PRIVATE TOUR IN MACEDONIA
Private tour in Macedonia... Travel to Alexander kingdom, Pella, Aegae, Philippi more...
It is honorary called the Symprotevousa (lit. co-capital) of Greece, as it was once called the symbasilevousa (co-queen) of the Byzantine Empire. Thessaloníki retains several Ottoman and Jewish structures as well as a large number of Byzantine and Roman architectural monuments. The White Tower was constructed by the Ottomans some time after the army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent captured Thessaloniki in 1430 and was used by the Ottomans successively as a fort, garrison and a prison. In 1826, at the order of the Sultan Mahmud II, there was a massacre of the prisoners in the Tower. Owing to the "countless victims of Ottoman torturers and executioners", the tower acquired the name "Tower of Blood" or "The Red Tower", which it kept until the end of the 19th century.
Day 2: The Arch of Galerius and the Tomb of Galerius are neighboring monuments in the city of Thessaloniki. The Tomb of Galerius is better known as the Rotunda, or the Rotunda of St. George. Visit the Rotunda, a massive circular structure with a masonry core that had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. It has gone through multiple periods of use and modification as a polytheist temple, a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, and again a Christian church (and archaeological site).
Day 3: Visit Philippi, founded by Philipos B'. Here was also the first Christian church founded by Saint Paul on European soil, the Apostle Paul or Paul of Tarsus was a Hellenistic Jew, who called himself the "Apostle to the Gentiles", and was, together with Saint Peter and James the Just, the most notable of early Christian missionaries. During the Roman civil war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar, his heirs Mark Antony and Octavian confronted the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Julius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, at the Battle of Philippi on the plain to the west of the city during October in 42 BC. Antony and Octavian were victorious in this final battle against the partisans of the Republic.
Day 4: Macedonia private tour continues to Amphipolis. It is famous in history for events such as the battle between the Spartans and Athenians in 422 BC, and also as the place where Alexander the Great prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia. Alexander's three finest admirals, Nearchus, Androsthenes and Laomedon, resided in this city and it is also the place where, after Alexander's death, his wife Roxane and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and later murdered.
Excavations in and around the city have revealed important buildings, ancient walls and tombs. At the nearby vast Kasta burial mound, an important ancient Macedonian tomb has recently been revealed. The tomb comprises three chambers separated by walls. There are two sphinxes just outside the entrance to the tomb. Two of the columns supporting the roof in the first section are in the form of Caryatids, in the 4th century BC style. The excavation revealed a pebble mosaic showing the abduction of Persephone by Hades directly behind the Caryatids and in front of the Macedonian marble door leading to the "third" chamber. Hades' chariot is drawn by two white horses and led to the underworld by Hermes. The mosaic verifies the Macedonian character of the tomb. As the head of one of the sphinxes was found inside the tomb behind the broken door, it is clear that there were intruders, probably in antiquity. The unique and beautiful "Lion of Amphipolis" monument nearby is a popular destination for visitors.
Day 5: Visit Pella the second Capital of Ancient Macedonia. The city founded by Archelaus (413–399 BC) as the capital of his kingdom, replacing the older palace-city of Aigai (Vergina). After this, it was the seat of King Philip II and of Alexander, his son. In 168 BC, it was ransacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake and eventually was rebuilt over its ruins. By 180 AD, Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants".
Day 6: Visit the Macedonian towns of Edessa and Florina. Untouched by tourism. Overnight in Florina, a town in mountainous northwestern Macedonia, Greece. Its motto is, 'Where Greece begins'. It is also the Metropolitan seat for the region West Macedonia. The town's population is 17,686 people (2011 census). It is in a wooded valley about 13 km (8 mi) south of the international border of Greece with the Republic of Slavomacedonia.
Day 7: Tour in Macedonia visits Mieza and Aristotle's school where Alexander and other young aristocrats spent two years being taught human values by Aristotle. Enjoy a swim in the hot healing springs. Overnight in accommodation next to the springs. Mieza "shrine of the Nymphs", was a village in Ancient Macedonia, where Aristotle taught the boy Alexander the Great between 343 BC and 340 BC. It was the home of Alexander's companion Peucestas. Aristotle was hired by Alexander's father, Philip II of Macedon, to teach his son, and was given the Temple of the Nymphs as a classroom. Our Macedonia private tour continues to Aegae - Vergina and visit the Macedonian Royal Tombs and Palace
Highly important ancient city, certainly to be identified with Aegae, the first ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedonia, spreading over the low hills in the northern slopes of' the Pierian range, between the villages of Palatitsia and Vergina. It was here in 336 BC that Philip II was assassinated in the theater and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. Aegae has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as "an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods". It became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great which unlike so many other tombs had not been disturbed or looted. It is also the site of an extensive royal palace and of many rich ancient tombs. A museum now contains Philip's tomb and a new museum is being constructed for the palace and other finds. The objects and paintings found in the tombs at Vergina are also of extraordinarily high quality and historical importance.
8th day: Visit the Sacred Sanctuary of Zeus at Dion, on the slope s of the Mount Olympus. The ancient city owes its name to the most important Macedonian sanctuary dedicated to Zeus (Dias), leader of the gods who dwelt on Mount Olympus. As recorded by Hesiod's Catalogue of Women, Thyia, daughter of Deucalion, bore Zeus two sons, Magnes and Makednos, eponym of Macedonians, who dwelt in Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus. Here from very ancient times, a large altar had been set up for the worship of Olympian Zeus and his daughters, the Muses, in a unique environment characterized by rich vegetation, towering trees, countless springs and a navigable river. It was the place where the kings made splendid sacrifices to celebrate the new year of the Macedonian calendar at the end of September. In the Spring, purification rites of the army and victory feasts were held. . Philip II and Alexander the Great celebrated victories here, and Alexander assembled his armies and performed magnificent sacrifices here on the eve of his campaign to Asia in 334BC.
Day 9: Visit the impressive Rocks of Meteora crowned by the majestic monasteries. Perched on the top of these huge and precipitous columns of rock, (there are some 60 of these columns of rock, a favorite haunt for climbers) are the famous cenobitic monasteries known as the Meteora which means "in the air" where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine Art. Of the 24 monasteries that were built between the 13th and 16th centuries only six are still inhabited: The Great Meteoron, Agia Triada, Agios Nikolaos and Varlaam by monks: Agios Stephanos and Roussanou by nuns. Stay overnight in the closest village to Meteora with the best view of the giant rocks and monasteries (photo below). Greece Private Tour will take you for photo tour with the sunset. Overnight in a hotel beneath the giant rock.
Day 10: Visit Meteora rocks early in morning at different light... Our tour in Macedonia ends / return to Thessaloniki or drive to end in Athens via Trikala ( short stop) and via Thermopylae ( short stop)...
Macedonia Tour: Daily: Please read Touring /Info*
Sites & Museums: Summer: daily, 8.00 to 20.00 pm. Winter: Sunset / entry 30 min before closing.
Entrance fees from 6 Euros to 12 euros per person
Closed on Holidays: January 1st. , March 25th, May 1st, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Good Friday, the sites are open 12.00 - 17.00.