A short drive from Litóchoro, the base for visiting Mount Olympus, and an hour's drive from Thessaloniki, is the village of Dion, whose name derives from the word ‘dios’, or ‘of Zeus’. In the centre of the village there is an excellent small Archaeological Museum that displays finds from the site of Ancient Dion, which is found on the edge of the village. Visiting the Museum first will help in understanding the site, and explanatory videos are available in several languages showing the site’s excavation and explaining its significance.
Ancient and Sacred City
Some of the best finds are statues that have been beautifully preserved when the ancient city was covered in mud after an earthquake. It was a considerable city, too, home to about 15,000 people in the 4th century BC when it was regarded as a sacred city by the Macedonians. The remains that can be seen today, however, are mostly from the later Roman era and include a fine example of a Roman bath house. There are also the remains of a theatre and a stadium, and the site is well laid-out and signposted. Elsewhere there are the remnants of houses both humble and grand, including a splendid mosaic remaining in what was once a banqueting hall.
Sanctuary to Isis
DION ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE ON YOUTUBE
INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP OF THE DRIVE
FROM THESSALONIKI TO DION
Crete festivals and events include Carnival Easter, Whitsun, Christmas, many other religious feast days and public holidays, all listed here on the Greece Travel Secrets website.
The best things to do on Crete and top things to see include the Samaria Gorge, the Minoan Palaces at Knossos, Malia and Phaistos, the towns of Iraklion, Ayios Nikolaos, Sitia, Hania and Rethymnon.
The Battle of Crete during World War 2 inspired several books and took place with an airborne invasion over Maleme on the north coast of the island, described on this page on Greece Travel Secrets.