MedSailors Recommends Thessaloniki: Voted BEST in the World 2013
Thessaloniki has been put firmly on the global tourist map as a Greek holiday destination. National Geographic named this city, the second largest city of Greece and certainly a city at the heart of Greece’s rich cultural history, in the Best Of The World 2013. Located a short trip from Athens, where MedSailors sailing trips operate, you will find the incredible history of Thessaloniki enriched by the warmth and hospitality of Thessalonians. The must see list starts with Thessaloniki’s Archaeological sites and rich Byzantine and Ottoman cultural history, that have provided some of the most valuable artefacts and buildings in all Greece.
You simply must wander around these monuments documenting the origins of our civilization. The ancient forum dates from as early as the late 2nd or the early 3rd century AD, similar to these ruins pictured above, and contains many awe-inspiring architectural wonders from that time, including the palace complex of Roman Emperor Galerius; the thermae and hippodrome and The Triumphal Arch of Galerius.
Tucked between the cobblestone-paved streets of this beautiful city are the relics of the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Thessaloniki was one of the largest cultural and educational centers in the Balkans at this time. Amongst others, the many Hamams (Turkish bathhouses) and The White Tower (the landmark of the city dating from the 15th century and pictured here) are the surviving advocates of Thessaloniki’s importance in this age. Adding to the cities modern charm is its sparkling harbor, yet to be hemmed in by a large marina and so it remains undisturbed, save for traditional fishing boats. This leaves you free to explore the age old street markets filled with buckets of Greek fare: fresh veggies and fruit, and do not forget Feta cheese, this is the home of this Greek icon!
The youth culture has ensured there is plenty to occupy you once the museums close at night, with art galleries, nightclubs and culinary hot spots aplenty. About 50 percent of the population are under 40, so whilst discovering the city on foot, be prepared to meet lots of people and enjoy some Greek food and famous wine with the locals!
MedSailors recommends a visit between June and September, coinciding nicely with your sailing trip in Greece!
Images courtesy of http://www.stockfreeimages.com/