Ultimate Travel Guide to Trikala

Discover our complete travel guide to Trikala, a wonderful destination in central Greece, blending history, natural beauty, and warm Greek hospitality.

A model city for not only Greece but all of Europe – in recent years, Trikala has entered the tourist map and the list of interesting destinations in Central Greece, thanks to its environmentally friendly initiatives.

With a wide network of footpaths and cycle paths, the Litheos River running through the centre of town, endless outdoor activities, and a rich history – Trikala is an ideal winter escape. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Couples, groups of friends, and a leisurely winter weekend away. 

Where to stay

In the center of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot or rent a bike and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep

Αnanti City Resort is a peaceful retreat a few minutes by car from the city of Trikala. (Loggaki, Trikala)

Gallery Art Hotel is a modern, boutique hotel, right in the centre of town. (Ring Road, Trikala)

Τrikala River House is a cozy and modern apartment, also in the center of Trikala. (2 Vyronos)

Vintage Suites Trikala are warm and inviting suites that are ideally located halfway between Trikala and Meteora. (EO Trikalon Ioanninon 254, Trikala)

Must See + Do

Bicycle is the trend…

In Trikala, the straight lines of the plain favored the development of the use of bicycles and many residents use them to get around. The municipality offers the possibility to rent bicycles for free for 3 hours at the Infopoint in the central square of Iroon Polytechniou. Get on the saddle and get to know the city through the 8 kilometers of bike paths.

Stroll along the banks of Lithaios River 

…in the company of swans, ducks and families picnicking under the trees. If we had to single out one of the things that give Trikala the atmosphere of a European city, it would be how integrated its river is in the life of the city. 

Go up to the castle…

One of the most accessible castles in Greece, the Byzantine castle of Trikala was built during the reign of Justinian in the 6th AD. century. It is divided into three parts, with five towers and several small battlements between them. What stands out, however, and steals the show is the Clock Tower, now a symbol of the city of Trikala. The 33-meter tower was built in 1936 on the site of an equally large Ottoman clock, dating from 1648.

Walk around the Manavika neighbourhood at night

Perhaps the coolest neighborhood of the city, here you will find some of the best taverns and bars.

Take a tour of Meteora…

Even if your time is limited, the road leads you all the way up – although the walking route is really worth the effort and time if you can spare it.

Cultural Hotspots

In the centre of town, there is the Kliafa History and Culture Center, an industrial museum which, in addition to the old mechanical equipment of the factory, also exhibits a large collection of bottles, labels and caps from all over the world, correspondence, photographs, paintings and old advertisements. In addition, in a separate room, there is a museum of local history in which the recent history of the city is presented through texts, manuscripts, old photographs, and small objects. Finally, on the walls are posted covers of local newspapers, photos of journalists and printers and various interesting collections. (Homer & Themistocles)

The “Research Center – Vassilis Tsitsanis Museum” is housed in the building of the old Trikala prison and here, through the exhibits, you will get to know the life and work of the great Greek composer and lyricist. Photographs, musical instruments, sheet music and personal items will take you on a journey through the fascinating life of Vassilis Tsitsanis. (1 Venizelou & Karditsis Trikala)

Do not miss visiting the imposing mosque of Osman Shah or Kursum. It is on the edge of the city and was built in the middle of the 16th century by the famous architect Sinan Pasha. Tradition has it that Prince Osman Shah, son of Sultan Suleiman, gave the order to build the mosque when he was cured in Trikala of the illness that afflicted him. It is considered a UNESCO monument and is used as a venue for cultural events. (3 Karditsis, Trikala)

Special Christmas Hotspot

During the festive season, the hottest attraction in Trikala is the Mill of Elves, Greece’s largest Christmas theme park. Every Christmas since 2011, this area has been transformed into a festive toy and confectionery factory, where Santa Claus and his Elves welcome guests from near and far, turning the space into a magical kingdom. There you will also find a huge Fun Park with rides, Christmas stores with lots of ornaments, food stalls with a variety of traditional dishes and delicacies from Trikala and a Candy store with lots of delicious sweets.

Eat + Drink 

Breakfast/Brunch

Bonjour ( Canouta & Vironos, Trikala) A cozy coffee shop that serves a variety of quality coffee types and brunch choices (sweet or sour) to choose from.

