With its mild weather, vibrant landscapes and a sense of renewal in the air, spring offers an array of reasons why it’s the best season for trips! For all those nature lovers out there, spring is the suitable period of time to go on all those day trips you were daydreaming about when the weather was too cold to even leave your house..
The picturesque city of Thessaloniki, located in northern Greece, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes. But did you know that there are also several amazing destinations near Thessaloniki that are worth exploring? From ancient ruins to pristine beaches, here are some of the best spring destinations near Thessaloniki that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip!
Mount Olympus – The “Home of the Gods”
Located just about an hour’s drive from Thessaloniki, Mount Olympus is not only the highest mountain in Greece, but it’s also steeped in mythology as it is believed to be the home of the twelve ancient Greek gods. With its majestic peaks, dense forests and breathtaking views, Mount Olympus is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. You can hike through its well-marked trails, explore its rugged terrain and discover its unique flora and fauna. If you’re an experienced mountaineer, you can even attempt to climb the summit of Mytikas, which is the highest peak of Mount Olympus at 2,917 meters. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just want to enjoy the stunning scenery, a visit to Mount Olympus is an unforgettable experience!
Halkidiki – Pristine Beaches & Crystal-clear Waters
If you’re looking for some sun, sea and sand, then Halkidiki is the perfect destination near Thessaloniki. Located just about an hour’s drive from the city, Halkidiki is a peninsula that is famous for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters. It is divided into three smaller peninsulas, known as “legs”, each with its own unique charm. Kassandra, the first leg, is known for its lively beach resorts, vibrant nightlife and bustling markets. Sithonia, the second leg, is a paradise for nature lovers with its lush green forests, secluded coves and charming fishing villages. Athos, the third leg, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the famous Mount Athos, an autonomous monastic state that is inhabited by monks and off-limits to women. Whether you want to soak up the sun on sandy beaches, enjoy water sports, or explore the stunning coastline, Halkidiki has something for everyone!
Vergina – Ancient Ruins & Archaeological Treasures
If you’re a history enthusiast, a visit to Vergina is a must. Located about an hour and a half drive from Thessaloniki, Vergina is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to some of the most important archaeological discoveries in Greece. It was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Macedon and it’s where the tomb of King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, was discovered in 1977. Today, you can visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai, which houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts, including golden jewelry, weapons and sculptures. You can also explore the ruins of the ancient city, including the palace and the theater, and learn about the fascinating history of this once-great civilization.
Goumenissa – The “Wine Village”
Another ideal solution for a nearby getaway is Goumenissa, which is a town of Kilkis. Kilkis is located an hour northwest of Thessaloniki. Among the must-see attractions of Goumenissa are the characteristic buildings of Macedonian architecture, the infamous French fountain that dates back to World War I and also the building of the “Chrysalis” silk industry, which has historical significance. Goumenissa is often referred to as the “Wine Village” due to its renowned local wine production. The town is known for its high-quality wines, particularly red wines made from the Xinomavro grape variety and its winemaking heritage. The local wineries and vineyards are a significant part of the town’s cultural and economic identity and wine enthusiasts often visit Goumenissa to taste the unique wines and learn about the traditional winemaking methods of the region. Thus, after strolling around the streets, you can drink the famous red wine and enjoy your meal in the picturesque taverns. Ultimately, due to the fact that Goumenissa is surrounded by the largest chestnut forest in Greece, it is an opportunity to go out into the forest and explore nature and its beauties on foot, or by bike.
Edessa – Waterfalls & Natural Beauty
Last but not least, if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Edessa is a serene and picturesque destination near Thessaloniki. Located about an hour and a half drive from the city, Edessa is known for its stunning waterfalls, verdant landscapes and charming town. The highlight of Edessa is the magnificent Edessa Waterfalls, also known as “the Switzerland of Greece”. You can stroll along the picturesque footpaths, cross the stone bridges and marvel at the breathtaking waterfalls as they cascade down from the cliffs. You can also visit the Park of Waterfalls. A walk by running waterfalls has relaxing effects, especially if you visit early morning. Additionally, in this city you have the opportunity to “lose yourself” on a tasting trip and try exquisite products and delicious dishes, such as the signature dish of the city, the ‘’tsumpleki’’, which consists of layers of meat, vegetables and plums cooked in the roaster, soups, pies and also sweets, such as the famous ‘’flogeres’’ with cream.
If you are in the mood of a little excursion, the above 5 suggestions with spring getaways near Thessaloniki are ideal for a rejuvenating escape!
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