Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia

Guided Tour of Northern Greece based in Thessaloniki

About Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia

Summary

The north of Greece is a region rich in cultural and religious history as well as an abundance of natural beauty. MINIMUM 4 PERSONS.

Activity code: GR-North2

Duration: 7 Days

START / FINISH - Thessaloniki

Northern Greece has so much to offer that it is often hard to choose what to do. The region is rich not only in cultural and religious history but also in natural history, with important wetlands, nature reserves, rivers, lakes, forests and national parks. Significant archaeological sites are located a relatively short distance from the city making Thessaloniki an ideal base for exploring the most important cultural attractions of Northern Greece. Last but certainly not least it is also a culinary mecca of food and wine!

Highlights of the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia Tour

  • Meteora: is one of the holiest places and most striking sights on Earth, huge monasteries built on top of granite boulders, 400m above the ground. The site was chosen as an escape from raiders but also as a place of solitude to be near to God. Logistically it was a difficult place, any provisions had to be winched up in baskets from ground level! Of the 24 Monasteries that grew between the 13th and 16th centuries, only six are still inhabited. Since 1988 Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Dion: the ancient town at the foot of Mount Olympus. The Macedonian kings used to come here to make sacrifices before going into battle.
  • Thessaloniki: Greece's second city steeped in history, a mixture of Byzantine and Ottoman. Thessaloniki is a beautiful city with a long and fascinating history. It was built in 316 BC by King Kassandros and named after his wife, the sister of Alexander the Great. For several centuries it was the second-most important city of the Byzantine Empire, played an important role for Christianity during the middle Ages and was decorated with impressive buildings. Nowadays, with a population of nearly one million citizens, the city is the second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre of Greece. In 1988, fifteen monuments of Thessaloniki were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Vergina: or ancient Aigai was the first capital of ancient kingdom of Macedonia.It is protected by UNESCO as world cultural heritage and comprises a unique discovery of enormous universal impact. The most important remains are the monumental palace and the burial ground. One of the royal tombs discovered in 1977, has been identified as that of Philip II and another one discovered a year later, as the tomb of Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great. The underground museum contains the main treasures of the tombs of the Macedonian Kings.

This wonderful holiday is part city break and part guided tour. The itinerary includes all the most famous locations in the north of Greece as listed above plus a visit to Meteora a little further south. Overall it is a great short holiday to a lesser visited region of Greece. If you or your family have already visited the classical and ancient sites close to Athens and are looking for something a little different then you will not be disappointed by this package.

Accommodation: Hotel Olympia, Thessaloniki is a contemporary hotel right in the heart of Thessaloniki, housed in a historic building that has been in the same family since 1932. Since the most recent refurbishment the Hotel Olympia has become a boutique hotel with modern minimalist architecture offering quality services to guests. It has ninety-seven rooms, including nine executive rooms, one room for the disabled and one suite overlooking the Roman Ancient Market.

This recommended holiday comprises tours in the city and outside with a qualified English-speaking guide. If you are looking to include different places of interest we can also offer a completely tailor made itinerary.

What's included:

  • 6 nights hotel accommodation in double rooms with shower/WC, a/c, TV, telephone and internet.
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners.
  • English speaking Licensed Tourist Guides.
  • All local transfers as per itinerary in comfortable a/c transport
  • All local taxes

 

  • Why not extend your holiday with a few extra days in Thessaloniki to explore at leisure or head across to the coast for a few days relaxation?

 

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival

    On arrival at Thessaloniki Airport you'll be met by your guide. Transfer to your Hotel in Thessaloniki and check-in.

    • Meals: Dinner.

  • Day 2: Thessaloniki city tour

    Today you'll get to know the history of the city of Thessaloniki. You'll see some of the Roman sites and fabulous Byzantine churches and monuments, the beautiful promenade and visit the Archaeological Museum which holds artifacts from the prehistoric, archaic, classical and Roman periods. Our experienced tourist guide will not only show you the sites but will explain their significance and tell their story.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

  • Day 3: Ancient Pella

    After breakfast you'll drive to the Archaeological Site of Pella, the capital of Macedonia in the 5th century BC and birthplace of Philip II and of Alexander [the Great], his son. Your guide will take you to visit the archaeological site and the new museum, one of Greece's best on-site museums, hosting the exceptional mosaics and artifacts such as pottery and jewellery discovered in the remains of houses and public buildings.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

  • Day 4: Ancient Dion

    Ancient Dion, at the foothills of Mount Olympus, was an important religious center of Zeus worship. This is where Phillip II came to celebrate his victories and his son Alexander assembled his armies and sacrificed offerings before departing to conquer the East. You'll visit the archeological site and the museum which contains many interesting finds from the area, such as statues, coins, mosaics and many other unique objects. The remains of the site include sections of the town walls, the main street, public baths, mosaics, houses, shops, a Christian basilica and the temples of Zeus, Isis (the Egyptian goddess was a favorite of Alexander), Demeter and Asclepius.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

  • Day 5: Aigai (Vergina)

    The ancient city of Aigai (Vergina) was the first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia. When the capital was moved to Pella it continued being used as the Royal burial grounds. One of the Royal tombs, discovered in 1977, has been identified as that of Philip II and another one discovered a year later, as the tomb of Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great. The underground museum contains the main treasures of the tombs of the Macedonian Kings. The site is the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century in Greece and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

  • Day 6: The Meteora Monasteries

    Today you will visit the famous Monasteries of Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monasteries built on spectacular natural sandstone rock pillars, are amongst the most striking sights in Europe. Your tourist guide will inform you about the site and the history of the monasteries. In the early evening you'll enjoy together a farewell dinner at a traditional taverna in the old city.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 7: Departure from Thessaloniki

    Free time in city if your flight time allows; then transfer to Thessaloniki Airport for your return flight.

    • Meals: Breakfast.

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