Silversea Luxury Cruises A THESSALONIKI

THESSALONIKI
THESSALONIKI

At the crossroads of East and West, where North blends into South, Thessaloniki (accent on the "ni") has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations: Macedonian, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and that of the Jews and the modern Greeks. Each of its successive conquerors has plundered, razed, and buried much of what went before. In 1917 a great fire destroyed much of what was left, but the colorful past can still be seen and sensed. The vibrant city with close to 1. View more

5 million inhabitants today—also known as Thessalonike, Saloniki, Salonika, or Salonica—has a spacious, orderly layout that is partly a result of French architect Ernest Hébrard, who rebuilt the city after the fire. Though Thessaloniki has suburbanized in the last two decades, sprawling to the east and west, the old part of the city is fairly centralized and easy to get used to. Whether you're in Ano Polis (Upper City) or along the bay, short walks here are well rewarded; you may come across parks, squares, old neighborhoods with narrow alleyways and gardens, courtyards draped with laundry, neoclassic mansions, and some of the more than 50 churches and 40 monasteries. Thessaloniki's early Christian and Byzantine monuments, with their distinctive architecture and magnificent mosaics, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ever-changing nature of the city continues and neighborhoods like Ladadika, a former warehouse district (which got its name from the olives and olive oil or ladi stored here), have been recycled into pedestrian zones of restaurants and clubs. The neighborhood is filled with young and old, strolling by fountains, snapping fingers to the music in the air, and savoring mezedes (appetizers) and microbrewery beers at tables spilling onto the stone squares. The appeal of Thessaloniki lies in part in its warmth, accessibility, and languid pace. The afternoon mesimeri, or siesta, is still sacrosanct (don't call people between 3 and 5 pm). Take your time exploring in-town archaeological sites and Byzantine treasures, making sure to stop for café-style people-watching. The two walks suggest routes for exploring highlights. It's best, however, to simply to wander through the streets responding to whatever you encounter. It is hard to get lost, since the entire city slopes downhill to the bay, where you can always align yourself with the White Tower and the city skyline.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

Excursiones en THESSALONIKI

Visit the ancient city of Dion, located on the mountain where the gods of Greek mythology once resided and the most important sacred city of the Ancient Macedonians.


Ancient Dion

From the port of Thessaloniki, a one-hour scenic drive south takes you to the renowned archaeological park where you will discover exciting remains of this once important centre of worship. The town was founded in the 5th century BC at the foot of Mount Olympus, home to the gods of classical Greece. Here at Dion, festivals and games took place that lasted nine days. They were dedicated to the divinities of art and culture, known as the nine muses. Alexander the Great is said to have offered a sacrifice to the gods before heading with his fleet to Minor Asia. Dion grew and flourished until the 5th century AD, when an earthquake brought everything to a standstill.


Guided Walking Tour

Start your visit exploring the part outside the walls that has been transformed into a park. Your walk will take you past sanctuaries of the Olympic gods, a Roman theatre and the Hellenistic theatre, still used today during the summer festival for performances. Then continue with your visit inside the walls. As you follow your guide through the streets of the ancient city, you can see the Roman baths complex and the Odeon. Farther along is the Sanctuary of Ascleipious, whose worship was connected with the healing of the body, and the Villa of Dionysos with its unique mosaic floor.


Archaeological Museum

Your visit to the museum complements what you have seen in the Archaeological park. Exhibits on two floors feature remains from the first cult of Zeus and its sanctuary near the site of Mt. Olympus, including vases, jewellery and statues from the Villa of Dionysos. Construction materials, building tools and coins unearthed during the excavation provide a look at everyday life in ancient Dion.


The tour concludes with a return drive back to the pier.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Learn everything there is to know about the rich history of the area by visiting the birthplace of Alexander the Great and the first capital of Macedonia with an archeologist. This remarkable full-day excursion combines the glories of Pella with those of Vergina and includes traditional Greek lunch.


Pella

Commence your expedition with approximately one hour drive to Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great and the second capital of ancient Macedonia. For 250 years Pella was the cultural center of the Greek world. As the seat of the royal family, Pella experienced its greatest prosperity during the reign of Alexander the Great. Thanks to archaeological excavations, public buildings and luxurious private homes with intricate marble-floor mosaics have been uncovered. Also unearthed were a plethora of delicate clay figurines and vases. View these and other treasures in the small Archaeological Museum before continuing to the city of Veria.


Vergina & Lunch

Your next stop will be Vergina, where you will visit the tomb of King Philip II of Macedonia. Dating from 335 BC, the bones of the king are covered with a golden wreath of oak leaves. Also found here are the king's iron helmet and a cache of weapons. In addition to King Philip's tomb and personal effects, you will also view well-preserved examples of large-scale classical painting and numerous carved, painted steles of ordinary citizens. Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch before returning to the ship.


The tour concludes with approximately one hour return drive to the pier.

Meteora Monasteries by Helicopter

Meteora means "suspended in air" in ancient Greek, which is indeed how the six remaining monasteries here appear. And what better way to approach them than by helicopter? These sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who scaled the steep cliffs to be alone with their God.


Scenic Flight

Transfer to the airport and embark on a scenic one-hour flight to Meteora. Film buffs may recall seeing the religious enclave in the 1981 James Bond thriller, For Your Eyes Only. After landing near Meteora, meet your guide and travel the short distance to the first monastery.


