In the corner of the Thracian Rhodope, the municipality of Maroneia-Sapes has it all: endless vineyards, tiled roof mansions and the ancient past blended with the Christian one. A region as ancient as Homer invites you to explore it and give in to its exceptional charm.

Today, in Maroneia, perched on the slopes of Mount Ismaros, which is listed as a traditional settlement, ancient civilization blends with modern history, forming a remarkable combination. Walk up the alleys around the small central square with the enormous plane tree to admire the mansions of the old historic settlement. An outstanding example of urban architecture and a point of reference is the Tavaniotis mansion, the residence of a Maronite merchant, which also functions as a museum today.

On a journey through time, your tour begins at the Megalithic Gate, part of the fortifications dating back to the 9th and 8th centuries BC, while a stop at the theatre of Hellenistic and Roman era with its excellent acoustics and the sanctuary of Dionysus is essential. Short routes lead to ancient residencies with exquisite mosaics, to the Byzantine finds of a basilica in Palaiochora, to the Byzantine tower above the port of Saint Charalambos, which played a vital role over the centuries, to the ancient quarries in Marmaritsa and to the early Christian finds in Synaxis. This trip could not exclude the cave of Maroneia, which has been linked to the scene of the blindness of the Cyclops Polyphemus by Odysseus.


Examples of this residential tradition are the religious pilgrimages, such as the churches of Saint John the Baptist and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. This tradition is kept alive by the area’s customs and traditions that are preserved over the course of time. The carnival of Sapes, the municipality’s capital, gathers a large number of people every year, while the Folklore Museum of Xylagani offers images from another era.

Then, nature prevails in the municipality with the vast vineyards and olive groves, the forests of oaks, the pine trees and strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo L.), as well as the spots of geological and ecological interest offering all kinds of experiences. Nature lovers will indulge in bird watching, adventurers will test their endurance on 4×4 routes, rock climbing and hiking trails, while for those more easygoing, they will swim at one of the area’s enchanting beaches.

The wine pleasure is for everyone, as the famous Maronite wines are an excellent accompaniment to the dishes of the local cuisine, which includes elements and recipes from the multicultural mosaic of its inhabitants.


In the context of this multiculturalism of the region, the confusion of the relationship with the municipality of neighboring Kardzhali in Bulgaria is promoted through the program Interreg. The need for collaborative actions in two municipalities that share their culture, food and traditions is crucial and extends beyond their geographical borders.

With ancient and Byzantine monuments everywhere, renowned wines, well-preserved mansions and beaches with turquoise waters, a visit to the Municipality of Maroneia-Sapes will fill your luggage with stunning memories.