In its 3000 years of continuous history, this city has amassed a lot of cultural heritage as well as a number of relics from Roman, Byzantyne and Ottoman cultures. It’s no wonder that a trip to Thessaloniki is a virtual history lesson, which is why the UNESCO has placed it on the World Heritage List.
The city’s name is derived from the Greek word for victory, meaning Thessaloniki translates into “Thessalian Victory”. There is also the variant Salonika, so don’t be alarmed if your map doesn’t have the word Thessaloniki inscribed on it.
This is Greece’s second largest city and it’s a major economic, cultural, industrial and political center which attracts thousands of Yacht Charter tourists each year. There are many festivals and events held in the city annually, there are lots of Byzantine monuments, as well as some Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish. Keep in mind that this is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
Travel & Arrival
The local Greek train company is called OSE and it operates local trains as well as international connections with Sofia, Bucharest, Skopje, Belgrade and Istanbul. Locally, there are daily trains running from Veroia, Edessa, Larissa and one overnight from Athens
. By bus, there is a local operator called KTEL bus network. It makes daily runs from other Greek towns but also international trips to Belgrade, Tirana and Skopje.
Yacht Charter holidaymakers who wish to arrive in by car can do so by taking the A1 highway or the E75 from Athens. The only trouble with coming in a car is finding a parking space, a plague which affects tourists and locals alike. You have one of two options: either you circle the streets hunting for a space or be prepared to pay the high rates the local parking lots charge.
By air you’ll be pleased to find that there are daily flights being run from Athens Airport by Olympic Air, the national Greek airline. The local airport itself is located 15km south of Thessaloniki. It is also linked with some other national and international destinations such as Germany
, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Denmark, France
, BeNeLux, Italy
, the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Avant & Apres Sail
A tour of the city should start with the Byzantine walls to the north and to the west, then moving on to the city’s symbol, the White Tower, a construction from the 16th century. After that, you and your Yacht Charter group can make your way to the 12km long promenade or sea walk. In the upper part of town, you’ll find the Eptapyrgion fort together with a number of traditional old houses.
Another thing you should not miss in Thessaloniki are the numerous Byzantine churches ranging from the 5th to the 14th centuries. The Turkish public baths present from interest, as to the numerous museums around the city like the Archaeological Museum, the Olympic Museum, the Museum of Photography, of Cinematography, the Jewish Museum and the Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace.
The best food in the city is not in the high-priced restaurants with International menus, but in the many ouzo tavernas, the fast food joins which are not only reasonably-priced but also serve good food. Among the local delicacies, one must really try the soutzoukakia which are minced meat pellets grilled or topped with chili pepper flakes.
The fashion district of the city which is home to many boutiques which aren’t exactly bargains is the Proxenou Koromila, as well as Mitropoleos and Tsimiski. Though not large, they have plenty of cafes where you can sit and watch the shoppers.
Another thing Yacht Charter Thessaloniki is famous for is the multitude of sweets and pastries such as chatzis, terkenlis and elenidis. These can be found at the Modiano market where you’ll find many shops (some famous throughout the country) which sell a wide assortment of confectionery. Keep in mind that when Greeks visit the city they always bring some sweets as souvenirs back home.
The nightlife is very active in Thessaloniki as there are lots of bars and pubs spread all over the city. Many Yacht Charter crews tend to consider this place as the most happening after dark in Greece
. The majority of the cool establishments are located along the old sea front while the rest are crammed downtown.
Events & Actions
For Yacht Charter sailors the opportunity to sail the Thermaic Gulf alone should pose enough of an enticement for them to arrive to the city of Thessaloniki. Bathing and sunbathing at beaches within the city limits is not recommended due to pollution, but as soon as you get far enough, the water gets better and it’s safe enough for a swim.
As far as events go, Thessaloniki is a continuous source of cultural happenings, such as the Cheap Art Exhibition held between Jun and July, the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, the International Film Festival and many others.