Northern Greece with Kids

Northern Greece offers a plethora of historical wonders, natural beauty, and activities suitable for the whole family. This guide will help you navigate the best sights, experiences, and culinary delights to ensure a memorable trip with your kids.

What to See

  • Mount Olympus: Encounter the Gods: Located just two hours southwest of Thessaloniki, Mount Olympus stands proudly along the gulf. This mountain, known as the home of the gods in Greek mythology, provides a combination of natural beauty and historical intrigue. At the foot of the mountain lies the ancient city of Dion, where you can explore archaeological excavations including Zeus’s temple, ancient baths, and theaters.
  • Vergina: Archeology, Museums, and UNESCO Sites: Vergina, also known as Aigai in ancient times, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The archaeological museum here houses the Great Tomb, which contains the remains of Alexander the Great’s father and son, as well as the Tomb of Persephone. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with ruins of a palace and theater that offer a glimpse into ancient Greek grandeur.
  • Thessaloniki: A Fusion of Cultures: Thessaloniki, a city infused with a rich tapestry of historical influences, offers numerous attractions. Visit the White Tower, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Byzantine Culture. The city’s diverse past, reflected in its architecture and cultural landmarks, makes it a fascinating destination for both adults and kids.

Where to Go

  • Seaside Villages: Head to seaside villages such as Agia Triada, Angelohori, Asprovalta, and Galaksis. These locations are perfect for family activities such as diving, swimming, and building sandcastles. The shallow waters are ideal for families with small kids, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Mount Chortiatis: For those seeking a countryside escape, Mount Chortiatis offers a perfect day out. The woods and hills are great for hiking and exploring nature, providing a refreshing break from the coastal areas.
  • Meteora: Explore the unique rock formations and monasteries of Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stunning views and serene environment make it a great place for family adventures.

What to Eat

  • Thessaloniki’s Gastronomy: Thessaloniki’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavors from Minor Asia, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Enjoy traditional meze (small plates), pita gyros, and the city’s famous bougatsa (a sweet-cream breakfast pastry). For a quaint Greek meal, visit the picturesque Ladadika quarter or explore the vibrant food markets like Athonos Square, Modiano Market, and Kapani.
  • Coastal Eateries: In the coastal areas, indulge in fresh seafood at local taverns. Nikolaou Plastira Street in the Arezzous area is lined with cafes and restaurants that offer delicious meals with sea views.

Parks and Attractions for Kids

The beaches of Northern Greece are ideal for families, especially Agia Triada and Asprovalta. These beaches have shallow waters that allow kids to swim safely.

Immerse your kids in the local culture by visiting Thessaloniki’s bustling food markets. These vibrant spots offer a sensory feast with fresh produce, local delicacies, and a lively atmosphere.

For adventurous families, there are outdoor activities such as hiking in Mount Olympus, exploring the trails of Mount Chortiatis, or kayaking around picturesque coastal areas. These activities provide endless fun.

The best time to visit Northern Greece is during late spring (May to June) and early autumn (September to October). The weather is pleasant, and tourist crowds are smaller during this time. July and August are peak vacation months, so if you plan to visit during this time, make sure to plan well in advance.

An approximate 7-day travel plan for Northern Greece

Day 1: Arrival in Thessaloniki, settle into your accommodation, and explore the local area. Enjoy an evening stroll along the waterfront.

Day 2: Take a Thessaloniki city tour and visit the White Tower, Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Byzantine Culture. Have a meal in the Ladadika quarter.

Day 3: Take a day trip to Vergina, explore the archaeological museum and UNESCO sites, and return to Thessaloniki for dinner.

Day 4: Spend the day at Agia Triada or Asprovalta for beach activities and have an overnight stay in a seaside village.

Day 5: Drive to Mount Olympus, hike the trails, and visit the ancient city of Dion. Stay overnight in a nearby town.

Day 6: Explore the monasteries and rock formations of Meteora, and return to Thessaloniki for the night.

Day 7: Relax, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, do some final shopping in Thessaloniki, and depart.

Tips for tourists

  • Rent a car for easy exploration, as public transportation between towns is limited. Ensure the rental includes GPS.
  • Book family-run hotels in advance, especially in smaller towns, as they often provide a more personalized experience and include breakfast.
  • Plan your trip at least one month in advance, and three months ahead if traveling during peak season (July and August).
  • Stay informed about the current health situation and travel requirements. Make sure that hotels and restaurants are open and operating during your visit.
  • Pack essentials such as comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, sun protection, and any necessary hiking gear. Additionally, bring a small medical kit for minor emergencies.

Northern Greece offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation for families. With this expert guide, you’re well-equipped to create lasting memories with your kids in this enchanting region.

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