Open invitation to orienteering clubs from all over the world to come and train in beautiful Thessaloniki, Greece. (example: Finnish athletes in Thessaloniki)

November 2023.

What authors have said about the city:

“Thessaloniki is one of Europe’s great meeting places between the three monotheistic faiths”, Economist.

Thessaloniki has “a complex, glorious and tragic history”, Sunday Telegraph

“A city unique not just in Europe but in the entire history of hymanity”, Guardian

What participants had to say about orienteering in Greece.

“We are very glad with your help” Tuuka Tuomala, Yokuppi orienteering club in Finland

“I want to thank you for the kind attention you gave us during our stay in Thessaloniki. We greatly enjoyed the orienteering races on your map and the excellent company of the Greek people. If you see the opportunity to come to Belgium to compete in orienteering, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to arrange things together», André Peeters, Trol, Belgium

“I want to thank you one last time for the fantastic Orienteering experiences our students enjoyed thanks to you and all of your efforts and hard work.  You really were a pleasure to work with as you demonstrate such passion and professionalism in what you do.  The final event proved the success of the events as we witnessed students’ enthusiasm for the sport. With such success, it will be a difficult task for me to come up with a different project next year which is equally entertaining and educational for our students. Take care”. Linda Kainz, teacher, Pinewood, the American international school, Greece

Suggested programme (in summary)

Meet you at the airport. Transfer to the accommodation. The very same day (e.g. Wednesday evening) night orienteering. Tavern eating at night in the upper town with live music.

Thursday morning to afternoon day orienteering in Seih Sou forest. Food and Sight seeing immediately afterwards. Full guided tour in English. Night orienteering the very same night.

Friday morning hiking on the mountain. Tavern eating, Hortiatis village. Strolling along the promenade in promenade in Thessaloniki. Visiting White tower.

Saturday morning to afternoon day orienteering event in Thermi dam. Eating out in Thermi. Strolling along the promenade in Peraia and swimming (summer and winter weather permitting)

Sunday: back to the airport and departure. There is a possibility for an extended programme

Important information for the museums:

There is a combined ticket available for the following museums and sites: 1) Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, 2) Museum of Byzantine Culture, 3) White Tower Museum, 4) Archaeological Site and Museum of Roman Agora, 5) Galerius Palace Complex and Arched Hall. Combined tickets are valid for 3 days and cost 15€ per person (reduced price: 8€). Opening times: Yedi kule (Eptapyrgion) 08.30 to 15.30, Tickets 3 euros. War museum of Thessaloniki 09.00-17.00 admission fee at 4 euros.Sport museum of Thessaloniki 09.00-19.00

Report of the accomplished orienteering programme during November 2023.

Eight athletes from Finland, one Irish from USA and a Ukranian living in Albania came to Greece to run at night in the woods!  They started from Finland to travel to Greece to compete in night orienteering races!  For four days the undersigned implemented all their plans.

The orienteering race in Thessaloniki forest was a very tough race for various reasons. Part of the forest near the ring road was burnt again recently. The great fire of 1997 was devastating but there were a few other incidents. The burnt area was not indicated on the map. There is a lot of dead wood in the forest. A few forest workers work every day trying to pulverize the wood brances in order to protect the forest from next summer season. In the past many immigrants used the forest for camping. Their old clothes, bottles and plastics are still in the forest. The distance of the race was 7.24 klm. On the map with straight lines was 5 klm! Consequently, there was a difference of 2.2 klm. which is a great difference. The elevation gain was 362 m. The max elevation is no more than 311 m.

After the race we visited the Eptapyrgion museum (ex-prison of Yendi Kule). I narrated to them the history of Thessaloniki city. The Finnish top athletes returned to the forest at night to run with torches. We had a mass start. It was a training session. The city night lights were beautiful.

Founded in 2002, their club Yokuppi is the only one in the world whose main object is night orienteering! As I mentioned before along the Finnish athletes an Irish athlete Jeremy Colgan and a Ukrainian Meleshko Anton competed as well. It was a successful event thanks to the Finnish athletes and especially their organizing leader Tuukka Tuomala. The weather in Thermi dam wasn’t brilliant but this didn’t stop the athletes from competing. After the event we visitited the Planetarium of Thessaloniki,


Results: Long distance in Thermi Dam (the first five)

Hirvonen Juha  (Finland) 1h. 23′ 43″

Meleshko Anton (Ukraine) 1 h. 26′ 19″

Jeremy Golgan (Ireland) 1 h 27′ 19″

Kristian Leppänen (Finland), 1 H 39′ 43″

Kimmo Hirvonen (Finland), 1h 27′ 22″

Middle distance:

Kirsi Koivuniemi 1 H 19′ 51″

Antti Lepola, 1h 28′ 26″

Short history of the former orienteering club of Thessaloniki

In 2011 and 2012 Greece participated in the World Orienteering Championships. The Greek orienteering club of Thessaloniki has already sent 12 men and women abroad in Sweden, France, Switzerland and Austria. This happened without any help by the Greek State at all something which is an achievement by itself. Without any help the club ceased to exist in an official form. In November 2011 the Greek Orienteering Club of Thessaloniki organized the third international orienteering event in Greece. The Greek Orienteering Club has organized several local orienteering events in central Macedonia region, Greece. After the events we may visit top historical places around Salonica where you may find many important religious, administrative and civil buildings from different ancient empires, still standing or in traces.

Come and try orienteering in beautiful Thessaloniki!

We are glad to welcome competitors from different countries, newcomers and veterans. We provide interesting and challenging terrains, hospitality and also interesting sight-seeing after the competition.

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