Photo: www.discovergreece.com

Pieria & Mount Olympus

What’s absolutely great about the Greek landscape is the combination of mountain and sea, often tempered with astounding vegetation and flora. Pieria is one such amazing place which not only boasts the country’s highest mountain in Greece (Mount Olympus – or simply Olympos), as well as the country’s longest beach!

Obviously, the 12 Olympians – Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Dionysus and the rest – new what they were doing when they chose Mount Olympus as their haunt. Millennia later, the Ancient Macedonians founded Dion, a city which even had its own Olympic games in the 5th century BC.

Photo: Carole Raddato

Fast forward a few thousand years more, and you’ll find Pieria today still as enchanting and beautiful as the gods and the Macedonians believed. You’ll be impressed by the ancient site of Dion which remained glorious until the 5th century AD, some 1000 years after its Macedonian beginnings, until it was destroyed by earthquakes.

Ecotourism on a grand scale

Today the nature of the whole region remains stunningly gorgeous, luring visitors who love the best of the Greek countryside. Eco-tourists will rejoice with the hiking, trekking and mountaineering possibilities offered all year round, while the ski resort of Elatohori keeps snowboarders and skiers happy in winter. The summer in Pieria of course is great for swimming, but also for escaping into the mountains during those hot days. Avoid the more popular beaches like Platamonas if you want a more idyllic and peaceful experience.

More specifically, there are rock climbing possibilities around Olympus and the mountains of Pieria. Near the village of Palio Pantelimona you can embark on a paragliding adventure, while horseback riding can be enjoyed in Palio Elatochori and at Ktima Irakli in Kato Milia. Canyoning enthusiasts will adore the gorges and Olympus, namely those of Orlias-Olympos and Enipeas-Olympos And if you’re a diver, you can enjoy your favorite pastime in Plaka Litochorou, Platamonas or even the capital of Pieria, Katerini.

Adding to the richness of the Pieria region is the Olympus National Park and various wetlands (Agathoupoli, Nea Poroi, Kitros). Protected species in the region include the wild goat, roe deer, grey wolf and golden jackal.

Museums, wineries, and Monasteries to visit

Needless to say, the archeological museum of Dion is a must see, so too is the Museum of Geological History of Olympus. After these forays into culture, treat yourself to some good wine by visiting the region’s several wineries (Kourtis Estate in Rahi, Kitrous Estate in Kitros, Pieria Erateini Estate in Kolindros and Terzi Organic Wines in Aiginio).

Photo: Pantelis65

There are a number of notable churches and monasteries to visit, such as the Monastery of Agios Dionysios in Litochoro. Significant as well are the Church of Agia Paraksevi in Ano Milia and the Church of Agios Athanasios in Ano Skotina. It is interesting to note that in the Greek sea of orthodoxy, an island of Protestantism emerges strong in Katerini, Pieria’s capital. The sizeable Greek Evangelical Church of Katerini is a proud example of the Protestant community in the region.

Villages that blend nature, gastronomy, archeology and Byzantine wonders

It takes only 45 minutes to reach the coast from the mountain climbing base of Prionia, which opens you to a world of nature, fauna, flora, magnificent landscapes and traditional villages frozen in time. A look at some of these villages will impress: the biggest is the town of Litochoro whose old quarter boasts fascinating Macedonian architecture right beside the Enipeas river gorge, a great spot to start exploring the region.

The mountain village of Palaioi Poroi (pronounced Palyai Pori) boasts gorgeous stone houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, in an area of a lush forest and the wetland of Nea Pori not far off, besides being relatively close to the coast. Palios Pantelimonas is a bit higher and has a gorgeous sea view, in addition to being known for its architecture. Guesthouses, ‘tavernas’ and hiking routes abound here.

Photo: D.Ottilia

You must visit Palaia Skotina for its old churches and walking trails. Also great for hiking is the village of Petra which affords a gorgeous view of Mount Olympus and is home to the Byzantine church (Isodion tis Theotokou) in the old Petra monastery dating from the 11th century! Closer to the coast, archeology enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Leivithra in the middle of a plane forest that’s also perfect for hiking.

