Historical-Alexander the Great
You arrive in Thessaloniki, where you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
ToDay you can get acquainted with the city of Cassander, brother-in-law of Alexander the Great, which was built in 315 B.C. and named after his wife, the sister of Alexander Thessaloniki. Drive around the center of Thessaloniki to see some of the most famous monuments of the city, like the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius, the area of the Acropolis with the Byzantine Walls and others. Visit the Archaeological Museum, to see the treasures from the excavations in Northern Greece, and one of the majestic early Christian churches of Thessaloniki, the Basilica of St Demetrius (5 th c. A.C.). The afternoon is free and you can explore more of the ancient or classical sites of the city. Dinner and overnight.
You leave Thessaloniki to drive to Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great and second capital of the ancient Macedonian kingdom, where you can see the fantastic Hellenistic mosaic floors, made of natural pebbles in the Museum and the excavational site. From Pella you continue to Lefkadia, to get a first taste of the impressive Macedonian tombs, and then on to Vergina (ancient Aiges), first capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. Here you see the tombs of Vergina and the breathtaking collection of golden artifacts, which were found inside these two unplundered tombs of Philip of Macedon and the Young Prince. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
This morning drive south to the area of Olympus, the legendary mountain of the Twelve Gods of the ancient Greeks. On the northern foothills of Olympus, you find the sacred city of the ancient Macedonians, Dion, where they worshipped Olympian Zeus and the other gods. The impressive ruins include the Theater, the public Baths, the Villa of Dionysos, a number of Sanctuaries, like these of Demeter and Isis, two early Christian Basilicas and much more. Findings from these places are on display in the interesting small Museum of Dion. After the visit, drive to Litochoro, a little town in the shadow of Olympus and get a taste of this beautiful mountain. Back to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Continue your journey in the land of Alexander the Great with a drive through the country-side of Western Macedonia. You will be amazed at the natural beauty of the places you’ll visit, the picturesque towns, the tall mountains and, of course, the monuments you’ll find everywhere, most of which go back to the Byzantine era. Drive first to the well-known town of Kozani, which flourished in the Ottoman period, and visit the newly excavated site of Aiani, one of the principal cities of ancient Macedonia. Then follow the new Egnatia Highway and arrive at Kastoria, one of the most attractive towns in Greece, located on a small peninsula surrounded by a lake. Dinner and overnight in Kastoria.
You spend the morning exploring the town of Kastoria, its Byzantine Museum and numerous Churches, and you visit the lovely Monastery of Mavriotissa, next to the Kastoria Lake. In the afternoon, you travel to the area of the Prespa Lakes, near the borders between Greece, Albania and Bulgaria. This is an area you have to see, in order to believe the awe it inspires and the abundance of natural beauty and serenity it is famous for. Dinner and overnight.
Enjoy a boat-trip in the Prespa Lake and watch the pelicans, cormorants and other birds, that live near it, but also see the Christian Paintings and deserted Chapels near the lake. After this, you leave for Thessaloniki, passing through the towns of Florina and Edessa, both known for their traditional architecture and natural charm. In Edessa you visit the famous Waterfalls and then return to Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight.
ToDay you explore Eastern Macedonia and, especially, the ancient cities of Amphipolis and Philippi, both of them associated with the royal dynasty of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. Follow Via Egnatia, the Roman highway and arrive at Amphipolis, where you visit the lovely small Museum, the Lion of Amphipolis and the excavations. Continue to Philippi, the city that was named after Philip of Macedonia. See the Forum, the Christian Basilicas, the Theater and the Acropolis. Back to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
This morning you drive to a well-known region of ancient Macedonia, the region of Chalkidiki, a peninsula of a very distinctive shape, which is famous nowaDays as a resort area. In the center of Chalkidiki you find the remains of Olynthos, a city destroyed by Philip, with some of the best-preserved Hellenistic houses in the world. Also, you can visit the area of ancient Stageira, the birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle, who was the tutor of Alexander the Great for three years. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
You bid farewell to the homeland of Alexander the Great and fly back home.