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.

Hotel Olympia
Hotel Olympia is close to the Roman Forum and parks with historical sites. Photo courtesy 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.

The lobby of the Hotel Olympia.
During our stay, Hotel Olympia guests enjoyed the spacious lounging areas. Photo courtesy Hotel Olympia

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.

A bedroom at the Hotel Olympia.
Hotel Olympia was one of the city’s first luxury hotels. Photo courtesy Hotel Olympia

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.

View from the balcony at the Hotel Olympia of the Roman Forum.
From our balcony, we could see the Roman Forum known as Ancient Agora. Photo by Lara Dunning

Click here to read the rest of the article on WanderWithWonder.com.


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