Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, welcoming its open spaces to tourists from all over the world. Surprisingly, the prints of the Jewish population, the Ottoman, Roman, Byzantine, and empires are still preserved here. Arriving in Thessaloniki, be sure that you will have an unforgettable vacation here. It is certainly worth exploring all the sights of the Old Town, which are under the protection of UNESCO and get acquainted with the local culture. In Thessaloniki, various festivals and events are constantly held, which locals and tourists like to visit. Rent a car and take the time to drive to the main historical places, including the Rotunda Church, the Church of St. Nicholas of Orfansky, the Basilica of St. Dmitry. And after sunset, take a walk along the promenade and appreciate the beauty of the calm water of Thermaikos Bay.
International Airport Macedonia ( Macedonia International, Airport then ) - download scheme
IATA code: SKG
Location: 15 km from Thessaloniki
Official website: http://www.hcaa.gr/our-airports/kratikos-aerolimenas-8essalonikhs-makedonia-ka8m
Information: +30 231 098 5000
The following companies provide car rental services at Thessaloniki Airport: Hertz, Budget, Europcar, Avis, Thrifty and Sixt. Car rental desks are located in the arrivals area. Near the airport, the eastern and western parking zones with a capacity of more than 1000 cars are equipped.
Agias Sofias http://www.agiasofia.info/
When you rent a car, go see the oldest shrine in Thessaloniki - the church of Hagia Sophia. Her story began at the beginning of the XIII century. Then the city cathedral appeared here. The external and internal decoration is made in the characteristic style of the Middle Byzantine period. The main pride of the church is the mosaic that adorns the entire dome. It depicts the Ascension, and in a circle traced the figures of two angels, the Virgin Mary, 12 apostles. Inspecting every detail, it is worth paying attention to the arch, which depicts the Virgin and Child. Mosaic dates from the 11th century.
Another historical attraction that attracts the attention of tourists is Heptapyrgion. Once it was the main citadel of the Acropolis, and in Ottoman times and up to the 19th century, a garrison command was located here. It is interesting that some buildings date back to the 9th century, others to a later period (XII-XIII centuries). Having examined the Heptapyrgion, it is worth to climb to the observation deck, from where fascinating panoramic views will open.
5th Road - Tagarades http://www.waterland.gr/gr
One of the main attractions in Thessaloniki where you can have fun with your whole family is Waterland Waterpark. Hot tubs, a mountain river with waterfalls, slides with steep diving boards, artificial 1.5-meter storm waves - all this will allow you to get an adrenaline rush and an unforgettable experience. For children, there are safe carousels, a track for riding on small cars, a slot machine room. After an active holiday, you can have a bite to eat in cafes or restaurants located in the water park.
Manoli Andronikou 6 http://www.amth.gr/
The Archaeological Museum is a completely unique place, once in which you can learn about the history of the area, starting from the VI century BC. During the tour, you can see miniature gizmos of the classical and archaic periods, gold jewelry and artifacts, objects of worship, unique sculptures. The main asset of the museum’s collection is the treasures that were discovered in the tomb of the Macedonian ruler Philip II. It will be more convenient to get to the historical place by rental car.
Walking along the promenade, it is impossible not to notice the White Tower. The first mention of the structure dates back to the 12th century. If before there was a famous prison, now a museum with unique exhibits is open in the tower. On the ground floor of the exhibition are presented ancient coins, tools of glass blowers, gunsmiths, jewelers, as well as a model of the city market. On the second - exhibits telling about overseas wanderings, performances, pilgrimages.
Halkidiki is the main resort of Greece, which is famous for its calm sea and luxurious coastline. Lovers of water sports are offered a lot of entertainment, including diving, snorkeling, for those who prefer to combine a beach holiday with an excursion program, there is a great opportunity to see many interesting places. The main attraction is the monastery complex on Mount Athos and a sea excursion around the closed peninsula. For the most beautiful views, head to the Byzantine lookout tower in Agios Pavlos. And in order to travel back to the 5th century BC - to Sithonia, where the excavations of ancient Olinfos are located. Thermal spas in Agia Paraskevi and the Petralona Cave, where the oldest human parking in Europe is located, are also popular with tourists.
One of the most stunning spectacles can be seen when you come to the waterfalls of Edessa. A natural attraction appeared at the end of the XIV century as a result of an earthquake, which introduced changes in the structure of the relief. To this day, residents of the tourist center of Edessa carefully protect the area from civilization. Especially impressive is a large waterfall. From viewing platforms or a bridge, you can watch tons of water crash down at an incredible speed, making characteristic sounds. Impressive and lush vegetation decorates the adjacent territory. In order to move around the Thessaloniki and get to the popular attractions with comfort, rent a car.
The ancient Greek city of Dion is considered a popular tourist destination along with Athens and Delphi. It was here that Alexander the Great grew up and went on his last trip. In the middle of the 20th century, large-scale excavations began in Dion and unique historical monuments were found. The city can be divided into two parts. In the first there are public buildings, administrative buildings, luxurious villas of wealthy citizens. Walking through the streets you can stumble upon bright architectural details, temples built during the period of Roman rule. The second part of the city is the ruins of the old cultural center, the main highlight of which are the ruins of the temple of Isis.
