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The Greek Silk Road



One of the most ancient trading routes in history and humanity´s most impactful one, The Silk Road has one of the strongest cultural connections with Greece. The most prominent historical connection between Greece and The Silk Road is that of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) who is considered to be among the first Silk Road Travellers from the West. The Silk Road turned Greece in a cultural crossroad, enriching the country with unimaginable heritage that can be experienced through regions connected by land and maritime routes throughout the country. Be ready to experience Greece as you have never before, through authentic Silk Road Experiences, shaped by the multicultural all-year-round hidden diamonds that are waiting to be explored.

Soufli



Located in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Soufli is considered to be the Silk City of Greece. You can visit three Silk Road related museums: The Art of Silk Museum, the Silk Museum run by P.B.G.C.F. (Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation) and the “Gnafala” folklore museum. All museums have exhibitions related to the history of silk in Soufli and showcase the important cultural heritage connecting the city with the Silk Road. Silk produced in Soufli is of high quality. Today almost 30 tons of cocoons are produced in Evros, most of them exported, with potential for further development, as the demand for silk products worldwide is rising during the last decade. So apart from a very unique experience, you will also have the chance to buy local silk based products of very high quality!

Central Macedonia

When visiting the city of Thessaloniki, don´t forget to savour its local gastronomy which is mostly influenced by the cultural interaction among other Silk Road countries, since the city served as a significant trading hub not only for silk but also for spices and other culinary products from east and west. Also, you can visit Pylaia and see the old Silk Mill Benzolio or make a stop by Goumenissa and the “Chrissalis” Silk Industry, a building dating back to the early 20th century which is also a protected monument of industrial history.

Western Macedonia



Visit Kozani, one of the 4 destinations that produce saffron “crocus” worldwide. The Greek crocus was one of the main products traded to China through the northern Silk Road caravan. Today, Greek crocus is used in medicine, cosmetics, food, beverage industry, confectionery and many more. While visiting the city, go to the Natural History Museum and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and buy some crocus for your family and friends.

Thessaly



When your itinerary drives you to the city of Volos, taste its renowned dishes and let the local products dazzle you. In the past, Volos used to have a link to the Silk Road. Today you can visit the restored Silk Factory which also includes a small museum presenting its history. Take a trip to Makrynitsa village on Mt Pelion, which used to be a trading hub around the Balkans based on local silk-worm production. Head towards Portaria that - in the past century - was famous for its silk handkerchiefs and silk threads and enjoy the waterfalls that lend a romantic allure to the village. If you are an adventurer and authentic experience seeker don´t miss out on visiting Metaxochori, a traditional settlement near Agia, Larisa. Part of the village’s name “metaxi” means silk in Greek and almost all houses in the village used to grow cotton or raise silkworms.

Attica

The historical center and the ancient monuments of Athens will make your trip unforgettable. For the ultimate local experience visit Metaxourgio; one of the upcoming hipster neighborhoods and the center of silk production in the Greek capital. The Hellenic Silk Company was established in 1854 in Metaxourgio and took its name because of the silk factory, which had state of the art facilities at the time.

Peloponnese



Kalamata is one of the most active silk producers in Greece, so make sure that during your visit you purchase a renowned silk scarf. Make a trip to the Monastery of Saint Constantine and Helen, which is widely known for its sericulture and the silk processing. Kalamata is a great example demonstrating the neverending connection to the Silk Road culture, religion, way of living, and trading.

Aegean Islands



Maritime Silk Road routes connected many Greek islands to the mainland shaping their culture. For example, according to Karl (2014), the sericulture in Chios was established by the Genovese as early as the fifteenth century. According to Aristotle, Pamphile - from Kos Island - was the first to come up with the idea of unwinding a cocoon from the silkworm and weaving it into silk. This led in a silk trade monopoly for the island for nearly 500 years.

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