Sto Spitaki (Lakmonos & Psaron Trikala 421 00) In the centre of town is the best place to start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast.

Vesper (9 Karanassiou, Trikala 421 00) A beautiful old house preserved with a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a menu for breakfast lunch and light meals all day.

Ivy (Kapodistriou 18A, Trikala 421 00) This cozy cafe has a warm and inviting ambiance, with wooden furniture, dim lights, and relaxing music. 

Lunch/Dinner

To Xani (Pylis 2, Trikala) It is considered one of the oldest buildings in the city, also known for its unique modern-traditional architecture. Xani provides traditional flavours and a wide variety of wines. Must try: Pork shank, Fried leeks

Ιl Cucinotto (Karaiskaki 65,4210 0) is a restaurant with authentic Italian cuisine, a warm atmosphere, and a nice garden. Must try: risotto and buffalina con crudo.

Ladofanaro (Ypsilantou & Trikala) cozy traditional tavern with great flavors and traditional Greek dishes. Must try: any of the mezedes with pork. 

Sweets

Narkissos (Ypsilantou & Kaningos, Trikala) Step inside this pastry store and be blown away by the gorgeous displays of decadent desserts and handmade cakes. Drink hot chocolate, try sweets with fresh cream of butter and milk and select sweets placed in pretty jars that you can take away and enjoy!

Drinks

Retous (Byronos 5, Trikala 421 00) An urban-style all-day bar, it’s one of the most popular spots in town and perfect for an unforgettable night out.

Krypti (Patriarchou Office, Trikala 421 00) Perfect spot to have a drink any time of day.

Pero (Stefanou Sarafi 4, Trikala 421 00) Unique bar playing funky music and serving original cocktails. 

Tankoo (Stefanou Sarafi 6, Trikala) One of the best spots to enjoy an aperitivo– great décor, an impressive cocktail list, and jazz-rock music playing.

Discover 

Best view

Climb up to the Byzantine Castle of Trikala and the Clock, a trademark of the city. The red roofs of the houses will stretch out in front of you and the horizon will not reach to accommodate the flat Thessalian plain.

Ultimate day trip

Meteora

One of the largest monuments in the world, protected by UNESCO and mentioned as a “Preservable and Protected Monument of Humanity”, Meteora is the most important (after Mount Athos) monastic centre in Greece. The first ascetics came here in the 11th century. Meteora, however, flourished as a monastic center between the 13th and 14th centuries as many people living in the nearby areas embraced the monastic lifestyle. Nowadays visitors are enthralled by the natural scenery and the fact that it is a place that offers all kinds of activities: from cultural tours and hikes to river rafting and truffle hunting. What you will remember, however, is the mystical, eerie atmosphere of the area that seems to have come out of a fantasy movie. You must see them for yourself to understand the greatness of this unique place. For even more impressive images, we suggest you observe the rocks and monasteries of Meteora at sunset-golden hour.

Pertouli

Pertouli is the picturesque mountain village of the Trikala prefecture. It is a highly recommended getaway for nature lovers as the area provides you with unique experiences that you will hardly find anywhere else. A wonderful ski resort and hiking trails are some of the many things that will enchant you in the area. Another place you must visit when you arrive in Pertouli is the forest which is the University Forest of Pertouli- here you will have the chance to admire a rare species of deer.

Theopetra Cave

The Cave of Theopetra is a unique archaeological monument. One of the most interesting caves in Greece from a historical point of view, it is located a stone’s throw from Trikala. A rocky limestone mass rises above the village of Theopetra, 3 km from Trikala, on the north-eastern side of which is the cave of the same name. It is the westernmost prehistoric site of the Thessalian plain, located at the foot of the Hasia mountain range, which is also the natural boundary between the geographical division of Thessaly and Epirus. The cave is about 100 meters (about 328.08 ft) altitude from the plain’s surface and 280 meters (about 918.64 ft) from the sea’s surface. In front of the cave flows the river Litheos, a tributary of Pinios.

Make sure you take home: local products such as the tsipouro, spoon sweets, pies, handmade pasta, and dried mushrooms.

Essentials

Getting there: About 3.5 hours drive from Athens.

Best time to gο: Autumn/ Winter 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days is perfect.  

