About Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia
The northern countryside of Greece is a region rich in cultural and religious history as well as an abundance of natural beauty & culinary delights. MINIMUM 4 PERSONS.
Activity code: GR-North2
Duration: 7 Days
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!
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 is a contemporary hotel right in the heart of Thessaloniki, housed in a historic building which has been in the same family since 1932. It was refurbished fairly recently to become a boutique hotel with modern minimalist architecture. It has ninety-seven rooms, including nine executive rooms, one accessible room and one suite overlooking the Roman Ancient Market.
This recommended holiday consists of 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.
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?
You'll be met by your guide upon arrival at Thessaloniki Airport and transferred to your hotel in Thessaloniki.
The rest of the day will be at leisure (depending on your arrival time).
Today, with the help of your guide, you'll uncover the history of Thessaloniki. You'll see some of the Roman sites, fabulous Byzantine churches & monuments, the beautiful promenade and visit the Archaeological Museum which holds artefacts from all periods of history.
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 exceptional mosaics and artefacts such as pottery and jewellery discovered in the remains of houses and public buildings.
Ancient Dion, at the foothills of Mount Olympus, was an important religious centre for the worship of Zeus. This is where Phillip II came to celebrate his victories and where his son, Alexander, assembled his armies and sacrificed offerings before departing to conquer the East. You'll visit the archaeological 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 favourite of Alexander), Demeter and Asclepius.
The ancient city of Aigai (Vergina) was the first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia. When the capital was moved to Pella it continued to be 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 has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.
Today you'll visit the famous Meteora Monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monasteries teeter on top of towering sandstone pillars - it really is one of the most unusual and interesting places in Europe. Your guide will tell you all about the history of the site and the building of the monasteries.
In the early evening you'll enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional taverna in the old city.
Free time in Thessaloniki (if your flight departs later in the day) then you will be taken to Thessaloniki Airport for your return flight.