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Pieria Holidays

Pieria holidays

Pieria is a region of Macedonia in northwest Greece that starts 47 kms to the south of Thessaloniki. This is not a well known area, other than to those intending to climb Mount Olympus (2918m), but there is much to see and do to suit all interests.

Pieria, Greece

Holidays In Pieria

The region is characterised by extensive plains, high mountains and Blue Flag sandy beaches. In fact, Pieria boasts a 60km coastline along the Thermaikos Gulf - almost one continuous beach. Some stretches are sandy, others a mix of sand and shingle. The waters are crystal clear, and one is never far from the nearest café/bar or fish taverna - there are numerous small fishing harbours dotted along the coast. Local cuisine makes particular use of sea food. In the mountains you will find game, roast meat and traditional pies. Olive oil and locally grown vegetables are, of course, widely used, as are herbs such as oregano, mint and basil.

There are some excellent small wineries. This is still very much an agricultural region, with ancient mountain villages scattered in the foothills of Mount Olympus, such as 17th century Palei Pori, picturesque medieval Paleos Panteleimonas - which can be combined with a visit to the Venetian fortress of  Platamonas - and many others.

One of the most famous archaeological sites in Greece, somehow unknown to the average visitor, is to be found at Dion, the city of Zeus and a centre of Macedonian culture. Other notable sites are the prehistoric settlement at Makrigialos, Byzantine Pydna (Kitros) and the fortified post-Byzantine settlement of Louloudies. All these sites are in close proximity, with Dion only 12 km (20 mins drive) from Litochoro.

Immersed within Mediterranean maquis in the foothills of Mount Olympus, an hour's drive south from Thessaloniki, Litochoro is the gateway to Mount Olympus and very much a mountain summer retreat. It is set above the bubbling Enipeas River with cafes and tavernas adorning its banks.

Litochoro is a large village, verging on a small town, and a favourite mountain resort for the Greeks. It has very much the feel of an alpine settlement, yet is only a 15 minute drive from the beaches. This is an ideal base from which to walk on Mount Olympus as the climbing routes begin from here.

The village is characterised by its red roofed houses, especially within the old historic centre. It's a friendly, welcoming place with several squares, many cafes and restaurants, two churches and shopping facilities. The restaurants are good, portions enormous and excellent value. In fact the Gastrodromio Restaurant is considered to be one of the best in northern Greece and the truffle-laced mushroom risotto exceptional.

The beaches of Plaka lie below Litochoro with a bus running from June to mid-September at a cost of €2 each way for the 15 minute ride. The beaches are long, part- sand part-pebble, and the water crystal clear. Many fish tavernas can be found on the sea front.

Car hire is particularly recommended and substantial transfer cost savings of up to £400 can be made if you take it from the airport. The rock monasteries at Meteora are 154 km away (2 hours); the fabulous site of Dion is but 14 km (20 mins); Veria with its Byzantine Museum 96 km (1 hour): the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vergina with the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great 95 km (1 hour); the Venetian castle of  Platamonas 18 km (20 mins); and the traditional village of Old Panteleimon a 40 minute drive.

Daily flights from Gatwick to Thessaloniki - flights from other regional airports available e.g. MAN, EMA, LTN. Transfer by taxi 90 mins. Please note that it is generally more economic to have a car from the airport for the duration.

There are many. Of course some nights in Thessaloniki can be booked at the beginning or end of your holiday. Litochoro can also combine easily with Halkidiki and the island of Ammouliani. With a car you could also take in the city of Kavala in north Greece, or go south to explore the beautiful area of Pelion.

Highly recommended. If you hire from the airport (an easy 90 minute motorway drive) the transfer cost saving is c £400!

We have a local agent based in Thessaloniki who can always be contacted but no representative in Litochoro. However English is spoken at all outr hotels, who are always happy to give local information and assistance.

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