This article originally appeared on WanderWithWonder.com.
When most people think of Greece, they think of the ancient city of Athens, the blue domed roofs of Santorini, and the windmills of Mykonos. On our holiday, we explored Halkidiki, known for its unspoiled landscapes, forested peninsulas, and white sand beaches. To start our journey we began in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, with an overnight stay at a luxury accommodation in the Hotel Olympia.
Photo (above) credit: Hotel Olympia
On Our Way to the Hotel Olympia
For our arrival, we decided to forgo the traditional taxi and use a service called Welcome Pickups. When we arrived at the airport, our driver Falkos waited for us with a sign and a friendly smile. En route he told us about Thessaloniki—its dining district, its university, its historical sites—and took us on a hill behind the city so we could see it spread out before us.
Then we drove down past the walls of the Byzantine fort and into the heart of the city toward our hotel. It was a great way to meet a local and learn about the city, and I highly recommend.
Hotel Olympia—Steps Away from the Civic Center
We arrived at Hotel Olympia in the late afternoon. After a long day of traveling, we felt immediately welcomed by its minimalist style of grays and whites with touches of color and plenty of lounging areas.
After a quick check in, we headed up to our 6th-floor room that featured the same urban chic style with oak parquet flooring, two single beds pushed together (very common in Greece), white against soothing earthy tones, a desk and chair, television, a safety box, fridge, and a contemporary, very cozy marble bathroom.
One of my favorite features of our room soon became the balcony with a view of the activity on the street and the Roman Forum a half block away.
The hotel opened in 1964, next to the beloved Olympia baths where city dwellers came for showers, massages, and physiotherapies. For many years it operated with the baths, but in 1980, the hotel closed the baths and renovated the hotel to become one of the city’s first luxury hotels. Today, the hotel has 97 rooms with five different room types. The hotel also has a restaurant, H2O, and the Campari Bar serves snacks and cocktails.
Hotel Olympia Room Service
Jet lagged from a long day of traveling we ordered room service and chilled on the balcony, taking in the sounds and activity of cars zipping by, people walking along the streets and birds flying from rooftop to rooftop. When our dinner arrived, we knew we had made the right decision as our dishes were fresh and the flavors mouthwatering.
The Hotel Olympia made our first days in Thessaloniki restful and a pleasure. You can book your stay on their website. Hotel Olympia is a 25-minute drive from Thessaloniki Airport Macedonia.