Best Day Trips From Thessaloniki, Greece
Thessaloniki, the second most important city of Greece, right after Athens, is a great destination, offering plenty of things to do to everyone who visits.
Since the city is the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in Greece, Thessaloniki especially attracts young visitors who find plenty of entertainment options, including clubs, pubs, sports events, artistic performances, and exhibitions.
However, Thessaloniki is also a magnificent destination for family travel, with tons of fascinating places nearby to visit. So, in case you’re looking for excursion options, we’ve collected the best day trips from Thessaloniki below!
Best Day Trips To Take From Thessaloniki
This article will discuss some of the best day trips you can take from Thessaloniki, any time of the year!
Day Trip From Thessaloniki To Meteora
One of the most fabulous day trip ideas, if you’re taking a Thessaloniki trip for a weekend or longer, is spending a whole day (and possibly more) exploring the area around Kalambaka as well as the imposing monasteries in Meteora.
For an unforgettable day trip from Thessaloniki to Meteora, you will need to rent a car or jump on a bus very early in the morning to make the most of your day; you will be able to visit two or three of the monasteries in the complex, including the Monastery of Varlaam or the imposing Monastery of the Holy Trinity, perched on the top of a rocky cliff, over 400 meters high.
Remember that it will be necessary to hike, climb, and walk quite a bit during the day, so don’t forget to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, pack sunscreen in summer, and cover your arms and legs to access the monasteries.
After visiting the monasteries and the beautiful landscape in the area, it’s a good idea to spend some time in one of the many traditional villages around Kalambaka, where you can taste a typical Greek lunch and get in touch with the locals.
Once you’ve ended your day trip to Meteora from Thessaloniki, be sure to get on your way back to Thessaloniki early to avoid heavy traffic. Although beautiful, the route can prove exhausting and long (about 4 hour driveeach way). Therefore, it’s a great idea to join an organized Meteora day trip from Thessaloniki to enjoy your trip without the hassle of organizing the excursion all on your own.
Day Trip From Thessaloniki To Pozar Thermal Baths
If you’re looking for an equally beautiful experience, but with shorter times on the road, the Pozar Thermal Baths are a great alternative day trip from Thessaloniki. In fact, Pozar is about an hour and a half drive from town.
This is an ideal excursion to take during any time of the year to relax in the naturally heated water from the hot springs and healing waters of these thermal baths, soaking in the imposing views of Mount Voras.
According to different studies, the springs have healing properties. Naturally heated to a temperature of 37° Celsius, the water is better known for its fantastic taste. Hundreds of visitors spend time seeking relief from arthritis, skin conditions, and respiratory problems in the area.
It’s a good idea to combine the experience with a visit to local villages and markets, as well as to squeeze in a visit to the well-known city of Edessa, the first capital city of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.
Edessa is also home to the most beautiful waterfalls in the Balkans.
Day Trip From Thessaloniki To Mount Olympus
Are you eager to travel back in time and explore the history and mythology of Greece? Then explore the place where the twelve ancient gods of the Greek Pantheon used to live, Mount Olympus.
You will only need an hour and a half to get there and be able to live an unforgettable experience! It’s a good idea first to visit the archaeological park of Dion, where you’ll be able to admire the ancient theater of Dion, which today hosts the famous Olympus Festival.
You can also visit the Museum of Dion, where many statues of the ancient city are now displayed. Next to the museum, do not skip a visit to the so-called House of Dionysos and its rich mosaics.
Once you finish your visit to the archaeological park, drive a bit more to explore the imposing backdrop of Mount Olympus, you can even take a short trek on the foothills of the mountain to discover the Gorge of Enipeas and capture the best views of the mythological mountain.
There are also several traditional villages you can explore before you decide to head back to Thessaloniki.
If you want to visit but prefer to avoid the hassle of getting behind the wheel during your holidays, why not join an organized tour like the ones below?
One-Day Visit To Ouranoupoli And Mount Athos In Halkidiki
Halkidiki is a beautiful place in Greece, better known by the pristine beaches and the proximity to the religious complex of Mount Athos, probably the most important monastery complex in Greece.
Suppose you prefer not to visit all the different beaches in Halkidiki but have a panoramic view of the area. In that case, it can be a brilliant idea to join this popular excursion from Thessaloniki that includes a visit to Ouranoupoli. You can either take the trip on your own or join an organized tour that consists of a cruise trip around Mount Athos.
Since only men can visit the religious complex, and only with a special permit, the cruise offers you a unique possibility to see parts of some of the monasteries hosted on the peninsula.
Some of these religious buildings include the Holy Monastery of Docheiariou, the Holy Monastery of Agios Panteleimonos, and the main harbor of the spectacular Mount Athos, magnificently rising more than 2,000 meters above the level of the sea.
A visit to Mount Athos and a cruise trip in the area will usually also include a visit to Ammouliani Island, a paradisiac place where it’s possible to swim and enjoy the spectacular seas in Halkidiki.
