The Authentic Tour

Day 1: Arrival in Thessaloniki

Welcome in Thessaloniki! Transfer from the Thessaloniki International Airport "Macedonia" to your booked hotel. Stay for 3 nights in Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2: Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and the capital of northern Greece. In 1997 it was nominated by UNESCO as the European Capital of Culture and for a lot of people it is known as the most romantic Greek city. The cosmopolitan city of Thessaloniki has a great history of about 2,000 years, as it was one of the most important cities in the Roman and Byzantine times. Your city tour starts with a visit in Ano Poli, the highest point of the city, with the walls and the Byzantine fort. The view from this part of the city is really exquisite. Afterwards, you will visit the White Tower, the landmark of Thessaloniki situated by the sea, the Rotonda, the Arch of Galerius (known as “Kamara” among the locals), as well as some important Byzantine churches: Hagia Sophia and the Basilica of Aghios Demetrios (the patron saint of Thessaloniki) with the crypt discovered in the early years of the 20ieth century. Your tour will end with a visit of the old city part, known as “Ladadika”.

Day 3: Thessaloniki & Museums

This will be the best day of the journey for the museum fans. You will visit the Archaeological and Byzantine Museums in Thessaloniki, where you will admire permanent and temporary exhibitions dating back to the ancient and Byzantine times of Thessaloniki and the wider region of Macedonia.

Day 4: Alexander the Great

If the history of Alexander the Great always fascinated you, then Vergina is the right place for you. If not, then you will surely be fascinated after your visit in Vergina. Although it is just a small village 75 km away from Thessaloniki, its name was written with golden letters in history, because the ancient city of Aigai came to light there. Aigai was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia and its cemetery contains the tombs of the royal dynasty and especially the tomb of the legendary King Philip II. The royal tombs were discovered in 1977-8 by the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. The whole atmosphere in the underground building which hosts the museum of Vergina is mystic and leaves various feelings in the visitor’s heart. The tombs contained so many treasures, that everybody would wonder how luxurious the unfound tomb of Alexander the Great would be.
After visiting the royals, you will drive to Ioannina, one of the most beautiful and traditional cities in Greek mainland. Accommodation for 3 nights in Ioannina.

Day 5: Traditional Villages – Back to Nature

Your day will begin with a city tour in Ioannina, the largest city in Epirus that played an important role in each great period of the modern Greek history. Feel the traditional character and the strong Turkish influence while walking in the streets of the city. After wandering around, a small boat will take you to a small island in the centre of Lake Pamvotida (known as “the lake of Ioannina”), where you will visit two of the monasteries built there.
The day continues with drive to the alpine landscape of Zagorochoria. In the 46 villages of the region, the visitors can find whatever they want: traditional architecture, villages built in the heart of the woods, others which offer a breathtaking view and above all, peace and quiet. Feel free in the wild nature, let the Canyon of Vikos and the river Aoos impress you and cross the old stone bridges which endure over time. Drive back to Ioannina. Dinner and overnight stay in your booked hotel.

Day 6: Culture & Mystery in Epirus

Visit the oldest Greek oracle in ancient Dodoni and its ancient theatre. Afterwards, you will visit Ephyra, the ancient city near which an ancient Greek temple of necromancy (“Necromanteion”) devoted to Hades and Persephone was located. The site was also the point where the rivers Acheron, Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus (thought to flow through Ades’ Kingdom of the dead) met.
A drive to Parga, a beautiful city by the sea, will bring you back to present. After a short walking tour in the city, you will visit the Olive Oil Museum in the old part of the city, where you will learn about the olive oil production in the past and taste the local bread and olive oil.
Drive back to Ioannina. Dinner and overnight stay in your booked hotel.

Day 7: Alpine Wine & Meteora – Monasteries hanging from the cliffs

Drive to Metsovo, a traditional alpine town in a height of 1,160m. In this small town of Epirus you will visit the “highest” winery in Greece (1,000 m) Since 1963 the Averoff family produces fine Cabernet Sauvignon. Although it is not the area of their origin, the table wines are of the finest quality; besides, the ones who do not believe, will soon taste it by themselves. After enjoying wine and fresh air, drive to Meteora.
In Meteora you will have the chance to visit one of the most extraordinary sites in Greece. Meteora is considered as one of the most beautiful areas in the Greek mainland (also included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List) and is famous for its six monasteries built on top of rock towers; you will visit two of them, which will provide you a totally breathtaking view. In such a place, you can just feel that you are literally approaching the holy heavens.
Drive to Kalambaka where you will stay for 1 night.

