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Imathia: Rich history and cultural tradition

Imathia


Seat of the prefecture: Veria
The main areas of the prefecture are: Alexandria, Vergina, Veria, and Naoussa.

The prefecture of Imathia is located in Central Macedonia and its surface is approx. 1,701 sq. km (170,000 hectares). It is one of the oldest inhabited areas and its name means “sandy area”. Seat of the prefecture is the city of Veria.

The prefecture borders to the north with the prefecture of Pella, to the east with the prefecture of Thessalonica, to the southeast with the prefecture of Pieria, while to its southwest is the prefecture of Kozani. The climate of Imathia is Mediterranean, while the thickly vegetated mountain ranges of Vermio and Pieria are the “jewels” of the prefecture and contribute to the differentiation of its climate.

The eastern part of Imathia extends to the bay of Thermaikos with a narrow strip of land between the mouths of the rivers Aliakmonas and Loudias. A large part of this area has been characterized as a protected wetland under the RAMSAR convention.

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The main professional activities of the residents are centred on agriculture and textile industry (Naoussa Spinning Mills, Varvaressos etc.). The prefecture, with its beauties and its points of interest, reminds to all the importance of the area of Macedonia in Greek history.

The area of Imathia has always been an important hub in Macedonia, with significant history, rich cultural tradition and important archaeological sites. Human settlements first appeared in the prehistoric era, while one of the oldest Neolithic settlements of Europe has been found in the area of Nea Nikomidia.

The prefecture is reach in points of natural beauty, with large and fertile plains, a large number of old churches, monasteries, Neolithic settlements, Macedonian tombs, ski centres and, of course, the internationally famous archaeological site of Vergina.

The vibrant nightlife, the live tradition and the rich local cuisine can cover your every need and make your stay in Imathia an unforgettable experience.

Imathia Attractions

Veria, the seat of the prefecture of Imathia, is built at the eastern foot of the majestic mountain range of Vermio. Next to the thickly vegetated Pieria Mountains, this hospitable city unfolds its beauty. Tripotamos River flowing across the city, a source of life for Veria, is tightly connected to its history.

Veria is a rich and modern city, a centre of industrial processing of the abundant agricultural and stock farming products of the area.

In the city of Veria you can visit Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, neoclassical buildings, the archaeological museum, the ruins of the ancient walls of the city, Ottoman monuments, the Jewish traditional districts of Barbouta and Kyriotissa, as well as the Bema of Apostle Paul, where he preached the word of God in 54 A.D.

A walk in the old market will impress you. It will make you feel the charm of nature, which, in harmonic connection with the history, makes Veria an enchanting, cultural destination.

Visit the picturesque taverns to enjoy the dishes and the tasty delicacies of local cuisine, the traditional cafes, as well as the patisserie shops of the city. Do not miss the traditional sweet “revani” made with the old traditional recipe, as well as the traditional yogurt and the “loukoumades” (doughnut type sweet in honey syrup).

Do not omit to visit the Orologio or Raktivan square, along the Mitropolis street marking the western border of the walled Veria, as well as the Elia Park, the lush green park in the centre of the city, which has been characterized as the balcony of Veria.

At night the city takes on a stylish new face and invites all to enjoy the coffee bars, the taverns and the ouzo-shops (ouzo being a traditional Greek drink), which guarantee times of relaxation.

At a beautiful site on the slopes of Vermio, close to the village Kastania, approx. 18 km from the city of Veria, is located the majestic Holy Monastery of the Panagia (Virgin Mary) “Soumela“. It was built in 1951 and it has since been the cultural centre of the Hellenism of the Euxine Sea (Black Sea). Each year, during the three-day celebration of the Dormition of Mary, on the 15th of August, thousands of visitors from all over Greece and abroad gather here to pay honour to Virgin Mary.

The city of Naoussa is built at the foot of Eastern Vermio mountain, at an elevation of 300 m., with a great view to the rich end fertile plain of the prefecture extending until the city of Thessalonica.

