Macedonia & Thrace
Macedonia (Μακεδονία) is a geographic and historical region of northern Greece in the southern Balkans. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region, dominated by mountains in the interior and the port cities of Thessaloniki and Kavala on its southern coastline. Macedonia is part of Northern Greece, together with Thrace, Thessaly and Epirus. Nowadays there is a confusion about FYROM who is trying to get Macedonia as a country name, however Greece and FYROM signed an agreement that the country will be called North Macedonia.
Therefore, Macedonia forms part of Greece’s national frontier with three countries: Bulgaria to the north-east, the Republic of North Macedonia to the north, and Albania to the north-west. The Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace is covering the northeastern edge of the country, with Turkey at the east and Bulgaria at the north.
The region remains an important economic center for Greece. Macedonia accounts for the majority of Greece’s agricultural production and is also a major contributor to the country’s industrial and tourism sectors. Central Macedonia is Greece’s fourth-most-popular tourist region and the most popular region that is not an island. It is home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Vergina (Aigai in older times), one of the ancient Macedonian capital cities. Pella, which replaced Aigai as the capital of Macedon in the fourth century BC, is also located in Greek Macedonia.
Since 1987 Macedonia has been divided into three regions. These are Western Macedonia, Central Macedonia, and Eastern Macedonia, which is part of the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. These regions are further subdivided into fourteen regional units, which are in turn divided into municipalities or communities (roughly equivalent to British or Australian shires).
They are overseen by the Ministry for the Interior, while the Deputy Minister for Macedonia and Thrace is responsible for the coordination and application of the government’s policies in all three Macedonian regions. Prior to 1987 Macedonia was a single administrative and geographical unit.
Modern Macedonia was established in 1913, in the aftermath of the Treaty of Bucharest which ended the Balkan Wars. It continued as an administrative subdivision of Greece until the administrative reform of 1987, when it was divided into the regions of West Macedonia, Central Macedonia, and part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, the latter containing also the whole Greek part of the region of Thrace.
The subdivisions of Macedonia with their capitals are:
- Florina (Florina)
- Grevena (Grevena)
- Kastoria (Kastoria)
- Kozani (Kozani)
- Chalkidiki (Chalkidiki)
- Imathia (Veria)
- Kilkis (Kilkis)
- Pella (Edessa)
- Pieria (Katerini)
- Serres (Serres)
- Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki)
- Drama (Drama)
- Evros (Alexandroupoli)
- Kavala (Kavala)
- Mount Athos (Karyes)
- Rodopi (Komotini)
- Thasos (Thasos)
- Xanthi (Xanthi)
- Aeollos Hotel
- Avra Hotel
- Gi Ga Mar Hotel
- Mavridis Hotel
- Alexander The Great Beach Hotel
- Blue Dolphin Hotel
- Hanioti Melathron Hotel
- Lagomandra Beach Hotel
- Portes Beach Hotel
- Secret Paradise Bungalow & Apartments
- Xenia Ouranoupolis Hotel
- Alia Palace Luxury Hotel
- Eagles Palace Hotel
- Istion Club Hotel & Spa
- Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort Hotel
- Pomegranate Wellness & Spa Hotel
- Porto Carras Meliton Hotel
- Sani Beach Hotel
- Simantro Beach Hotel
- Theophano Imperial Beach Hotel
- Xenios Anastasia Resort & Spa Hotel
- Afkos Grammos Boutique Hotel
- Esperos Palace Luxury & Spa Hotel
- Limneon Resort & Spa Hotel
- Airotel Galaxy Hotel
- Egnatia City Hotel & Spa
- Imaret Hotel
- Lucy Hotel Kavala
- Evridiki Hotel
- Habitat Hotel
- Anessis Hotel
- Luxembourg Hotel
- Mandrino Hotel
- Park Hotel
- Vergina Hotel
- Andromeda Hotel
- Capsis Bristol Boutique Hotel
- Capsis Hotel
- Colors Urban Hotel
- Panorama Hotel
- Philippion Hotel
- Porto Palace Hotel
- Electra Palace Hotel
- Grand Hotel
- Holiday Inn Hotel
- Hyatt Regency Hotel
- Lazart Hotel
- Makedonia Palace Hotel
- Mediterranean Palace Hotel
- Nikopolis Hotel
- The Met Hotel
Central Macedonia is the most popular tourist destination in Greece that is not an island. The actual reason is that Macedonia is a diverse region which allows it to cater to a variety of different types of tourism.
