Silk Road Tour of Northern Greece

One of the greatest trading routes in history of mankind. One country, on the crossroads of three continents.
This is the Greek land of the Silk Road
    

 

Day 01: Arrival - Thessaloniki
Arrival at Thessaloniki International Airport.
You will meet your personal guide  - driver. Transfer to your hotel. Free time before your welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 02: Thessaloniki
After breakfast we will have a short guided tour of the city. Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece, was a crossroads of the Great Silk Road for many centuries. Named after the sister of Alexander the Great, it is well-known for its great History, Unesco Monuments,  and gastronomic tradition. Thessaloniki was the most important port of the eastern Roman Empire and - along with the Via Egnatia route -, the city functioned  an important role, in relation to the Silk Road. Silk, spices and other culinary products were some of the goods that made their way to the East and West.
Stroll in the city center,  walk to an authentic neighborhood where people live, eat and shop for generations. Kapani – Vlali, open-air market is one of the most lively parts of the city.  Here you will really get a glimpse of daily life while wandering the market’s narrow streets. The best of what  Greek nature has to offer is on display. Fruits, vegetables, fish, spices, herbs, even meat. An explosion of colors, smells, and flavors!
Lunch follows. Eat like a local at one of the town’s restaurants, offering authentic Greek cuisine. Then we will take a walk at the famous waterfront before enjoying a cup of Greek coffee or a Frappe, viewing the city from the sea! Rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 03: Amfipoli - Philippi  - Dadia Forest
Today and right after breakfast, we take Egnatia motorway and drive to the eastern par t of Northern Greece.
Located on a plain near Mt. Pangaion and the river Strymon,  the Athenian colony of Amphipolis was founded in 437 BCE and  prospered due to the Pangaion gold mines. Here, we stop at the Lion of Amphipolis which in antiquity,  stood on a burial mound. In the distance, we can see the excavation site of a grave that is believed to be, the final resting place for family members or a general, of Alexander the Great.
 Less than an hour drive, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia- the Via Egnatia-  lie the remains of Philippi.  We visit, the archaeological museum and the archaeological site of Philippi, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2016. The city developed as a “small Rome”  and prospered in the Roman imperial era.   Later, it became an important centre of early Christianity, following the visit of the Apostle Paul, which made Philippi a place of pilgrimage. The first Christian church in Europe was founded here  and Lydia was notable as the first European to be baptized there.
Lunch follows and then we continue our trip to Dadia, our final destination.
Hotel check-in and take some time to rest before dinner at Soufli -the town of Silk.

Day 04: Dadia Forest – Soufli and Silk Museums
Today start your day with a traditional breakfast based on local produce, viewing the forest trees of Dadia National Park. As the hotel borders the virgin forest, it feels like you’re part of it. Breathe deeply, enjoy – an amazing day, full of colors, nature and tradition awaits you.
Being at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli National Park is worldwide renowned as one of the few refuges for rare birds of prey in Europe, and home to the only breeding population of Black Vultures in the Balkans. Accompanied by a member of the National Park staff, we move into the heart of the protected area and the Observatory. Will you be a lucky one to see the rare birds flying?

Right afterwards we move to Soufli, the town of the Greek Silk. Here we visit two of the Silk Road related museums.  Original exhibits combined with the latest technology, will take you on a journey as unique as that of silk itself.
Lunch follows at a local restaurant. Return to hotel and free time until dinner.
Optional: In the afternoon, you may visit the Folk Art Museum in Soufli, that hosts a remarkable collection of traditional objects, from times that are now lost forever.

Day 05: Feres– Zone Mesimvria- Fanari – Thessaloniki
Today and after breakfast, we drive to the small town of Feres where we visit the church Panagia Kosmosotira (Lady of Saviour). Visitors from all over the world have admired not only its unique architecture but the magnificent frescoes as well, all great examples of byzantine hagiography.
Right afterwards, we move to the 7th century BC colony, the Archaeological Site “Zone Messimvria”, near Alexadroupoli. According to some testimonies, Aesop, the great storyteller of antiquity had originated from this city.
Nobel prized Greek poet, Odysseus Elytis wrote: «If you try to break down Greece into its elements, in the end you will be left with an olive tree, a vine and a ship”. So true, and today we’ll get to taste one of the most highly awarded Greek olive oils, from one of the oldest olive groves in the Mediterranean.  
Today, you’ll have your lunch at one of the most beloved sea-side destinations in North-Eastern Greece.
Return to Thessaloniki, where we will arrive around 18:00p.m.

End of program
 
Inclusions
Private transfer from/to airport on arrival and departure days
2 overnights at 5* Hotel in Thessaloniki (double/twin occupancy)
2 overnights at forest hotel in Dadia
All tours and transfers as mentioned in itinerary
Entrance fees to Archaeological sites of Philippi and Zoni Messimvria
Entrance fees to Silk Museums
4 Breakfasts
Welcome dinner on 1st day in Thessaloniki
Licensed guide
Professional driver
All local taxes and VAT
 
Exclusions
Meals
Drinks
Personal expenses
Gratuities
Travel insurance
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions
 
Have to know
Program language: English. Only the guided tour of Thessaloniki, may be in the language of your preference, based upon request and availability.
Guided tour of Philippi and Zoni Messimvria, upon request and availability.
Program runs all year round
Rates are per person in sharing double/twin room
This tour is available for 2-8 persons. Please also note that we can always operate larger groups.
If you're a solo traveler please let us know
Tailor-made: This tour can be tailor-made throughout the year to suit your requirements.

 

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