4.000 years of Greek History and Civilization
Rich in history as anywhere in Europe, the homeland of Alexander the Great, has also incredibly diverse geography, nature & culture. A gem to be enjoyed and discovered by discerning visitors.
Macedonia is the largest region in Greece, covering the territory of ancient Macedonia, the fatherland of Alexander the Great. It extends between the Pindus Mountains and the Nestos River on the broadest limits of the historical area of ancient Macedonia in Northern Greece, defined to the north by the border with North Macedonia and Bulgaria east of Thraki to the south of Thessaly and the Aegean Sea and west of Epirus and Albania.
Here is also the self-governing monastic community of Mount Athos on the peninsula of Mount Athos in Halkidiki, with its 20 monasteries, one of the most important centers of Orthodoxy worldwide, as well as the city of Thessaloniki, the metropolis and the main city of Macedonia, center of northern Greece and “co-capital” of Greece.
The continental part of Macedonia is a landscape defined mostly by high elevations and massive mountain ranges covered by rich forests. The highest of the country, Mount Olympus, the dwelling of the twelve gods of the ancient Greek mythology, is towering in the southern part in the magnificent scenery. Rich rivers and calm lakes, along with countless traditional villages, large and small, make this region a perfect destination to explore: there are excellent hiking and trekking routes, an endless variety of outdoor activities offered, while throughout the region there is a number of ski centers, like the one at Seli (Verria prefecture), at Vassilitsa (Grevena prefecture), Kaimaktsalan (Pella prefecture) and Vitsi (Kastoria prefecture).
Macedonia consists of the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Kavala, Drama, Serres, Kilkis, Pella, Imathia, Kastoria, Florina, Kozani, Grevena and Pieria.
Macedonia has a long and rich history. Here is Olympus, the seat, according to mythology, of the ancient Dodecateum, as well as Dion, Pella and Vergina, places of worship and administrative capitals of the ancient region.
The name of Macedonia comes from Greek mythology, which was passed in the main Ancient History and first recorded by Herodotus.
Central Macedonia is the most popular tourist destination in Greece with more than 4 million tourists each year.
Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC on the site of the ancient town of Therme (which gave its name to the Thermaic Gulf – Thermaikos Kolpos) by Kassander, a Macedonian general (diadochos) who named the city after his wife Thessalonica, sister of Alexander the Great.
Pieria, (Olympic Riviera) is a unique destination in Northern Greece with easy access. The National Highway, the railway network, the International Airport “Macedonia” near Thessaloniki, make the entry gates into Greece from Central and Eastern Europe.
The tiny island of Thasos (Thassos) is an almost circular piece of Greek perfection. As traditional as sipping ouzo in a waterfront taverna, it’s the place to head if you’re looking for a truly unspoilt Greek island getaway.
Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos are the three peninsulas that makeup Halkidiki.
Land and sea. Tranquility and eternity.
A beautiful city by the sea, with a port, a castle and many museums and archaeological sites nearby.
Another charming city is Kastoria, lying by an idyllic lake amidst a wonderful landscape, with its elegant mansions from the 17th and 18th centuries and the old houses, the Byzantine churches, the cobble-stone streets and the lively neighborhoods by the lakeside.
30 km north-west of Thessaloniki. The capital of the Makedonia kingdom for 250 years (from 400 B.C.). Noteworthy archaeological site and museum.
A not so well known town of quiet, local character – with some surprises like its parks with marble sculptures and a claim to international fame due to its Short Film festival. Other attractions: Archaeological Museum, Fort Lisse at Ochyro, the Falakro ski center.
70 km west of Thessaloniki. Vergina was the ancient city of Aegae, the first capital of the Kingdom of Makedonia. It lies on the slopes of the Pierian Mountains. What you will see: The royal tomb of King Phillip II (Alexander the Great’s father). The Palace and the Theatre (with a fine mosaic floor), the Temple of Eukleia, the Acropolis and city walls and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli – some dating back to 11th century B.C.
40 km south-east of Thessaloniki, in Halkidiki. With many impressive stalagmites and stalactites and the chamber where the Archanthropus (archaic Homo sapiens) skull was found. The skull is 700000 years old, belonging to the oldest known European man. Fossils of extinct animals like lions, hyenas, bears, elephants, panthers, rhinos and 25 different species of birds we also found here. Opening hours: 09.00-before sunset.
One of the most beautiful cities of Macedonia is the capital of the Pella Prefecture, the city of Edessa, built by the river Bodas. It boasts a picturesque old quarter, lovely architectural buildings, monuments, and churches, but most of all, a one-of-a-kind spectacle: its impressive waterfalls, unique throughout Greece.
How to get to Macedonia
Arrive at Thessaloniki:
The biggest airport is the “Makedonia” international airport in Thessaloniki (or Salonica), code: SKG. You can also drive, take the train or bus to Thessaloniki, depending where you’re coming from. Other airports in Makedonia: Kavala, code: KVA, Kastoria, code: KSO, Kozani, code: KZI
Connected to most cities in Greece by KTEL (long-distance) buses.
Distance to Athens: 506 km (about 4.5 hours drive time). Most part of the road is a high-speed motorway, but there are several narrow and winding stretches you must watch out for.
The Minoan Lines “Deadalus” ferry connects Thessaloniki to Crete, Santorini and other islands in between.
Port of Thessaloniki
A’Provlita Limenos, Thessalonikis, 54110 Thessaloniki, Greece.
Tel: +30 2 310 593 121
Fax: +30 2 310 510 500
Central Port Authority of Kavala
Tel: +30 2510 223716, 224967, 224472
Fax: +30 2510 223628
Keramoti Harbour Office
Tel: +30 2591 051204
In the Macedonian coastlines, the climate is mild and has the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. Advancing into the interior, however, which is isolated by the beneficial effect of the Aegean Sea and is surrounded by extended mountain ranges, the climate becomes continental.
White Tower Thessaloniki
Roman Forum Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki OTE Tower