Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Macedonia, was founded in 315 BC by a Macedonian general, Kassandros. The town is named after his wife, who was Alexander the Great's half-sister, and is known also as Salonika.
The enjoyable six or seven hour drive to Thessaloniki from Athens passes striking mountain scenery. If you're in more of a hurry, the fast-rail Athens-Thessaloniki train takes four hours, and an airplane flight takes about an hour.
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