Evros (regional unit)

Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Regional unit

Municipalities of Evros

Evros within Greece
Coordinates: GR 41°10′N 26°05′E / 41.167°N 26.083°E / 41.167; 26.083Coordinates: GR 41°10′N 26°05′E / 41.167°N 26.083°E / 41.167; 26.083
Country Greece
Region East Macedonia and Thrace
Capital Alexandroupoli
  Total 4,242 km2 (1,638 sq mi)
Population (2011)
  Total 147,530 [1]
Postal codes 68x xx
Area codes 255x0
ISO 3166 code GR-71
Car plates ΕΒ, ΟΡ

Evros (Greek: Περιφερειακή ενότητα Έβρου) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Its name is derived from the river Evros, which appears to have been a Thracian hydronym. Evros is the northernmost regional unit. It borders Turkey to the east, across the river Evros, and it borders Bulgaria to the north and the northwest. Its capital is Alexandroupoli. Together with the regional units Rhodope and Xanthi, it forms the geographical region of Western Thrace.


Flag of rebels of Evros region during the Greek War of Independence

Evros is one of the largest regional units of Greece. It forms the eastern part of the geographical region Western Thrace, and includes the island Samothrace in the northern Aegean Sea. Its length is about 150 km from north to south (excluding Samothrace). Its width ranges from 70 to 100 km from east to west. The most important rivers are the Evros and its tributary Arda.

The Rhodope Mountains lie in the west and the southwest. The Aegean Sea lies to the south. The Evros valley is flat. Samothrace is mountainous.

The coastal area has a predominantly Mediterranean climate, whereas the northern part and the mountains have a colder continental climate.


The Evros regional unit is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):[2]


Evros was established as a prefecture in 1930 (Greek: Νομός Έβρου), when the former Thrace Prefecture was divided into the Rhodope and Evros prefectures.[3] As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the East Macedonia and Thrace region, with no change in its boundaries. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.[2]

New municipality Old municipalities Seat
Alexandroupoli Alexandroupoli Alexandroupoli
Didymoteicho Didymoteicho Didymoteicho
Orestiada Orestiada Orestiada
Samothrace (Samothraki) Samothrace Samothrace
Soufli Soufli Soufli


Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.


As a part of Western Thrace, the territory of the Evros regional unit followed the fate of that region. At 1821, several parts of Evros region, such as Lavara and Samothraki rebelled, participated in the Greek War of Independence. It became part of Greece in 1920, when it was ceded by Bulgaria as a result of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Initially it was part of the Thrace Prefecture, which was subdivided in 1930. During the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), many Greek refugees settled in the Evros, and new towns bere built, including Orestiada. The Evros river valley was flooded several times, notably in 1997, 2005, and 2006.


The main roads in the Evros regional unit are:

A railway line connects Alexandroupoli with Thessaloniki via Komotini, Xanthi and Drama. Another line connects Alexandroupoli with Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria via Didymoteicho and Orestiada, with a branch line from Didymoteicho to Uzunköprü, Turkey.

The Alexandroupolis International Airport is served by mostly national flights.

Notable people


  1. "Publication of provisional results of the 2011 Population Census" (PDF). National Statistical Service of Greece. p. 3.
  2. 1 2 "Kallikratis reform law text" (PDF).
  3. Law, Gwillim (1999). Administrative subdivisions of countries: a comprehensive world reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7864-0729-3.
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