Edessa might be somewhat of an unknown quantity, even to Greeks themselves, but it sure as heck has a quality to it that is hard to find anywhere else in Greece. In no small part due to the element of water that is so ubiquitous around this town. Weighing in at population 20,000, this is called the city of waterfalls and with up to 7 of them going down the slopes of the Pindus Mountain through the mighty Edessaios River, it is hardly a surprise. It retains much of its cool temperatures even as the rest of Greece plunges into 40 degree heatwaves, which is pleasant.
A lot of its charm comes from chilling on one of the observatories and gazing at Karanos, the biggest of the waterfalls, plunging down 250 feet. The twin waterfalls of Dichalotos are equally impressive, but the real treat here is the Waterfall Park, a beautifully crafted natural habitat with footbridges, greenery and benches where one can sit and enjoy their surroundings in harmony. The waterfalls have been chiseled and carved into meanders throughout the city, creating a canal-like sensation which come summer time is mana from heaven.
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Edessa goes back a long way, and naturally one needn’t stray too far to find all the awesome evidence left behind. It sits on a crossroads between several trading routes, namely the Via Egnatia route that connected the Adriatic with the Middle East and has been claimed by Serbs, Normans, Slavs, Byzantines and even Germans for a tiny while. Some of what the Germans didn’t raze can be found in the Old Quarter with a few building surviving as well as a Byzantine era bridge thrown in for good measure. In addition to that an ancient agora has been uncovered just down the road. It’s still in the early stages of unearthing its secrets and should get more attention as time goes by. Edessa is no doubt bucolic, and its interwoven history can be observed with a visit to the Folklore Museum.
It’s worth noting that Edessa’s relation to water doesn’t stop there. Just a few kilometers outside city limits lies the Pozar natural spa. Powered by geothermal currents, the waters cure a series of ailments and has been used for centuries ever since the Romans took notice.
Edessa is one of the jewels of the north by a country mile. The stunning visuals and serene ambience makes it an ideal r&r destination. Considering the genie’s not out the bottle yet, we wholeheartedly recommend you revel in its autumn, fire place inducing snugness.