The treasures of the land of Pieria
Favorite travel destination for Greeks and foreigners, Pieria reveals its highland & marine magic.
With mythical mountains, archeological sites, traditional settlements and wetlands combined with blue shores in a coastline of 80 km, the land of Pieria is great travel destination throughout the year.
Starting from Katerini, the tour of Pieria begins in the noisy streets of the county’s lively capital. A small town built in the flatland between Pieria mountains and Olympus, with both an urban and countryside essence, it offers a variety of options: intense nightlife with countless bars, the Municipal Grove, a green site in the city center as a meeting point for locals & visitors, and popular organized beaches with crystal clear waters for endless games in the sand.
Diving in the shadow of Olympus
With easy access without unwanted adventures, the beaches of Pieria have something for everyone: from family-vacation-shelters and excursions for nature lovers, to organized beaches with loud vibes and a variety of activities, as well as beaches for nudists.
The central coastline is suitable for fun and dives in the shadow of Olympus, while the famous Beach of Katerini and the Olympic Coast capture the interest of visitors with their countless beach bars and cosmopolitan tunes. At the end of the Olympic Coast, in a distance of about 8 km from Katerini, a nudist beach can be found, while a little further north, the beaches of Korinos are also a popular choice, offering the opportunity of visiting two important Macedonian tombs brought to light by the archeologists.
On the north side of Pieria, one can meet the hidden coastal nature of the county, with Aliakmonas meeting the Aegean, its estuary forming an impressive wetland, Blue Flags waving over the ancient remains and the little, picturesque ports smelling of fresh fish. As for the southern coastal area, a number of picturesque settlements and historical monuments end up in crystal clear waters, on the slopes of the mountain of Gods.
Journey into history
With intense archaeological and historical interest, the county accumulates a wealth of sights, extending from the Neolithic settlement of Makrigialos, Ancient Pydna and Ancient Dion to the Castle of Platamonas, while a number of monasteries and churches bear testament to its centuries of history.
In Dion, the Macedonian sanctuary for the worship of Zeus, operates the most beautiful archeological park in Greece, a wonderfully designed archeological site with ancient sanctuaries, Hellenistic and Roman theaters, ancient cobblestones, warm springs, pools of mosaic, a conservatory, Roman villas and early Christian basilicas. In the sanctuary of Isis you will admire the greatness of ancient Greece, while nearby rests the sanctuary of Demetra, one of the oldest sanctuaries excavated in Macedonia.
The imposing castle of Platamonas, a castle-town of the 10th century, with high walls and a well-preserved tower, overlooks every corner of the vast beach of Pieria. The excavation has brought to light findings of the Hellenistic period (4th century BC), but its most impressive aspects are the Byzantine temples and the traces of the city from the 10th century onward. In the area of the castle, the church of Agia Paraskevi, which had been turned into a mosque during the Turkish occupation, the sole remaining preserved from the 5 that existed there.
In the alleys of Old Panteleimon, the restored traditional settlement on the slopes of Kato Olympus overlooks Thermaikos and the coasts of South Pieria under the chestnuts, beeches and courgettes, displaying an exemplary view of Macedonian architecture, in a beautiful residential complex with restored mansions, picturesque paths and the central paved square with old plane trees and traditional taverns. Just 6 km away, Neos Panteleimonas, its coastal sibling, offers a great alternative for accommodation.
During the summer, it is worth catching some of the Olympus Festival’s events, at the Ancient Theater of Dion or the Castle of Platamon.
From Litochoro to Elatochori
The starting point for the most important attractions of Olympus and the National Park is Litochoro, a predominantly tourist resort and an ideal case for combined mountain & seaside holidays. The picturesque town conceals many surprises, such as the old settlement with the intensely traditional color and the naval museum founded by the Naval Union of Litochoro, while the area Myli marks the start of Enipeas gorge and follows the E4 path to Prionia with an altitude of 1,100 meters, crossing a beautiful, dense forest next to the riverbed.
With an altitude of 850m, Elatochori is one of the most popular mountain destinations, easily accessible from any point of Northern, Southern and Central Greece. The village, which consists of two settlements - the traditional one, Palio Elatochori, which was destroyed by the Germans in 1944, and the contemporary one- is very picturesque, with a small square, many taverns, wonderful views, and a small folklore museum that houses samples of the inhabitants’ history and daily life. In the old settlement, the church of Agios Nikolaos stands out.
Katerini is connected with Athens by train, with daily regular services and a journey duration of about 4.5 hours. From Thessaloniki to Katerini, the train’s journey lasts from 43’ to 55', depending on the route. Find out about promotions and discounts on initial prices by booking your ticket in time.
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