Founded in 315 BC, Thessaloniki is a city whose historical importance and legacy can be said to rival that of Athens. In antiquity, the city served as both Macedonian and Roman capital. The streets of Thessaloniki are rich in the monuments of this illustrious past; the palace and mausoleum of Emperor Galerius, Byzantine walls, ancient Orthodox churches, and Ottoman mosques.
Thessaloniki is also home to numerous churches and mighty city walls from the Byzantine period. On tour, we enjoy special access to glorious frescoes of the Church of St Nicholas Orfanos. We also venture beyond the city walls to picturesque ancient Dion and the Enipeas Ravine, at the foot of Mount Olympus.
- Discover a selection of vibrant Byzantine churches and a historic old town
- Visit ancient Dion, extensively excavated and site of a temple to Zeus
- Enjoy six nights in one of the best hotels in the city - perfect for exploring
- We enjoy special access in Ancient Mieza to the Macedonian tombs found along the road which once led from Pella to Mieza
- Historic Churches
- Great Cities
- Cultural Excursion
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
- Just One Hotel
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Thessaloniki.
We spend a full day exploring Thessalonki. Beginning at the Agora and Forum. We then delve into the city’s Roman imperial past at the palace complex of Galerius, built around 300 AD. Here, we view the Arch of Galerius, intended as a mausoleum to the Emperor. We then visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki with its vast collections from many periods.
We drive to Pella, second Macedonian capital, only discovered in the 1950s. The birthplace of both Philip II and Alexander the Great, Pella is renowned for its exceptional mosaics, made from carefully-selected natural pebbles. We continue to the original capital, Verghina, where the ‘great tumulus’ mounds are believed by some to contain the remains of the great Macedonian kings.
We have special access to the remarkable Macedonian painted tombs. We view the equally beautiful gold and precious grave goods, displayed in the site museum.
This morning we drive to Olynthos, a site that is considered as the ‘Pompeii of Classical Greece.’ The site has been extensively excavated since the 1920s, and tells us much about every day life (and town planning) in archaic and Classical Greece. We visit the museum here that houses the finds uncovered during investigations. Return to Thessaloniki and walk along the city walls ending the day with a visit to Agios Dimitrios church.
We drive to Veria, a typical town whose story reflects the turbulent history of the region, with Christian, Jewish and Ottoman monuments. Veria was home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in Macedonia. We visit the synagogue and the parish church. Later, we return to Thessaloniki and see the church of Saint Nicolas Orfanou.
Drive out to ancient Dion, seated on the borders of Thessaly at the foot of Mount Olympus. This was the site of an important temple dedicated to Zeus and has been extensively excavated. We shall take a short walk in the Enipeas Ravine, a beautiful forested valley where one can easily imagine the Greek gods lounging among the waterfalls and pools...
Free time in Thessaloniki this morning before we return home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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