Perfect Family Day Trip From Thessaloniki To Halkidiki And The Blue Lagoon
If you’re not interested in discovering the Monasteries and religious buildings in Mount Athos, then devote your trip from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki exclusively to finding the fantastic beaches in the area, often listed among the most beautiful ones on mainland Greece.
An organized day trip to Halkidiki like this one offers excellent value for money, allowing visitors to marvel at the enchanting beauty of the Blue Lagoon in Sithonia.
If you book one of the Halkidiki tours, it will be one of the most entertaining day trips for families with children, as the little ones will be able to snorkel and swim in the crystalline waters of the peninsula. Later on, the whole family will enjoy a great barbecue lunch aboard a boat and discover even more stunning beaches in the area.
Day Trip To Discover The Ancient Greek Kingdom Of Macedonia
If you’re looking for a short-distance day trip from Thessaloniki, then a visit to the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia is nothing but the perfect choice.
Start your day early by driving to the city of Pella, about 45 minutes from Thessaloniki.
Once in town, take some time to explore the local museum and the archaeological site of Pella, house some stunning mosaics and objects from different periods.
Add a second stop to your trip heading to Vergina. Here it is possible to visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai and the Archaeological sites exhibiting excavations and objects belonging to the splendorous Greek Kingdom of Macedonia.
You can either organize this tour on your own or book a visit ahead of time.
If you want to add more excitement to the visit, remember that Vergina is home to one of the most important breweries in Greece, so why not head here for a visit and a session of local beer tasting.
Day Trip From Thessaloniki To Kerkini Lake
Suppose visiting very touristic places is not your cup of tea, and you prefer off-the-beaten-track destinations. Why not explore the magnificent nature of Kerkini Lake and its bizarre population of flamingos?
Spend a whole day away from the city chaos and traffic, soaking in this unique natural sanctuary. Lake Kerkini is one of the oldest migratory stations for birds in Greece, and it represents an ideal destination for those travelers who enjoy being in contact with nature.
Lake Kerkini is located in the Valley of Serres, in the proximity of Mount Beles. The lake and its dam are one of the ten most remarkable wetland habitats in Greece.
The natural area hosts over 300 different species of birds and rare animals, including gracious flamingos and buffalos that walk near you. All these are combined with the beautiful view of Mount Beles and the majestic valley of Serres.
A visit to the lake can also include an exciting boat trip, ideal for small kids to admire the rich habitat of the area. Other entertaining activities include horse riding by the lakeside and a farm visit where to spend some time with impressive buffalos, all these only minutes away.
During your visit, it’s a good idea to taste a delicious local lunch at a taverna in the traditional village of Vironia. To avoid driving all the way to Kerkini Lake, take advantage of an organized tour, including a boat trip.
General Info About Thessaloniki
How To Get To Thessaloniki
The best and easiest way to get to Thessaloniki is to travel by plane from Athens. The flight lasts less than an hour, and there are plenty of air companies covering this route.
Seasonal offers on tickets are not rare, which means you can often get a ticket for less than 25 euro if you book in advance.
Where To Stay In Thessaloniki
Before planning your day trips from Thessaloniki, you should find a place to stay in town; these are the best hotel recommendations we can give you if you plan to spend some time in the city.
Budget Places To Stay In Thessaloniki
Being considered a university city, there are several low-budget places to stay in Thessaloniki,
Hotel Kastoria is located in the center of Thessaloniki, and it is a historic venue in town, only a few steps from Thessaloniki’s commercial district, Egnatia.
If you prefer to stay in an apartment, it is a good idea to check Little Studio only 3 km from Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum and 4 km from Rotunda.
Another option is the beautiful Prima Lodging offering spectacular city views.
Mid-Range Accommodation In Thessaloniki
Those who can spend a little more during their stay can book a room at The Trilogy House, a very comfortable lodging set in an elegant building from 1920.
Hotel Olympia is a magnificent mid-range hotel in the center of Thessaloniki, just a 5-minute walk from Aristotelous Square.
If you’re looking for one more place to spend your days in total comfort and without spending a fortune, then check Blue Bottle Boutique Hotel is only 900 meters from Aristotelous Square, one of the most popular meeting places in town.
Luxury Stays In Thessaloniki
One of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in town is Electra Palace Thessaloniki, located in the heart of town, in the impressive Aristotelous Square.
Another pleasant place to stay in the city center is Makedonia Palace, located right on the seafront.
If looking for a home to rent with all the comforts you need, take a look at Icarus Penthouse; it is located only 250 meters from Aristotelous Square and 800 meters from the imposing Church of Agios Dimitrios.
Best Thessaloniki Beaches
If you do not want to venture far for a day trip from the city of Thessaloniki, why not head to the beach? Mainland Greece has some excellent beaches. Across the three Thessaloniki peninsulas are dozens upon dozens of beaches. 39 of which are Blue Flag certified; here are a few to get you started:
- Agia Triada Beach
- Asprovalta Beach
- Epanomi Beach
- Perea Beach
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What a great post. I cherished every day I spent in Thessaloniki. Trigonion Tower was one one of my favorite stops. Thank you for all the info. Transportation was not as easy I thought I would be but that is ok.