The mountainous interior allows for hiking activities and adventure sports, while ski resorts like Vasilitsa also operate in the winter months. Macedonia is also home to various lake and wetland tourist destinations and the roads to the mountainous interior are usually covered by forests, rocks and fields.
Thessaloniki as the second largest city in Greece, it is an inviting place with several points of interest and cultural events and it combines the Greek delight with the European mindset. Apart from being the cultural center of Macedonia, Thessaloniki is also a hub for urban tourism and gastronomy.
Must Visit Locations
- The numerous stone-built bridges (particularly the one in Portitsa) in Grevena area.
- Mastorochoria, a group of 25 villages that were named after ‘Mastores’ (the stone craftsmen who built the villages).
- Vasilitsa ski centre and Vigla Pisoderiou for snow sports, Valia Kalda (a.k.a. the Pindus National Park) for hiking and off road riding and Deskati for mountaineering.
- Ancient Eani, as it is the most important archaeological site in Western Macedonia, as well as the noteworthy byzantine monuments in the medieval fortified town of Servia.
- Lake Orestiada (Kastoria) for water sports or for cycling along its perimeter.
- Dispilio to see one of the oldest pile-supported lake settlements in Europe.
- Nestorio where you can join the river party that takes place during the first 10 days of August and practice adventure sports.
- Agios Achillios, the islet in Small Prespa Lake.
- Nymfeo, a traditional village in Florina.
- Aiges (Vergina), the ancient first capital of the kingdom of Macedonia, located in the greater Vergina area. The existing numerous sites of great archaeological and historical importance are the reason why the area has been included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in 1996.
- Mt. Olympus for hiking or mountaineering; if you’re interested in snow sports try the ski centres in Seli, Tria-Pente Pigadia and Kaimaktsalan.
- The great archaeological site of Dion in Pieria, the Frankish castle in Platamonas (near Katerini town) and St. Paul’s Podium in Veria.
- The breathtaking Edessa waterfalls.
- The Pozar hot springs for relaxing.
- Thessaloniki, a city that is literally an open-air museum. Ancient Greek monuments, roman influences and byzantine grandeur co-exist and create a fascinating mosaic. UNESCO has included 15 early-christian and byzantine monuments in its List of World Heritage Sites, thus recognizing the city’s great importance and contribution to the history of mankind.
- The numerous beaches in Halkidiki for swimming and the world renowned Petralona Cave of Polygyros where a hominid skull was discovered.
- The numerous vineyards in Goumenissa where some of the best-known Macedonian wines of superior quality are produced.
- The Amphipolis archaeological site (near Serres) and the Philippi site (near Kavala) which has been included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in 2016.
- Lake Kerkini for bird watching and relaxing.
- The impressive Alistrati cave.
- Mt. Pangeo and the Aesthetic Forest in Stena Nestou.
- The ancient monuments on Thassos island and the dreamlike beaches for swimming.
Delegates: 500 pax
The main Conference Hall of the Athos Palace Hotel, named Empress Theodora, can accommodate more than 1.000 persons.
This outstanding conference center can handle small meetings or large functions and may accommodate up to 500 guests.
Delegates: 600 pax
Conference centre, which includes eighteen (18) congress halls, can accommodate all kind of seminars, fairs, meetings and social events, with capacity up to 2200 people.
Brief History of Macedonia & Thrace
Macedonia incorporates most of the territories of ancient Macedon, a kingdom ruled by the Argeads and whose most celebrated members were Alexander the Great and his father Philip II. The name Macedonia was later applied to a number of widely-differing administrative areas in the Roman and Byzantine empires, resulting in modern geographical Macedonia.
Even prior to the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1830 Macedonia was identified as a Greek province, albeit without clearly defined geographical borders.
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