In Thessaly, the city of Kalambaka hosts several imposing stone rocks known as Meteora. They are standing there still for centuries in the middle of the flat land of Thessalia breaking the quite. Their name corresponds exactly to their appearance as it means hanging in between earth and sky. This forest of rocks as it is known is one of the most amazing geological phenomenon and creates a unique landscape that arouses breathtaking feelings to every visitor. In the 14th century hermits were the first to inhabit this harsh place by constructing their monasteries, just on the top of these rocks. Today, only six out of the twenty monasteries that were originally survive but they still are the second largest and with a continuous presence, monastic community in Greece. The wild natural beauty along with these “floating” human constructions that forces you to raise your eyes up to the sky, create a monumental landscape and is a never ending source of inspiration!
An archaeological park which covers 150 hectares lies just under M. Olympus. It used to be a sacred place for the ancient Macedonians and their official religious center, to be later transformed into an important roman colony and finally the seat of a bishopric. Today, a magical landscape with waters and rich vegetation where images from antiquity emerge: sanctuaries, theaters and a whole city inside its fortified walls.
It is not easy to lose the road to Pella… It is surrounded on both sides by earth mounds which hide inside the tombs of ancient Macedonians. The ancient city used to be by the sea and became the most important urban center of ancient Macedonia. Being the birthplace of Alexander the Great, Pella flourished for almost three centuries until it was destroyed by an earthquake in the beginning of the 1st century B.C. Walking around the ancient streets, in between urban blocks with luxurious houses, sanctuaries and the huge market (Agora) in the center, feels like travelling back in time. A visit to the museum offers an insight into aspects of daily life through objects that narrate human stories.
Today: Vergina is a world cultural heritage monument. Once upon a time: Aigai, which means the land with many goats. The first city of ancient Macedonians and the last residence of their kings… An intriguing museum imitating an ancient tomb hides and protects the tombs exactly as they were found. Around them, the precious personal objects of the deceased kings and queens talk about their owners and impress with their luxury and their special craft. Less known, the other parts of the city are waiting to be explored…
Aliakmonas (aka Alkis) is not just the country’s largest river but also our guide, telling us many stories from his quite interesting life.
Our first stop is Agathoupoli, part of the Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas National Park, one of Greece’s largest protected ecosystems with thousands of species of flora and fauna. Next, we visit Kitrous Salt Flats, a place full of history and natural beauty, where Roza the flamingo will be our special guest, anxious to share with us many fascinating facts and stories!
Each group will be led by one ecoguide and by one member of dot2dot (archaeologist MA/ qualified tour guide).
One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece is that of Philippi, which is only 15 km away from the city of Kavala. What was the original name of the city? Why the name Philippi? The city after the Battle of Philippi, as it is known, became an important Roman colony. A little later Apostle Paul visited the city and founded the first Christian community in Europe. It was therefore one of the most important command, commercial and financial center of the region. Buildings like the theater, the famous Basilicas and the Octagon are “waiting” to be discovered. Before we leave, it’s worth a walk through the city of Kavala, a city carrying a long history. Different names, an old town and important monuments tell their own stories, especially during the Ottoman domination.