Last Updated on: 13th July 2024, 10:51 am

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Varlaam Monastery - a closer view

Day trip from Thesaloniki to Meteora

  • -> Transport to and from Meteora
  • -> English speaking excursion attendant
  • -> Visit two of the six operating Holy Monasteries depending on their schedule for your chosen date
  • -> Greek traditional lunch break in Kastraki (food cost not included)
  • -> Duration: 11 hours
  • -> Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (373 reviews)

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Thesaloniki is one of the underrated destinations in Greece.

Many tourists visiting Thessaloniki don’t realize how many awesome day trips they can enjoy by setting their base in this city.

Here are the best 10 day trips from Thessaloniki to add to your bucket list.

thessaloniki day trips

1. Meteora

If you haven’t visited Meteora, you’ll want to make it your top priority.

Located in Thessali, Northern Greece, Meteora is one of the most impressive Eastern Orthodox monasteries complex.

Built on clifftops, 6 of the 24 original monasteries are still erect nowadays.

Click here to book a day trip from Thessaloniki to Meteora on Viator.

Even though a visit to Meteora would best require at least one night of accommodation in Trikala or Kalambaka, a day tour from Thessaloniki is also possible.

Read my article about Meteora to see why I consider it a must-see in Greece.

kalambaka church sunset

Kalambaka, the village at the foot of Meteora, surrounded by rocks

2. Mount Olympus & Dion

Mount Olympus and the Olympic Riviera are two of my favorite places in mainland Greece.

Click here to book a private day trip from Thesaloniki to Mt. Olympus and Dion.

I highly encourage you to book accommodation for at least one night, either in Litochoro or by the beach, in Nei Pori.

Nevertheless, if you can’t find an extra night, you can still enjoy the gorgeous Mount Olympus on a day trip from Thessaloniki.

Read my article about visiting Mount Olympus to learn how to get to hike from Either Prionia or Gortsia, and how to visit the Archaeological Site of Dion.

saint dionysios holy cave olympus

The holy cave of St. Dionysios on Mount Olympus – an easy hike from Litochoro

3. Mount Athos (Ouranopolis)

Mount Athos in the most important Eastern Orthodox complex.

Unlike Meteora, Mt. Athos isn’t open to tourists.

Men can apply for a visiting permit, while women are absolutely forbidden on this holy mountain.

I learned this abruptly when I had to turn the car around and return to Ouranopolis, the last reachable village on the mountain.

This village, though, Ouranopolis (or Ouranopoli) is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced. Visit it to get the gist of the serenity, calm and local culture.

Click here to book a trip to Ouranopolis with a boat cruise around Mount Athos.

Such boat tours allow you to see the monasteries on Mount Athos, but only from a distance. A good pair of binoculars would help.

You may see dolphins on this boat trip. Some of these trips include a stop to Ammouliani island.

4. Ammouliani Island

Ammounliani is one of the islands near Thessaloniki. Its location between Athos and Sithonia peninsulas makes it easy to reach on a boat trip from either Ouranopoli or Sithonia.

It is possible to visit Ammouliani by public ferry from the port of Tripiti. Thessaloniki to Tripiti is a 2-hour drive.

Since Ouranopouli and Tripiti are very close to each other, it makes sense to book a joint experience of Mt. Athos & Ammouliani boat trip

ammouliani beaches

5. Pozar Thermal Baths & Edessa Waterfall

Located at about 110km from Thessaloniki, the Pozar Thermal Baths.

The thermal springs are rather shallow and not burning hot. Yet, spending half day here can be a pleasant experience.

Click here to book a private trip to Pozar Thermal Baths and Edessa Waterfall.

Even though a private tour like the above one is more expensive, it offers a much better experience. When going on a shared bus trip, you’d have to do the line for entrance tickets and towels with the other 30 people on the bus. This would erode into your leisure time.

I’d rather take a private tour. I don’t like to go on trips with large groups, so I avoid it even though I have to spend more.

6. Petralona Cave

The oldest human skull in Greece was found in the cave of Petralona, together with many fossils and Paleolithic tools.

The cave is located in Halkidiki, at about 50 km from Thessaloniki, near the Petralona village.

Click here to book a private day trip to Afytos and the Petralona Cave (with Tzikas Winery wine tasting included).

Visiting the Petralona cave is easy if you have a rental car, as the journey takes about 45 minutes.

If you don’t have a car and you don’t want to book a private tour, your best option is to grab a taxi.

For groups of minimum 2 people, a private tour like this one is the best way to visit the cave.

Click here to see more details about this tour and to book your date.

Here’s the official website of Petralona Cave. It has an English version.

7. Thassos Island

Thassos deserves a dedicated vacation of at least one week.

Visiting Thassos island as a day trip from Thessaloniki isn’t as pleasant as spending a couple of days on the island. It is, however, possible, should you be willing to only “take the pulse” of Thassos with a future stay in mind.

To get from Thessaloniki to Thassos, you need to go to Kavala or to Keramoti. Both ports have ferries that go to Thassos.

As far as I remember, there’s a ferry every hour from Keramoti to Thassos. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

As Thassos is a small island, you’ll be able to visit its main beaches and towns, and then go back to mainland on the last ferry of the day.

thassos

Yes, I was taking photos of fish in Thassos 🙂

8. Kerkini Lake

Click here to see more details about Kerkini Lake and to book your private day trip from Thessaloniki.

Kerkini Lake is one of Greece’s most biodiverse wetland ecosystems, boasting over 300 bird and animal species. Take a day trip from Thessaloniki to Lake Kerkini to watch flamingos, and buffalos with the views of Mount Beles and the Serres Valley in the background.

9. Afytos (Kassandra Peninsula)

Kassandra is one of the three peninsulas of Halkidiki (the leftmost one as you look at the map).

Beautiful and relatively wild, Kassandra boasts a natural scenery with transparent turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and the old, traditional village of Afytos.

Click here to book a private day trip to Afytos and the Petralona Cave (with Tzikas Winery wine tasting included).

Afytos is a lovely village, with its cobbled streets and its traditional houses. It surely deserves a visit, if not a longer stay.

10. Vourvourou & Diaporos Island (Sithonia)

The sea at Vourvouru is fabulous.

Various shades of blue and turquoise, full transparency, white sand beaches, lush pine trees and colorful gardens are my memories of this quaint village in Sithonia.

Sithonia is the middle peninsula of Halkidiki. It boasts several beaches worth taking into consideration for a proper vacation.

Click here to book a private trip from Thessaloniki to Sithonia.

I remember Vourvouru. You can rest assured, though, that all other beach villages in Sithonia are as beautiful. Just try to find a nice day trip, relax and enjoy the ride.

 

poppies clouds greece

Poppies somewhere on the Olympic Riviera, a very long time ago

best day trips from thessaloniki

Before you go, check out my article about the best day trips from Athens. You may find some interesting ideas for your next vacation in Greece.

Violeta Matei
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