All visitors are welcome to experience its unique collections of ancient artifacts as well as its rich and extrovert cultural activities. The museum hosts the entire history of ancient Macedonia and the unique metal (gold) finds from the Macedonian dynasty of Alexander the Great, student of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. The permanent exhibitions of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki include unique masterpieces of ancient Greek art dating from prehistoric times to late antiquity.
We will continue with a tour to selected Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the City Walls (4th/5th centuries), Rotunda of Saint George (4th century), Church of St. Dimitrios (7th century) and Church of St. Sophia (8th century).
Consequently, we will stop-over for lunch at Ladadika the name of a historic district and a landmark area of the city of Thessaloniki listed as a heritage site by the Ministry of Culture. Its notable architectural style with 19th century buildings, most of which are now converted in lively day and night dinning and drinking places are preserved and protected. Having undergone gentrification in the 1980s, Ladadika forms the entertainment district of the city, hosting bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and pubs in what used to be old oil stores and merchant warehouses, which spill out into a network of pedestrianized streets and small squares and other popular places for tourists.
The tour will conclude with a pleasant stroll along the old part of the 10 km long bay of Thessaloniki, vibrant with people who walk, bike or jog next to traditional fishermen and old boats anchored close to the city’s symbol; the White Tower (part of old city fortifications).
It was there when in 336 BC King Philip II was assassinated in the theatre and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. The ancient site was discovered in 1976 and excavated under the leadership of archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. The excavation unearthed the burial sites of many kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, which, unlike so many other tombs, had not been disturbed or looted. It is also the site of an extensive royal palace. The archaeological museum of Vergina was built on the site to house all the artifacts found at the site and is one of the most important museums in Greece.
Aigai has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods”
Later, we will guide you through the city of Veria, a city in Macedonia, northern Greece, located at the edge of a plateau. Veria is an old city; first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, there is evidence that it was populated as early as 1000 BC. Veria was an important possession for Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and later for the Romans. Apostle Paul famously preached in the city, and its inhabitants were among the first Christians in the Empire. Later, under the Byzantine Empire, Veria was a center of Greek culture and learning. Today Veria is a commercial center of Central Macedonia, full of vibrant coffee places and traditional tavernas where we will stop-over for lunch.
The tour will conclude with a drive to the nearby city of Edessa famous for its water streams through the city and its water falls, the main attraction for visitors of the city and is one of the most important sights in Greece. The twelve Falls, of which only four are spectators, are a natural phenomenon that arose after a powerful earthquake that had passed the surrounding area in the 14th century. The main source of these is the wetland of Agra-Nissi, from which flows the main river, Edessa, whose branches are the waterfalls. Also, the Geopark (3) of the Kataraktes stretches over an area of over 100,000 m2 and on a path on the rock for 1.1 km.
Athos peninsula is an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Greek Republic. Mount Athos is home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Entrance to the holy place of Athonite monasteries is restricted to men only and only after a special permit. However, we will take you on a boat tour around the peninsula to enjoy the unique architecture of the ancient monasteries from a close distance and serve you a light lunch on board.
Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times and is known for its nearly 1,800-year continuous Christian presence and its long historical monastic traditions, which date back to at least 800 A.D. and the Byzantine era. Today, over 2,000 monks from Greece and many other countries, including Eastern Orthodox countries such as Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, live an ascetic life in Athos, isolated from the rest of the world. The Athonite monasteries feature a rich collection of well-preserved artifacts, rare books, ancient documents, and artworks of immense historical value, and Mount Athos has been listed as a UNESCO UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII. The location is hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The six (of an original twenty four) monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area.
Consequently we will take you for lunch at the nearby town of Kalambaka at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios River and Pindus Mountains. We will let you stroll along the traditional part of the city and enjoy a refreshing drink in one of its colorful coffee places or shop among the numerous souvenir shops.