The best winter getaways are just a heartbeat away from Thessaloniki!
The second largest city in Greece is an impressive destination, all year round. Αpart from the reasons to visit Thessaloniki (or Salonica), there are even more reasons to explore the neighboring towns and villages. Destinations nearby Thessaloniki have unadulterated natural landscapes, picturesque villages, snowy slopes and plenty of accommodation options. A road trip is the best way to organize your getaway. Starting from Thessaloniki, and with car rental arrangements from Carwiz, you will experience comfortable and safe travels.
Almost everyone is familiar with nearby destinations from Athens, but these beauties here are just a breath away from Thessaloniki.
Trip to Pieria
Organize a 3-day excursion from Thessaloniki in order to recharge, and also fill your photo album with ideal images from beautiful Pieria. Paleos Panteleimonas village, with its traditional architecture and picturesque taverns, is a top destination all year round. The village that is also known as the "Balcony of the Aegean", is located at an altitude of 500 meters. It has been declared a traditional settlement since 1978 and you should be aware that no cars are allowed in the central square. After one-hour trip from Thessaloniki, here you will find several hotels and hostel options.
Next stop in Pieria, a breath away from Olympus is Litochoro, which is 90 kilometers away from Thessaloniki. The village is ideal for those who want to climb Mount Olympus. Another walk worth taking is in the Enipeas gorge, which is one of the entrances to the Olympus National Park. In Litochoro you will encounter the following paradox: Although it is a mountain village, it has a Maritime Museum, where you will discover the maritime tradition of the area.
If you are a fan of winter sports, you will go to Elatochori. With an altitude of 1450 meters, the ski center overlooks Mount Olympus. In Elatochori there are several traditional cafes, taverns, hotels and a Folklore Museum. If you can’ t go skiing due to weather conditions or you just don't feel like it, you can get closer to nature by exploring the trails to the area’s forests and waterfalls.
Choose a rental car from Carwiz and visit the fabulous destinations in Pieria with ease.
In the dreamy lake Kerkini
If you want to organize a romantic two-day trip near Thessaloniki, you should definitely put Lake Kerkini on your list. This idyllic spot in Serres is 80 kilometers away from Thessaloniki and is one of the most important wetlands in Greece. Kerkini is an artificial lake created by the Strymonas dam in 1932. The best tour of the lake is by boat, so you can see the rich flora and fauna. Over 300 species of birds pass through the lake, while the largest population of buffalos lives here. There are 46 species of invertebrates that live exclusively in the lake and nowhere else in Greece!
But, apart from the strolls around and the boat rides in the lake, Kerkini has to offer its visitors tasty treats! A buffalo meat appetizer will surely leave you with unforgettable memories, while a buffalo milk dessert will be hard to beat.
Traveling by car is a great way to see the beauty of Pella, which can be squeezed into a three-day trip with a little good planning. The picturesque village of Paleos Agios Athanasios or Tsegani was until recently almost abandoned, but now it is one of the most sought-after winter destinations. Many call it the Stone Village and it has a preserved settlement.
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The village is situated at an altitude of 1200 meters, with authentic Macedonian architecture and is next to Lake Vegoritida. It is 35 minutes away from the city of Edessa and less than 15 minutes away from the ski center of Kaimaktsalan, located at the foot of Mount Voras. It is one of the few ski centers in Greece that has such a long duration of snow coverage and features 13 different slopes.
The capital of the prefecture of Pella, Edessa, is home to the country's most famous waterfalls as well as a popular forest. At a distance of about 30 kilometers, you will find Aridaia, the town with the Natural History Museum which used to be a railway station. You will experience absolute relaxation at Pozar Thermal Baths, where you will find natural pools and thermal waters that spring from Mount Voras. Next to it is the gorge of Loutra, Rhamno Bor, with two huge rocks dominating its entrance.
Cruise on Kastoria Lake
Kastoria is one of the most unique winter getaways from Thessaloniki. Its famous lake has a coastline of about 30 kilometers and a depth of 10 meters. More than 200 different species of birds find refuge in its waters, and it has joined the Natura 2000 network.
Tourism in the area is highly developed, even offering cruises or canoe rentals on the lake. On January 6th, the Christian Epiphany Day, a unique custom takes place, the Ragoutsaria, a celebration in the form of a 3-day carnival. Nothing is easier than renting a car from Thessaloniki to reach Kastoria via the Egnatia Road, considering the journey does not last more than two hours.
On the mountain of god Dionysus
As a stately town, Kavala rewards visitors throughout the year. In particular, the city is an excellent choice for a getaway during the October 28th holiday. For summer, it offers golden beaches and for winter, the beautiful Mount Pangaeo. The city of the same name is 17 kilometers from Kavala and according to mythology, God Dionysos lived on this mountain. Today it has a medieval character with towers, castles and cobbled streets. There are several hiking trails there and visitors seeking religious tourism, will find the Holy Monastery of Virgin Mary Eikosifinissa of great significance.
Skiing in Naoussa
Imathia is the ultimate destination for skiers. The ski center in Seli and the one in 3-5 Pigadia are among the most visited places in the prefecture of Imathia. By renting a car from Thessaloniki, you can reach Naoussa in 1.5 hours, the Macedonian city famous for its apples, peaches and red wine. From here, both Seli and 3-5 Pigadia are about half an hour away.
You can easily rent a car from Athens to reach one of these popular winter destinations within a few hours.
Routes near Thessaloniki are demanding. Winter in Northern Greece is snowy that’s why you need a reliable car rental company to help you travel safely. Carwiz will help you organize your winter getaway without worrying about your tires and the general condition of your vehicle.