Naoussa is one of the prettiest cities of the periphery of Macedonia, as it harmonically combines the beauties of the plains with those of the majestic mountain of Vermio. The traditional districts, the old industrial buildings, the folk architecture styles surviving in some of the districts of the city are signs of its rich cultural past.

Visit the Arapitsa river, flowing across the city, splitting it in two unequal parts, while consecutive waterfalls, small or larger, are formed along its entire route until the plains.

Do not fail to visit the park of Agios Nikolaos with the ages-old platan trees, in a setting of thick greenery and abundant waters, the area Saranta Ontades where a cave with stalagmites and stalagmites has been discovered, the Municipal park and the School of Aristotle where Alexander the Great was tutored by the great Greek philosopher. Especially interesting are the Macedonian tombs and the ancient theatre in the area of Anthemia.

Vergina is a town of Macedonia, just 12 km from the city of Veria. There, an ancient city has been unearthed, which with a great degree of confidence, is the ancient city of Aiges. Aiges was the first seat of the kingdom of Ancient Macedonia which remained buried for about 23 centuries. The first important dig was made by the team of archaeology Professor Manolis Andronikos in 1977 and its results filled with awe and admiration the international scientific community and the public alike.
In our days, the Palace and the Theatre of the ancient Aiges, as well as the Great Tomb of the Kings attract great numbers of visitors who admire the important discoveries in the capital city of Macedonia and birthplace of the King Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, of Greece.

The city of Alexandria , bearing the name of Alexander the Great, is built in the heart of the plain of Imathia. It is located in the north-eastern part of the prefecture of Imathia and it is considered one of the most agriculturally developed areas, with a huge production of cotton, peaches, pears and sugar-beets.

The city is a modern urban centre, with shops, services and intense cultural activity. In Alexandria it is worth visiting the railway station, the house of Mehmet Sefik Pasha, the Monastery of Agia Kyriaki, as well as the little church of Agios Ioannis Theologos.

At an elevation of 1.400 μ., 26 km west of Veria, in Kato Vermio, you should not miss the opportunity to visit the Seli Gorge, with the caves Trypa tou Michali and the caves at the locations Siabalis and Prionia. The visitors of the prefecture will have the opportunity to enjoy hiking through dense forests of beech and fir trees in the lush Vermio mountain where the European trail E4 passes.

24 km from Veria, at an elevation of 1.550-1.900 m, on the slopes of Vermio mountain, is located the National Ski Centre of Seli, one of the oldest in the country. It features all required facilities and services and it can promise you many hours of fun.

The ski centre Tria Pente Pigadia is located 18 km north-west of Naoussa at an elevation of 1.450-2.005 m. It is one of the most modern ski centers of Greece, also featuring a manmade snow system, as well as excellent facilities for athletic and recreational skiing.

Unique experiences, good service and unforgettable times for the visitors of the prefecture of Imathia!

How to get there

By bus: There is frequent daily connection of Veria and Naoussa with Athens and Thessalonica via KTEL buses.
By car: You can get to Imathia by car via the Athens-Thessalonica National Road.

The distance from Athens is 520 km.
The distance from Thessalonica is 76 km.
The distance from Patras is 436 km.
The distance from Ioannina is 292 km.

By train: There is passenger train service from Athens to Platy of Imathia and from Thessalonica to Veria.

Imathia Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)

Municipality of Veria
23313 59500
Athens Train Station (OSE)
210 5297777
Veria Hospital
23310 22505
Thessalonica Train Station (OSE)
2310 517517
Veria Police Dept
23310 76643
Veria Taxi
23310 62555, 62666
Veria Traffic Police
23310 76669
Vergina Museum
23310 92347
Veria Bus Depot (KTEL)
23310 22342
Central Library of Veria
23310 24494
Naoussa Bus Depot (KTEL)
23320 22223
Seli Ski Centre
23310 49226
Athens Bus Depot (KTEL)
210 5129308
Chrysso Elafi (Golden Deer) Ski Centre
23310 49220
Thessalonica Bus Depot (KTEL)
2310 522160
Tria Pente Pigadia Ski Centre
23320 44981
Veria Railway Station (OSE)
23310 24444
Naoussa Railway station (OSE)
23320 41535