A crossroads between East and West, Thessaloniki developed quickly after its foundation in 315 BC by the Macedonian King Kassandros; he called the city after his wife, Thessaloniki, who was the half sister of Alexander the Great. In 165 BC it was conquered by the Romans, who were succeeded by the Byzantines. During the Byzantine era splendid churches were built, many of which still survive today. After a long succession of conquerors Thessaloniki became part of the Greek state in 1912.
Cultural life in Thessaloniki is rich, with year round culture: concerts, plays, operas and cinematic festivals. Its museums revive the rich and multicultural past of the region showcasing finds from Classical, Roman and Byzantine times to contemporary folkloric and ethnological exhibits.
As the second biggest city of the Byzantine empire, Thessaloniki is like an open-air museum. In 1988 it was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site due to the number of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and monuments. These Byzantine churches and archaeological sites co-exist with contemporary buildings, modern shops and numerous coffee shops. There are also ruins and monuments from the Ottoman period such as the White Tower, the city's symbol.
Where to stay
On the site of a former tobacco factory this luxury hotel is only just over a mile from the city centre.
This stylish hotel lies right in the heart of Thessaloniki's financial, commercial and nightlife district.
"I just wanted to let you know that although there were only 2 of us on the tour - I had an excellent trip and cannot recommend Alex and this tour enough. I really thought he went above and beyond what was required of him to make sure we had a good holiday."
K Patel,UK, Sept 2015
"just wanted to thank you once again for putting our trip together for us. We all had an amazing time, the whole trip went very smoothly. We were particularly impressed with the first accommodation in Dadia forest and would really recommend this. The villa on Thassos was also excellent. The only disappointment was the main car hire which turned out to be more of a van and a bit of a heap - the air con didn't work which was disappointing but it got us from a to b without incident. I just want to say how brilliant Dawn was at putting our trip together for us - we shall be using you again. Thank you! We will be in touch in the future as we are already planning our next trip to Greece."
K Cartwright, UK, June, 2015