Thessaloniki, also called Salonika, was founded in 315BC by Cassandra in honor of his wife, Thessaloniki, sister of Alexander the Great. Built at the back of Thermaikos Gulf, Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and is also considered to be the co-capital of the country due to its historical and cosmopolitan status. Its geographical position places the city as an important transportation hub for the rest of Southeastern Europe, thus significantly influencing the economic, industrial and commercial status of the whole country.
Thessaloniki rightly owns the title of the country’s cultural capital, as it annually organizes plethora of events and festivals (Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greek Diaspora etc).
It is an undeniable fact that Thessaloniki’s harmonic co-existence of the past and the present compose a warm, charming and enviable character. Plenty of museums and archaeological sites witness different cultural influences:
- Archaelogical Museum of Thessaloniki
- Museum of Byzantine Culture
- White Tower
- Museum of the Macedonian Struggle
- The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki
- Water Works Museum of Thessaloniki
- Municipal Art Gallery
- Home of Kemal Ataturk
- Eary Christian & Byzantine Monuments (Unesco’s List)
- Churches of Agia Sophia, Agios Dimitrios, Acheiropoiitos, Panagia Chalkaion, Agia Aikaterini, Profitis Ilias
- Monastery of Latomou
- Byzantine Baths
- Byzantine Walls
- Galerious Arch
- Ancient Agora
- Macedonian Tomb of Phinikas
It is worth mention that Thessaloniki is an inspiration source for many successful Greek songs.
White Tower (Lefkos Pyrgos),located at the waterfront of Thessaloniki, is the symbol of the city and its most photographed monument. During the Ottoman rule, it was a prison and a place of mass executions. Today, the remodeled tower offers plenty of exhibitions, whereas a permanent exhibition is held in order to show the historical periods of the city.
Ancient Agora (Roman Forum), just little blocks away from the center of Thessaloniki, was the center of political and public of Romans. It was a large open area surrounded by buildings and connected to all main streets. The restoration efforts started in 1989 and today one can enjoy this beautiful site under the spirit of history.
Halkidiki is the jewel of Northern Greece. Geographically consisted of three legs, each of which owns its own beauty, it is a popular summer destination for national and international tourists. The first leg is Kassandra and has beautiful tourist resorts and organized beaches. The second, Sithonia, is less organized resorted, but owns natural beauty and landscapes. The third one, Mount Athos, is a closed monastic community, dating back to Byzantine times, where entrance in only allowed to men and only after special permission.
Vitabroad's Secret Place
Metamorphossi beach in Sithonia
Metamorphossi is located in the northwestern part of Sithonia. The combination of deep blue, clear waters and gold sand enchant the visitor.