If you are planning to take a trip to the second largest city of Greece, Thessaloniki, definitely consider to spend some time outside the city too. The region where Thessaloniki is located, knows so many beautiful places that are totally worth a visit. Even when you are staying in the city center of Thessaloniki, the surrounding places are easy to reach! It’s recommended to take a rental car, so you’re completely flexible to go to where ever you would like to.
A while ago, I already talked about Thessaloniki and its highlights. If you would like to read more about the city, you can click here. In this article, I will tell you some more about the five most-worthy places to visit around Thessaloniki during day trips.
Although this place isn’t that close from Thessaloniki (a driving distance of approximately 3 hours, 228 kilometres), it’s definitely worth a visit! The world famous Meteora is even more beautiful when you’re there than on photos. Meteora is a rock formation hosting some of the most impressive monasteries, which are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. After Mount Athos (part of Halkidiki), Meteora has the most important monasteries.
Meteora is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. Most people drive around the hills to explore the magnificent rock formation, but you can also walk around the places.
2. Archeological sites of Pella
In approximately 45 minutes from Thessaloniki, you can find the archaeological sites of Pella, which was the capital of the Macedonian Kingdom since the late 5th century BC.
Nowadays it’s a museum where you can see some impressive ruins of that time and magnificent mosaics dates back to the 4th century BC. During summer season, Pella is opened from Monday (10 a.m. until 6 p.m.) to Sunday (Tue-Sun 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.). During winter season, Pella is opened 7 days a week from 9 a.m. until p.m.
Another recommendation, which is located near Pella, is the Delta of the Axios River. This place is also very beautiful and worth a visit.
When travelling to Thessaloniki, you cannot miss Halkidiki. Especially not, when you are looking for some beaches and nature. Halkidiki is a peninsula and exists out of “three fingers”. During our trip, we went to the second finger, called Sithonia. This part of Halkidiki is very green, with lots of mountains and beautiful trees: a beautiful piece of nature to drive around. If you are looking for beaches, you mostly need to drive or walk a while downwards, so keep that in mind. The beaches though are very beautiful. This part of Halkidiki is also more quiet in contradiction to the first finger, named Kassandra.
Kassandra is the most touristic finger out of the three, that’s also the reason why you can find here many more accommodations than in Sithonia. It’s doesn’t surprise me, since Kassandra also is very beautiful with magnificent beaches.
The third finger is Agion Oros, where you can find Mount Athos and its monasteries. Actually, Agion Oros isn’t that touristic. One of the reasons is the fact that women are not allowed at Mount Athos.
If you want to see more than just the places in Greece, there is also a possibility to spend a day in Macedonia, from which the border is only an hour driving from Thessaloniki. Even Skopje (the capital and largest city of Macedonia) is only three hours driving from Thessaloniki. How cool is it to say that you’ve traveled to Greece and spend one day in Macedonia?!
If you’re planning a day trip to Macedonia though, you have to keep in mind that the border patrol is very strict. If you are driving in a rental car, you need to check if you’ve an original green card; a copy of the green card isn’t enough. That’s also the reason why we couldn’t cross the border unfortunately. However, we had a delicious coffee at the border though, so the ride wasn’t all for nothing at the end, haha.
5. Edessa Waterfalls
If you are a fan of waterfalls, you should definitely go to Edessa! The Karanos waterfall is the largest with its 70 meters in height. There are many possibilities to have a hike through the beautiful Park of Waterfalls.
Have you ever been to this region of Greece? Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comment section below!