Macedonia, Greece

Old Sep 18th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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Macedonia, Greece

As a newly minted Fodorite, I hope I can get some help from anyone who has travelled to, or knows someone who has traveled to, the Macedonia region of Greece.

Our family has never been to Greece but from what I have read on the internet, this region seems less travelled than other parts of Greece, which is something that we would prefer. However, we have also been told to check out the South Peloponnese.

Thank you for your help.

Tristan
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 03:02 PM
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Do you want to go to the Macedonian region of Greece, or the country of Macedonia?

I'd suggest you start with a good guidebook.
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 03:03 PM
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You might get some useful information from these recent threads:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...in-15-days.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...es-choices.cfm

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 03:19 PM
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The region of Macedonia in Greece is where I am thinking about and not the country of Macedonia.

The links you provided are mainly about the Peloponnese and I will look into that area some more. Thank you kja.

But my first choice is the Macedonia region. Guidebooks can be a good source of information but it is not the same as hearing from regular travellers who have actually gone there.
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 05:13 PM
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Guidebooks can be incredily valuable, as they cover the things that others haven’t visited for whatever reason. They can be especially valuable for people going to less travelled areas.

I find it curious that you have questions that are very similar to another Fodorite who consistently asks “A or B” questions. That person asks about A or B, and then changes it to B or C, and then C or D…. She has gotten a wealth of information from others by asking (among other things) about northern or southern Spain, then Spain or Croatia, then Croatia or Greece, then (just weeks ago!) the South Pelponnese or the Macedonian region of Greece or other parts of Greece. Oddly, that poster also always states a preference for other people’s input rather than consulting a guidebook, but is then rude to Fodorites who ask what is needed beyond the information already given or who note that some choices are apples vs oranges. And all of you posting with names associated with dated songs – what an amazing coincidence!

Good luck with your dilemma.
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 06:40 PM
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For us Greeks, there is just one Macedonia, and that is the region in Northern Greece.
Macedonia is a very large area and a very diverse one with lakes, mountains, fantastic beaches...
What is that attracted you to Macedonia and what are your interests ? The more we know, the more detailed answers you will receive.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 02:50 AM
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Before saying anything let's clarify a thing.
The Macedonia we all know, is the region of Greece. The other "Macedonia" is a new Slavic country, which is not even part of the ancient kingdom. This region was called Paeonia. That's why the official name of this small country is FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - aka not actual Macedonia) according to the UN.

So, let's start... Macedonia is the largest Greek province, and one of the most historic too. It's rich in cultural and natural wonders, and is home to 3 UNESCO sites. The stunning capital, Thessaloniki, is the second city of Greece. This will be your base to explore Macedonia, its ancient sites, byzantine churches, museums and beaches. Here is the must list:

1) Thessaloniki: the Macedonian metropolis is in fact an open-air museum. Being a major city for two thousand years and the second city of both the Byzantine & Ottoman Empires, Thessaloniki is full of monuments. Here are the must sees:
-The 13 UNESCO churches: best among them are the Hagios Demetrios Church and Crypt (634 AD) which is the patron saint of Thessaloniki and a major Orthodox Saint, the Hagia Sophia Cathedral (800 AD) which is rich in golden mosaics, the Rotunda of Galerius (306 AD) which is also rich in golden mosaics, and Hagios Nicolaos Orphanos Monastery (1,320 AD) which is rich in high quality frescoes.
-White Tower: the symbol of the city is this massive byzantine tower.
-Archaeological Museum: this major museum is home to some of the greatest treasures of ancient Macedonian art.
-Byzantine Culture Museum: this awarded large museum presents the rich history of the co-capital of the Byzantine Empire through great artifacts in a state of the art space.
-Alexander the Great Monument: the legendary Macedonian King is honored in the capital of his homeland through this large monument.
-Ano Polis: the "Upper City" is located in the north part of the walled city of Thessaloniki, has retained its century old architecture and is dotted with tavernas and byzantine monasteries. For a great view of the city go to the Trigonion Tower, located in the upper angle of Ano Polis.
-Nea Paralia: this newly built massive promenade is the favorite place of Thessalonians for relaxing and walking by the sea.
-Aristotelous Square: the heart of the city named after another son of Macedonia, Aristotle, is a beautiful large square ideal for doing the favorite local habit of coffee-drinking (frappé to be precise)
-Thessalonian Cuisine: the locals are legendary for their cooking skills, and for their sweet tooth. Don't miss these pastries: Tsoureki (from Terkenlis), Trigona (from Elenidis), and bougatsa (from Giannis). And some nice eateries are: Sebriko, Ouzeri Tsinari, and 7 Thalasses.