Of course the archeological site of Dion near the village by the same name is the main attraction for an impressive trip to Ancient Greece. The remains of the holy city of the Macedonians and the archeological museum will impress, while in summer the Olympus Festival brings the ancient theatre of Dion to life.

Culinary delights in the middle of nature

If you’re a nature lover, visit the village of Skoteina (also known as Morna) surrounded by oak and beech forests. Old stone houses and hiking routes will greet visitors to this village, which is also known for its delectable pork dishes. Another noteworthy village is Palaio Elatochori which is ideal for mountain climbing, with a ski center not far off.

Photo: K.Galinos

If you have extra time visit the folklore museum of Kato Milia (Lower Milia) and the forests around the traditional village of Ano Milia (Upper Milia), as well as the village of Kolindros with its typical Macedonian architecture and old churches. Lastly, on the Titaro mountain, head to the village of Agios Dimitrios for a good bite at the local tavernas which serve traditional cooked food and delicacies.

There’s a lot of good food to be enjoyed here, superb nature with verdant mountains and blue coasts, and strong sense of history that will keep you enthralled. If you avoid the more touristy beach areas in the warmer months, you’ll find yourself in a piece of paradise that epitomizes the very best of Mainland Greece.

 

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Location - Pieria & Mount Olympus

Olympic shore

A very wide, organized beach with a parallel bycicle path and walkway that are ideal for enjoying a seaside stroll, jog, skating. This popular beach gets extremely active during peak time, especially as it connects Katerini beach with the cosmopolitan Olympic shore.

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Pieria’s culinary tradition melds gastronomic traditions from the whole of Greece, with a special emphasis on foods sourced from the sea and the mountains. There is something for everyone here, as local, national and international cooking styles have by now been adopted by the cooks at the hundreds of restaurants and tavernas of the area. As expected, seaside restaurants serve a broad variety of fish and seafood while mountain restaurants serve game, roast meats, soups and pies. Many of the most beloved and popular recipes combine fresh, seasonal produce with locally sourced olive oil.

The Macedonian influence can be discovered in the way meats are cooked and cheeses produced, through traditional recipes that are based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet. Other regional culinary notes are detectable through the use of local herbs, vegetables and olive oil. The way sweets are made also gives away their origin, through the flavours and techniques used.

The foods enjoyed by locals would be no different to those enjoyed by Greeks nationwide, were it not for the techniques, ingredients and seasonings that are inspired by the unique culinary traditions of a fascinarting mix of settlers: the Vlachs, Pontians, Greeks of Asia Minor, and the Greeks from Sarakatsani. Also, ingredients such as black pork and truffles add a different dimension to some of the recipes here.

Sweet and savory pies are a staple dish of everyday life in Pieria. Made with different types of filo pastry and a broad variety of delicious fillings, the pies found here are definitely worth trying. Fillings include the classic cheese or spinach fillings, as well as sausage, minced beef, vegetables, chicken, rice, Kaseri cheese, and onion, or on the sweeter side, cream, apple or pears.

In Pieria, visitors can make the most of numerous options for eating out at differnt times of the day and year. Tavernas, ouzo and meze eateries, international style cuisine and modern Greek cuisine restaurants are all available.

A new gastronomic destination is born

There is a lot to discover about Pieria’s food scene beyond the cheesy tourism-oriented veneer of souvlaki, grilled octopus and moussaka. In recent years, initiatives by talented chefs such as Nikos Fotiadis, who is of Macedonian and Pontian origin, to found the Pierian Institute of Gastronomy have raised cuilanary standards significantly.  Fotiadis has already gathered 400 traditional recipes, some going back hundreds of years, and has made it his aim to seek out the purest of local ingredients, and already 35 hotels, restaurants and local chefs are working under the institute’s umbrella. Beyond resuccitating and celebrating local cuisine, part of this progressive initiative aims to cut out the middle man – bringing restaurant diners and hotel guests into immediate contact with the cuisine as well as the products, which they can buy directly from certified local producers, and at the same time inspiring gastronomic tourism in the area.

