YOUR SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS GREEK WINE-RELATED
No hard feelings, Athens, but I have a new love. A beauty in returning to a place many times is you see old ‘friends’, explore like a local, and begin to feel at home. That is exactly how I felt last month when I was back in Thessaloniki leading my Greek Grape Wine Tour.
It goes without saying that her access to Greece’s outstanding northern wine country is a huge draw, but her collections of cultures, archaeological wonders, varied histories, and natural beauty make you want to stay.
Thessaloniki is a port city and the capital of Central Macedonia, a region that links the East and West and some of the Balkan states with Greece. This geographic location contributes significantly to the diversity in its people, architecture, gastronomy, etc. At one time, it was the major city of the Byzantine empire, housed the largest Jewish community in the world, and served as a launching pad for the Allies during WWII.
The best way to explore the city is to just stroll, or ‘halara’ which means ‘take it easy’. Wander the seafront promenade, the narrow streets of Upper Town, the New Waterfront and the historical quarter of Ladadika -the only neighborhood to survive the Great Fire of 1917. Sit at one of the many cafes to experience the coffee culture which Thessaloniki’s professionals, tourists and her 120,000 students enjoy several times a day. In fact, Thessaloniki has more bars and cafes than any other European city! With 120,000 students, you need that many!
Food! Thessaloniki has earned the reputation as the country’s gastronomic capital not because of the number of 5* restaurants but due to her geographic location. There is the seafront and the Halkidiki peninsula, so, many restaurants can offer fresh catches of the day. Thessaloniki is also surrounded by farmland, orchards, groves, etc. giving easy access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and high quality meat and dairy products.
When you join me on one of my Greek Grape Wine Tours, we will explore my favorite part of the city, the Kapani market – the city’s largest open-air farmers’ market. There is really no other way to truly appreciate the diversity of Thessaloniki’s food scene than to stroll the endless booths of feta, black and green olives, eggplants, tomatoes, fruits, nuts, seafood, meats, spices, peppers, etc. Your appetite will be whetted, that’s for sure!
On my Tour, we spend 3 days in Thessaloniki, just enough to get you craving for more! See you next year, Thessaloniki, with many new fans!