Ardas (Άρδας) is an affluent of river Evros (Έβρος). During the ancient times, it was called Arpissos (Άρπησσος). It has a total length of 290 km, from which 240 km are in Boulgaria and the last 49 km in Greece. Ardas meets with Evros near the village Kastanies (Καστανιές) in Evros county. Its riverfront is rich in wild animals (like deers), birds, trees and a huge variety of plants, while there are also many types of fish species that inhabit the river.
Near the mouth of the river, the riverbed widens and during the summer months, there are many activities you could do, like swimming, beach volley and canoeing. In this area every summer, a huge festival takes place. It is called Youth Gathering – Ardas (Συνάντηση Νέων – Άρδας). It lasts almost a week and there are many events that take place. Concerts by well-known Greek artists, sports events, exhibitions, theatrical plays, walking tours and many more, attract every year a large number of visitors (for info about the festival check here ).
At the same spot, there is a crossing of the river from one bank to the other (actually a road covered by the water), which could be done by car (you don’t need a 4×4), when the water level is low, during the summer months. It is a guilty pleasure and quite impressive. However before you cross the river, even during the summer months, check the water level (or ask the locals), because, due to sudden heavy rain, the water could rise again. After or before the crossing you can swim at the river “beaches” in the area. To reach this place, head to Kastanies village and from there follow the signs for “Ardas” (Άρδας).
Here is our crossing of the river :