Diversity should be northern Greece's second name – the region stretches across more cultures and terrains than any other in the country. Mighty civilisations, including Macedonians, Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs and Turks, have left traces here and this is nowhere more apparent than in Greece's second city, Thessaloniki – a magnetic place that breathes history and character, and has the best food in the country.
Border influences from Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey add to the region's distinctive character. Northern Greece boasts beautiful beaches too – especially in popular Halkidiki and around Parga, along the golden Ionian coast. The plains and woodlands of Thrace offer rich birdlife. Ruins at Ancient Dion and Vergina will astound you, and if they don't, Epiros, to the west, will, with its distinctive mountain culture, grey-stone villages and one of Europe's biggest canyons.