Getting around: Rent a bike or walk all around the city. Also, we highly recommend you rent a car for daily trips and a Meteora getaway.

What to pack: Comfortable shoes, warm clothes if you are visiting in Autumn/Winter (it gets quite cold in the cooler months), an umbrella for unexpected rain, and a scarf for windy days! Sporting attire if you are planning cycling, hiking, or any other physical activity!

Main Image Courtesy of Tankoo 

A Travel Guide to Kavala

As the flawless facade of Kavala city presented itself when we were approaching the city, one of my friends exclaimed “It feels as though we are on a ferry approaching an island, doesn’t it?” We didn’t have to respond to her question as she already knew the answer. Kavala may be on the Greek mainland, but it most certainly has that island vibe!

Once popular for its tobacco trade, Kavala boasts a remarkable collection of buildings scattered around the city, where people used to trade, process, and store tobacco in the 20th century. The city has everything you could want for a weekend getaway: a picturesque facade with colorful houses, a bustling waterfront lined with traditional Greek tavernas and cobbled streets built amphitheatrically around the bay to stroll through in the evenings.

Our travel guide to Kavala will help you get the most out of visiting this beautiful city! 

How to get there and around

Situated Northeast of Thessaloniki, Kavala’s port is a focal point in the region of Eastern Macedonia and the entry to Eastern Greece, rightly known as ‘The Thermopyles of Macedonia’. You can fly directly from Athens, drive to it from the mainland or take the ferry from one of the islands.

Getting there by air: Kavala International Airport “Alexander the Great” (KVA) is located just 30km outside the city. It serves daily flights from Athens and International flights from England, Germany, Italy and other European countries. Flying from Athens takes an hour and costs a bit less than 100€.

Getting around by car: Hire a car and make the 150km journey from Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. The journey takes about 2 hours and the ride is quite pleasant as you get to see more of the Aegean and Chalkidiki’s seaside.

Getting around by public transport: Macedonia bus station in Thessaloniki runs bus routes from Thessaloniki to Kavala about 10 times per day. The ticket costs 16€ and the ride duration is 2 hours and 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the ferry boat from Thassos and/or Limnos island.

A few ways to ways to soak up Kavala

Ouzo & seafood at the seafront. 

The promenade along the waterfront is a lovely place to start exploring Kavala; the air is laden with the aroma of freshly grilled fish and seafood, and people at the ouzeries linger around tables, toasting their glasses and saying ‘Opa’ every now and then. We recommend Apiko, an old-school traditional restaurant with views of the port and the main street.

Get a Greek island feel on the mainland!

Walk around the 16th-century Aquaduct

 A walk through the ‘Kamares’ (meaning Arches in Greek) will convince you that Kavala was once a prime city! The Aquaduct is the most characteristic monument in the city, the grandiose arches are 25m tall and have a length of 270 m stretching along the Old City.

Visit the Castle

Enjoy the panoramic views from the top of The Castle of Kavala! Built to protect the city from pirate attacks, the castle of Kavala is one of the city’s most popular destinations to visit. To get there you need to walk through narrow, uphill alleyways, passing old houses and exchanging pleasantries with some of the locals feeding the stray cats. Tip: pack some lunch with you, find a spot to sit and enjoy the views of the city and the port.

Wander through Panagia (Old City)

Wandering through the narrow streets of Panagia will take you a few centuries back as the old tobacco buildings in the area give you the feeling of having instantly travelled in the past. The majority of these beautiful buildings once belonged to tobacco traders – the legacy of the days when exporting tobacco fueled Kavala’s prosperity. Here, you will also find Muhhamed Ali’s house and the Imaret, a Muslim seminary built in 1821 to educate the less fortunate of the city regardless of their religion that has now been converted into a hotel. 

Explore the Tobacco Museum

With artefacts and archived material relating to the cultivation and production of tobacco, this museum uniquely presents the history of technology and economy in Kavala and the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

Visit the City Hall

Resembling a miniature Hungarian tower, Kavala’s City Hall is most definitely one of the prettiest buildings in Greece. This Gothic revival building belonged to Hungarian tobacco trader Pierre Herzog, who used it as his residence and place of business. The building was purchased by the Municipality of Kavala in 1937 and since then it houses the City Hall.

