On the slopes of Mt Vermion, covered in fir, chestnut, beech and linden trees, and bordered to the northeast by the Pieria mountains and the river Aliakmonas, lies Veria. Through the centuries, the greater Veria region, the green and pleasant land of the ancient Macedonians, has handed down the treasures of a glorious history to the next generations.
Over the course of 2500 years, each era and its associated culture has left its imprint in every corner of the land. They survive and thrive through the habits and customs of different neighbourhoods, in works of art and the local cuisine. Wander around the alleyways of history; harken to the spirit of past times in a city that makes a worthy contemporary heir to its priceless heritage. All year round, the visitor is offered numerous opportunities for religious, archaeological and nature loving tourism.
What to do in Veria
Aigai used to be the cradle of the Temenid dynasty, which gave humanity two of its most imposing figures in Philip II and ultimately Alexander the Great, who would go on to change the course of Greek and world history.
The visit to the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai is a unique, unprecedented experience that excites, moves and edifies. In the underground building that encases and protects the monuments, the visitor can unravel the threads of history and myth. The illuminated ancient objects shine all the more brightly in the dark and mysterious atmosphere that pervades there.
The sight of Philip II’s tomb and the treasures exhibited near the place where they were found leaves every visitor speechless with admiration and awe. The golden shrine with the sixteen pointed star, the sovereign’s gold wreath, his wife’s gold crown, her crimson and gold shroud and the unique frescoes are just a sample of some of the exquisite masterpieces you will witness.
In Aigai, the excavations of archaeologist M. Andronicos brought a whole new chapter of history to light! As a worthy successor to his father’s throne, Alexander the Great sought to glorify the legacy of his predecessor and carve out his own immortal tale.
The traditional 19th century neighbourhoods
Barbouta, the Jewish neighbourhood, retains its special character with the ornate stately homes, the simple houses with the inscriptions in Hebrew and the Synagogue building. In Kyriotissa, the Christian neighbourhood, admire the Byzantine churches, walk along the alleys of the Old Town and visit the Folklore Museum in a renovated stately home.
The Podium of Saint Paul the Apostle
St Paul preached in Veria in the 1st century AD where he was warmly welcomed by the residents. This historic monument is a landmark for Christians all over the world.
For the lovers of winter sports the Seli National Ski Centre and 3-5 Pigadia, lend themselves to both tourist and athletic skiing. The modern facilities, prime weather conditions, the unobstructed horizon and copious sunshine offer the visitor moments of fun and revitalization. Both areas are ideal during the spring and summer months for mountain climbing, mountain biking and hiking as they are crossed by the European E4 footpath.
Hidden treasures in Veria
Wine tasting in Imathia
The history of viticulture and wine production is entwined in the mists of time. Imathia vineyards, especially those of Naoussa, have been moving French connoisseurs to mouth-watering recommendations from as early as the 19th century, when Naoussa was first recognized as a world-class wine producing centre.
Today, honoured with the epithet of International City of Vine and Wine, it continues to produce wine that distinguishes itself both in Greece and abroad for its quality – namely its taste, texture and body- with Protected Destination of Origin status.
Public Central Library of Veria
How does the public library of a small city become a universal standard and a benchmark for people of all ages and educational levels? When creative people, with vision and will, believe in the potential of their fellow human beings, it is feasible. A winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation “Access to Learning 2010” award, today it constitutes a “centre for the development of creativity, knowledge and innovation”. With numerous book titles, many of which are in digital format, an active online presence and particular attention paid to users with special needs, it leads the field when it comes to taking libraries into the new electronic era.
Party by the river Aliakmonas
There is no better setting for a music festival than the pine-clad banks of the Aliakmonas River. During July, you can enjoy a concert as night falls as well as many activities to pique your interest by day.