The municipality of Pieria is probably one the most beautiful and contradictory places in northern Greece while combining both beautiful beaches and the unique Mount Olympus in the same area. Here are some places you can check nearby while visiting our area:
The capital town of the Prefecture of Pieria is Katerini. It is situated in the center of the prefecture flanked by Olympus, Pieria and the coast of The Thermaikos Bay. It is 440 Km from Athens and 70 Km from Thessaloniki via the National Highway E75 Athens –Thessaloniki. After a long period of constant agricultural development, Katerini has become, nowadays, one of the most powerful commercial, economical and administrative centers of the country. The town offers an extensive market with a substantial increase in activity during the summer, where the visitor is able to choose from a rich variety of clothing, footwear, sports items, jewelry etc. The center of the town, with its pedestrian pavements, the impressive Municipal Park, the Metropolitan Temple, the Church of Agia Ekaterini, the Pondian Museum, the shopping center on the central pedestrian sidewalk and the few notable old buildings also attract the visitors’ interest.
Archaeological Area and the Museum of Dion
On the slopes of Olympus, only 5km from the beaches of Pieria, Ancient Dion, the Holy City of Macedonia was found under a covering of undergrowth and water. This city had been a thriving center of civilization from the time of its foundation for a period of 1,000 years from the 5th c, BC to the 5th c, AD.
We learn from Ancient Greek writers that the Macedonians regularly gathered in Dion to worship the Gods of Olympus, and to make sacrificial offerings, as can be seen from the objects found on the site. It was here that King Archelaos organized athletic competitions and theatrical events, and Philip the Second celebrated his victories at Dion, as did Alexander. It was here that Alexander gathered together his troops to prepare for his journeys of conquest, worshipping Zeus, King of the Gods of Olympus. In the temple of the Gods of Olympus was a magnificent bronze statue created Lissippos, which depicted the 25 horsemen who died at the Battle of Granikos.
Mt. Olympus & Litohoro
Mount Olympus is famous throughout the world for its history, its cultural significance and its ecological treasures as well as its place in mythology. An entire Greek ecosystem is contained within its graded heights. It is the highest mountain in Greece, rising to 2,918 meters, with a lengthy Alpine belt above 2,500 m. and more than 10 peaks exceeding 2650 m. The highest peaks are Mytikas (2,918 m.) followed by Skolio (2911 m.) and Stephani (2909 mIn 1938 Olympus was declared a “National Forest” and in 1981 its worldwide importance was declared an “International Area of outstanding environmental significance to the biosphere”. Each year the mountain attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Olympus was the first mountain in Greece to be afforded protection under the legislation, which awarded it the status of a “National Park”, this being ratified in 1985 under new regulations concerning places of outstanding natural beauty. In 1981, under the auspices of The International Committee for Mankind and the Biosphere, the National park was recognized as an “area of international importance for the environment of mankind”. Olympus is held up worldwide as an example of a protected ecosystem. It is dedicated to the protection of the natural habitat of this vast resource of plant and animal wildlife, and is available for scientific research in the worldwide service of mankind Their guide, Christos Kakalos from Litochoro, became the first official guide to the mountain. Many visitors have climbed to the peak since this time, and more than 25,000 mountaineers from all over the world conquer the summit each year.
An exceptionally attractive old village with wooden beamed houses whose overhanging upper rooms and balconies mark out its singular character. Situated at a height of 700 m. on the slopes of Lower Olympus, it affords unique views towards the Thermaic Gulf and beaches of South Pieria. In the central paved square, there is a venerable plane tree, the old church of St. Panteleimonas, the old school house which has been restored and some very good traditional restaurants serving tasty food and refreshing drinks. A short distance from the village there is an environmental school, the only one in the area. The narrow pavements wind around the village, allowing you to see the stone houses and picturesque buildings, where you can find local products and folk art. The road climbing to the village winds its way past rich forests with chestnut, beech and arbutus trees in abundance as well as the rich flora and fauna of Lower Olympus.
The city of Thessaloniki, capital of prefecture and the second largest city of Greece, took her name from the sister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki that was the spouse of Cassander. The cultural life of the city is independent in contrast with Athens and interwoven with the local delivery. The Aristotle University which is the bigger in the country, the theatres, the educative associations, the cinematographic club and many other, constitute certain the actual intellectual movement of the city. A special yearly fair is the Thessaloniki International Fair (or T.I.F. Helexpo) the biggest commercial fair in Greece with Greek and international attendance. Worth a visit: the White Tower, signal-seal for the city, the wall of antiquity, the exultant arch of Galerius (Kamara), the temples, Agios Dimitrios, Agios Minas, Agia Sofia. It deserves also to visit the historical district Ladadika, the only district that rescued by the big fire 1917 near the harbor that after reformations and configurations of buildings has been changed in a place of entertainment and amusement with many bars, pubs, and restaurants. There are a lot of museums in order to visit the archaeological, the ancient Greek, the museum of Byzantine culture, the center of the history of Thessaloniki, with historical documents, maps, the museum of cinema, modern art and many other with very interesting exhibits from all the Macedonian world.
The capital Aigai the same as the current Vergina which revealed unplundered Macedonian royal tombs, the most important tomb of Philip II. Inside the golden urn found valuable utensils and weapons that are exposed to the museum formed inside the Great Tumulus. In the same area, the Acropolis, the Palace with magnificent mosaic floors, the temple of the goddess Eukleia and the ancient theater have been discovered.
Meteora is an area in Thessaly (Central Greece) and Kalampaka is the city under the rock towers of Meteora. The thing that makes Meteora so special is the monasteries on the top of the rock towers. The monasteries, the number of peaks to climb and the paths for hiking bring in Meteora many tourists during the year.
Meteora Rocks in Kalampaka, Greece
Historians and geologists started to be interested in the creation of these rocks (Meteora) about 1000 years ago, expressing several theories.
The prevailing theory about Meteora creation is one of a German geologist, Philipson, who came to Greece in the late 19th century. According to his theory, a large river had his estuary in this area which for millions of years was covered by a narrow and deep part of the sea. The river waters place matter, stones and generally several materials that were transferred by its waters at the estuary from northern parts of primordial central Europe. From the accumulation of these materials, deltaic cones were formed.