Visitors who would like to benefit from the opportunity to try and purchase locally sourced, pure and high quality ingredients from their certified producers now can. Local producers working under the umbrella of the Pierian Institute of Gastronomy now welcome visits and demonstrate how their products are grown or made.

One of the area’s specialty food products is the pata negra, or black pork, which was eaten in ancient Greece. The Fotiadis Farm in the Pieria countryside produces products from it, as well as wild boar sausages and Pontian kavourma, a mixture of high quality cuts compacted together in a kind of terrine.

Tel: +30 2351095702

Wild truffles and truffle oil are two other delicacies sourced and manufactured in the area. Eleftheria Tziatziou and Giorgos Kiritsipoulos, nationwide experts in truffle farming, have trained dogs and hunters in the area in sourcing this precious product.
Tel: +30 6948204879

The Pontian «chanchipel» sauce, made with pink tomatoes and fenugreek  is produced by Eleni Deligiannidou in the Pieria countryside.
Tel: +30 2351095702, +30 6988155408

It’s also worth sampling the distillate, extract, jam and vinegar made from Alorea cranberries by Konstandinos Doulias
Tel: +30 2331099407, +30 6973232683

Homemade Greek hilopites wholewheat pasta, trachana, jams, spoon sweets and yogurt made by local cooks can be found at the Pieria Mousses Women’s Cooperative
Tel: +30 2351020039

Local snails gathered by Cochlea’s Paraskevas Ioannidis

Tel: +30 6939109067

Other local food products to try or take home from Pieria are:

Kiwi fruit, strawberries, cherries, peaches, olives and olive oil, chestnuts, honey and bee products, cheeses.

... and foods made based on traditional recipes:
Spoon sweets, liquers, jams, wines, fruits in syrup, traditional handmade pasta.

Pieria Hiking Trails

Ayia Apostoli – Ayia Triada – Krevatia Refuge

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 1,020m

Path signs – yellow square with a red border

A short ramble (1-2hours) on the spine of a ridge overlooking the canyon of Papa.  At the height of 750m and beyond one enters a lovely black pine and oak forest, from which one emerges onto the plateau of Krevatia and onto the refuge of the same name, our final destination.

Refuge of Krevatia – Barbalas – Plateau of the Muses – Refuge of Apostolidi

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 1,020m

Path signs – yellow circle with a red border

This is a long and challenging hike (5-8hrs) on the ridge of Barbalas.  Going up this steep slope until the peak of Barbalas, then traversing the canyon of Papa which is smoother going until the scree slope at the end before reaching the plateau. At the mercy of the elements, this hike has stunning views of the wild beauty on the northern side of Mt. Olympus.

Krevatia refuge – Rema Canyon

Departure point 1,020m – Finishing point 830m

Path signs – blue circle with a yellow border

A fairly straightforward hike on a narrow, but picturesque path leading deep into the canyon of Papa.  This route is characterised by mixed forest with rich flora and leads to the cool waters in the canyon and the start of the path for Papa Aloni and the spring of Mastorouli.

Ayia Apostoli – Papa Canyon – Papa Aloni – Mastorouli

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 980m

Path signs – red circle with a yellow border

This is an easy but long hike (4-5hrs) on the larger bank of the Canyon of Papa. The path steepens dramatically for a short distance at the end of the canyon until it reaches Papa Aloni.  From there it leads to the ridge of Tsirknia (1,100m) and then meanders down into the neigbouring canyon, Ayia Koris to the spring of Mastorouli.

Ayios Konstantinos – Koromilia Refuge – Lianoxia – Petrostrougas Refuge

Departure point 280m – Finishing point 1,950m

Path signs –yellow square with a white border

This is the old pathway that the ancient residents of Dion used to climb the mountain. The first leg of the walk (1-2hrs) is on a ridge that leads to the refuge of Koromilia.  From there the path climbs past Lianoxia til it reaches the Refuge of Petrostrougas (roughly 3hrs).

