Goniko

Goniko of Evros is a Pomak village, 1.5 kilometer from the Greek-Bulgarian borders. It is located at an altitude of 400 meters and is 12 kilometers away from Mega Dereio. It has about 300 permanent residents and has a minority primary school.

Within 3 kilometers from Goniko there is one of the major attractions of the region, the Rock Paintings, dating to the Early Iron Age. They are large rocks with engraved illustrations, on which distinguish human figures, reptiles, birds and others.

Just outside Goniko lies the sacred for Pomaks hill of Chilia (or Chigia), where are gathered every year on the first weekend of August to celebrate Giagla – Bairami, performing the ceremony of men wrestling. Wrestlers from various cities of northern Greece as well as Bulgaria and Turkey, take part in this event, accompanied by a rich program of theater, dance and musical performances.

At a distance of 7 kilometers to the north of Goniko is located Roussa, perhaps the most traditional and well preserved Pomak village.

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