On the top of the Mount Athos peninsula and at a distance of 120km away from the airport of Thessalonica lies Ouranoupolis, the Gate of Mount Athos. Ouranoupolis is a divine landscape, combining mountainous and sea beauties, promising unforgettable holidays, especially for the travelers seeking the relaxation, away from the stress of the town.
The village seems to be a serene portrait which welcomes the pilgrims and prepares them for their spiritual journey to Mount Athos. Besides that Ouranoupolis means in Greek, the city of the heaven, the city who drives you up to heaven...
Link about Ouranoupolis:
Halkidiki, which is also called "the Secret Paradise of Greece", is a vacation destination for many tourists. It has beautiful beaches backed by pine forests, organized water sports facilities, historical monuments, and many interesting cultural events.
For Greeks and for foreigners also, Halkidiki is one of the fortunate places that reflect Greece in all its aspects: inviting sun, crystal sea and golden beaches, relaxing nature, friendly people, traditional villages along side with modern holiday resorts and remainings of the country’s glorious past.
Halkidiki’s road network is very good and regular scheduled buses are travelling between the towns, villages and capital of each district.
For more information, please click here: http://www.halkidiki.com/ktel/ktel2.htm#local
Renting offices are offering cars and motorbike in almost every village of Halkidiki. Taxis are available in almost every town and village.
Pastry, local food, touristy and any other shops can be found in every almost village and town of Halkidiki.A wide range of shops can be found especially in Polygyros, Kallithea, Nea Moudania, Sykia and Neos Marmaras.
The climate of Halkidiki is typically Mediterranean, generally mild with limited rainfall, mild winters and cool summers very sunny.The weather in Halkidiki during the month of July is usually quite warm (25-30°C), and very sunny and enjoyable with an average max. day temperature in Celsius 28, average min. night temperature 17 Celsius, water temperature 23 Celsius, average sunlight hours 12.
Greece's second largest city, capital of Macedonia in the north, was the realm of Alexander the Great and named after his sister, Thessaloniki, when it was founded in 316 BC. It sits in a bowl framed by low hills, facing a bay on the Gulf Thermaikos. Despite being one of the oldest cities in Europe, today Thessaloniki is lively and modern, with wide avenues, parks and squares. In 1917 most of the city was destroyed in a massive fire, and rebuilt later. This is not a high-rise city, though, because the area is prone to earthquakes and regulations have been imposed preventing the building of skyscrapers. This means that residents and visitors alike can enjoy the seaside situation of Thessaloniki, with views aplenty from the city streets. The main squares are Platia Elefterias and Platia Aristotelous, both on the waterfront and alive with cafes and restaurants, children playing or people just strolling. Thessaloniki, having been under Ottoman rule for long periods in its history, has been left a legacy of numerous Byzantine churches, and museums housing Byzantine art and artefacts. The city also has a heritage of early Christian communities, particularly the renowned monasteries of nearby Mount Athos.
Also visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thessaloniki
Regarded as one of the finest museums in Europe, Thessaloniki’s Archaeology Museum near the famous White Tower and opposite the city’s international fairgrounds, houses a huge collection including the incredible treasures of the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father, Phillip of Macedon, which was discovered at Vergina in 1977. Another treasured artefact is the 3rd century BC Derveni papyrus, the only intact ancient papyrus found in Greece, which was discovered in the tombs of Derveni.
Also visit: http://www.amth.gr
The city's most famous landmark, the White Tower was originally built as part of the city walls. It now stands, no longer white but still imposing, on the seaside promenade south of the Archaeological Museum, having been restored and offering panoramic views of the city and harbour from its rooftop café. The tower was once used as a prison, and on the way up the winding staircase visitors can peep into the dim rooms that were used as cells. The tower contains a museum housing some Byzantine art and historical artefacts from Thessaloniki’s history between 300 and 1,500 AD.