Ayios Konstantinos  Orlias – Koromilias Refuge

Departure point 280m – Finishing point 1000m

Path signs –blue triangle with a white border

This is the path that goes through the canyon of Orlias to get to Koromilias Refuge (1-2hrs).  There are a good number of impressive waterfalls to be seen on this walk.

Ayia Apostoli – Mastorouli – Diaselo Elatos – Kleftovrisi

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 1,380m

Path signs –red circle with a white border

This is the path that leads to Mastorouli (1-2hrs).  From there (2-3hrs) it climbs to Diaselo Elatos (1,550m) and then descends to the old hangout of the bandit Yiankuolas at Kleftovrisi ‘spring of theives’.  Just before Mastorouli the path deviates a little to avoid the road.

Ayia Kori – Kopanoula – Diaselo Elatos – Petrostrouga

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 1,980m

Path signs – orange circle with a white border

This path takes one past the waterfalls of Ayia Kori to Kopanoula then onto Robolakia and Diaselo Elatos (4hrs).  From there it leads to Paliokoprisia, then turns towards Alataria and concludes at Petrostrouga (another 2hrs).

Ritini – Sarakatsana – Thoma Rachi 

Departure point 350m – Finishing point 1,020m

Path signs – red square

A short ramble (1-2hours) on the spine of a ridge overlooking the canyon of Papa.  At the height of 750m and beyond one enters a lovely black pine and oak forest, from which one emerges onto the plateau of Krevatia and onto the refuge of the same name, our final destination.

Katerinis Refuge, Ano Milia – Five Towers

Departure point 1022m – Finishing point 1,712m

Path signs – green square

This is an easy trail with a moderate slope, passing through a forest of beech trees and black pine (2-3hrs) and is approximately 4.25 miles long. From the summit of The Five Towers (1712), There are spectacular views towards Mount Olympus, Pindos, Athos and other peaks of northern Greece. The trail is well marked with signs on the length of the route.

Paliopanagia – Arvanitis

Departure point 1022m – Finishing point 1,712m

Path signs – blue square

A trail that requires detailed and complex meandering with numerous uphills and the need for continuous attention to small pathways. It is around 5 hours length.

Litochorο – Prionia

Departure point 400m – Finishing point 1,100m

This is a route of medium difficulty (5hrs) on part of the international hiking path E4. It starts in the area of Myloi (400 m) one of the entrances into the National Park from Litochoro. Passing through the stunning Enipea Canyon crossing the river seven times over lovely wooden bridges.  The trail goes past the Holy cave (Agio Spilio) where St. Dionysios lived and the monastery a little further up is well worth a visit.  Then onto the spectacular Enipea waterfalls close to the end of the hike.

Prionia – Spilios Agapitos Refuge

Departure point 1,100m – Finishing point 2,100m

The route from Prionia to Spilios Agapitos Refuge is the most popular hiking path on Mount Olympus (3hrs) and makes up a part of the E4. It is the continuation of the Litochoro – Prionia trail and is of medium difficulty (Prionia is the highest point reachable by car – 18 km from Litochoro. Most of the hike is through thick forest (the combination of pine trees with beech and fir trees lend a unique charm) and the path is in very good condition. Spilios Agapitos Refuge is located on a plateau surrounded by distinctive, aged Bosnian pine trees.

Spilios Agapitos Refuge – Skala – Mytikas

Departure point 2,100m – Finishing point 2,918m

The route is of medium difficulty (3hrs), becoming more challenging from Skala to Mytikas. From Spilios Agapitos Refuge the path becomes quite steep and after about 20 minutes follows Hondro Mesorachi ridge until it reaches the track for Zonaria on the right at 2480 m.. Continuing on the main E4 path through a bare alpine landscape to Skala peak (2866 m) the climb is quite steep. From here follow the red markings on the rocks along the route called Kakoskala (bad steps), thus named due to the natural, and rather challenging, steps which lead to Mytikas the peak of Olympus.

