in the lake in many ways, maintaining the traditional fishing techniques from the ancient times. On the bank of the lake, in the village, there are fishing facilities throughout the year.

On our way back, following the road to Drosato, we can visit some other settlements as well, before returning to our base.


Horygi, Megalithic Monument

In the middle of a valley, west of Kilkis, rises the "kalampak" or "Castle" or "Lazaritsa" of Chorygi. An imposing megalithic monument of prehistoric times. The hill is crowned circularly by rocks, much like a natural citadel. There are relics of a settlement and on the foothills lies a cemetery of cist graves, probably of the classical times. According to historians, this was the location of the Roman station "Tauriana", which served the hikers that were marching along Axios River. The Hill of Chorygiattracts many climbers.


Experienced Offers

Log in

create an account