One piece of advice for those in the Olympic region and in the car. If it is a rainy day and worth a visit in nice weather too, start the car and head to Vergina (about 50km). There is a wonderful and huge museum with the tomb of Philip of Macedonia! After the Acropolis, the second most important archeological site in Greece. You won’t get wet inside, and there is really something to see. Proceed to Veria City if you wish. Not only does it have a couple of good museums (I like the Byzantine art museum), but walk to the walls of Emperor Dušan and the place from where St. Paul began to spread Christianity in Europe, take a walk around the old city center and the Jewish Quarter… And for our people perhaps the most important information, you will find in Veria a great selection of quality footwear at quite decent prices.
My recommendation for a meal is a great 12 city restaurant. If you go further north you reach Naoussa, which is widely known for its wines. Some of the best Greek wines are from Naoussa. In another day you can reach Edessa. The city was erected to where it is now by our Emperor Dusan. King Peter with his headquarters also stayed there while the army was in Kajmakchalan. Don’t miss your wish while walking behind the waterfall (fantastic feeling), 50 km away is Agios Athanasios, a city below Kaymakchalan and one of the most famous ski resorts in Greece. Dress well, because it is cold in the mountains even in August, so climb to the top of the mountain, visit the ossuary of the Serbian soldiers who have disappeared here and the church of St. Elijah in which the urn in which was the heart of Archibald Rice (mysteriously disappeared). Also nearby is Pozar Lutra, with a spa and river that runs hot water in the middle of the mountain and the waterfall is the most unusual jacuzzi.
For those I inspired to start discovering this part of Greece, here are some more tips.
If you are going to Vergina and Veria, then be sure to visit the very old monastery of St. John the Baptist. They have recently celebrated 1100 years of existence!
And if by any chance you will go to Naoussa, then do not miss the place where Aristotle’s school was or the archeological site of Meiza. Here is a helpful link on Naoussa history. More than interesting, especially if you know a bit about our history or at least cruise Djerdap :)
You can reach Naoussa even when the heat is at sea. To be more specific, to the picnic area nearby, on a mountain. The place is called Agios Nikolaos. Kids will especially like riding a tourist carriage and riding horses, and to you, I beleive, the rush of the fast mountain rivers and grilled trout in one of the restaurants :)
Edessa. It used to be called Voden because of the water that murmurs the town and falls. Read more about Edessa here.
When you visit the waterfall, take a walk into the park (there is a tomb of many Greeks killed in World War II), then stop by the Aquarium-reptile house. If your kids are not timid, I believe they will like it. Further, do not miss walking through the old city streets and I suggest a break in the Four Season Garden from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the plain (Edessa is on the rocks).
A fast mountain river flows through the city itself, so I recommend enjoying its rush at one of the many cafes downtown.
I do not miss the Club Orchestra children’s shop in Edessa (I think it’s a French brand). Discounts are only available to those who have a club card that costs 30e a year. But if you take tax-free and shop for a bigger amount, it might be worth it.
If you continue the journey of Kaymakchlan visit my favorite Agios Athanasios. You will have to believe me that the place is worth a visit and I will not be surprised if you decide to stay here after climbing Kaymakchalan. Provided you are good at bargaining :)
Not far from Agios Arhanasios is the Pozar Lutra spa, which I have already mentioned.
If ypu after all of this go from Edessa to Thessaloniki then you should not miss the museum and archeological site of Pela, the capital of Philip of Macedon and the birthplace of Alexander the Great!
Text: Biljana Marceta