Information and Tourism
More tourists visit the Central Macedonian region than any other part of Greece, no doubt tempted by the region's rich ancient history, azure seas and remarkable natural beauty.
Most tourists visiting Central Macedonia head straight to Thessaloniki. Back in the days of the Byzantine Empire, it was on a par with the mighty city of Constantinople. Today, the city is the second-largest in Greece. It is also still a busy commercial hub, connecting Greece to the rest of southern Europe.
Thessaloniki is a city that never really sits still, with seemingly limitless plans to transform itself - the most recent include the waterfront area. As well as looking to the future, Thessaloniki doesn't forget where it has come from. Evidence of the city's impressive heritage can be found in an area known as Ano Poli. This picturesque district, with its windy alleys and old-style houses, is the highest point of the city. On a clear day, it should be possible to see the distant peak of Mount Olympus.
Nearby and on the south-western side of Central Macedonia, the Kassandra peninsula offers that most winning of combinations - empty beaches and a lively nightlife. Sithonia goes one better - as well as having lots of excellent beaches, it also features some of the oldest mosaics ever to be excavated in Greece. The Halkidiki peninsula boasts vast stretches of beach, links with Aristotle, and Mount Athos. Greek tourists have been coming here since the 1950s. It wasn't until the 1980s, however, that the rest of the world caught on to its many charms.
If you are planning a visit to Central Macedonia, it is worth timing it to coincide with the summer Olympus Festival staged each year in Piera's Ancient Theatre of Dion.
Central Macedonia Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Greece
- Main administrative centre: Thessaloniki
- Population: approximately 1.9 million
- Language: Greek
- Area: 7,260 square miles / 18,805 square kilometres