Photo: www.wondergreece.gr

Like most of Central Greece – or Sterea Ellada – as it is known in Greek, fertile Fthiotida represents an exciting mix of beach, mountain and local traditions, although with one more very important advantage: it is the prefecture with the most natural spas and medicinal springs in the country. The beaches are pristine, having been designated as blue flag beaches many times in the past.

A visit to the capital Lamia is best kept short (i.e. archaeological museum, local sweet shops and a couple of attractions) in favor of the more amazing places the prefecture has to offer. Lamia could be a quick city stop before going on to one of the most beautiful historical villages nearby, called Ipati, on the slopes of Mount Oiti. Not far away is the 15th century monastery, Moni Agathonos.

Photo: Dinos Christopoulos

History and archaeology are at every turn, with major sites such as Alamana, Drymaea, Thermopylae and Gorgopotamos. Then there is Mount Oiti, parts of Mount Parnassos and the Spercheios delta which all represent a nature-lover’s paradise and many opportunities for eco adventures. The mountains are amazing for hiking, cycling and climbing, so is the Asopos gorge. Even paragliding has its place in this bountiful, biodiverse prefecture.

On the other hand, idyllic village life on the plains and valleys of Fthiotida remains unspoiled by the onslaught of insensitive tourists. There’s the village of Amfikleia on the edge of Mount Parnassos, with an old part of town, idyllic village squares, a medieval castle and a folklore bread museum to boot! In the municipality of Amfikleia which hosts the village by the same name, there are other attractions including the wonderfully classic village of Tithronio and the very nature-filled area of Brallos with lots of green and bubbling waters. On higher ground Lake Nevropoli, situated on Mount Kallidromo will also entice you with nature’s bounty and quiet life, so will Xyliki and Palaeochori.

Photo: www.lamiareport.gr

The municipality of Gorgopotamos is worthy of special mention, with its woods, watermill and wildlife sanctuary, as well as the Asopos Canyon and the natural area of Vathirema, all around the area of Moshohori. Picturesque mountain village such as Delfinio, Dio Vouna, Koumaritsi, Skamnos and Eleftherohori well leave you spellbound, revealing their little secrets such as the ancient settlement of Trahina, the ancient fortress at Dio Vouna and the castle of Iraklia at Delfinio.

Elsewhere, the enchanting nature-filled municipality of Tithorea, lying between Mount Parnassos and Kalidromo, offers serene villages, the Kahala Canyon and a verdant forest. The community of Pavliani at 1,050 meters of altitude, is considered the gateway to the Oiti or Iti park which is home to the Katavothres Lodge. Pavliani is also part of the heritage preservation project called Habitat Agenda, and is only 1.5 hours away by train from Athens. Also noteworthy in the municipality of Tithorea is the lovely village of Agia Marina with rich cultural and architectural heritage and the Monastery of the Assumption dating from the 10th century.

Photo: www.naturagraeca.com

Lastly, if you want to jump to other beautiful sections of Central Greece and Thessaly, the seaside village of Arkitsa offers a ferry service to Northern Evia, while the nearby port of Agios Konstantinos offers ferry service to Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos, as well as Northern Evia.

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Location - Fthiotida

Kamena Vourla

The coastal town of Kamena Vourla also offers a resort where spring waters that are said to heal a variety of ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, spondylitis, neuritis, lumbago, sciatica and more. The resort is managed by Mitsis Hotels, offering hydrotherapy and balneotherapy, as well as luxury spa facilities in the hotel (+30 22350 22245).

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Thermopyles

Also known as Thermopylae, these historic mineral springs and waterfalls are said to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis, gynaecological disorders, neurological ailments, respiratory problems including bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

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Ypati

This town is a health resort in itself and has a spa centre, with guests staying in surrounding hotels. The area is very natural and green, while the spa waters are said to cure coronary ailments, vascular disorders, phlebitis, heart problems, eczema, dermatitis, arthritis, muscle atrophy and more.