2) Royal Tombs of Aigai: This is the ancient capital of Macedonia, a UNESCO site. Here you wil find th e greatest treasure of ancient Macedonia, which is the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The tombs of the Macedonian Kings. Though most of them plundered, there are 2 tombs that were not. We are incredibly lucky that these tombs were the most important ones as they belong to:
1)King Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander
2)Alexander IV, son of Alexander.
The tomb of Philip is incredibly rich, and contains a marble chest, which included a golden larnax (11kg of 24 carat gold), which included the a golden wreath (of 313 oak leaves and 68 acorns, 717g of gold) and the bones of Philip. It also contains a golden and ivory panoply, a richly carved burial bed, exquisite silver utensils for the funeral feast, along with gold-adorned suits of armour and weapons. In another chamber of the tomb can be found the golden larnax of Queen Meda, which included a golden wreath of myrtle, and her bones which were wrapped in a golden-purple cloth with a golden diadem decorated with flowers and enamel, indicating a queen. The tomb of Philip in the outside is in doric style, and painted by one of the greatest Greek painters Philoxenls of Eretria. The scene he painted presents King Philip and Aleander the Great hunting together.
The tomb of Alexander IV is also rich, it contains a large silver hyfria which contained his cremated bones and a golden wreath of oak leaves, a golden and ivory mortuary couch with an exwuisite representation of God Dionysos with a satyr and a flute player, golden weapons and silver utensils. Another great painter decorated the outside of his tomb, representing a chariot race.
...The museum itself is a multiawarded masterpiece, built in situ on the tombs. It also contains more royal tombs which are beautifully painted, and all findings are masterfully presented.
It is one of the greatest museums in the World, its treasures are of immense artistic and historical value. Don't miss it.


3) Mount Athos: this is the heart of Orthodox Christianity, an autonomous state under Greek dominion. This UNESCO region is completely cut-out of the rest of the world, for more than a thousand years. Its 20 monasteries contain an unbelievable wealth, as gifts from Byzantine Emperors, Russian Czars, and Orthodox Kings and Lords have been sent here for centuries. The monasteries alone are of jaw-dropping beauty, decorated with frescoes, mosaics, icons, gold and carved marble. The list of its treasures is huge, each monastery has its own treasures and libraries that contain books and manuscripts from the lost libraries of the ancient world.
This place is simply out of this world. But mind one thing, no women are allowed as all the monasteries of Mt Athos are male. You also have to organize your visit, and you will be under specific program of eating, sleeping, and praying with the monks. Don't be shy, there are other foreign tourists and some monks speak English. But it's totally worth it, it's an unforgettable experience.


4) Mount Olympus: the most legendary mountain in the world is a national park, perfect for driving and seeing the views of its snowy peak.


5) Chalcidice (or Halkidiki): this is one of the best beach regions in Greece, perfecf for a day-trip from Thessaloniki.


6) Nymfaio: one of the most beautiful Macedonian villages, with cobble stone streets, small lanes, beautiful architecture, and rustic tavernas.


7) Pella: birthplace of Alexander the Great, second capital of ancient Macedonia and s beautiful archaeological site. It also has s great museum.



I hope this helped! If you want any more help on Macedonia, ask me
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 02:58 AM
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I have visited the area, and not being Greek or living in Greece, have no reason to convince you one way or the other on whether to visit, and what area is or is not part of historic Macedonia.

You can find my TR here:

http://www.wilhelmswords.com/eur2006/index.html
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 04:45 AM
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@thursdaysd It's not about being Greek, it's about being correct. History doesn't change and there is only one truth. Here is a map of ancient Macedonia, and compare it to the Greek province of Macedonia, and then to FYROM. Here you are:

Ancient Macedonia: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...English%29.svg
Modern Macedonia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia_(Greece)
FYROM: http://www.macedonia.info/images/map1991.gif


But let's remember that this is a travel site, we are not here to teach history. I will just leave these facts for you.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 05:47 AM
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Clausar and PetrosB3, I accept your reasoning on what should be called "Macedonia", and yes it is a region of Greece. Now all you have to do is convince everyone else, including Fodor's. Click on the "View by Country" drop-down on the top of the page, and see how they list the country.