Thessaloniki has numerous beautiful churches, large and small, dating from various eras, most notably Byzantine. Most are sited in the Upper City area, which is a warren of quaint, narrow cobbled streets and has become a fashionable quarter favoured by local city slickers. Some of the most important churches are the church of Saint George, a domed building dating from the 4th century AD, which was originally the mausoleum for Roman Emperor Galerius; Agia Sofia, the domed cruciform church built in the 8th century AD that is a copy of the Agia Sophia in Constantinople; Agoi Apostoli from the 14th century, with its rich Byzantine decorations; and the 14th-century Agios Nikolaos Orfanos with it's beautiful frescoes. Churches are wont to close in the afternoons and sightseers are expected to dress appropriately.
Close to one of the city’s main bus terminals in Dikasterion Square lies the archaeological site of the ancient Greek agora or marketplace, which was later expanded to become a Roman forum on two levels. The forum was the heart of the ancient city, and was discovered by workmen in the 1960s. The best-preserved component of the forum is the large theatre, which is still used for occasional summer concerts.
The Arch of Galerius, (Modern Greek: Καμάρα) stands on what is now Dimitrios Gounari Street. The arch was built in 298 to 299 CE and dedicated in 303 CE to celebrate the victory of the tetrarch Galerius over the Sassanid Persians and capture of their capital Ctesiphon in 298. The structure was an octopylon (eight-pillared gateway) forming a tripe arch that was built of a rubble masonry core faced first with brick and then with marble panels with sculptural relief. The central arched opening was 9.7 m wide and 12.5 m high and the secondary openings on other side were 4.8 m wide and 6.5 m high. The central arch spanned the portion of the Via Egnatia (primary east-west Roman road from Dyrrhacium to Byzantium) that passed through the city as a Decumanus (east-west major street). A road connecting the Rotunda (125m northeast) with the Palace complex (235m southwest) passed through the arch along its long axis. At present, only the northwestern three of the eight pillars and parts of the masonry cores of the arches above survive: i.e. the entire eastern side (4 pillars) and the southernmost one of the western pillars are lost.  Extensive consolidation with modern brick has been performed on the exposed masonry cores to protect the monument. The two pillars flanking the central arched passageway retain their sculpted marble slabs, which depict the wars of Galerius against the Persians in broadly panegyric terms.
Only men are welcome to make a pilgrimage to Mount Athos, about 129 km south east of Thessaloniki, where it is possible to step back in time and mingle with hundreds of monks, from more than 20 monasteries, in one of the most scenic spots in Europe. This unique mountainous enclave on the coast is sprinkled with huge monasteries, most resembling castles, containing wonderful frescoes, mosaics and libraries. Mount Athos is a self-governing area within Greece, and to visit it is necessary to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, or from the Ministry of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki.
Also visit: http://www.mountathos.gr
Vergina, known in ancient times as Aigai, is about 61 km west of Thessaloniki and is the most important of a cluster of three archaeological sites in the area connected with Philip, father of Alexander the Great. Vergina is where Philip built a massive palace and a theatre, and where he was assassinated in 336 BC. The palace has been excavated, as has the theatre and the site also features hundreds of burial mounds, some dating from the Iron Age, across the plain. The tomb of Philip was found here undisturbed in 1977, full of treasures that are now on display in Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum. Nearby is Pella, the remains of the former capital of Macedonia from the 5th century, where Alexander the Great was born; and Dion, an important religious sanctuary frequented by Philip and Alexander.
Delegates requiring a letter of invitation in order to attend the conference may write to the conference secretariat specifying the necessary details. Please note this procedure aims to assist delegates who need to obtain a visa or permission to attend the conference, is not an official invitation covering fees and other expenses and does not imply any financial support from the conference organizers. Delegates who wish to claim an invitation letter, should have settled their registration fee.
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Since the 1st of January 2002, the Euro (EUR) is the currency of Greece.
A currency converter is available at: www.nbg.gr/encurrency.asp
The electricity supply in Greece is alternating current, 220-250 volts, 50 cycles. Appliances for 110 or 120 volts may be operated by using step down transformers of 220 - 250/110 volts connected to each outlet.
Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone. Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Greece, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour, 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3).
After the summer months the time is shifted ack by 1 hour to Eastern European Time (EET) or (GMT+2)
The Daylight Savings Time (GMT+3) in Greece:
- begins at 3 a.m. on the last Sunday of March and
- ends at 4 a.m. on the last Sunday of October
Useful Links: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
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