Sérres (Greek: Σέρρες, older form: Σέῤῥαι Sérrai) (Population: 58,287 (2011)) is a city in Macedonia, Greece. It is situated in a fertile plain at an elevation of about 70 m, some 24 km northeast of the Strymon river and 69 km northeast of the Macedonian capital, Thessaloniki. The Rhodope Mountains rise to the north and east of the city. It is the capital of the prefecture of Serres (region) and is situated in the Central Macedonia periphery.
To the north the hills and the first heights of the Vrondou mountain chain embrace the city which has as its typical landmark the hill of the Acropolis (Koulas), while to the south it overlooks the fertile plain, through which the Strymon River flows some 24 km away.
The city of Serres, almost entirely rebuilt since the Bulgarian incendiarism, is a pleasant city, with wide streets, surrounded by abundant woods and luxuriant gardens. The city is typical of the ample width of its road structure, its parks, its squares and in general, with anything that might be a reference point to an integral modern city plan.
From the ruined castle that crowns the round wooded hill to the north, visitors can enjoy the wonderful view and they are invited to explore the pine-filled hills through many picturesque paths.
On the way to this hill, located at Exohon Street, there is one of the most beautiful parks in Serres, the park of Saints' Anargiri valley. Being close to the center of the town it is used as a place of leisure, sports and entertainment by both the young and the old. Lots of clubs and cafes located in this area offer a lot of opportunities for an exciting nightlife during the summer months.
- Acropolis of Serres. Ruins of a late Byzantine castle.
- The city has many parks and protected forests. On the road to Koula hills on Exochon (Exochi) Street, two parks, one is the Agioi Anargyroi Park founded near the downtown area.
- The area attracts many outdoor tourists due to rugged countryside and splendid trekking paths.
- 1 Lake Kerkini. Scenic lake, with many viewing points, especially around the western shoreline. A visitor centre is in the village of Kerkini, away from the lake itself, but well worth visiting for free maps and orientation. Staff speak English. For birdwatchers, this is a must-see location. Take a boat from the jetty near Kerkini to see pelicans (two species), flamingoes and many other species, in vast numbers, and at close quarters. Price (as of 2018) €7-10 per head, for 60-90 minutes, for groups.
- 2 Lailias Ski Center
- 3 Fort Ruppel: WW2 fortification at the Bulgarian border
- 4 Monument slaughter Old Kerdyllia
- Pangaion Hills: Impressive mountainous area with many monasteries and archaeological places
- Drama: Nice provincial town with impressive caves and landscapes in its area
- There are Athletic, cultural and folklore associations.
- The City Cultural Center organizes educational and cultural events.
- The City Regional Theatre
- Serres Racing Circuit. A car racing venue.
- Thermal bath. Near Serres are the thermal bath spa of Siderokastro and Nigritas
When you come to Serres, you should buy its delicious traditional sweets, including “akanes”. It is made from fresh goat butter manufactured in the region of Mt Lailias. It resembles a small Turkish delight and has a strong flavour of well roasted almond. The history of this dessert dates back to the period of the Turkish rule when Mt Lailias served as the holiday resort of Ottoman beys.
The “akanes” sweet was prepared in large cauldrons in which the “retseli” preserve was boiled together with “petimezi”, a Greek wine must syrup, and water from the springs of Mt Lailias. This is why it is called “Akanes Lailia Serron”. In fact, the unique flavour of “akanes” is believed to be due to the special, light and cool water springing from Mt Lailias.
Later, the “retseli” preserve and the “petimezi” syrup were replaced by sugar cane and corn flour. Today, sugar is used instead. As soon as the above-mentioned mixture thickened, fresh butter along with dried fruit and nuts were added to it. When it was ready, it was let to cool before being cut into small pieces.
In modern times, the “akanes” dessert mainly consists of sugar, butter, starch, almonds and corn flour.
- There are fabulous cafes in the main square.
- There are nightclubs available.
- During the winter, the nightlife is focused on pedestrian streets of the city center. In the city center you can also find bars and pubs, restaurants and patisseries with the famous “akanes”. During the night of “Tsiknopempti”, the street becomes a place for various events and parties, as everyone is drinking, eating and dancing until the morning in the rythmes of the Hallowing.
- During the summer, the nightlife shifts to the valley of Agious Anargirous.