Alistrati Cave is a relatively young attraction that was accidentally discovered by locals in the 70s of the last century. They noticed that the birds regularly fly away in a certain direction under the ground and began to explore it. It turned out that the birds flew away to hide in the cave. Then scientists began to explore a new object. After 20 years, the cave became available for viewing by tourists. Every day, rumors of exciting attractions spread around an increasing number of people. Those wishing to look at unusual cave corals, aragonite crystals, stalactites and stalagmites increased. It is interesting that the area of the cave is conditionally divided into three zones. The first is available for viewing by tourists, the second is exclusively for scientists. The third zone is closed to all in order to preserve the unique underground fauna,
When you rent a car, head to Cape Sounion to see the ruins of the temple of Poseidon and the most bewitching sunsets in Greece. The attraction dates back to the 5th century BC. Approaching, you can consider unique elements: plots of the battles of the centaurs and gigantomakhii, the remains of the frieze and architrave, as well as a picture of Theseus’s battle with the Minotaur. When the temple was still not popular among tourists, people here loved to leave their autographs, who later became famous throughout the world. Among such people, for example, was Lord Byron himself. Staying at the cape until the evening, you can enjoy unusual sunsets and spend the night surrounded by stars and the legendary temple.
16 Delfon | Delfon & Paraskevopoulou https://www.facebook.com/odosdelfon/
For a delicious breakfast, head to Odos Delfon. The menu offers dishes of Mediterranean cuisine, Greek. The cozy atmosphere will help you to quickly relax, and the attentive staff will help you choose dishes and tell about the latest. Thanks to large portions it will be possible to get enough in full. The presented dishes are prepared using fresh ingredients and minimal processing, so there will be something to choose for vegetarians and those who adhere to proper nutrition.
22 Mitropoleos | Komninon https://www.facebook.com/ARC-espresso-wine-bar-518629888240887/
In between coffee excursions or a glass of wine, you can drop by the ARC Espresso Wine Bar. Locals love the establishment for a stylish interior, original cocktail delivery and decoration of dishes. It is worth trying branded mojito, sandwiches and coffee. Tourists come here to have a quick bite and take some pictures in an interesting bar. Once you enter the ARC Espresso Wine Bar, you will want to return here again and again.
Parodos Sofouli Themistokli http://www.xalaro.gr/
For lunch or lunch in Thessaloniki, Xalaro is fine. There is a large selection of chicken dishes and serves excellently prepared steaks in accordance with the technology of roasting. Competent staff will be able to quickly serve each guest, despite the workload. The key to success is simple dishes and average prices. Bonus for those traveling by rental car: it can be left in the parking lot nearby.
36 Mela Pavlou http://www.comunale.gr/
Comunale Cucina & Cocktails is famous for its varied menu. The restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes of Mediterranean cuisine, Italian, Japanese. For any mood and taste there is a suitable delicacy. It is worth trying branded sushi, pasta, pizza. Pleasant jazz music plays in the background, complementing the cozy atmosphere. The facility is located in the center, so it will be easy to get here even on foot.
86 Sofouli Themistokli http://www.azzurro.gr/
For a romantic dinner, head to Azzurro. The restaurant is located on the bay, so sitting at a table you can admire the water surface and the city, illuminated by lanterns. The stylish interior and attentive staff makes a good impression. It is worth trying the signature salads and wine, which the waiter will kindly help you choose. The restaurant is suitable for a family meal with children, as well as for a friendly meeting.
13th Km Thessaloniki Perea
+30 231 040 1234 https://thessaloniki.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html double room - from € 144
If you want to have an unforgettable vacation and plan to rent a car to see as many interesting places as possible, opt for the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki. This is an elite hotel offering its guests a full range of services. For sports, there is a tennis court, a swimming pool and a fitness center, and for fun, a casino. If you want to relax after a busy day, you can go to the spa, jacuzzi or take a walk around the hotel. Additional benefits for guests include free parking and a complimentary breakfast.
+30 231 052 2422 http://anatoliahotels.gr/ double room - from € 85
Anatolia Hotel is a great option for a reasonable price in Thessaloniki. The hotel is located next to the central quarters, and the promenade is a 15-minute walk away. The rooms are spacious and stylishly decorated. The Aqua Restaurant has a delicious breakfast and local seafood. It offers a fitness center, room-service, spa. Couples can take advantage of the professional babysitting service.
+30 231 050 8081 http://www.kinissipalace.gr/el/ double room - from € 51
If you plan to travel a lot and are looking for a hotel for overnight stays, opt for Hotel Kinissi Palace. The rooms at the hotel are spacious and equipped with everything you need. You can spend evening leisure in the bar with a glass of wine in a pleasant company or relax in the jacuzzi. Attentive staff will make every guest comfortable. Using the room-service, you can ask to deliver anything you want to your room.
Leof. Komninon 1
+30 231 034 2002 http://www.nepheli.gr/ double room - from € 67
The highlight of Nepheli Hotel is its breathtaking views. On the top floor there is a restaurant where it will be a pleasure to have a meal at any time of the day, enjoying the panorama of the city and mountains. A banquet hall is equipped to celebrate important dates, and in case of need for negotiations - a conference room. Tourists on rental cars will be able to take advantage of free parking, for those traveling without a car, a transfer service is available.
Nikis Ave 59
+30 231 025 0200 http://www.daioshotels.com/ double room - from € 156
For demanding travelers, Daios Luxury Living is the place to go. The hotel rooms are spacious and stylishly decorated, the interior is complemented by panoramic windows and original details. On the first day, guests will have champagne and fruit in the apartment. Tourists are provided with a shuttle service, room-service, dry cleaning. By the way, there are many restaurants and boutiques nearby where you can make treasured purchases and try the cuisine of the peoples of the world.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017