MOUNTAINOUS PIERIA: TRADITIONAL VILLAGES
The traditional villages which are dotted across Mount Olympus and the Pieria Mountains are easily accessible and lie only a few kilometers from both Katerini and the coastline. They are famed for their excellent cuisine and comfortable accommodation. You will be rewarded with the exceptional natural landscape. Surrounded as they are by impressive forests, they stand out for their interesting Macedonian architecture, where stone is the main building material, and have managed to keep alive aspects of traditional life.
On Mount Olympus, and its lower slopes in particular, you can explore the old urban fabric of Pieria:
The traditional village of Palei Pori lying at an altitude of 450 m with its stone houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries is surrounded by forest and old churches. It lies close to the Nei Pori wetlands and is quite close to the beach.
The traditional village of Paleos Panteleimonas lying at an altitude of 500 m with a view to the sea and situated close to the coastline is well known for its architecture. There are guesthouses and taverns. The village is ideal for walking holidays.
The traditional village of Palea Skotina lying at an altitude of 750 m has old church, pleasant pathways leading into the picturesque countryside. It is quite close to the sea.
Petra, set in an imposing landscape with a view to both Mount Olympus and the Pieria Mountains, an important monument in the village is the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (Eisodion Theotokou) in the old Petra Monastery dating from the 11th century. One can find excellent taverns in the village. An ideal base for walking holidays.
Palea Vrondou: one can find the historical church of Agios Nikolaos here.
Palea Leptokarya lies close to the shore and the archaeological site of Livithra. Set among a centuries old plane tree forest it is the ideal starting point for excursion into the countryside.
Litochoro is a historic town with houses in the Macedonian architectural style, narrow cobbled streets and many chapels. A resort with extensive tourist infrastructure it lies just 5 km from sea. An ideal starting point for the Enipeas Gorge and mountain climbing towards the peaks of Olympus.
Dion, a significant focal point of attraction for both foreign and Greek visitors alike, each year thousands of tourists visit the Archaeological Park and Archaeological Museum to admire the finds from the sacred city of the Macedonians. During the summer Dion’s Ancient Theatre comes to life again with shows and concerts held in the context of the Olympus Festival.
The villages of Skotina (Morna), Ano and Kato Milia, Paleo Elatohori and Kolindros are all located in the Pieria Mountains.
The traditional village of Skotina (Morna) is surrounded by beech and oak forests. Visitors can admire the old stone houses, take walks or explore the surrounding area with off road 4x4 vehicles and sample the famed local pork.
Paleo Elatohori - Elatohori: Paleo Elatohori is ideal for mountain activities while in the new village one can find the organized ski centre.
Visitors to Kato Milia can take in the Folklore Collection of the Cultural Association “The Lazaeans” and the Holy Spring of St. George in Mesi Milia.
Kolindros: Built on the site of a medieval castle with typical Macedonian architecture the village is well known as the home of Alexis Zorbas. In the past it was the see of the Bishop of Kitros and has many old churches.
It is also worth one’s while visiting the picturesque villages of Ano Milia at an altitude of 1.000 m set amid a forest with the ruins of the historical Lazeon Tower and Palea Vrya, with its remarkable forest road and ancient quarry.
Moreover, Mount Titaros, which separates Olympus from the Pieria Mountains, is home to the interesting village of Agios Dimitrios with its taverns serving up local products cooked to local recipes.
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