things to do in
Explore the mythical Mt. Olympus and its diverse flora and fauna via carefully organised routes and hospitable refuges.
Get 2918,8m closer to heaven! They say that Mytikas, the highest peak of Mt. Olympus is for more skilled mountaineers but YOU CAN DO IT! With all Greece at your feet – you will literally touch the clouds! If you made it to the very top then you should not miss the night sky up there as it reveals the Milky Way and the shooting stars that travel in time take your breath away.
Also, deep inside Orlias canyon on the northeast slopes of Mount Olympus lies a magnificent 18 meter waterfall – The Red Rock! It is a small hike about an hour at a well defined path. There you can also experience a Canyoning Adventure. A truly magnificent natural surrounding with lush vegetation, steep slopes and stunning views of the gorge’s clear water. At an altitude of 550 meters above sea level, a lot of rappelling from 8 m to 23 m, water slides and many jumps into the beautiful waters of the stream.
Pieria is remarkably dotted with significant archaeological sites. The famed Dion (http://www.ancientdion.org/), the prehistoric settlement at Makrigialos, the ancient and Byzantine Pydna, the nearby Louloudies site, and the ancient Livithra are the best-known archaeological sites open to visitors.
A fun way to learn about our history and culture is via a Pirate Cruise Experience! Board a pirate ship and get the chance to be titled a pirate (even if just for a day) and if you are lucky enough you might even see dolphins. You will visit mussel dredgers where mussels are cultivated, you will observe workers collecting mussels and you will be shown how mussels are harvested, collected and packed, all of which are happening inside a boat. You will also visit the Castle of Ancient Pydna and the port of Alexander the Great, where the last battle between Greeks and Romans in 100 B.C. took place and also this is the port from where St. Paul the Apostle took a boat to leave for Athens in 51 A.D. Next you will visit the port of Alykes Kitrous where 40,000 tons of salt per year are being collected. Due to the salt and the fermentations that have occurred on the ground for many years there is an area where mud has healing properties with regards to arthritis, back pains, knee pains and much more. There you will be able to take a mud bath (no more than 30 minutes) which is definitely going to make you feel rejuvenated. Please note that the area is protected under the NATURA 2000 scheme due to the many endangered species that live in the area such as pelicans, flamingos, albatrosses, herons and many others. When you return to the boat, steamed mussels, Greek salad, beverages and wine will be served. Save some bread for the seagulls which usually surround the boat and are always ready to eat bread straight out of your hand. On the way back to Paralia Katerinis you will have an opportunity to swim in the middle of the sea for a few moments before returning to reality.
The traditional villages which are dotted across Mount Olympus and the Pieria Mountains are easily accessible and lie only a few kilometers from the coastline. They are famed for their excellent cuisine and you will be rewarded with the exceptional natural landscape. Note: You should try Greek Coffee made in “Hovoli”.
We recommend a trip to Palaios Panteleimonas, well known for its architecture. On the slopes of Mount Olympus, a preserved traditional village at an altitude of 440m with fantastic views of the Thermaikos gulf and the coast of Pieria. The village was deserted in the 1950s, but after 1980, when it was renovated, it slowly transformed into one of the major tourist resorts in the region. It is worth visiting all year round, as it always has something different to offer to its guests.
Also we recommend “An Attempt to Flee This World” experience as we call it. Paragliding with the Aegean Sea, the old Castle of Platamonas and the Mt Olympus as your view. Nothing extreme, honestly! Even a child can do it. At 620 meters above sea level a gentle and easy take off from the church of Prophet Elijah just above the village of Palaios Panteleimonas. One more item to be ticked off your bucket list!
Pieria is known for its beautiful Greek Orthodox monasteries and churches, some of them of historical and spiritual value, places of pilgrimage for the Christian believers and not only.
The Monastery of Agios Dionysios is a Greek Orthodox monastery on the slopes of Mount Olympus, the most important monastery in Pieria. It is located at the Enipeas ravine at an altitude of 850 m. It was established in 1542 but was destroyed by the Germans in 1943. A new monastery was established at a distance of some 5 km to the northeast of the old one, closer to the town of Litochoro.
St. Ephraim the Syrian Monastery is situated in Kontariotissa village, in a beautiful natural landscape, at the foot of Mt. Olympus and Pieria Mountains, surrounded by hills and olive trees. A corner of paradise in Pieria! We strongly recommend it.