The Villages of Strymonikos Gulf
Build on the down hills of mountain Cholomontas, named Sougliani, just 800m away from the sea, the village of Anw Stavros is known for its great climate and the panoramic view that offers for many centuries to its residents and visitors.
It is believed that residents from the ancient villages of Argilos, Vormiskos, Avlona and Stagira first inhabited the village when they searched for protection high on the hills. It is also believed that the name of the village came out with an alteration of the name Stagira. (Stagira – Stagiros – Stagros – Stavros. Another theory justifies the name of the village Stavros cause of the cross point it was located, between of roman Via Egnatia and the path to mountain Athos.
The village Aspri Valta was built at the early of 16th century, to the south edge of mountain Kerdyllia, far away from the sea. According to documents of that time, found at the monastery's Simonos Petra archive, the area was covered by a luxurian forest that was used from monastery Koutloumousiou of mountain Athos.
The area had become extremely dangerous cause the vegetation provided an ideal hideout to thieves and murderers. That's why the monastery decided to clear the area and built the village.
The history of the village of Vrasna is lost in deep history. Many traces of habitation and existence of life already from the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. have been found.
Until 1918 Vrasna was known as Vrasta. Probably the name came from an older city, located near by but lower then today's village, on the way to the sea and next to the ancient street of Egnatia (Via Egnatia in Latin). The city's name was Vormiskos or Vromiskos.
Right at the heart of Strymonikos gulf, between the Thessaloniki-Kavala national road and the green-blue Aegean Sea, is located the village of Nea Vrasna.
The village was in fact created when residents from the old village of Vrasna moved here. Today the population of Nea Vrasna is about 2000 people, a notable fact once you realize that this removal took place the past 40 years.
Lengthways of this beautiful beach, that spreads into a natural harbor and is surrounded from bright green mountains and charmed beaches, lays the village of Olympiada. It’s the third village of the area with refugees, beside Asprovalta and Stavros. Here settled 50 refugee families from Saint Kiriaki of Vithinia, after the persecution of Greeks, in 1922, from Asia Minor.
When the refugees came to this area, found a small village of about 10 families. The land was nothing but a swamp and people were infected by malaria. That was the reason why 1/3 of the first village population died in a few months, while many others spread out in other areas of Macedonia and Thrace.
At the year of 1923, when Greeks forced to leave from Asia Minor, about 400 families from the village of Katirli of Vithinia, left their beautiful place and found a new place to fit in, as refugees, according to their parish they belonged to.
Parishioners of the Saint Paraskevi church came to Stavros, creating the village "Paralia Stavros" and parishioner of the Saint John church went to Thssaloniki, founding the village "Neo Katirli" at today's Kalamaria municipality. Some months later refugees from the village of Madytos in Prousa added to the ones in Paralia Stavros and instantly embody to the village.