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The coast of Fthiotida facing the island of Evia is well known for its seafood. The touristic town of Kamena Vourla is one of these, where seafood spaghetti and good fish can be ordered. On the sweeter side the seaside cafes of this town are known for delicious donuts with honey – or better yet honey donuts topped with vanilla ice cream. Sweet lovers can try the other sweets on the menu such as walnut cake in syrup (Karidopita). The coastal town of Skala Atalandis is also a good spot for fresh fish, and to be fair so are all the seaside settlements in this prefecture.

In the municipality of Ipati the sugared buns known as Kourabiedes are well known, so are the homemade pasta (hilopites) and the trahana soup, made out of dried sheep's yoghurt and grains.

Around Larimna in the municipality of Opountion you can find delicious local products such as honey and wine. The area is famous for its Mizithra cheese – similar to Ricotta – and good local meat. Seafood tavernas abound there as well. The coastal town of Martino is also well known for its very good Mizithra cheese.

If you like honey and products related to apiculture you can visit Agria Melissa (Wild Bee) in Ptelea. There is an outlet open to visitors and a variety of products to choose from (+30 2236071257).

Visit the Sperchios workshop off the highway between Lamia and Karpenisi in Sperchiada for their amazing pies, including cheese pie, herb pie and zucchini pie. This is a family-owned and run place which makes the pies by hand (+30 22360 44711).

The areas of Makrokomi, Platistomo and Tsouka offer very good local meat from free-range animals, as well as tasty local sausages made from traditional recipes. The vineyards of Makrokomi also offer interesting wines and the aniseed ouzo-like liqueur known as Raki. Kiwi fruit from the area of Kastri and peanuts from Makri should also be sampled.

In Timfristos you can visit Archnotiko, a workshop that has an outlet with aromatic herbs and plants, dairy products, jams, pulses, pasta, wines, and honey products (+30 22360 91141). Similarly, Hercules in Timfristos offers a wide range of local products and is worth a stop (+30 22360 91091). Further up towards Rahi Timfristou at a height of 1,200 meters the green valleys hide some traditional tavernas that offer delicious local fare, including meat and sausages which can be bought on the main road to Agios Georgios.

Where the ancient settlement of Phalara once was, Stylida is now a big port town known for its olives. The town lies at the foot of Mount Othrys near huge olive groves. One interesting variation in this area is the use of olives in making sweet preserves and even jams. These products can be bought online from Odysseia Ltd found in the area of Raches. It is probably easier to visit the lobby of the Phoenix Hotel in the main square of Stylida where such products are found. This coastal town is also known for its fishing and fresh fish on the market, including shrimp, grey mullet, clams, etc. Try also the local Tsipouro liqueur, made with local grapes.

The northern slopes of Vardousia, which include Anatoli, Marmara, Dafni and Kolkithia, are considered beautiful and ideal for mountaineering. This also applies to the slopes between Vardiki and Diaselo of Oxia.

Photo: Charlie Bravo

There are shelters for mountain climbing set up by the Greek Mountain Climbing and Skiing Association at the following points in Fthiotida:

  • Mount Oiti (at Trapeza, 1,800 meters)
  • Grammeni Oxia (at Karvounolaka, 1,700 meters)
  • Vardoussia (at Pitimaliko, 1,750 meters)

The mountaineering tracks between Mount Parnassos and Tithorea are worth investigating.

Fthiotida is well known for its healing springs and natural spas, around which some spa centres have been built.

Kamena Vourla

The coastal town of Kamena Vourla also offers a resort where spring waters that are said to heal a variety of ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, spondylitis, neuritis, lumbago, sciatica and more. The resort is managed by Mitsis Hotels, offering hydrotherapy and balneotherapy, as well as luxury spa facilities in the hotel (+30 22350 22245).

Find Out More

Kirtoni

In Kirtoni not far from the tower of Kolaka there is the ancient fountain of Kamini. Nearby in Kaminaki there is a rock with religious significance, with springs that release healing waters.

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Platystomo

In a verdant area not far from the town of Makrakomi and near the remains of ancient Fthia, the spa and springs at Platystomo are said to help relieve uric acid certain kinds of kidney stones (calcium oxalate, but not calcium phosphate), as well as gallstones and gallbladder problems. They are also good for arthritis, nutritional ailments and digestive problems such as colitis, hyperchloridia and constipation caused by bile deficiency.

