The region of Pieria is where you have the best of worlds, high mountains and beautiful beaches. Mt. Olympus, the mountain of the Gods dominates the region. The region has many forests and is a haven for wildlife.
Katerini is the capital of the prefecture lies between the plains Pieria and Mt. Olympus. Katerini is a modern town and there are some good beaches nearby at Methoni, Olympaki Akti, Makriyalos and Platamonas.
Towns and Villages
Dion: this ancient city on the foothills of Mt. Olympus, it was the sacred sit of the Macedonians. This extensive site had its heyday after the 5 th century BC; thousands came to the city for festivities and games, which were in honour of the Gods. The city had everything from shops, public buildings and houses for the visitors. They worshipped many Gods and Goddess’s here. Alexander the Great made his sacrifices here before going out to battle.
Interesting artefacts from the site have been unearthed, perhaps the best are the statues of the Goddess Isis, and copies stand on the site of the originals that are in the sites museum. Excavations have revealed a theatre, sanctuaries and buildings from the early Iron Age to the Byzantine period. During the month of August, plays take place in the renovated theatre. The museum on the site contains many artefacts uncovered from the site.
Litohoro: this village is the starting point for those wishing to ascend Mt. Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain at 2,917m, (unlike the Gods, you have to walk up). This village in the 1920,s due to the clean air was a sanatorium for those suffering from tuberculosis. In the summer months, it gets busy due to the tourists who wish to relax in the scenic surroundings.
There are many trails to the top of Mt. Olympus, no special equipment is required or mountaineering experience, you have to be reasonable fit and good clothing and boots are essential. It will take two days to walk to the top, this means staying a night in a refuge. Before you go, it is wise to talk to the local tourist office, which will help you with any questions you may have about the tour. Sad to say but you will not be the first mortals to ascend Mt. Olympus, a local and 2 Swiss climbers did this in 1913.
Agios Dimitrios: this small village built on a plateau, offers views over the district.
Leptokaria: is 23km from Katerini, and has a wonderful sandy beach that is popular with tourists and locals alike.
Other resorts popular with visitors are, Methoni, Agathoupoli, Agios Panteleimonas with its Venetian castle and Platamonas with a wonderful beach.
Skiing: The Olympos Ski Centre near the village of Olympiada has facilities to make your skiing holiday pleasurable
Mountain climbing: Olympus refuge at Stavros 1 ½ hours work from Litohoro offers showers, beds and kitchens. On the border with the prefecture of Thessaly are more mountain refuges, Spilios Agapitos, Vrissipoules and Hristos Kakalos all having showers, beds and heating.
Rail: regular services run from Athens to Katerini.
Bus: regular services run from Athens and Thessaloniki to Katerini.