The northern part of Greece, which shares borders with several Balkan countries and Turkey, is a distinct destination. Here, great stretches of mountains, lakes, forest and coastline remain to be discovered. Comprising terrain stretching from the azure Ionian Sea across the rugged Epirot Mountains, across to the Thracian plain to the Turkish border, the north offers something for everyone, from culture and urban sophistication to swimming, hiking and bird watching.
Although the region has only been part of Greece since the Balkans were carved up in the 1912-13 Balkan Wars, it is hardly a young territory: Macedonians, Illyrians, Thracians and Romans all ruled in ancient times, while the Byzantines, Slavs and Turks later held sway for lengthy periods. Myriad monuments, fortresses, churches and mosques attest to their diverse influences. The tombs of Vergina and the ancient sacred city of Dion are among the best examples of the Macedonian civilization. Combine that with the amazing archaeological museum and the Byzantine churches in Thessaloniki, and Northern Greece will become your new favorite Greek destination!
Places of interest in North Greece
Visit the metropolis of the North, Thessaloniki, with an intriguing multi-ethnic history and its arty culture. It is an upbeat modern city, bustling with energy and verve, built amphitheatrically, with its seafront facing Mount Olympus on the distant horizon. The city has always been a hub of different civilizations, cultures, nations and religions. Discover the breathtaking Halkidiki with its clear waters and golden sandy beaches, bays, little islands and green landscapes.
Thrace is an area of amazing natural beauty, a land where Greek legends wants it to be the mythical home of Orpheus. It is famous for its pristine, beautiful countryside that makes it a paradise for outdoor activities. Also visit the picturesque cities of Drama and Kavala on the easternmost part of the country.
Explore traditional Epirus region, located in NW Greece, between the Pindos mountain range and the Ionian Sea, that offer you a plethora of activities such as mountaineering, climbing, ski, hiking, mountain biking etc. Visit Zagorochoria– 46 unique villages located on the mountains-and ramble around the nearby Vikos Canyon, the second deepest in the world, with an ecosystem of 1.700 species of plants and 182 species of animals, or cross the historic stone bridges of Epirus, where legends and local traditions leave their mark on these architectural masterpieces.
Enjoy Thessaly, a region of sheer beauty with mountains, rivers, beaches, the popular Plastira Lake, the valley of Tempi, and last but not least the most photogenic spiritual site in Greece, Meteora.
Northern Greece boasts beautiful beaches too – especially in popular Halkidiki and around Parga, along the golden Ionian coast – both for those seeking summer nightlife and for others seeking more secluded spots.
Today, with the grand Egnatia Odos Highway spanning the region completed, northern Greece is also getting easier and quicker to navigate.