Day 1 UK - Thessaloniki
You’ll fly to Thessaloniki today and, on arrival, we will transfer you to your hotel. This evening we’ll gather as a group and head to a restaurant for dinner.Meals included: D
Day 2 Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is Greece's second city and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia. We'll explore this morning in the company of a Local Guide, starting with a drive along the ancient city walls for sweeping views. We'll experience the local market before continuing to the triumphal Arch of Galerius, built to honour the Roman Emperor Galerius after the final victory over the Persians. The Rotunda - first a Roman mausoleum and then a mosque - and the Basilica of St Dimitrios, are our next calls, followed by a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Our tour ends at the White Tower, built around 1520 and used by the Ottomans as a fort, a garrison and a prison. There's time to explore at leisure, before we return to the hotel.
Day 3 Edessa
Today's included excursion takes us to the small town of Edessa, famed for its beautiful waterfalls. We then continue to the archaeological site of Pella and as we explore we'll uncover temples, houses and tombs and see the region's most important site, Aristotle's School, where the renowned philosopher is said to have taught the young Alexander the Great. Next stop is Saint Nicolas Park, where we'll enjoy a stroll amongst its scenic beauty, with time to enjoy lunch if you wish before we return to Thessaloniki.
Day 4 Thessaoniki - at Leisure
You might choose to spend today at leisure, or perhaps you'll join our optional visit to the remarkable Royal Tombs of Vergina. This UNESCO-listed site is where Greek archaeologists unearthed the burial site of the kings of Macedon, and one of the tombs has been identified as that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. We'll also see the ruins of the impressive Palace of Aiges, before heading to the ancient and picturesque town of Veria. During our tour, we'll explore the Jewish quarter and visit a shrine to St Paul, who is said to have preached here. Gather with your fellow travellers this evening for an included dinner.
Day 5 Arnea & Farmhouse Experience
Today we head to Halkidiki, a three-fingered peninsula which juts out into the Aegean Sea from the Greek mainland. A scenic drive takes us past Koroneia Lake to the traditional Macedonian village of Arnea. Here, there's time for a stroll amongst its cobbled streets to admire its stonebuilt houses and maybe stop for a Greek coffee.
We continue our journey to Platanorema, a beautiful farm stay where we'll enjoy a tour of the herb garden, see the farm animals and learn how tsipouro – a pomace brandy – is produced. The highlight of the day is a Greek cookery lesson in the farmhouse. We'll learn how to make local specialities including tzatziki and a vegetable pie, which we'll enjoy for lunch before a beekeeping demonstration. On arrival in the picturesque port town of Kavala, we'll check into our hotel, where we'll stay for the next three nights.
Day 6 Kavala - at Leisure
You can choose to spend the day at leisure in Kavala or perhaps join our optional excursion to Kerkini Lake National Park. This man-made lake, surrounded by two magnificent mountain ranges, provides a haven for 300 recorded bird species. On our bird-watching tour with a Local Guide, we’ll also see herds of water buffalo and enjoy a cruise on the lake before an included lunch.
Day 7 Kavala - at Leisure
If you choose to join our optional excursion today, you'll tour the important historical and religious site of Philippi, visited by St Paul during his missionary journeys. On our return journey to the hotel we'll take a short tour of Kavala and its ancient aqueduct, believed to be of Roman origin.
Kavala boasts a lovely seafront promenade, so why not take a stroll during an afternoon at leisure. This evening, we'll gather as a group for a farewell dinner at a traditional taverna.
Day 8 Thessaloniki - UK
Today we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.