Macedonia and Thrace
A short drive from Litohoro, 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’.
Ancient Site, Sacred City
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.
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
Be sure not to miss the part of the site that is across the road from the main area. Here is a Sanctuary to the Egyptian Goddess, Isis, and copies of original statues from the site stand white against the lush greenery around a small pond. It is a lovely and peaceful spot, with its magical setting between mountains and sea. Greece has many wonderful archaeological sites but there is undeniably something special and unusual about Dion.
Dion Archaeological Museum
Other Macedonia pages
The ten best day trips from Thessaloniki include visits to Mount Athos and Mount Olympus, and to archaeological sites such as Dion, Pella, and Vergina
Halkidiki is a three-pronged peninsula near Thessaloniki in Macedonia which comprises Mount Athos and the holiday resorts on Kassandra and Sithonia.
The Greek city of Thessaloniki in Macedonia has an array of wonderful museums and art galleries, and here's twelve of the best.
The archaeological site of Vergina in Macedonia is famous for the royal tombs which were the burial place of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
The capital of Macedonia and Greece’s second city, Thessaloníki has a lovely situation by the water, a wealth of history, many good museums, and good food.
The Prespa Lakes in northwest Greece is one of the most beautiful parts of Greece with abundant wildlife and also many ancient churches.
The churches of Thessaloniki are remarkable and include UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, Byzantine masterpieces, and a church dating from the 5th century.
Scenic Drives in Northern Greece, Ioannina, Meteora, Kastoria, Prespa Lakes
Philippi is an ancient archaeological site near Kavala in East Macedonia and Thrace and is famous for being the place where the apostle St Paul was imprisoned.
Pella in Macedonia is famous for its mosaics and was also the birthplace of both King Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great.
The Bradt Guide to Northern Greece is a detailed guide to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Thrace, The Pelion, The Sporades and the rest of Northern Greece.
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and is in the Mount Olympus National Park in Macedonia, with Litochoro being the best base.
Visiting Mount Athos in Greece requires a permit, but you can see the monasteries on a boat trip around the peninsula, known as the Monks' Republic.
Mount Athos boat trips are very popular with visitors to Halkidiki in Greece, as they are the only way most people get to see these spectacular monasteries.
Macedonia and Thrace are the regions in Greece where travelers will find Thessaloniki, Mount Athos monasteries, Halkidiki and sites like Dion and Pella.
The city of Kavala in eastern Macedonia is the area's major seaport and the base for ferries to the islands of the North East Aegean, including Thasos.
Kastoria is a lakeside town in West Macedonia which prospered with the fur trade and today has some handsome mansions, museums and many Byzantine churches.
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