Florina: A Train Journey to a Most Charming Winter Destination

GETTING THERE

Florina is located 451 km from Athens and 169 km from Thessaloniki. There are five daily train services connecting Athens to Thessaloniki, and the journey time is 4 hours 23 minutes. A one-way ticket is €40.80 and a return with a 20% discount is €65.40. On the Thessaloniki-Florina line, there are three trains a day and the journey time is 2 hours 30 minutes, with stops at Platy, Edessa, Arnissa, and several local stations. The ticket costs €10 one way, and €16 for a return.

ACCOMMODATION

The Lynx Mountain Resort (Lofos Agios Panteleimona, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23854.409.00, thelynxresort.gr). On the site of the old Xenia hotel, you won’t find a better view in town. Rooms and suites are spacious, modern and include all amenities. Breakfast includes omelets made to order, while the restaurant offers a range of dishes for all hours of the day. Benefits include a gym and spa. From €114 for a double with breakfast.

Emerald Suites (47 Konstantinou Karamanli, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850,227.77). Elegant, bright and well-equipped rooms and suites in a quiet location a little outside the town center. From €75 for a double with breakfast.

Phaidon Hotel & Spa (1 Viglas and Varnountos, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850,448.00). A classic hotel with comfortable, tasteful rooms in a neoclassical style, spa and rich breakfast selection. From €67 for a double room with breakfast.

Lingos Hotel (1 Tagmatarchi Naoum, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.283.22). Offers a central location and attractive prices. From €55 for a double room with breakfast.

FOOD

Aposperitis (6-8 25th Martiou, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23853.007.94). Here you can try one of the best versions of the local specialty, kebabia. These are small meatballs served with onions and red pepper flakes. Try the bouyourdia Florina pepper stuffed with cheese, and makalomeatballs with a broth and flour sauce, another local dish.

Terpsi (5th kilometer, Florina-Kato Kleina Secondary Road, Tel. (+30) 23850.940.40, open from 17.00). Superb dry-aged meat from western Macedonian farms are served at this restaurant five kilometers north of Florina. Try specialty cuts, like the chuck-eye steak or the hanger steak, or oxtail with hilopites (noodles), or ribs with barbecue sauce.

Koukoutsi (6 Stoa Spyraki, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.460.10). Informal atmosphere and meze of all types. We tried the fried eggs with soutzouki and smoked pork belly, the barbecued ribs and the veal filet. Great selection of bottled tsiporo.

Boukovo kai Meli (Plateia Omonoias, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.223.88). Grab one of their tables on the town’s central square and enjoy the sophisticated meze, which includes smoked cheese croquettes; miniature pies with pastourma (cured meat), casseri cheese and tomato; and ribs with mustard and thyme sauce.

Klossa (3 Stratonon, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850,238.61, open from 20.00, and serving lunch only on Sunday). Locals will tell you this place serves the best kebab and they aren’t wrong. Try the expertly grilled steaks, juicy ribs and spicy sausages as well.

COFFEE – DRINKS

Dietnes Cafe (96 Megalou Alexandrou, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.235.85). An authentic traditional café away from the center, famous for featuring in several Angelopoulos films. Sit by the wood stove for a Greek coffee or tsipouro accompanied by tasty meze.

Florian (60 Eleftherias, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.265.22). Facing the river, this two-story building has country-style decor with floral elements well-suited to its extensive selection of teas and hot chocolate.

The Factory (5 Spyraki, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.296.64). A favorite central meeting place for coffee or drinks. It serves quality cappuccino, well-made cocktails and also has a loft for greater privacy.

Aerino Winebar (Plateia Marathonos, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850,448.97). A beautiful, lively space for wine lovers. You’ll find dozens of Greek wines, many of which are available by the glass. The venue often hosts themed tasting evenings. The accompanying dishes are refined, and there’s also a cellar for private parties.

En Florini (16 Tagmatarchou Fouledaki, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.29.11, open from 19.00). Jazz, blues, and ’70s tunes feature on the playlist of this attractive bar on the second floor of a downtown building. Try their warm cocktails, or their raki or wine with honey.

Lygistis FOOF (Lofos Agios Panteleimona, Florina, Tel. (+30) 23850.298.12). The odd name is derived from the ancient name for Florina, while the acronym FOOF refers to the local mountaineering club that built this café venue high on a hill overlooking the town. The view is stunning.

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