Flights to Edessa
The ancient Greek city of Edessa is now in ruins, but the modern-day city is just nearby and a busy tourist destination. It was once known as the “city of the waters” due to the extensive waterfalls nearby which are still a popular visiting spot.
There are several smaller airports not far from Edessa, but the only place to get international flights to Edessa is at the Thessaloniki International Airport, Macedonia (airport code: SKG). It’s around 84 kilometres from town. From South Africa, both 1 and 2 stop flights to Edessa, landing in Thessaloniki, are available. Lufthansa goes via Munich, and British Airways stops once in London. With South African Airways, you will have transfers in Cairo and Athens. Most flights to Edessa will take between 15 and 20 hours.
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The Tourist Attractions of Edessa:
Kaimaktsalan Ski Resort
Up in the mountains to the north-west of Edessa is the Kaimaktsalan Ski Resort. It’s about 45 kilometres away and has some of the best skiing in the area, with 14 available runs and 4 mechanical lifts. You can take a bus from Edessa if you are staying in town but there is also great accommodation at the resort if you plan on skiing for a few days.
Ancient Edessa Ruins
Just outside the city are several ancient Greek and Roman ruins. The site includes walls, walkways and an open marketplace area called an agora.
There are several waterfalls along the Edessaios River, and you can walk along the river to see them all. There are paths and bridges so the walk will be comfortable as well as convenient. The area is only a couple of kilometres outside the city and there are plenty of signs to point you in the right way. This is one of the main attractions for Edessa.
Open-Air Water Museum
Built in an old water-powered mill, you can see various examples of how water-powered equipment has been used in industry. There are flour mills and a rope mill, and one of the buildings has an aquarium where you can see several tanks of local fresh water fish from Lake Agra-Nissi.
The Folklore Museum holds exhibits and displays that show of the history of the area, focusing on the various industries and crafts that have been important in Edessa. Agriculture, candle-making, weaving as well as everyday costumes and tools are part of the museum’s collection.
Thessaloniki is a short drive from Edessa and can make a nice day-trip if you are looking for more things to do. It is a larger city so there will be more shops and restaurants but you can also visit the Science Centre for their planetarium or the Waterland water park. For a little more ancient Greek history, there are additional ruins near the Thessaloniki square.
When Should You Visit?:
If you are planning on doing a lot of outdoor sight-seeing, you should try to avoid the hottest parts of the year when it will reach 31C (88F). That would be between June and August. The winters will drop to 10C (50F) in December and January which is a little cool for walking around. So try to plan your trip in either spring or autumn to get the most moderate climate to enjoy Edessa.