When in Greece I would always use the term FYROM, but you have to accept that people in other countries are free to call it what they want. ;-)
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 06:09 AM
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I agree guidebooks are useful but you can not get the type of information that we see from the posters here and I am going over it all over the next few days.
The reason I am thinking about the Macedonia region is that I want to go to Greece but try and stay away from where many travellers go, like many of the islands. When I came across this area, it just seemed very interesting and exotic. With its culture, history, beaches and beautiful natural landscapes, it fits with what we like to surround ourselves with when we are on vacation.

Also, the links that kja gave do offer interesting information about the Peloponnese and other parts of Greece but nothing about the Macedonia area and don't know what this poster means about coincidences or similar song names (if you are just having some fun, sorry .

I am planning to have about 2 weeks in this area so how could we split our time so we have time to tour and relax. PetrosB3's post is very informative but I am not too sure what to include in these 2 weeks and we will be landing in Athens and driving to and from Macedonia (the region).
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 06:35 AM
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What time of year are you going? For a first time visit to Greece, Macedonia is not what I would choose.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 01:13 PM
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You are new here, so you may not understand that we do not generally give specific itineraries, much less turn by turn directions.

PetrosB has shared the best historic, cultural and religious sites as well as the best beaches and nicest towns.

thursdaysd is an experienced traveler with a practiced eye who has shared he inimitable trips with you.

I don't know how much more you can expect. If you have specific interests -- the Balkan Wars, partisan activity during the German occupation, the best restaurant in Nymfalo -- ask on. But don't expect others to read your mind and tell you what you want to do. I don't mean this harshly; it is just the way it is.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 03:17 PM
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Ackislander, I do not know who you think you are or why you are reacting like this, but from what I read on many postings here on Fodors, there are many, many, many itineraries suggested to other travellers for many destinations.
I did not ask for turn by turn directions, just a sample itinerary for those that have been to the region of Macedonia.
Your post is very demeaning and I would really like it if you would not answer if you have nothing positive to say.
By the way, PetrosB ended his very excellent post with:

"I hope this helped! If you want any more help on Macedonia, ask me "

To everyone else who has posted here in good faith, I thank you.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 03:36 PM
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Odin, we are planning to go in July or August.
Why would you not go to Macedonia as a first trip to Greece?
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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When I first posted, I was not certain that you were AirBalloon, aka MyBeautifulBalloon, Andrea/Lara/Tristan.

I think the proof is now in.

@ Ackislander: Welcome to the dissed club.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 06:03 PM
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Is this the welcome everyone who joins Fodors gets?
kja,I read your postings on the questions of airballoon and mybeautifulballoon, who seem like decent people, and you must be a very lonely, mean human being with nothing better to do than stalk people's postings and make up stories in your head that fulfill some weird paranoia. GET A LIFE!!!!

Now, back to the Macedonia region of Greece.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 06:29 PM
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IME, new posters on Fodor's Forums get comments from many posters that are welcoming, as this thread shows! And among those responses are some comments that seem genuinely intended to be constructive, like the very thoughtful and gentle post from Ackislander that you seem to have decided, for no apparent reason, to take as an insult. (I seem to be blind to any cause for offense in that post; must be my problem....) Speaking for myself, I try to offer helpful comments to new posters, even when they seem "re-"minted, rather than new -- and that's exactly what I did on this thread.

Thanks again, SoFarAway / AirBalloon / MyBeautifulBalloon, for making yourself clear, and of course, many thanks for the grace and diplomacy with which you conduct yourself on this Board. Once again, I wish you well.

BTW, I have a life. No need for a second one! ;-)
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 08:45 PM
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Heimdall

I am not trying to convince anyone, i am only pointing out a fact, that someone visiting Macedonia will be confronted with anyway.
It is not only about geography, but mainly about how a whole country is trying to steal the history of another country to justify territorial disputes.
When in Greece it is better to just call it Skopia ( Skopje) like most, if not all Greeks do.

Others can of course call Fyrom whatever they like, still Greeks will always be very sensitive when it comes to the history of their own country.
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Old Sep 20th, 2016, 12:52 AM
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Hi clausar,

I wasn't criticising, just pointing out that most people outside Greece call the country Macedonia, including the good people at Fodor's who created this forum. You have always been very polite, and it is helpful to know how Greeks feel about the issue.
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