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Thermopyles

Also known as Thermopylae, these historic mineral springs and waterfalls are said to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis, gynaecological disorders, neurological ailments, respiratory problems including bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

Find Out More

Ypati

This town is a health resort in itself and has a spa centre, with guests staying in surrounding hotels. The area is very natural and green, while the spa waters are said to cure coronary ailments, vascular disorders, phlebitis, heart problems, eczema, dermatitis, arthritis, muscle atrophy and more.

Find Out More

Kamena Vourla

The coastal town of Kamena Vourla also offers a resort where spring waters that are said to heal a variety of ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, spondylitis, neuritis, lumbago, sciatica and more. The resort is managed by Mitsis Hotels, offering hydrotherapy and balneotherapy, as well as luxury spa facilities in the hotel (+30 22350 22245).

Find Out More

Thermopyles

Also known as Thermopylae, these historic mineral springs and waterfalls are said to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis, gynaecological disorders, neurological ailments, respiratory problems including bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

Find Out More

Ypati

This town is a health resort in itself and has a spa centre, with guests staying in surrounding hotels. The area is very natural and green, while the spa waters are said to cure coronary ailments, vascular disorders, phlebitis, heart problems, eczema, dermatitis, arthritis, muscle atrophy and more.

Find Out More

The municipality of Opountion and its villages is famed for its blankets, whose designs have names such as Larimneika, Martineika, Kastreika or Exomitara, depending on weaving pattern and origin. There are also traditional handmade costumes in this area that are an excellent example of a bygone era.

The popular beach of Kammena Vourla offers windsurfing facilities, and so do some of the hotels in the area.

Ancient Lamia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Monastery of Damasta

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Papadia and Asopos bridges

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Thermopylae

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ancient Elateia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ancient Lamia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ancient Melitea & Erineo

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ancient Phthiotis in Stylida

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Domokos

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Kynos near Livanates

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Neon and Pediis, Tithorea

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Nisi in Koromilia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Tarfis in Kammena Vourla

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Thermopylae

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Castle of Kastri

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Domokos

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Keratopirgos, Malesina

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Mendenitsa castle

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Koudounisto Pigadi

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Agia Paraksevi, Makrakomi

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Agioi Theodori, Dafnousion

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Agios Dimitrios, Elatia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Agios Dimitrios, Paleokastro

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Boulder church of Kiparissona

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Churches of Megali Kapsi

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Islet churches off Opountion

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Malesina churches

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Monasteries in Stylida

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Monastery of Damasta

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Panagia Eleousa, Xiniada

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Timfristos churches

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Natural habitats, protected areas, nature parks, gushing rivers, bubbling spas, pristine beaches, deep gorges and more all grace this stunning region and offer the eco-tourist a myriad of possibilities.

Photo: lamia.gr

To illustrate, in Pelasgia there is the biotope of Pelasgia Beach, considered quite beautiful, as is Souvala. Kato Tithorea in Kifissohori offers grand parsk like the Agios Dimitrios park, while Tithorea/Velitsa is known for the Kahal Canyon, nature paths and verdant forest. Koumaritsi in the municipality of Gorgopotamos, lying at an altitude of 850 meters, offers rich woods with fir trees.

Not far off the Iti or Oiti National Park, which takes you up to the mountain lodge of Katovothres and to the Greveno Summit will unveil a fascinating diversity of unique animals and plants. Lelouda in Merkada, within the municipality of Agios Giorgos is home to amazing wild flora of many colours. In the municipality of Opountion you can visit the canyon along with the Kiahovrisi springs. The possibilities are endless.

Makrokomi springs

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Molos woods

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Oiti National Park

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Sperchiada woods

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Timfristos

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Tithorea & Kato Tithorea

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ancient Lamia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Monastery of Damasta

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Papadia and Asopos bridges

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Thermopylae

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Domaine Hatzimichalis

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Amfikaia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Ta Pitharia

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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Tetrapolis Guesthouse

Central Greece / Fthiotida
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