Macedonia is a collection of diverse landscapes. As the nature changes from region to region, so do the people, culture and traditions. The city of Thessaloniki is surrounded by beautiful scenery. To the east lies Halkidiki, a seaside paradise made up of heavenly beaches, unspoilt wilderness and the solitary world of Mount Athos. The numerous destinations make up a mosaic of images, aromas and surprises that provide a seemingly endless range of experiences. To the west, the landscape becomes calm and tranquil.
Here you’ll enjoy 365 days of diverse activities from water sports to skiing, trekking and bird watching. Whether you come for an extended winter, summer holiday or a short weekend getaway with friends and family, Macedonia is one of those destinations you’ll never forget. One coastline, a thousand and one beaches Discover beaches where the mountains meet the sea. Trek to the peaks of Mount Olympus or bask in the sun and enjoy a swim in the crystal waters of the Aegean at Platamonas, Leptokarya or Litochoro. Travel further north, where ‘Queen’ Halkidiki awaits you with 550km of golden coastline, crystal-clear waters and trees so close to the water they kiss the waves. Discover the green waters of Sithonia and escape to the beaches of Kavourotripes, Karidi, Sarti, and to the exotic island of Ammouliani. Discover your passion for windsurfing, dance till the sun goes down at beach parties or just sit back and relax with a refreshing cocktail in one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece.
History and civilisation in the land of Alexander the Great Discover the long and noble history of Thessaloniki. From the White Tower to the Yedi Kule and the Upper Town, you’ll be introduced to the lifeblood of a city through its sights and museums. And don’t forget the yearly International Film Festival. The whole history of northern Greece lies at your feet: Visit important archaeological sites throughout Macedonia, chief among them the Royal Tombs of Vergina, the Ancient Stageira of Halkidiki (birthplace of Aristotle), the archaeological site of Dion in Pieria, Pella (the ancient capital of Macedonia).
Notable religious landmarks and the world-renowned Mt Athos Standing gracefully in the centre of Thessaloniki is the church of Agia Sofia, while throughout the city you’ll find important Byzantine and Muslim landmarks. And, of course, on the Halkidiki peninsula can be found the one and only Mt Athos, a beacon for Eastern Orthodoxy. Renowned for the architecture of its monasteries, and within a setting of natural beauty, you can experience the abstinence and purity of a monk’s life – if you’re a man, that is – and explore the monasteries' cultural treasures, among them libraries and museums.
In Ouranopolis, the last stop before the monasteries, you’ll find the impressive Prosforiou Tower and the Zygos Monastery – a particular treasure, because here, archaeologists have been able to piece together the life of ancient monks in Mt Athos. Elsewhere, there’s the famous pilgrimage site of Panagia Soumela, founded by Pontiac refugees and location of the icon of the Virgin Mary, the work of Luke the Evangelist said to have been transported to the Holy Church in Vermio by angels.
Something for everyone With beaches, lakes, rivers, canyons, dense forests and snowy mountains, Macedonia caters to everyone’s needs. Whether your passion is skiing, hiking or rafting you’ll find it here.
A taste of Central Macedonia The influence of Asia Minor is evident in Macedonian cuisine. Look for delicious mezedes (appetisers) and other delicacies, such as tiganies (fried meat), hunkar begendi (lamb and aubergine), and giabrakia (cabbage leaves stuffed with pork). In Thessaloniki, try the famous patsas soup (made from tripe), indulge your sugary cravings with some bougatsa (decadent custard pastry), revani (sweet cake soaked in syrup) and other sweets made with buffalo butter. Macedonian pies with handmade phyllo dough are exceptional. Central Macedonia is home to dozens of wineries. The most distinguished vineyards are in Halkidiki Epanomi, Naoussa (famous for a red grape varietal called xinomavro.
Mount Olympus: The tallest mountain in Greece and its first national park is a destination in Macedonia that stands out for its astounding natural beauty – and, of course, the challenge of climbing to 2,918m.
Mount Athos: Deservedly a Unesco World Heritage Site, and an icon of Eastern Orthodoxy, Mt Athos is a truly eye-opening cultural and religious experience.
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