Day 8: Dion & the Kingdom of Macedonia

The day begins with visit to Dion and its archaeological park. Dion was one of the commercial and cultural centres in the Kingdom of Macedonia. The city played an important role in the Roman times too, as it fell to the Romans in 169 B.C. and later in 32/31 B.C. it was the place where a Roman colony was founded. After its prosperity and later its decay due to natural disasters and barbarian invasions, the last reference to Dion was in Byzantine archives, where the city was referred to as a province of the Byzantine Empire.
The archaeological findings in Dion are mainly from the Roman and early Christian times. The archaeologists have discovered two theatres from the Hellenistic and Roman times respectively, a stadium, sanctuaries of several gods and a necropolis. A journey through history that will not disappoint you.
Return back to Thessaloniki and accommodation there for 1 night.

Day 9: On the steps of Apostle Paul

Follow Apostle Paul to a journey through time, to some of his most important stops during his tour to spread the word of Jesus. Kavala is your first stop, a city which reminds of a Greek theatre directly by the sea. In this city of Macedonia, you can still feel the presence of the Turkish influence.
In Philippi (Acts 16, 12-40), you will learn about the journeys of Apostle Paul and the history of how the first Christian community was created. Among the remnants, you can see the Roman agora and a Basilica dated back to the early Christian times. Later on, you will have the chance to visit a traditional production unit of dairy
Drive back in Kavala, where you will stay for 3 nights.


Day 10: Thassos, the “emerald green island”

A ferry from Kavala will take you to the almost round-shaped Thassos, the northest island of Greece. The coast line of the island is very beautiful, with clear blue waters and the evergreen trees reaching the sea. Thassos is famous for its peace and quiet, its mining history, as well as its worth-tasting local products such as honey, wine and olive oil. Of course, as every place in this country, Thassos has a great ancient history, as it was always target of conquerors due to its strategic geographical position. Actually, it is said that the Athenians, the Spartans, the Romans and the Persians had acknowledged the island as “Athens of the North”. The archaeological museum, the ancient agora as well as the sanctuaries of Hercules, Dionysus, Artemis and Poseidon in Limenas (the capital city of the island) are only some of the archaeological sites on the island.
Return to Kavala with the ferry. Dinner and overnight stay in your booked hotel.

Day 11: Unknown Greece – Meeting of two cultures

Drivefrom Kavala to the delta of Nestos river, one of the most important sites for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds, passerines and raptors. In the Delta of Nestos, which is located in the borders of Kavala and Xanthi, have been recorded 254 species of birds, including rare and endangered species. The landscape in this wetland area is of some extraordinary beauty and peace.
Drive to Komotini, one of the most important cities in the district of Thrace. Komotini is a famous student city and widely known in Greece for its significant Turkish-speaking Muslim minority (about 40% of the city’s population). That is why the Turkish presence is very much felt in the culture, the architecture and in everyday life of this Greek city.
Further drive to Xanthi. Xanthi is widely known for its great annual spring carnival, which includes concerts, theatrical plays, music and dance nights, exhibitions, a cycling event, street games and reenactment of old customs. The old city part is of great architectural importance and beauty, as it combines many Byzantine Greek churches with neoclassical mansions of Greek merchants from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as mosques from the Ottoman period.
After your tour in Thrace, you will return back to Kavala. Dinner and overnight stay in your booked hotel.

Day 12: Aristotle & Mount Athos

Drive to Ouranoupoli, your first stop for the day and the last destination before entering the “abaton” of Mount Athos. From there, you will take the boat for a short cruise around the “Holy Mountain”. Mount Athos is really a small republic of monks with 20 monasteries, where no women are permitted. The cruise will last about 3 hours. After a lunch break in Ouranoupoli, you will visit the archaeological site of ancient Stageira, a small historical town and motherland of the great philosopher Aristotle.
Drive back to Ouranoupoli and accommodation for 2 nights.

Day 13: Kassandra Roundtrip & the Petralona Cave

On the last day of your journey, you will drive to the first “leg” of the Chalkidiki peninsula, Kassandra, thought to be the motherland of the Giants according to the Greek mythology. Actually, Kassandra is an island connected with the peninsula by means of the Nea Potidea bridge; the view from the bridge during the sunset is really something amazing. The locals claim that Kassandra is a blessed land, as it has wonderful landscapes, delicious local products and cuisine, as well as a great history and tradition.
On your way back to Ouranoupoli for your last night in Greece, you will visit the Petralona Cave which is located in Chalkidiki and was discovered in the 1950’s. You will visit the Cave, as well as the Anthropological Museum with the fantastic findings of prehistorical interest.
Dinner and overnight stay in Ouranoupoli.

Day 14: Departure – “Geia sas”

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