Thessaloniki is the second town in Greece by population, after Athens. Its a very different city from Athens but no less sophisticated and (some might say) culturally superior.
The history of its development is the oldest one. It stretches over twelve kilometers in a bowl formed by low hills facing a bay that opens into the Gulf Thermaikos. It was founded about 315 B.C., on a site of old prehistoric settlements going back to 2300 B C, by Cassander, King of Macedonia and was named after his wife, Thessaloniki, sister of Alexander the Great. Since then, Thessaloniki has become the chief city of Macedonia and its most important commercial port. In Byzantine times, Thessaloniki became a cultural and artistic centre second only to Constantinople in the whole empire among the numerous monuments of particular interest in the city are those from the Roman period, the Triumphal Arch or Galerius and the Rotonda. Its many churches, whose fine mosaics and wall paintings are representative of various periods of Byzantine art, have survived to enhance the image of the city. Large sections of the city-walls are also still standing, together with one of their main bastions, the well-known White Tower.
Today Thessaloniki is a thriving city and one of the most important trade and communications centers in the Mediterranean. This is evident from its financial and commercial activities, its port with its special Free Zone, which provides facilities to the other Balcan countries, its international airport, its important industrial complex, its annual International Trade Fair, etc...
The nightlife is exceptional, the bars and clubs play great music. The restaurants and ouzeries are among the best in Greece.
Thessaloniki is a lively modern city bustling with life and movement. Large avenues, parks and squares, lines of trees that frame commercial streets with showy shop windows.
South of Thessaloniki is the peninsula of Halidiki which boasts some of the finest beaches in all of Greece. The area is not only known for its amazing beaches as: Kalamitsi, Oranopoulos, Platamonas; but also for the mountains, valleys and the splended selection of wildflowers in the spring, which may be the best time to be in Thessaloniki.