From Paranesti we take the road to Drama. After two kilometers the metal sign informs us: “Treasure Hydroelectric Dam” 22 kilometers.
The route is along the river, paved along its entire length and runs through slopes overgrown with oaks, privets, anchovies and oysters. On our way we pass under the crowning of the Platanovrisi Dam and then, after crossing a tunnel and an iron bridge, we end up at the largest dam in the Balkans.
The Treasure Dam is rock-cut, with a total volume of 11 million cubic meters and a height of 175 meters. The maximum useful storage capacity of its reservoir is 565,000,000 cubic meters of water. The catchment area of the Nestos River at the location of Thesauros is 3,698 square kilometers for river flow and 4,263 square kilometers for river flooding. The underground factory is located on the right abutment at a depth of 400 meters. Three units of 100 megawatts each operate and the annual energy produced is 440 gigawatt hours.
As impressive as the technical characteristics of the dam are, they cannot be compared to the impression made by the Nestos reservoir behind the Treasure Dam. As the lake formed there stretches along the old river bed for many kilometers it makes Nestos look like a huge floating river from above! Its waters sometimes penetrate deep into the ravines of its tributaries and elsewhere leave verdant tongues of land penetrating the waters creating a kind of small fjords. Despite the possibly fair objections of environmentalists, the sight is without a doubt amazing.
On our return, we can visit at will one or more of the mountain villages of the Municipality of Paranesti, Polysyko (with its few inhabitants), Melissochori (built at an altitude of 700 meters), Mikrochori (at an altitude of 530 meters), the Circumference or the Tichota. All the villages are now inhabited only occasionally by pastoralists. However, they are connected to the national road network by paved and paved roads.
If we choose a route that passes through the rich forest complexes of the area, we will head towards Perivlepto, where we arrive with the help of the sign seven kilometers from the point where we leave the national network. At an altitude of 660 meters we see stone-built houses, half-demolished, and tiled roofs ready to collapse. Nature fills the void of human presence.
If we have a four-wheel drive, we can continue from Perivleptos towards Tichota using the forest network. On our way we meet the Skete of Agia Anna, a small monastery in the middle of nowhere. The elder who founded it “fell asleep” a few years ago and the practice is now continued there by a younger Agioreite monk. Often absent from Mt. When he himself is not there to welcome us, we are greeted with immense joy by the huge but especially friendly dog of the monastery.
Continuing our route, we take the right branch of the road, which after about five kilometers will bring us through dense oak forests to the location of the old settlement of Tihota (altitude 680 meters). The houses of the village save something of the old glory of the settlement. A mansion on the edge of the village, under a towering cherry tree, overlooks Falakro and Lake Nestos. A little higher, on a slope, the Muslim cemetery with its area and number of graves shows that the village was inhabited for generations. In the spring, among the tombs, the orchids give a recital… In the summer, the village acquires a “permanent” population, which consists of a farmer and his animals…
We return to Paranesti for a refreshment, with which we will complete the enjoyable experiences of an unforgettable day!