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The amazing Thessaloniki and its surroundings

The Greek city of THESSALONIKI, with its characteristics, will fully meet the desires of all tourists arriving there.

Thessaloniki is located in the Greek region of Macedonia, the Aegean Sea. It is the second most populous Greek city, after Athens. That is why the town is very lively but also offers, especially in its surroundings, the tranquility and the beauty of its natural sites. You can get to Thessaloniki also by ferry (click here), departing from various ports.

From a historical point of view, Alexander the Great was born near Thessaloniki, more exactly in Pella. In VERGINA archaeological site, there is also the grave of his father. Many artifacts found in excavations are kept in the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Thessaloniki.

There are many other museums to visit, all very interesting : the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ethnological Museum of Popular Arts, the Museum of Ataturk, the Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki, Museum Film, etc.

The MUSEUM OF THE CINEMA was inaugurated in 1997 and is located in the port, in a building near Piazza Aristoteleus. The museum collects everything related to the cinema’s world, starting with cameras and projectors, then the photographs and posters – also painted by hand-, a large number of films, various equipment and film accessories, soundtracks and finally an important archive. You can also view film clips here. It is really worth going there and there are budget offer for younger people, meaning the entrance is free for them.
And if you are really movie fan, you can go and enjoy the THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL which takes place in November and includes several sections; the prize to the first and second consists of a sum of money over the statuette in gold or silver called  “Alexander”. This event is very important and the greatest world directors took part. In March instead the THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL takes place.

Churches and monuments in Thessaloniki

The city of Thessaloniki is rich in monuments and churches, mostly Byzantines. The Church of PANAGIA AGHIROPOIETOS is from V century. The Christian Basilica was converted into a mosque in the fifteenth century. Inside there are beautiful mosaics and a XIII century fresco. The largest Greek Church, Agios Dimitrios, is dedicated to the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It was destroyed in a fire in 1917 and rebuilt in 1948. Under the church there is a crypt that  was originally a bath; here he was imprisoned and tortured Saint Dimitrios.
The Hagia Sophia, (AGIA SOFIA) from the VIII century was the cathedral of Thessaloniki; then, from 1523 it became a mosque to get to Orthodox worship in 1912, after the liberation of the city. The mosaics are stunning: the dome dates back to 885.

Agia_SofiaPublic Domain

The WHITE TOWER is located in the eastern part of the waterfront and is one of the most representative monuments of Thessaloniki. It is one of the XV century fortress, a former prison where torture was practiced . After the liberation of the city in XIX century, the tower was painted white, and this meant to wash all the blood shed in this place. Currently, the tower is no longer really white, but his name remained.

White_Tower_of_Thessaloniki

Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 Ωριγένης

From Thessaloniki you can very quickly get into some of the most beautiful places from a naturalistic point of view; one of these is the MOUNT OLYMPUS.
This is the highest mountain in Greece; in fact the highest of its 8 peaks is 2,918 meters. We all know the legend of Mount Olympus as the residence of the gods, but in our modern world this beautiful place has become a National Park.

Whilst on the topic of nature, more or less wild, you can visit the Chalcidice peninsula, located at the south-east area of Thessaloniki. The Greek name is CHALKIDIKI and it comes in three peninsula, located also in the northern Aegean Sea, which together suggest the three fingers of one hand. Each one has very different characteristics, but theya rare overall still interesting. The first is Kassandra, the most popular one with its international tourists; there are luxury hotels, but also simple camping areas; very impressive the village of Afissos, all built in white stone. SITHONIA is wildest, with its forests that reach the sea and the rugged coastline of Porto Koufos. The third, AGION OROS or Mount Athos is very special; it hosts various religious communities, Christian Orthodox, so there are many monasteries in this area. But the problem is that women are not allowed here and even men who wish to join in must first prove that they are driven by religious and spiritual reasons. We must therefore be content to see the monasteries from the sea, taking a boat ride; It will  be still a beautiful experience, as the waters are crystal clear and the views is absolutely fantastic.

There are still so many places, beautiful monuments and interesting things to see in Thessaloniki, and among the others do not forget to visit and enjoy all the beautiful beaches in the area close to the city, where you simply relax in the sun. So have a really great trip and enjoy a fantastic holiday in Thessaloniki!