Greece shouldn't just be your summer holiday destination. There's more than enough charm and culture to discover in this corner of the Mediterranean to warrant a visit during its winter months, starting withThessaloniki. An effortless blend of hustle, ancient ruins and culinary greatness, here's why Thessaloniki is the perfect Greek winter getaway.
It's perfectly situated
With regular flights from London to Thessaloniki and with prices from 60 pounds, there's little reason not to pay this city a visit this winter. And with a short flight time of just over 3 hours, why follow the crowds to one of Europe's popular winter destinations? Forget chaotic Milan or Budapest and make Thessaloniki your next city-break destination. After all, it has been tipped as the Greek answer to Paris!
If you have more time to spend here, Thessaloniki, sitting on Greece's north coast, is perfectly positioned to explore your surroundings. Take a day trip to neighboring islands Thassos or Limnos, or even an adventure to the region of Greece Macedonia, the city's location is perfect for explorers.
It's perfectly sized
Despite being Greece's second largest metropolis, Thessaloniki is surprisingly small, covering just less than 20 square kilometers and housing just over one million inhabitants. So, Thessaloniki is perfectly walkable in no time at all, which is ideal in milder temperatures.
Forget having to master a new city's chaotic metro system or communicating with taxi drivers in your very best broken Greek, the best part about Thessaloniki is arguably that you can take in its magnificence on foot!
It's a stroll through the past
Greece is a country steeped in history, so it's no surprise that Thessaloniki is home to plentiful historical sights to ensure you your winter fix! As you stroll through the city you'll stumble across different ancient ruins and historical buildings with every step. Yes, the city's size means a strict itinerary is not compulsory, but there are some sights not to be missed, including the city's Roman Agora, the Rotonda and the Arch of Galerius.
It's a good time
It's no secret that the Greeks know how to party. And the city of Thessaloniki is no exception. In fact, it even landed itself a spot on National Geographic's list of the top 10 cities with the best nightlife in the world.
But unlike many of the Greek islands we know and love, Thessaloniki's nightlife does not stop as summer comes to an end. Visitors in winter are still spoilt for choice as night falls. From vibrant bars run by award-winning bartenders, to nightclubs filled with famous DJs, Thessaloniki's affluent array of nightclubs are unmissable. However, if it is authenticity you are searching for, Greek cuisine and live Greek music will always remian unrivalled.
It's got its own National Park
A trip to Thessaloniki during the winter months is not all about long days of sightseeing, followed by Ouzo-fueled evenings accompanied by hearty Greek cuisine; this city boasts a great opportunity to rekindle with nature at its very own National Park. Just outside of the city sits the stunning Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas National Park.
Not only does this park span 38,000 hectares, but it houses one of Greece's most important ecosystems consisting of river estuaries, lagoons, salt marshes and more. And as winter rolls in here, so do the park's many water birds and birds of prey that call this park home. So if you're an avid bird watcher or simply a nature lover in your own right, this may be your favorite part about Thessaloniki.