Our first stop was ancient Philippi.
It is a large site, consisting of a theatre, forum, two basilicas, and more.
One of the basilicas was the first church in Philippi, a small prayer house started by Paul.
Ruins at Philippi.
Our second stop was the baptistery of Lydia, where the first woman in Europe was baptized as a Christian.
Lydia was Paul’s first convert to Christianity in Philippi.
In honor of Lydia an impressive octagonal baptistery, decorated with mosaics and stained glass has been erected.
We ended the day with an afternoon exploring the nearby city of Kavala.
The church of St. Nicholas in Kavala is said to be where Paul landed in Europe for the first time before heading to Philippi. There is a monument honoring that moment here.
Where to Stay in Thessaloniki
We absolutely loved our hotel in Thessaloniki.
We stayed at the a.d. Imperial Palace Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel located in the center of Thessaloniki. It was walking distance to everything.
How absolutely gorgeous is this room??
Much to our delight, we were given the Aphrodite Suite.
Very romantic ;)
We were greeted with traditional Greek sweets and cakes.
This was the incredible view from our balcony!
That night we walked down the promenade along the water for sunset.
The next day we had about 2 hours in the morning before we had to leave for the airport. I left the hotel and just started wandering — no real agenda or map, just getting lost in the streets of Thessaloniki. I stumbled upon an outdoor market with fresh olives, spices, fabrics, meats, fruits, vegetables, and more. Everyone was saying, Kalimera! Kalimera! (Good morning) back and forth. I felt like I was in the the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast when Belle sings Bonjour!
On the way back home I see a shop called the Pink Monkey Pleasure Store. Well that obviously got my attention. I tentatively looked inside and saw that it was a restaurant. Well of course I had to go in. They were making giant, fluffy stacks of over-the-top, American-style pancakes. I had been stuffing myself for 2 weeks on incredible Greek food and could not possibly eat another bite, but how can you turn down Nutella Oreo pancakes that are literally drowning in Nutella??! You can’t. You just have to go with it.
Such a fun last meal in Greece!!
I cannot say enough good things about Hellenic Private Tours. If you want the most amazing, unforgettable trip to Greece ever, definitely take a tour with Hellenic Private Tours. You absolutely will not regret it.
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time!! xoxo