Every part of Greece has something distinctive to offer and the region of Olympus is of no exception. Olympus is bursting at the seams with thrilling hiking trails, mesmerizing historic settlements and ancient sites that stand the test of time. To get familiar with the regional splendors, you’ll have to discover the mountainous and seaside towns and villages of Olympus. Below we’ve compiled the best must-see towns and villages of Olympus that offer the perfect insight into the legendary land of the gods. We have compiled the best must-see towns and villages of Olympus that offer the perfect insight into the legendary land of the gods.
Getting a Day Trip by Train from Athens to Olympus
Located at the foothills of the mountain, Litochoro offers quick access to many hiking trails of Mt. Olympus. However, there’s more to this Greek village than being a means of entry into the mountain’s veins. This historic town is decked in wooden-balconied houses built with the classic Macedonian architecture and small alleys all leading into the village’s center. Dating back to the 14th century, Litochoro is rich both in history and in charm. The pine-covered park found at the entrance of the town offers a glimpse into the imposing backdrop of Olympus. The village of Litochoro is equipped with several eateries to choose from, a Maritime Museum, a Sports & Cultural Center, as well as an Olympus National Park Information Center.
A mix between traditional and contemporary flair, Platamon offers visitors a warm and welcoming atmosphere right along the coastlines of Pieria. Due to its closeness to nearby cities such as Thessaloniki, Katerini and Larissa, Platamon has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for both Greek and foreign tourists. Wide-ranging restaurants, laidback cafes and the dazzling waters of Platamon surely do not disappoint. Within reach of this seaside town, one can visit the Castle of Platamon, a striking and massive fortress overlooking the passageway connecting Macedonia with Thessaly. Other local sights worth visiting in the area include the ancient city of Dion, Old Panteleimon and Litochoro.
Located along the shores of Pieria, Neoi Poroi is a family-friendly vacation spot of Olympus. Thanks to its calm and shallow waters, Neoi Poroi is an excellent seaside destination for swimmers of all ages. The town is well equipped with local taverns and restaurants, cafes, bakeries and even a weekly farmers’ market. It has a long esplanade for easy strolling in addition to many options for seaside joys such as volleyball, water sports or scuba. Not too far from Neoi Poroi is the historic settlement of Palioi Poroi, as well as the traditional village of Old Panteleimon; both villages can be reached via car or by following the local hiking trails.
The capital of Pieria, and just second largest city in Central Macedonia, Katerini, is a lively and welcoming city where local hospitality and urbane lifestyle meet. Two close waterfront villages by Katerini that are favored amongst locals and tourists are Olympiaki Akti and Paralia. Apart from its close proximity to shimmering blue waters, Katerini is also home to a small oasis, the Katerini Municipal Park, found right within the city center, where one can visit a small zoo or wander through the pathways of the park. Katerini offers the modern traveller all the necessary amenities, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and shops, while being in the vicinity of Mount Olympus.
Old Panteleimon Village
Old Panteleimon holds a well-earned reputation as one of the most picturesque villages of northern Greece. This once abandoned settlement is not only a national heritage site, but also attracts visitors from Greece and abroad all year-round. With stone-built mansions, narrow alleyways and inviting little inns and taverns, there’s a fairytale-like atmosphere that will entice you to come back again and again. In the center of the town there’s a celebrated towering sycamore tree where locals gather for holidays, festivals or other social events. Enjoy meandering the streets of Old Panteleimon at your own convenience, as cars are forbidden to enter the premises of the town.