Your new favourite getaway options for winter in Northern Greece.
I have already mentioned the love affair that I have with the city of Thessaloniki. But there is more than this city in Greece, of course. Just a few kilometers away there are places to discover that may become your new favourite spots, especially in winter! You will be surprised by the beautiful winter destinations in Greece on offer and we hope you get to visit them soon. Here we proudly present the 5 best winter destinations in northern Greece.
🚗 Distance from Thessaloniki – 145 km
Drama is a small city in the region of Macedonia in Northern Greece and less than a 2 hours drive from Thessaloniki. The city has a relaxed vibe and a great history, but it gets the most visitors during the Christmas season. In the heart of the city, you will find Oneiroupoli, the ideal place to get into the Christmas spirit.
The word Oneiroupoli comes from the word oneiro, which means dream, and poli, which means city. So, you will have the chance to visit the City of Dreams. The main square of the city is full of Christmas decorations from the 1st of December until the 4th of January.
If you are a family, this is an ideal activity for you. Oneiroupoli is a paradise for little ones, with plenty of options to keep everyone entertained even if it is cold. Many concerts also take place in the main square.
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The most impressive aspect is the Christmas decorations. Thousands of Christmas lights decorate the whole square and the huge Christmas tree. The Christmas market sells traditional products, souvenirs, delicacies, hot chocolate, and wine to keep you warm.
Agios Nikolaos Naousa
🚗 Distance from Thessaloniki – 100 km
Naousa is a beautiful city in northern Greece and one of your best choices for a quick escape from the city, especially during winter. In a distance of 2 kilometers from Naousa city and just 1h and 15 minutes drive from Thessaloniki you will find yourself in the Agios Nikolaos thicket.
An area of 15 acres, with plenty of green to make you feel alive and full of joy.The place is characterized as a national leisure center and has been developed into one of the best green spaces in Greece. The importance of it was recognized when in 1997, the place won the Special European Award.
Since then, it attracts around 1,000,000 visitors annually. The place is ideal for families as there are activities for young and old. If you are a fan of sports, you will find basketball courts, tennis and volleyball courts, as well as special routes for biking or running. For the little ones, there is a playground for endless hours of fun. In addition, an artificial lake full of fish and lake trout is waiting for you if that is something you enjoy.
If you prefer a different kind of relaxation to pass your time, there are options for you, as well. You can walk through the plane trees and admire the church of Saint Nikolaos, from whom the place got its name. Or you can take the train for a quick tour of the groove. You can also make a stop at the springs of Arapitsa river and taste the crystal cold water for a pure Greek experience.
Choose to visit the place on a sunny day, if you want to enjoy a nice picnic in the woods. Otherwise, there is also a restaurant and cafe to feed you. The best choice on the menu is the traditional specialty of lake trout, that had until very recently been swimming in the waters before you. Another activity that you can try in Agios Nikolaos is to visit the breeding ground and feed the animals. Especially entertaining for the little ones.
Before leaving make a quick stop at the environmental information center. There you will get to know more about the environmental issues that have affected the place and the efforts that have been made to dissolve them.
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🚗 Distance from Thessaloniki – 91 km
Edessa is a beautiful city located in the Macedonia region in northern Greece. With a distance of 91 kilometers or 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Thessaloniki, it is the perfect winter destination. The city center has many restaurants and cafes for you to stop, but Edessa is mostly famous for one particular thing, its waterfalls.
Just follow the sound of the pouring water and you will find yourself in front of one of the largest waterfalls in Greece. The waterfall park is located just a few steps from the city center and is accessible to everyone. The place started to developed back in WWII days by the Germans and the reconstruction was finished in the 1960s. Since then, many visitors attend the place to admire its natural beauty.
The park is divided into levels with narrow aisles and stairs. In the upper level, there are many plane trees and garden plants. This is where the largest waterfall, Karanos, starts at an altitude of 70 meters. Υou can walk behind the waterfall and watch the water pour down just in front of you. Going down the stairs, there is a cave full of important fossils, which is open to the public and you can visit.
In the lower part of the park is another smaller waterfall, Lamda, which ends up in two wonderful green lakes. This is the ideal place to stop by the ponds and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Before leaving, you can pay a visit to the Water Museum and Aquarium, and learn all about the utilization of the water to provide energy to the city.
🚗 Distance from Thessaloniki – 70 km
When you think of Halkidiki, the first thing that comes to mind is summer and crystal-clear blue beaches. But it is not only that! You will be astonished by the hidden beauties of Halkidiki as a winter destination. The mountainous part of Halkidiki is full of traditional villages of great historical importance. One of them is Arnaia.
Arnaia is just 70 kilometers away from Thessaloniki, making it easily accessible. The Ministry of Tourism has characterized the place as a “Traditional Settlement”. The buildings in this village have been standing there since 1850 and are a great sample of traditional Macedonian architecture. Tall buildings made of stone and without balconies and yards are the main characteristics of this architectural type. The whole scenery is completed by the cobbled narrow streets and the traditionally decorated squares.
Furthermore, it is located at an altitude of 600 meters and next to a forest. If you are a fan of nature, this is the place for you. You can choose between hiking, biking or just picnicking. Also, Arnaia is famous among the lovers of agrotourism, as you can learn all about the traditional products and agriculture of Greece. For more information about this, you should stop by the Folkloric and Ethnological Museum of Arnaia.
Do you want to see more? Then take a short drive, just 15 kilometers, and you will be in Stagira. This is the birthplace of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It is a small village with only a few permanent inhabitants but it has great historical importance for Greece.
🚗 Distance from Thessaloniki – 153 km
Paggaion is a mountain near the city of Kavala in northern Greece. According to mythology, this was the place where Orpheus lived and the temple of God Dionysus was. Apart from mythology, there are many beautiful traditional villages to visit and plenty of activities someone can do in this mountain.
The traditional settlements of Moustheni, Messoropi, Palaiochori, and Eleftheroupoli are full of cobbled streets and stone-built buildings, of great architectural importance. There are also many routes for the fans of hiking, where you will have the chance to walk between the forest trees and rivers of the mountain. There are many more activities that you can do, such as mountain climbing, skiing, cave exploring and staying overnight in the mountain. The many climbing associations are there for you to organize the activities.
If you enjoy discovering the history and traditions of a place more, there are many things here for you too. The Folkloric Museum of Folia and Mesoropi villages are interesting to understand the traditions of people living there from the old times till nowadays. Besides, there is the Olive Museum, where you can learn all about the most precious fruit of Greece and the Wax Museum at Kipia village.
Paggaion region is famous for its winemaking tradition. Take the chance and visit one of the many wineries in the region and try the famous “Vivlino” wine, which dates back to ancient Greece. The winery of “Vivlia Chora” is located in Kokkinochori village and its wines are actual masterpieces.
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Greece may be all about sun, wonderful beaches, and amazing islands, but there are many winter destinations in Greece that can equally compare to other hot winter destinations across the world. From hiking and skiing to delicious traditional Greek food and sightseeing, Greece is full of surprises. The choice is yours! Let’s help you get there in style!