|Decentralized administration||Macedonia and Thrace|
|• Regional Governor||Apostolos Tzitzikostas (New Democracy)|
|• Total||18,810.52 km2 (7,262.78 sq mi)|
|• Density||100/km2 (260/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-B|
|• nominal||28.1 billion EUR (2nd)|
|• per capita||14,400 EUR (9th)|
very high · 6th
Central Macedonia (Greek: Κεντρική Μακεδονία, romanized: Kentrikí Makedhonía, [kedriˈki makeðoˈnia]) is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the geographical and historical region of Macedonia. With a population of almost 1.9 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.
The region of Central Macedonia is situated in northern Greece, bordering with the regions of Western Macedonia (west), Thessaly (south), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (east), and bounded to the north at the international borders of Greece with Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The southern part is coastal and it is bathed by the Thermaic, Toroneos, Singitic and Strymonic gulfs. The largest city and capital of the region is Thessaloniki. Serres is the second most populous city, followed by Katerini, Veria and Giannitsa. Central Macedonia is basically lowland and with many rivers, is highly developed, both in the primary and in the secondary sector. The largest plain in Greece, is situated in Central Macedonia. Thessaloniki, the metropolis of Macedonia, is Greece's second larger city. The highest mountains of C. Macedonia are Mount Olympus (2,918 m.), Voras Mountains (2,524 m.), Pierian Mountains (2,193 m.), Vermio Mountains (2,065 m.) and Mount Athos (2,033 m.). The larger rivers are the Haliacmon, the Axios, the Loudias and the Gallikos (Echedoros), which all flow into the Macedonian Gulf. Koroneia, Volvi, Doiran and Kerkini lakes are situated in Central Macedonia. The coasts are continuous, smooth, sandy and suitable for swimming (except the estuaries and the shores of the urban complex of Thessaloniki). The modern Greek region of C. Macedonia roughly corresponds to the ancient Greek region of Lower Macedonia, which included the center and two capitals, Aigai (Vergina) and Pella, of ancient Macedonia.
The region was established in the 1987 administrative reform as the Central Macedonia Region (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας, romanized: Periféria Kentrikís Makedonías). With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were redefined and extended. Along with Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace, based in Thessaloniki. The region is based at its capital city of Thessaloniki and is divided into seven regional units (pre-Kallikratis prefectures), Chalkidiki, Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Thessaloniki. These are further subdivided into 38 municipalities.
Although geographically part of Central Macedonia, Mount Athos is not administratively part of the region, but an autonomous self-governing state under the sovereignty of Greece.
Central Macedonia is the most popular tourist destination in Greece that is not an island, and its fourth overall, outperforming all other regions of the Greek mainland with 9.7 million overnight stays in 2017. The Chalkidiki peninsula is Macedonia's most popular beach destination, combining 550 kilometres (340 mi) of sandy beaches with dense forests. Chalkidiki is also home to Mount Athos, which is an important center of religious tourism. Pieria is also a popular beach destination. The mountainous interior, especially Mount Olympus, allows for hiking activities and adventure sports. C. Macedonia is home to two of Greece's 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first is the ancient city of Aigai (modern day Vergina), which was the first capital of ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, where in addition to the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, the site contains a burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, one of which has been identified as the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. Pella, which replaced Aigai as the capital of Macedon in the fourth century BC, is also located in C. Macedonia, as well as Dion in Pieria and Amphipolis. These are important poles for cultural tourism. The second World Heritage site is the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, constructed over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th century. Apart from being the cultural center of Macedonia, Thessaloniki is also a hub for urban tourism and gastronomy.
Major cities and towns
- Nea Kallikratia
- Nea Moudania
- "Demographic and social characteristics of the Resident Population of Greece according to the 2011 Population - Housing Census revision of 20/3/2014" (PDF). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 12 September 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- "Gross domestic product (GDP) at current market prices at NUTS level 2". Eurostat regional yearbook. Eurostat. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
Media related to Central Macedonia at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (in Greek)