Spilios Agapitos Refuge – Louki – Mytikas

Departure point 2,100m – Finishing point 2,918m

This difficult route (3hrs) has some dangerous sections. It begins as the previous hike until reaching the path for Zonaria (2480m). At this point following the path to the right (which is very steep at the beginning) before following the undulations of the mountain for some time up to Louki. From Louki there is a risk of landslides so this final stretch to Mytikas requires a great deal of care. There are red arrows painted on the rocks marking the way to Mytikas.

Spilios Agapitos Refuge – Mouson Plateau

Departure point 2,100m – Finishing point 2,650m

This difficult hike (1.5hrs) ascends from Spilios Agapitos Refuge towards the peaks, where the path branches off to the right towards Mouson Plateau (Plateau of the Muses where Giosos Apostolidis & Christos Kakkalos Refuges are located).

This path nicknamed Kofto (sharp) is a short cut to Mouson Plateau. It is quite steep and the snow rarely melts on some sections so great caution is advised.

Gortsia – Petrostrouga – Mouson Plateau

Departure point 1,000m – Finishing point 2,650m

This hike is a long (6hrs 13.4km) and of medium difficulty.  It stretches along the Litochoro – Prionia track a narrow road leads off to the right which ends at a parking area. This location is called Gortsia and from here a wide path starts which leads to Mouson Plateau and the refuges Christos Kakkalos and Giosos Apostolidis. !0km of the trail mazes through stunning forest and the top 5 km is characterized by an alpine landscape with low vegetation. Makes sure to pack lots of water for the trip as no is drinkable spring water on this trail. N.B. There is a quirky point of interest a short distance into the walk, to the left at a large cement water tank for ten minutes to the cave that Vasilis Ithakisios, the great artist of Olympus, lived in for many years.

Mouson Plateau – Koryfes (Peaks)

ROUTE A (1hr)

Departure point 2,650m – Finishing point 2,918m

MOUSON PLATEAU (Giosos Apostolidis & C. Kakkalos Refuges) – LOUKI – MYTIKAS

Starting out from the refuges of Giosos Apostolidis (2700 m) and Christos Kakkalos on Mouson Plateau continue the route towards the high peaks on the path that starts at both refuges. Passing the area known as Portes on the right, continue along the path passing beneath Stefani and arriving at the saddle between the two peaks, at this point to the left and in front, is Mytikas and to the right is Stefani. Follow the red arrows painted on the rocks which lead to Mytikas after an approximate 30-40-minute hike. This part of the route through Louki is difficult and dangerous due to the risk of landslides.

ROUTE B (35mins)

Departure point 2,650m – Finishing point 2,803m

MOUSON PLATEAU (Giosos Apostolidis & C. Kakkalos Refuges) – PROFITIS ILIAS – TOUMBA

The routes from Giosos Apostolidis Refuge to the peaks of Profitis Ilias (2803 m) and Toumba (2801 m) are extremely easy. It takes only 10-15 minutes to arrive at the peaks and enjoy the unique view over Pieria Plain and Kazania respectively. It is well worth paying a visit to Profitis Ilias chapel that is located on the peak of the same name and was built in the 16th century by Saint Dionysios. It is the highest built chapel in the Balkans.

Litochoro – Golna – Kastanas Spring – Litochoro

Departure point 400m – Finishing point 400m

This is an easy trail (3-4hrs) starting on the road from Litochoro to Agios Ioannis. At the crossroads leading to Agios Ioannis on the left and Profitis Ilias on the right an uphill path begins which leads to the area of Golna. There is an impressive view of the highest mountain peaks of Olympus and also the amazing Enipea Canyon. The path continues descending in a northwest direction and after some time intersects with the E4 path between Litochoro and Prionia. Take this path east heading towards Litochoro. A great walk to introduce yourself to the area.

