5 Reasons to Make Trikala Your Gateway to the North

Easygoing and bike friendly, Trikala makes for a great jumping off point to explore the rich natural landscapes of Northern Greece. Located in central greece 330 km north of Athens, Trikala is a gateway into the mountainous region of northwestern Greece. While not normally high on the itineraries of most visitors to the country below are five reasons a stay in the city will not disappoint. 1. Bike Rides by the River! For Free! Unlike many towns and villages in Greece, Trikala is quite flat – a fact that has contributed to the town becoming one of the most bike-friendly in the country. Three bike paths run through the city and bicycles for public use are even provided by the municipality at certain info points. One of Trikala’s nicest bike routes runs alongside the Lithaios River with its clean, cool air and swans and ducks. If mountain biking is more your speed then its worth driving to the Hill of Profitis Ilias for rides on the area’s dirt roads through the forest. 2. The Monuments and Museums Trikala is a town with a rich history and has a slew of monuments bound to excite any history lover such as the Kastro (the castle built by the Byzantine emperor Justin I in the 6th century AD), the clock tower (built by the Ottomans, destroyed in WWII, then rebuilt) the Kursum Mosque (16th century) the riverside Matsopoulos Mill complex (a fantastic industrial monument built in 1884 and the first pasta factory in the country). The old Varousi district lends itself to strolls through the narrow streets amid the traditional houses with their sahinisia – extensions of the first floors of the houses similar to northern European ‘erker’ bay windows. The decommissioned train wagons by the train station are also utterly charming, resembling those of the legendary Orient Express. Finally the Tsitsanis Museum is worth a visit, dedicated to Vasilis Tsitsanis, one of Greece’s most important composers and songwriters who hailed from Trikala and was particularly influential in the field of ‘Rebetika‘ a form of folk music often referred to as the ‘Greek blues’. see full article here