Meteora Monasteries

Nowadays, only four of the remaining monasteries accept visitors. Originally, access was only via net baskets hauled up by ropes. Then at the later stage, steps were cut into the rock; more recently a road was constructed. For centuries, women were barred from entering these institutions; today, two of them are nunneries. As you explore two of the monasteries with your guide, learn how the dedicated monks and nuns live in the extraordinary conditions here. Inside the monasteries, admire ancient icons, manuscripts, paintings, and much more. Marvel at the beautiful paintings decorating the ceilings and walls inside the chapels and take time as well to enjoy the amazing views over the other monasteries and the surrounding landscape.


Traditional Greek Lunch

After your visits, adjourn to the Meteoron Panorama Restaurant in Kalambaka for a traditional Greek lunch before boarding your helicopter for the flight back to Thessaloniki.

Royal Treasures of Ancient Macedonia

Discover the treasures of Thessaloniki - perhaps the world's greatest living Byzantine museum - and the rich surrounding area of Macedonia, with its inspirational scenery and history of many heroes. This half-day excursion offers a great opportunity to visit the Royal Tombs at Vergina, believed to be the ancient Macedonian capital of Aigai.


Macedonian Royal Dynasty

The Macedonian Royal Dynasty included descendants of Hercules-the greatest hero of all. Philip II was the first person to ever unite the Greek city-states in a common cause, but his noble fame was far surpassed by his brilliant and unparalleled son, Alexander, whose greatness is still discussed and envied today. One of the most important archaeological discoveries of recent times occurred just over 30 years ago with the unearthing of the intact tombs of the Macedonian Royal Family, including the tomb of Philip II.


Vergina - Archaeological Site of Aigai

Depart the pier and travel to Vergina and the sacred city of the Macedonian Kings at Aigai, excavated in 1938. Aigai served as the capital of Macedonia until the 5th century BC, when Pella was built. It was the burial site for all Macedonian royalty and tradition held that the Macedonian Dynasty would collapse if one of the kings was ever buried elsewhere. This superstition became fact when, after his death in Babylon, Alexander was interred somewhere in Asia and the Dynasty fell.


Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai

Next, visit the impressive Royal Tombs and the museum, which displays the finds from the site and the untouched tomb of Philip II-assassinated here in 336 BC. One of history's greatest generals, Philip was robbed of the fame he truly deserved by the greatness of his son Alexander. The artifacts from his tomb, only recently discovered, rate among the most prized collections ever found and the artistic quality of the relics offered new insights into the Macedonian culture. Among the finds are the famous Golden Larnacs with the great king's remains, a golden wreath of oak leaves with exquisite acorns still attached, the king's armor and a great gold-and-ivory ceremonial shield. Also on display are miniature ivory statues of the royal family, including a rare portrait of Alexander.


Following this exciting "discovery" of the Vergina Royal Tombs, re-board you coach for a return drive to Thessaloniki and the ship.

Thessaloniki Highlights

Enjoy a comprehensive introduction to this bustling seaport and principal city of northern Greece. There will be a number of stops made during which you will view or visit the following points of interest:


White Tower

Located at one end of the seafront promenade, the White Tower was once a major component in the system of walls and fortifications that originally surrounded the entire town. Today it houses a museum on the history and art of Byzantine Salonika. Your coach will stop to let you take photos of this prominent landmark.


Archaeological Museum

Renowned as one of the best of its kind in Greece, the museum boasts an important collection of material from Salonika as well as Macedonia and Thrace. Its main attraction is displayed in a special wing and features a unique collection of finds from the famous royal tombs at Vergina, including two richly decorated chests of solid gold and other masterpieces of Macedonian metal work.


The Citadel

Located on the site of the ancient acropolis, the citadel is part of the original defence walls. The interior is fully restored. On the highest point stands a fortress, formerly used as a prison.


Ayios Dimitrios

The city's main church is dedicated to Dimitrius, the town's principal saint and patron. The church was gutted in the great fire of 1917, but archaeologists were successful in rebuilding the structure with materials recovered after the blaze.


At the end of your visit, re-board your coach for the short drive to the pier.

Thessaloniki Jewish Heritage

Explore the Jewish heritage of the second-largest city in Greece during this picturesque, half-day excursion to Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki, Victory Square and Open Markets

Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour sightseeing drive through Thessaloniki, the principal gateway from the Mediterranean to the Balkans and Central Europe. See the former 'Baron Hirsh' Jewish neighbourhood on Giannitson Street, then head to the old railway station, where 50,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps in Poland. From here, drive along the coastal avenue and stop at the historical Victory Square to view the Holocaust Monument, and visit the Jewish Museum and Synagogue. Next, take a guided stroll through the Modiano and Kapani open markets, which abound with vendors selling meat, fish, vegetable, spices, fruit, and flowers.

Aristotle's Square, White Tower and Upper City

Your tour continues with a visit to Aristotle's Square, followed by a drive to the White Tower, the symbol of the city. Upon arrival, some free time is made available for independent exploration. Afterward, drive through the eastern part of the city and along Queen Olga's Street, home to early-20th-century mansions formerly belonging to famous Jewish families, then proceed to the Upper City. A stop is made at the Byzantine Walls for spectacular panoramic views overlooking the city, Thermaic Gulf and Mount Olympus in the background.

Thessaloniki Landmarks

Leaving the Byzantine Walls, your tour concludes with an approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier. En route, pass by renowned monuments such as the Ministry of Macedonia, Trace Building, St. Demetrius Church, Rotunda, Arch of Galerius, International Trade Fair, and University Campus, formerly the area of the old Jewish Cemetery.


The tour concludes back at the pier.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.