riνer Angitis is a main element in the hydrographic network of the
lowlands of Drama. It starts at the Maara springs, crosses the western
side of the low-lands and having collected its waters at Philippi
pours into the Strymon river. The mean annual amount of water supplied
by the springs has been calculated at 3 cubic metres per second
and the mean annual amount of water supplied by the Angitis, having
collected all its waters, is 8 cubic metres per second.
The Maara springs at an altitude of 123m are the outlet of an underground
river which crosses the Maara cave. The cave is a pipeline conduit
(karst phenomenon) which is directly connected with the sink-holes
of Ochyro οn the Kato Nevrokopi plateau at an altitude of 535m.
The underwater river is fed by waters from streams of the Kato Nevrokopi
plateau which drain through the Ochyro sinkholes and are channelled
through the underground (karst) system.
Just in front of the outlet of the water there is a waterwheel which
has been there since the Turkish occupation which was used to raise
water from the river and then irrigate the surrounding villages.
Today the cave has been explored for 8.5 km of its length and is
accessible for 2.5 km, of which the first 500m are open to the public
for visits while it is estimated that the real length of the cave
is 12 km. Inside the cave the temperature of the water is 13o
C and the air temperature is 17o C. Along the length
of the cave there are flat area and chambers up to 25m in width
alternating with narrower areas up to 1m wide. Α characteristic
feature of the cave is the underground river and the stalactites
in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes (there are hardly any
stalagmites in the cave).
See also the following photos: