Thessaloniki exloring the footprints of time

Thessaloniki exloring the footprints of time

Thessaloniki 2500 of history. Located in Northern Greece, Thessaloniki, the ancient city, is nicknamed the nymph of Thermaikos Gulf and was founded in 315 BC. Cassander gave the new town the name of his wife, daughter of Philip II and half-sister of Alexander the Great. More than 2300 years of active presence in history,it has never ceased to be a great city. A city of importance at all times and under all empires. Visiting Thessaloniki and its monuments is to realize a trip to ancient Greece, the Roman Empire of the East, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire, but also to understand the contemporary Balkans and Greece. Discovering Thessaloniki is discovering a unique culture of its own, the result of all the centuries it has been through, and all the people who have inhabited it. Thessaloniki is also a young and modern city where life never stops. A city where it is nice to walk in the busy shopping streets or enjoy the waterfront and its open horizons that stop at the foot of Mount Olympus. Staying in Thessaloniki can be an opportunity to discover northern Greece and other pages of history and exceptional sites.

Suggested Program

01First day
Landing at Makedonia Airport of Thessaloniki and transfer to the hotel. A first walk through the city will allow you to familiarize yourself with the city and enjoy the seaside.

02Second day  – Guided tour of the city on foot.
Visiting the archaeological museum will give us the opportunity to admire sculptures of Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic eras of Thessaloniki, but also other parts of Macedonia. The staging of the exhibitions will enable us to learn the history of the city and its region from prehistoric times to the Roman era. Visiting the remains of the palace complex of the Roman Emperor Galerius (III and IV century AD) covering an area of 150,000 square meters. The dimension of the complex shows the growth and importance of the city in Roman times. We will find the Arch Triomph of Galerius (305 AD) built to celebrate the victory from the Emperor Galerius over the Persians. The Rotonda, one of the oldest buildings of the city, was also part of the complex. Built in Roman times, it was a church in Christian era and a mosque during the Ottoman era. Aristotelous street and square is one of the most beautiful architectural lines of the city and extends into the sea. It focuses on business and intense leisure. The character of this axis is created by the French architect Ernes Hebrard who was entrusted with the plans of the city after the devastating fire in the centre of the city, in 1917. A few steps away from Aristotelous Square, you walk through the colorful markets of Modianou or Kapani that will awaken all your senses. A visit to the ancient agora, dated to the founding of city (III century BC). It was the social, religious and commercial center until the fourth century of our era. Excavations have brought into light the agora, the mint, the Odeon and part of the baths. In the evening. Walk around the neighborhood of Ladadika. An area next to the port, created by the Ottomans in the sixteenth century, and that had functionned as a place of wholesale and retail until the early eighties. After being ranked as an architectural site in the late eighties, many buildings have been restored and Ladadika has become a major leisure area of ​the city.

03Third day
Thessaloniki is the second largest city after Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire. A visit to the White Tower and the Museum of Byzantine Culture are important steps to discover the history of the city. Yet there are also Byzantine churches which are the living witnesses of the Byzantine ecclesiastical art. Visiting the White Tower, Thessaloniki’s symbolic landmark, a relic of the Ottoman Empire, allows the visitor through its permanent exhibition to learn about the history of the city before witnessing its traces by talking a promenade. Our tour will begin with a visit to the old town, Ano Poli (uptown). This agglomeration, classified as historic and architectural sites, has preserved many examples of traditional Macedonian architecture. This area covers the top of the walled city which dates back to the birth of the city in 315 BC. The different phases of wall construction are related to the historical eras Macedonian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. Located at the northeastern end of the acropolis of Thessaloniki you will discover Heptapyrgion, also known as Yedi Kule. A Turkish, Byzantine and Ottoman fortress converted into a prison in the 1890s. From the walls you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the harbor and the Thermaic Gulf. We will complete the panoramic view of the city from the monastery Vlatadon. In his church, which dates from the fourteenth century, you can admire the unique wall paintings of Byzantine art. At Ano Poli we will also visit the church of Agios Nikolaos Orfanos (Saint Nicolas the Orphan), which dates from the early 14th century and is decorated with murals of the great painters of the Orthodox Christian art. Still at Ano Poli we will discover the church Osios David from the late fifth century. It is a monument of architectural and historical value, unique because it is the precursor of the cross-shaped church with a dome. This church is also known for its interior decoration, mosaics and murals.

04Fourth day
We will visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture, elected European museum in 2005, and certainly the largest of its kind devoted to the history and Byzantine culture. This 3000 square meters of exhibition will enable us to discover all the facets of Byzantine culture and art. We will visit the church of Saint Dimitrios, patron saint of the city (IV century) whose relics are preserved in the church. This church, originally built on the site of the martyrdom, became during the VII th century a basilica with five naves of the Hellenistic type. We will visit the church of St. Sophia, of the the most important early Christian buildings in Greece. We will be able to admire the remarkable mosaics made ​ at the time of the construction of the church (the Virgin on the throne holding the Christ in her arms and ascension of Christ).

05Fifth day
The region of Thessaloniki has an infinite number of places and sites to visit. At a stone’s throw from the city, choose one of our day trips and encounter another page of history.

06Sixth day
Take time to stroll around the streets, or to visit one of the many museums in the city. Transfer to the airport.

Additional Info

– The program can be converted and extended as needed.
– Special rates for families
– Special rates for groups.