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.

Excursions depuis Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki City 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.


Your tour will continue with a panoramic city drive, passing by Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda before making a last stop at the 7th-century Hagia Sofia, a former cathedral and mosque. Then re-board your coach for the short drive to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 3 hours therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding. It is strongly recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sun protection.

Thessaloniki City Hightlights

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.


Your tour will continue with a panoramic city drive, passing by Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda before making a last stop at the 7th-century Hagia Sofia, a former cathedral and mosque. Then re-board your coach for the short drive to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 3 hours therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding. It is strongly recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sun protection.

Vergina Royal Tombs & Museum

This half-day excursion will offer a great opportunity to visit the Royal Tombs at Vergina, believed to be the ancient Macedonian capital of Aigai. Departing from Thessaloniki, a one-hour drive takes you to the town of Veria, from where it is another eight miles to the actual site. When the tombs were discovered in 1977, it brought Vergina into the spotlight and a program was launched immediately to preserve the magnificent murals which adorned the tombs.


Royal Tombs and Museum

Most of the remains of the Vergina tombs are now under the protective shelter of a subterranean structure that was built in 1993 to encase the ancient monuments by maintaining a constant temperature and humidity, both imperative for the preservation of the wall paintings. Externally, the structure appears like a massive burial mound, more than 36 feet high and 330 feet in diameter.


Descending into the underground interior, you will visit the majestic tombs as well as the museum. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Professor Manolis Andronikos, the archaeologist who brought the treasures to light and recognized their importance. The superb artistry displayed in the tombs and skeletal remains convinced scholars that they could only have belonged to the royal Macedonian family of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.


Many of the treasures found in the tombs were housed until 1997 in Thessaloniki's Architectural Museum, from where they were transferred to their new subterranean home. Seeing the spectacular displays will truly be an additional highlight of your visit. Among the artefacts are marble funerary stele, pottery, gold jewellery, a silver cinerary urn with the bones of a young man and the gold larnax that contained the bones of King Philip II. Following this exciting "discovery" of the Vergina Royal Tombs, you will have some free time for a refreshment before starting the return drive to Thessaloniki and the ship.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Comfortable walking shoes, hats and sun protection are strongly recommended.

Archaeological Site & Museum of Dion

This tour will appeal to guests with a special interest in sites of the antiquity. Dion, situated at the foothills of Mount Olympus is the sacred city of ancient Macedonia.


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. Your visit to the site will be followed with a look at the exhibits in the Archaeological Museum.


Dion

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.

You will 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.


There will be a refreshment stop before starting the drive back to Thessaloniki and the ship.


Please note: The visit to the archaeological site requires extensive walking, mainly on uneven ground, with several steps. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. We recommend wearing flat, rubber soled shoes and bringing a sun hat.

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 principle 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.


Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Walking in Thessaloniki is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Space on this tour is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

This remarkable, full-day excursion combines the glories of Pella with those of Vergina, and includes lunch overlooking the Aliakmon Valley.


Commence your expedition with a 45-minute drive via air-conditioned motor coach to Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great and the second capital of ancient Macedonia.


Pella

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. Here, a three-course lunch will be served at a local restaurant overlooking the immense Aliakmon Valley.


Vergina

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.


All too soon, you will rejoin your motor coach for the approximately one hour-long return to the ship.


Please note: There is extensive walking in the Pella site. Flat and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.