Visited Thessaloniki and the peninsula Halkidiki with a friend
Highs & Lows
Seeing mount Athos
Long hours in the bus to get to the car rental
I arrived in Thessaloniki at the airport to visited a friend,who lives there for a couple of days. She showed me the best places in town and I had the chance to stay in her place and meet her flatmates and friends. In one of the evenings, we had beers and played pantomime, which was really funny. We did some sightseeing in the city together, but I also explored the place a bit on my own while jogging or walking.
Even if it was December, the weather was beautiful on most of the days and just the evenings have been colder and occasionally there was rain. But you should know that inside the house it was pretty cold, because as most greek houses, ours was not properly isolated, as it is often the case in Greece.
After a few days of city sightseeing , we rented a car and explored a nearby peninsula on the weekend together called Halkidiki with its three parts , looking like fingers. we visited the second (middle) one.
Thessaloniki was really interesting to explore for me and I really enjoyed the city. We went to the cemetery and visited the university buildings of Aristotle University. Furthermore we had delicious food in one of the many greek Tavernas. We walked up through the small streets of the old city and once even woke up pretty early and watched sunrise at the old city wall. Down by the sea side we went to a cinema, to watch a Romanian movie from a international film festival. During work-hours of my friend, I explored the city a bit on my own. I went to a nice photography museum, where they showed some pictures about refugees who fled their countries and now are stuck in camps in Greece. They reported a lot of human rights violations and it was sad to see the living conditions of these people.
All in all Thessaloniki is really interesting and has a very political cultural life.
On the weekend we took a bus to the airport to rent a car for our trip nearby. With the car we drove about three hours on the Halkidiki peninsula until the southernmost part of the second finger. On the higher parts of the way we got into some snow fall and it was quite misty, but we managed to arrive safely. At our target, we tried to enter a accommodation we reserved before on booking.com. The people there where a bit surprised about having guests, but they prepared the room for us in only half an hour during which we went for a walk along the coast. All in all the place was really empty and we where the only tourists around. We luckily had some food we bought before in the supermarket and went early to bed.
On the next day we did a little hike on one of the nearby hills from where we could see mount Athos, a holy mountain on the third finger of Halkidiki, which can be only visited by man, because the land belongs to a monks monastery. Then we went back with the car and jumped in the icy water of the Agean sea on the way back. All in all it was a beautiful trip in December.
Q & A
What would you have changed?Stay longer in Greece and visit Meteora
Restaurant recommendations?All Tavernas have good food
Tips you would give a friend?December is not a touristic season in Greece, so be prepared to be the only guest
Transportation Tips?Use the busses in Thessaloniki, even if it is an adventure
Booking details?The owners of our place did not check their booking massages and where a bit surprised about their guests.