Xanthi is by far the most attractive Thracian town, with its winding historic streets, natural setting, great restaurants, fun nightlife and good places to stay. It's worth settling here for a couple of days and exploring the old quarter's tilting timbered Ottoman houses, most of them formerly owned by tobacco barons. Some now house museums, others friendly bars and tavernas. Make sure you taste Xanthi's traditional sweets, famous throughout Greece.
South of Xanthi, the ports of Keramoti and Kavala have ferries to Thasos and other islands. North, the rippling Rhodopi Mountains offer forest hikes and thermal baths, and to the east the Nestos River provides kayaking and birdwatching opportunities. Don't miss the fantastic Pomakohoria region, with its curious border villages and unique culture.