SPECIALS/EVENTS IN THE AEGEAN SEA
Thessaloniki (GREEK MAINLAND)
Thessaloniki in General
Thessaloniki in general: A city of diversity! Also called Saloniki in colloquial terms, it is the second largest city in Greece after Athens, with about 360,000 inhabitants in the city center. Lying on the northwest foothills of the 1,200 m high Chortiatis, the city is also the economic and cultural center of the entire Macedonia region.
Culturally, the multi-facetted city is characterized above all by the various influences of its turbulent past. From Roman times the remains of the Imperial Palace and the State Theater, also called Odeion. One can admire the charming churches with their countless mosaics and paintings from nearly ten centuries: among them the “Agios Dimitrios”, which was built in honor of holy Dimitrios, the patron saint of the city, and which is today a UNESCO world cultural heritage. Lefkos Pyrgos (the “white tower”), the symbol of the city directly at the harbour, together with the mosques of the city and the Turkish bath houses are witnesses of the Ottoman area. It is without surprise that Thessaloniki was introduced as the European Capital of Culture in 1997.
In addition, there are also numerous places and areas where you can relax. Numerous marketplaces and halls as well as shopping arcades invite you for a leisurely stroll. The nightlife with its restaurants, bars, clubs and taverns offers the opportunity to end the day in a great way. You can relax on the beautiful beaches or go for a walk in the green forests of the surrounding suburbs. Unjustly often used only as a transit station, Saloniki is an important modern university, trade fair, cultural, industrial and port city at the intersection of important millennia-old roads.
Biking in Thessaloniki: The green, hilly countryside of the city is perfect for suburban biking. Whether on a guided mountain bike day tour of Outline Adventures or on your own, you will definitely enjoy the terrain. In recent years, trails for bikers of all ability levels have been built here; this offers the ever-growing local MTB community a lot of biking fun away from the bustling city. Even the city center itself with its cultural highlights can be explored on a guided, 12 km long city tour of the local provider Lets meet in Thessaloniki. In addition, the city is a great starting point for multi-day trips to Chalkidiki, Meteora or the legendary Mount Olympus.
Other activities: In Thessaloniki, you’ll be spoiled for choice: whether the north-facing green forests or the nearby Thermaic Gulf in the south with the stunning beaches of Perea, Nei Epivates and Agia Triadar, these two green areas of the city provide great space for outdoor activities. Whether water sports, sailing, hiking, climbing in the mountains or just sightseeing and walking tours, the city offers everything and much more for every taste!
By plane: The nearest airports are Thessaloniki, Volos and Athens.
By Bus: Public buses drive regularly between Thessaloniki and Volos, the largest city on Pelion, the city of Athens and many other Greek cities. Numerous bus lines also reach the city daily. Click here for checking the public bus timetable.
By ferry: Thessaloniki is very well connected to the ferry system, especially to islands in the northeast Aegean islands of Greece like Thasos, Samothrace, Chios and Lesbos. An overview of all ferry connections to and from Thessaloniki can be found at www.ferries.gr.
Public buses: From the airport, bus 78, an urban transport bus, is a reliable and affordable way to get to the city. Numerous bus lines drive all over the city, every place, every district and almost every street can be reached by bus. Bus transport is effective from early in the morning until late at night – on weekdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Taxis are available for transfers from/to Thessaloniki Airport, as well as throughout the city. Transfers between the various Macedonia cities can be inquired by telephone.