Pristine nature

Central Macedonia - Pristine Nature
Pristine nature

Photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus) and other rare birds at the Axios River delta. Enjoy paragliding from Mt. Olympus slopes

or a boat ride in the water-lily ‘meadow’ of Lake Kerkini or rafting on the Angites River. Trek the mountain tracks of Halkidiki, windsurf in Lake Volvi and go rowing in the Loudias River.
Come to Central Macedonia and tour the four national parks, visit the gorges and caves, go fresh water fishing in the rivers and lakes and enjoy the energy and scents of Greek nature.

Sensitive habitats
  • Central Macedonia - Sensitive habitats
    Central Macedonia - Sensitive habitats

The two longest rivers of Greece, the Aliacmon and the Axios, along with the smaller Loudias form their delta, one of the most significant national parks and ecosystems of the country, lying a few kilometres from the city of Thessaloniki. In the springtime the endless rice fields are filled with water and seeds and you can see and photograph heron and flamingo colonies, where the rare winged visitors spend the winter in the hospitable delta habitat. From the bird-watching spot of Nea Agathoupolis visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the lagoon and watch the bird fauna of the district through the telescopic binoculars. Wander around the Kitros salt planes and the riparian forest of the Axios River; you might have the good fortune of spotting some of the wild horses still living in the area.

The site hosts 80% of the Greek mussel production; make sure you sample this delicacy at one of the local taverns before your departure.

Fishing and Wind-surfing
  • Central Macedonia - Fishing and Wind-surfing
    Central Macedonia - Fishing and Wind-surfing

Lake Volvi, the second largest lake in Greece, is ideal for water sports in the serenity of its green surroundings. Start with rowing and fishing and you might spot a Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) feeding nearby. If the wind rises from the Rentina straits, tens of bird species nest in the lakeside forest and surfers prepare their boards: Lake Volvi is one of the ideal wind surfing pistes in Greece. Along with Lake Koroneia, they make up the largest national park in the country.
It is well worth making a tour of the plane forest at Rentina, St. Paul’s Tribune [Vema] in Apollonia and the local thermal baths. Try the grilled carp and the salted local shad [Alosa macedonica], a species endemic to these waters; both are local specialties and excellent gastronomic choices.

Lake Kerkini – Heaven on Earth
  • Central Macedonia - Lake Kerkini – Heaven on Earth
    Central Macedonia - Lake Kerkini – Heaven on Earth

The National Park of Lake Kerkini with the Kroussia Mountain range to the west and Mt. Beles to the north, is an ideal destination for nature and physical activity lovers. You are a boat ride away from the Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus) and the purple herons (Ardea purpurea) nesting there. You can also see the largest population of Greek buffalo enjoying the sun and playing in the water.
On the north edge of the lake there is a wonderful kaleidoscope of water lilies that can be viewed if you cycle or walk or go horseback riding around the lake. Take a break and taste the Lucullian meals at local villages followed by sweets made with buffalo milk.

Mountain tracks
  • Central Macedonia - Mountain tracks
    Central Macedonia - Mountain tracks

Setting off from Thessaloniki, where you can easily find the necessary equipment for safe and comfortable mountaineering and mountain climbing, you can organise trips to the nearby mountains. You can find local flora species collected at the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia, Kilkis, or enjoy Lake Doirani on the Greek-Bulgarian borders and the forest of Mouries with its century old oak trees. At Alistrati Cave, near Serres, you can see wonderful complexes of stalactites and stalagmites that are hundreds of thousand years old, as well as heccentrites, i.e. formations that defy gravity and develop along irregular, lateral courses.

Mt. Paikon offers the opportunity of walking around the woods and ‘secret’ mountain lakes. You can wander through the local villages till you find yourself in Edessa, the water town, criss-crossed by scattered waterfalls and streams. The road takes you to Lake Vegoritis or Naoussa, for a taste of good local wine and a stroll through Agios Nikolaos
green woods.

Unexplored Halkidiki
  • Unexplored Halkidiki - Greece
    Unexplored Halkidiki

The Peninsula of Halkidiki is famous for its beaches but it is also endowed with a beautiful and unexplored mountainous territory. Vegetation is lush in the mountain paths of Mt. Cholomon, the Itamos range and the waterfalls at Varvara. Discover the stone mansions in the traditional villages and the chapels hidden in the pine forests. Go horseback riding and ride along exciting 4x4 dirt tracks or take your bikes around mountain cycling routes. Don’t forget to visit Petralona cave, where traces of human inhabitants from 700,000 years ago have been discovered.

Macedonian Wineries
  • Central Macedonia - Macedonian Wineries
    Central Macedonia - Macedonian Wineries

The particular microclimate of Macedonia combines aridity and humidity and creates ideal conditions for viticulture and wine production, an art that thrived among ancient Greeks. The local Macedonian variety of Xinomavro [sour black grapes] produces a deeply red, untamed wine with intense fruity elements, which can equally well accompany a rich meal or a platter of fresh fruit. Book a visit to one of the 25 visitable wineries of the region by visiting www.wineroads.gr

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