Thessaloniki welcomes you to discover its grandeur through a series of adventurous excursions such as:
Ancient Dion is situated in the eastern foothills of Mt. Olympus, 83km from the city. The ancient city, a former retreat of Alexander the Great, was later lost to dense vegetation until excavations began in 1928. A museum on the site gives visitors the chance to see artefacts from the excavations.
Vergina – Aeges
Located 50km from Thessaloniki, Vergina, near the ancient city of Aeges, was once the capital of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. During excavations in the area, the tomb of Phillip II — the father of Alexander the Great — was discovered, making Vergina a site of great historical significance. In 1996, UNESCO included the archaeological site of Aeges in its list of World Heritage Monuments.
Pella flourished in the second half of the 4th century, and the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, before falling to the Romans in 168-7 BC and being destroyed by an earthquake, possibly in the first decade of the 1st century BC. Houses with mosaic floors and parts of the palace and market, sanctuaries and graveyards of this ancient city were uncovered during a series of excavations. Findings from these excavations are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
The Holy Mountain of Athos
Considered to be one of the most important sites in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Holy Mountain of Athos, located on the Athos peninsula, is an isolated community of 20 self-governed monasteries, each equally significant in terms of national, historical, religious and cultural value. Women are not allowed to visit Mount Athos — therefore it’s recommended they arrange a cruise along the coast to experience it from a distance.
Located 54km from Thessaloniki, the Petralona cave was discovered in 1959, together with the fossil skull which came to be known as the Archanthropus of Petralona. A paleontological museum can also be visited at the entrance to the cave.
The birthplace of Aristotle, Stagira is located 73km from Thessaloniki. The town was destroyed by Phillip II and rebuilt by Alexander the Great in honour of his tutor.