Swim at Kalamitsa

Kalamitsa is the nearest beach to Kavala, it has a long sandy stretch and clean, shallow waters that make it ideal to visit with young children. There is a free car park just opposite the beach, plenty of changing rooms to use and cafes to have a nibble if you feel like doing so. There is also Batis beach next to Kalamitsa but the beach opening to the sea is much smaller and often too crowded to find a spot. 

All Images by Anastasia Fountouli ©

Top 5 Greek Islands to Visit in Autumn

While Greece is world-renowned as one of the best places to spend summer, there is something quaint about visiting the Greek islands in the autumn months.  

The crowds begin to subside by the end of October without ever really clearing completely as many locals live on the islands year-round. Temperatures drop to a balmy 15 degrees and the air begins to feel crisp, but hints of sunshine still touch the skin and occasionally temperatures rise to 25 degrees- making a swim in the beautiful Aegean Sea possible.  

There are many Greek islands that “shut down” after peak summer to rest and rejuvenate before they do it all again the following year. However, the places we’ve listed below are destinations we’ve visited in the cooler months- with locals who keep their beautiful islands alive all year round and warmly welcome visitors to experience island life without the crowds. 

Crete

Greece’s largest island boasts world-famous archaeological sites, breathtaking beaches, charming villages, world-famous hikes, and amazing wineries. The temperatures in Crete are never too cold, and the autumn days feel endless, with plenty of sunny afternoons allowing locals to head to the beach for a swim until the end of November. Make sure you check out the archaeological and historical sites including Knossos, Arkadi Monastery, and Preveli Monastery and it’s also an ideal time to stay at one of the many eco-lodges. A highlight by far is hiking at the famous Samaria Gorge and the delightful Cretan cuisine– make sure you try as many of the local dishes as possible and if you are brave enough have a few shots of Raki, which will definitely warm you up!  

Rhodes

The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes boasts the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The medieval Old Town with its impressive castle and fortifications and cobbled streets is one of the most beautiful historic sites in Greece, and one that is best enjoyed out of peak season. Stunning Lindos has one of the best microclimates in the Mediterranean, so you are pretty much guaranteed a swim here in October and November. Make sure you also visit Petaloúdes (Butterfly Valley) one of Rhodes’ most popular attractions; the nature reserve combines stunning rivers and waterfalls with colourful butterflies. The cooler months are when Rhodes’ beautiful villages also come to life and it’s a great time to visit a few of them. Make sure you sit at one of the traditional cafes or tavernas with the locals and enjoy the island’s delightful cuisine.

Corfu

Corfu’s lovely capital is fast becoming one of Europe’s popular winter destinations. Its charming Venetian Old Town, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is ideal in the wintertime- perfect for exploring the museums and markets. This is also a great chance to explore Liston, the “French” part of town- a pretty promenade whose arcade is lined with chic cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Also, hit the hiking trails that wind through mountain villages- there are hundreds of paths and routes to try. And although Corfu is busiest during Easter and summer- Corfu Town is also a popular destination during the Christmas and New Year period, so there’s a great range of tavernas to discover as well as many events, art exhibitions, and festivals that take place at the end of the year. 

Andros

An ideal Greek island year-round as it’s located just two hours from Athens, Andros is filled with lush vegetation, abundant water, and stunning beaches. The beautiful Cycladic isle owes its lush greenery to its rich underground and surface water resources. Autumn in Andros is perfect for those who want to experience the island’s rich culture and culinary experiences; as here you can taste traditional dishes and modern cuisine. Visit one of the many historic monasteries and churches, the amazing museums (Museum of Contemporary Art, Archaeological Museum, Nautical Museum, Cyclades Olive Museum, Goulandris Museum) and enjoy the endless nature and its hiking trails. Also make sure you head to the wonderful natural environment and the healing properties of the Sariza spring water.

Naxos 

The Cyclades’ largest island offers a great range of outdoor activities in Autumn, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Numerous hiking trails and bicycle routes take visitors through some of the island’s and Cyclades’ most impressive archaeological and spiritual monuments including Mount Zas, the Cyclades’ tallest mountain peak; one of Greece’s largest collections of Byzantine monuments; the Temple of Demeter and more. Foodies are also in for a treat as you can check out the island’s vibrant farming and agricultural industry including potato picking, cheese making, citron liqueur distillation, and more. 

Featured image: Naxos