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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thessaloniki - Greece: a National Geographic treasure



According to National Geographic, the city of Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city in the north, is among the top 20 international destinations not to be missed by travelers.

The renowned magazine, which reaches more than 8 million readers worldwide, recently released its annual travel guide for 2013, naming Thessaloniki among the top destinations worldwide and a must see place for next year.

As the magazine states, "Although the euro crisis has caused ripples of discontentment here, it's the century-old street markets filled with ripe fruits and barrels of fresh feta that symbolize this city. Tucked between relics of Byzantine and Ottoman antiquity are art galleries, bohemian nightclubs, and culinary hot spots, all part of a grassroots vision turned reality by Thessaloniki's large do-it-yourself youth culture. The best way to get the feel of this mission-driven city is on foot, walking from the ruins of Ano Poli to Aristotelous Square on the waterfront. Then cozy up to a café to nibble grilled calamari washed down with dry Macedonian wine". The article also focuses on the city port, which it calls "luminous", due to the fact that it is not closed by any gigantic construction like so many others is southern Europe.

Εxcept for a beautiful city-break destination on its own, thanks to its location, Thessaloniki is also the holiday gateway to the north Aegean Islands and the Halkidiki region, famous for its natural beauty and mesmerizing beaches, as well as a short trip getaway to famous archaeological sites, such ancient Pella and the Vergina royal tombs. Moreover though, due its 3,000 year old history, examples of its Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past, such as Byzantine churches, included in UNESCO's World Heritage list, are scattered around the city.

This is not the first major acknowledgement received by Thessaloniki. Many more leading newspapers and travel guides have also discovered Thessaloniki in the recent past. In 2010 Lonely Planet, the leading travel guide, included the city in the top 10 destinations in the world in terms of entertainment. In 2011, the annual Louis Vuitton City Guide - European Cities publication included Thessaloniki in its list of unexpected cities, due to the unique wine and culinary experiences it offers. That same year, the New York Times included it in the top 41 destinations to be visited in 2011, while the Australian Sun Herald, added the city at its list of proposed European travel destinations.

- The full National Geographic article on Thessaloniki, can be read at the following link:

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2013/#/white-tower-thessaloniki-greece_61109_600x450.jpg
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