How to spend a week in mainland Greece

If you want to explore Greece beyond Athens and its islands this mainland Greece holiday itinerary is for you. Greek mainland offers many beautiful sights and is full of history like all of the country. This one week itinerary starts and ends in the second biggest city of Greece, Thessaloniki. It’s been done and is doable by public transport but of course, you can do it by car as well. So let’s go:

Day 1 Thessaloniki

Better arrive the evening before to start your Thessaloniki tour fresh in the morning. It will be quite a packed day with lots of walking so have good walking shoes. Main highlights of the day: visiting UNESCO heritage churches and monasteries and having great views of the city.10thessaloniki greece 1290765

12thessaloniki greece 1290736Read more about a day in Thessaloniki clicking this link.

Day 2 Veria, Vergina

Today we are going by bus to Veria and Vergina. Veria is known as a little Jerusalem because of the big number of churches in the not so big city. Vergina, known as Aigai in ancient times, is worth visiting because of the Museum of the Royal Tombs inscribed in UNESCO world heritage list. 20veria greece 130009821veria greece 1290952Read more about this travel day here.

Day 3 travel to and visit Ioannina

On the third day, travel from Veria to Ioannina (210 kilometres). It will take three hours or a little bit less or more, depending on the means of transport you choose. I hope you will be not too tired to take Ioannina tour the same day after arrival or you may choose to add one more day to your itinerary. Highlights of Ioannina Visit to Ioannina castle and a trip to Ioannina Island in the Pamvotis Lake.30Ioannina greece 130021332Ioannina greece 1300321Read more about this travel day here.

Day 4 A day trip to Vikos Gorge

I think Vikos Gorge is a real gem of Greece even though you may not have heard about it before. Views from the top to this 900 metre deep gorge are just breathtaking. Other highlights of this day trip from Ioannina are historic stone bridges and of course Vradeto stairs.40vikos gorge greece 130051341vikos gorge greece 1300616Read more about this travel day here.

Day 5 travel to Meteora and Meteora

Meteora and its monasteries are located next to Kastraki village but if you go by bus, you will most likely be dropped off at Kalabaka town which is less than 3 kilometres away from Kastraki. My advice is to choose your accommodation in Kastraki because it’s next to Meteora and you can walk to some places by yourself easier. Try to visit a few monasteries in the afternoon and stay for sunset views near Saint Barbara Roussanon monastery.50meteora greece 130081051meteora greece 1300966

Day 6 Meteora

Take a guided hike for the first part of the day. You will see a different side of Meteora this way. Two monastery visits may be included in this tour. Use the rest of the day to visit some others.60meteora greece 131028763meteora greece 1310301Read my tips for visiting Meteora by clicking this link.

Day 7 back to Thessaloniki, a flight home

Kalabaka is about 230 kilometres away from Thessaloniki. I went back to Thessaloniki by bus, changing it at Trikala.71travel greece 131072472travel home greece 1310736This way the trip takes close to four hours. It may be faster by car. Ready for your flight home or want to explore more of Thessaloniki? Alternatively, you can go from Kalabaka to Athens and continue your Greece exploration there. Want to see more of Greece? Check this for more Greek experiences!If you want to explore Greece beyond Athens and its islands this mainland Greece holiday itinerary is for you. This one week itinerary starts and ends in the second biggest city of Greece, Thessaloniki. It’s been done and is doable by public transport and by car as well. #visitGreece #travel #travelitinerary #travelblog #travelphotography #visitEuropeHave you been to Greece mainland? What are your most memorable impressions? Share in the comments section!

  • Published by Anita on April 20, 2018

    Author: Anita Sāne

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


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    All these are indeed beautiful sights full of history. I am impressed with all the places and wish to visit them. The Vikos Gorge and the historic stone bridges are magnificent.
    Northern mainland Greece is beautiful, but I recommend also going to southern mainland Greece, such as Peloponnese. The area has amazing areas for road trips, such as Mani, Monemvasia, western Messinia and mountainous Arkadia.
    Fortunately, Greece is not only its islands, discover it!

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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further post thank you once again.
    So pretty! Greece has been on my bucket list since I was quite young, but because of the ruins. I hadn't even thought past them because I've never planned a trip. I can see I will need a few weeks to see everything. Really lovely photos.
    I have visited Thessaloniki and Meteora (as well as Athens) on mainland Greece, but I'm now intrigued to check out Vikos Gorge, Veria and Vergina to my list for next time :-)
    Love this post, seems like you were able to see and do a lot in Greece in one week! Love your pictures, especially the ones from Meteaora, looks like the kind of place I would love to explore! Thanks for sharing!

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