Prionia – Agio Spilaio – Agios Dionysios Monastery

Departure point 1,100m – Finishing point 760m

This easy route makes up the final section of route No 1 (2hrs, 6km) and essentially circles around the old monastery (Palaia Moni). After arriving at Prionia by car/taxi head down the E4 path towards Litochoro.  There is a small hut in a clearing before you arrive at Agios Dionysios Monastery. Here make a left and follow the path which leads to Enipea waterfall. Crossing the Enipea River over a wooden bridge takes you back onto the E4 on which you continue on for another 20 minutes towards Agio Spilaio where tradition has it Saint Dionysios lived as an ascetic. From here head back to Agios Dionysios Monastery. The outdoor areas of the monastery is a top spot to picnic. You can either go back to Prionia the same way and from there head to Litochoro or go directly by car/taxi to Litochoro.

Krevatia vrontous – Papa Aloni – Agia Triada

Departure point 950m – Finishing point 400m

This easy hike (4hrs, 10km) has plenty of ascents and descents and due to the low altitude is highly suitable for the winter season. The trail starts at Krevatia Vrontous Refuge on an old path that descends towards Agia Triada. It is a wonderful hike with view of magnificent Olympian peaks. After the stream, the path climbs to the right and reaches the river then continues on the opposite side and after five minutes reaches a fork. The path to the left leads down to Agia Triada and to the right leads up to Papa Aloni (1100 m) after about a 40-minute hike.  On the way back down take the left path at this fork.

Agia Triada Vrontous – Krevatia – Barbalas

Departure point 400m – Finishing point 1,841m

This hike is of medium difficulty (4hrs, 6km) and there is no drinkable water so bring plenty. Starting at the church of Agia Triada church and on to the large plateau of Krevatia (c.1hr) through a sparse forest. At 950 m there is a refuge and the path to this point is uphill, but relatively easy. After the refuge take the path along the ridge through the stunning pine forest keeping the stream of Agia Triada.  Following the red arrows this path leads to Barbalas peak. The path climbs quite steeply and is not very clearly defined but the vistas are amazing.

Agia Kori – Mastopouli – Kleftovrysi

Departure point 400m – Finishing point 1,380m

Τake a forested road on the right, four km along the road from Vrontou to Agia Kori which leads to Arapi Stream. Beginning here this medium difficulty hike, stay on the to the road for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with Agia Kori Stream on the right until the point where the road descends prior to crossing the stream. Take the right the old road ascending sharply with an arrow on the left pointing towards “nero” (water) and then a path leading to Mastorouli spring (in the summer months this spring is dry). Continue up the road to the end of the stream which then to the large but sparse Bosnian pines through a clearing and then onto the peak of Skourta (2485 m) from here the path descends finally arriving at Kleftovrysi (4-5hrs, 8km).

Xerolakki – Naoum Steam – Mouson Plateau

Departure point 1,350m – Finishing point 2,700m

Five km along the forested road between Petra and Kokkinopilos there is a road on the left, which is closed off with a bar. This hike (4-5hrs) begins in the area of Bara at Naoum Stream. Take the path which follows the stream. It is an awesome trek through wild natural beauty, affording unique views of the high Olympian peaks. After crossing the stream the trail reaches Kazania where there is an old path which passes beneath the high peaks and a newer path marked in yellow paint on the rocks which leads directly to Portes (2700 m). Take either of these paths, both of which require a good deal of care and skill but are similar in difficulty to the ascent through Louki to Mytikas. Be warned this is considered a dangerous trail and is only for experienced hikers travelling in groups.

Xerolakki – Vrysi Karaiskini – Papa Rachi – Mouson Plateau

Departure point 1,350m – Finishing point 2,650m

This is a difficult route with many sections unmarked and some difficult scree slopes to navigate. This hike (4-5hrs) begins in the area is of Bara at Naoum Stream. Take the path following the stream. After a few minutes the path opens onto a large clearing known as Patralexi. Cross the clearing heading in the direction of Papa Rachi keeping Karaiskini Stream to your right. On re-entering the forest take the marked path ending at Karaiskini spring. Follow this path to a rocky edge on the left hand side and here turn left onto a narrow very steep and almost unnoticeable path, which follows the base of this edge on the right hand side. Keeping the rocky edge to the left and Karaiskini Stream to the right for one hour until it reaches Papa Rachi. From there follow the path with red markings which will lead you to Mouson Plateau.

