The Region: Macedonia

Macedonia is a geographic and historical region of Greece in the southern Balkans. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region, dominated by mountains in the interior and the port cities of Thessaloniki and Kavala on its southern coastline. Macedonia is part of Northern Greece.

It incorporates most of the territories of ancient Macedon, a kingdom ruled by the Argeads whose most celebrated members were Alexander the Great and his father Philip II. The name Macedonia was later applied to identify various administrative areas in the Roman and Byzantine Empires with widely differing borders.

Even before the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1830, it was identified as a Greek province, albeit without clearly defined geographical borders. By the mid 19th century, the name was becoming consolidated informally, defining more of a distinct geographical, rather than political, region in the southern Balkans. It is divided into the regions of West Macedonia and Central Macedonia and East Macedonia. Central Macedonia, with its capital Thessaloniki, is the most popular tourist destination in Greece with more than 4 million tourists in 2012 (19% of the total number of tourists who visited Greece that year).