The pink hues of Veria have been highlighted in the annual photography competition which started in 2017 to help promote the area’s peach blossom festival.

Taking the next step, the Veria Tourism Association (TOB) is now organising an exhibition of the photographs in the city of Thessaloniki, to help further promote the region’s peach blossom season.

TOB President Zisis Patsikas said that the annual “Flowering Peach Trees” photography exhibition will be held in Thessaloniki from 24 January through to 16 February.

The fairy-like images show that Greece has nothing to envy Japan when it comes to peach blossoms, and photos from the region have made it to the front pages of newspapers outside Greece’s borders, such as Brussels’ ‘Metro’, and reached as far away as Japan, following a discussion at a tourism fair two years ago between a Veria hotelier and a travel agency that handles most Japanese tourist packages in Greece.

The agency has now decided to include an overnight stay in Veria for one group of Japanese tourists each month, from April up to October.

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“Since 2017, we started some efforts to promote the peach tree blossom season, which covers a vast area in the plains of Veria, Imathia and Pella,” Mr Patsikas told the Athens News Agency. “When someone stands ‘on the balcony of Veria’, as we say, he or she looks over a pink sea of flowers and we managed to promote this spectacle through the photography competitions, through actions and collaboration with the media.”

He explained that the competition was open to both amateurs and professionals, with the photographs “going viral” every March.

The exhibition in Thessaloniki will be a bolder step, bringing the photographs to the city of Thessaloniki as a “warm-up” for the blossom season and the new competition in March. He noted that this could come earlier in the current year due to the mild conditions “so quite possibly the blossoms and the impressive pink spectacle that lasts between two weeks and 20 days will come earlier, possibly even in early March.”

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