Ai Yannis Beach

Embraced by verdant seaside hills and very close to Makryialos, this gold sand beach is peaceful and picturesque.

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Aliki Kitrous Beach

A natural one kimoleter long harbour where sailors and fishermen leave their boats. Also neighboring an internationally well known wetland.

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Gritsa Beach

Litochori’s beach, near the archaeological site of Dion. An ideal spot for small boats.

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Kalyvia Varikou

A picturesque shallow water beach ideal for young children, with pebbles and sand, at the foot of Mount Olympus. Several organized camping sites can be found there, while if you’re looking for privacy you can head to one of the little shores to the north and south of the coast.

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Katerini beach

A lively, busy seaside venue with a long, wide sandy beach decked out with all the necessary water sports and sunbathing facilities, a marina for small boats and a wide choice of bars and clubs for nightlovers.

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Korinos Beach

A kilometers-long, seemingly endless shore that borders ancient Macedonian tombs. There are several accommodations, cafes and tavernas along the shore.

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Leptokarya beach

Located near the settlement of Old Leptokarya, in Archaia Levithra, where the legendary Orfeus’ burial ground lies. This fine pebble beach, draped in thick foliage, is a popular local hangout day and night, has many umbrellas and sun loungers, water sports facitilities as well as cafes, bars and restaurants for night owls.

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Makryialos Beach

An organized beach, with a abundant sand and the characteristic sand-hills that can be found in the area’’s coasts – great fun for rolling down of.

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Methoni Beach

The natural bay of Methoni and Nea Anthoupoli is ideal for beach goers looking for serenity and shade, as it’s lined with trees. Located by one of Europe’s most important wetlands is a sand beach with clean water.

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Neo Pori Beach

The very wide beach is Pieria’s southernmost shore, and attracts families and locals seeking a refreshing dip in clean waters. It overlooks Olympus and is near the the traditional settlement of Palio Pori and an endless, scenic wetland at the northern part of the Delta of Pineio.

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Neos Pandeleimonas

An exquisite beach with trees and lush vegetation that almost reach down to the sea, located nearby the traditional settlement of Palio Pandeleimonas and near the old castle of Platamonas. The beach has sun loungers and umbrellas as well as a few beach bars.

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Olympic shore

A very wide, organized beach with a parallel bycicle path and walkway that are ideal for enjoying a seaside stroll, jog, skating. This popular beach gets extremely active during peak time, especially as it connects Katerini beach with the cosmopolitan Olympic shore.

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Plaka, Litochori

Plaka is a long narrow beach dotted with numerous natural coves, sand, pebbles and greenery-covered rocks.

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Platamonas Beach

A busy beach with numerous shops, restaurants, accommodations and cafes as well as a marina for small boats, Platamonas is ideal for those who like to see and be seen.

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Pydna Beach

A gold sand beach with straw umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a nearby bar-restaurant. Just a stone’s throw away from the valuable Byzntine finds waiting to be explored.

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Skotinas Beach

A gold sand beach at the foot of Mt Olympus, located near the settlement of the same name. In summer, Skotinas beach is the scene for music concerts, dance performances and festivals.

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Olympic shore

A very wide, organized beach with a parallel bycicle path and walkway that are ideal for enjoying a seaside stroll, jog, skating. This popular beach gets extremely active during peak time, especially as it connects Katerini beach with the cosmopolitan Olympic shore.

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Ancient Quarry of Vria

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Geological History Museum Olympus

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Olympus National Park

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The Aigai Archaeological site

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The Aigai Archaeological site

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Ancient Quarry of Vria

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Ceramic Arts Center

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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‘Chrysa’ Art Gallery

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Fine Arts Association of Pieria

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Lazaion Tower

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The Baras Plain Tree

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The “Karapiperios School” of Byzantine Iconography

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Dion Archaeological Museum

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Folklore & Historical Museum, Kolindros

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Folklore Museum, Elatochori

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Folklore Museum of the Pontian Union, Katerini

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Geological History Museum Olympus

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Nautical Museum, Litochoro

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Kremastos Waterfall

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Aliki Kitrous

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Elos Agathoupolis

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Enipeas River

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Nei Pori

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Olympus National Park

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Orlia Waterfall

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Pieria Mountains

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Wetlands

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Ancient Quarry of Vria

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Geological History Museum Olympus

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Olympus National Park

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The Aigai Archaeological site

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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The Olympus National Park has a rich variety of insects, rare birds and various mammals. Differing habitats coexist in the park’s environment and offer refuge to many species of mammals, including major and minor carnivores, herbivores, and birds of prey. They have recorded 32 species of mammals, amongst them the well known wild goat (Rupicapra rupicapra), deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), fox (Vulpes vulpes), marten (Martes foina), squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), jackal (Canis aureus), wild cat (Felis sylvestris), and more.

Also identified here are 108 species of birds that find refuge in inaccessible forests and steep rocky slopes. Some of these species of fauna, such as the chamois, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and rare woodpeckers are endangered species, protected by international conventions. Meanwhile, in the streams and ponds we find a significant number of amphibians and reptiles as well as a huge number of butterflies for which Olympus is famous.

Photo: www.mpouzou.gr

 

Protected Species

The Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

The chamois is the most representative large mammal of the high mountains of Greece. It survives by feeding mainly on various grasses and leaves, tree branches and lichen. The ideal habitat for chamois are steep wooded slopes that end in steep peaks. Its characteristic feature for both males and females are their upright and backward-bending horns. The main threats to the chamois are poaching, habitat degradation from overgrazing, and genetic weakening of the species from the gradual shrinking of its population.

Deer (Capreolus capreolus)

The smallest species in the deer family, the deer lives at lower altitudes during winter and higher altitudes in summer, because of the quantity and quality of food it finds. Its habitat is in forests with deciduous or mixed conifer trees. The deer is the natural prey for carnivores, but the main threats this species faces comes from humans who pursue illegal hunting practices and destroy its natural habitat.

Wolf (Canis lupus)

In Greece today it is estimated that around 700 wolves live in almost all of the country’s continental terrain, north of Viotia. In these areas, wolves survive in numerous small and isolated groups, with a stronger presence in areas where there are still large mountain ranges without a strong human presence. The reduction of natural prey for wolves (deer, roe deer, wild boar) due to anthropogenic factors, means they turn to livestock for food, which exacerbates conflicts between humans and wolves. Poisoned baits are still a widely prevalent practices for killing wolves, regardless that they are strictly prohibited by law. Also, the expansion of human activity even in inaccessible and remote areas, large construction projects, the opening of extensive and uncontrolled networks of forest roads, the expansion of pastures and the reduction of forest areas, has gradually led to the degradation of their habitat, threatening their survival.

Jackal (Canis aureus)

The jackal is a medium-sized mammal that lives on a diet of plants and fruits, as well as small animals such as amphibians, fish, snails, mice, rabbits, insects, birds and sheep. The main reason for the dramatic depopulation of jackal is hunting. It is the only medium-sized mammal that has faced such a rapid decline in Greece over recent years. Fires and other human intervention have been other factors that have contributed to the decrease in its population.

 

Mount Olympus National Park, Greece

Phone: +30 23520 83000

Email: fedolymp@otenet.gr, info@olympusfd.gr

www.olympusfd.gr

Kitrous Estate

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Kourti Estate «Inovion»

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Organic Traditional Winery «Terzi Wine»

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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Pieria Eratini Estate

Macedonia & Thrace / Pieria & Mount Olympus
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