Things to do & see in Pieria Greece

Beautiful nature under Olympus mountain
Beautiful nature under Olympus mountain

Pieria is a beautiful area located in central Macedonia in Northern Greece. I have passed through the area a few times in the passed as I was visiting the city of Thessaloniki but never actually explored it. Last weekend the chamber of Pieria organized a trip for bloggers and journalists in order to show the world the beauties of the region. I was very happy to attend with my fellow bloggers from Travel Bloggers Greece.

Pierrian Mountains
Pierrian Mountains – photo courtesy Chamber of Pieria

Things to do and see in the region of Pieria

Visit the archaeological park of Dion and the archaeological museum

The archaeological park of Dion is located at the foot of mountain Olympus, the home of Olympian Gods. The excavations at the archaeological park brought to light an ancient city with fortified walls. Today the visitor can see the remains of public buildings, houses and shops. One of the most important findings is the Dionysus Villa which contained a large Dionysus Mosaic that can be seen at the museum.  Outside the walls the excavation unearthed the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus , the sanctuary of Isis and the sanctuary of Demeter among others. Other important findings include a Roman Theater.

The archaeological site of Dion
The archaeological site of Dion
Beautiful nature under Olympus mountain
Beautiful nature under Olympus mountain

Near the archaeological park is the archaeological museum of Dion that houses important findings from the excavations like the statue of Isis, the large Dionysus Mosaic and an ancient hydraulic organ.

the ground floor of the Dion archaeological museum
the ground floor of the Dion archaeological museum
Mosaic floor from the Villa of Dionysos depicting Medusa's head
Mosaic floor from the Villa of Dionysos depicting Medusa’s head

Apart from the archaeological Park of Dion other important sites in Pieria include the Neolithic settlement of Makrigialos, Ancient Pydna and the castle of Platamonas.

Members of Travel Bloggers Greece enjoying nature
Members of Travel Bloggers Greece enjoying nature

Explore the many wineries of the area

I am a fan of wine and especially Greek wine that I find exceptional. I must confess that I haven’t heard of the wines of Pieria before but during my stay there not only did I visit the family run winery of Kourtis but also had the chance to taste a lot of different local wines during the meals. So if you are in the area a visit to a winery and a wine tasting is a must.

Mr-Kourtis is telling us about his wines
Mr-Kourtis is telling us about his wines

Skiing in winter and swimming in the summer

The coast line of Pieria stretches for 70 km and includes a wide range of organized beaches, some with white sand and some with pebbles, perfect for every taste. There are a lot of beach resorts, hotels and rooms to rent along with tavernas, restaurants and cafes to cater your needs.  A lot of beaches in Pieria have been also awarded with a blue flag. Moreover the area is perfect for family holidays. Some of the most popular beaches are the beach of Katerini, the Olympic beach, Litochori beach, Leptokaria beach, Panteleimonas beach, Platamonas beach and Korinos beach to name a few. During the winter months the ski center of Elatohori operates in the area.

Olympus mountain
Olympus mountain – photo courtesy  Chamber of Pieria

 

The beach of Katerini with Olympus mountain at the back
The beach of Katerini with Olympus mountain at the back

Hiking the Olympus mountain and the Pierian mountains

Mountain Olympos is the highest mountain in Greece. What makes it very unique is its close proximity to the sea. There are many routes around the mountain perfect for hiking and many hospitable refuges to spend the night. The terrain varies from thick forests, deep gorges and rocky peaks. The visitor can see a wide range of flora and fauna along with beautiful landscapes, streams and waterfalls. Another beautiful location in the region great for hikers and nature lovers are the Pierian mountains. Covered with forests, the visitor can hike the numerous paths and visit the traditional villages.

Pierrian Mountains
Pierrian Mountains – photo courtesy Chamber of Pieria
Faraggi Enipea
Faraggi Enipea – photo courtesy Chamber of Pieria

Explore the traditional villages of Pieria

During my stay in Pieria I had the chance to visit some beautiful villages in the area and I highly advice you to do the same. One of my favorites was the village of Litochoro with its traditional Macedonian architecture located at the foothills of mount Olympus. There I visited the maritime museum of Litochoro and learned about the areas rich maritime tradition.

A lot of hiking trails start from there. Palios Panteleimonas is another charming village worth visiting. It was actually an abandoned village that was recently restored. It enjoys incredible views over the Thermaikos Gulf and the castle of Platamonas. It has wooden beamed houses, small little alleyways that you want to get lost into, little shops selling local products and a beautiful square with a wonderful church and many restaurants and cafes. Other traditional villages in the region are Elatochori, Palaioi Poroi and Palaia Skotina among others.

the picturesque village of Palios Panteleimonas
the picturesque village of Palios Panteleimonas
me at the square of Paleos Panteleimonas
me at the square of Paleos Panteleimonas

Visit the local monasteries

Visitors that are interested in religious monuments and pilgrimage places, will find some remarkable ones in the area. I recommend visiting the new monastery of Agios Dionysios located in Skala. This new monastery was moved to its current location after the Germans destroyed the old one in 1943. On site there is an Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum where one can admire the artifacts that survived the destruction. During the summer months the monastery has services in Russian as well. The church of Koimiseos Theotokou in the central square of Palaia Skotina village is worth visiting. The church has an impressive wooden roof that dates back from 1862 and was built at the site of an older church.

Agios Dionysus monastery
Agios Dionysus monastery
at the monastery of Agios Dionysus
at the monastery of Agios Dionysus

After spending 3 days in Pieria I came to the conclusion that is a blessed area. It has mile long sandy beaches, beautiful mountains and nature perfect for hiking and skiing in the winter, many archaeological sites and museums worth seeing, incredible food and nice local wines and lastly very hospitable people. The Olympian gods didn’t choose to stay here by chance right?

Have you ever been to Pieria?

24 Comments

  • Olympus is an amazing place. I have climbed it (up to near the top due to not having the proper equipment for the last 250 meters) a few years ago and it was near Easter. It is quite a thing to go up (especially with snow) but the nature leaves you speechless at every turn. Not without a reason is called the mountain of Gods.

    • Well done Chris! I would love to climb Olympus as well. I don’t know if I can make it to the top but just a part would be lovely. Nature is breathtaking!

  • I have spend two weeks in Greece last summer but it was definitely not enough to explore all those beautiful places! Have to go back and maybe Pieria will be on the list then as well 🙂 It looks like a great place, and I really love places where you have both the sea and the mountains.

    • Greece has so many beautiful places that you need months to explore it. I have a soft spot for places that combine the mountain and sea as well.

  • I haven’t been to Greece of Pieria but this definitely looks like an interesting place to visit! Greece is place I would really love to visit due to its historical importance.

    Cheers!

  • I must admit, I’ve never heard of Pieria but it looks gorgeous! Maybe somewhere to think about going in the future…

  • I had never heard of this region before, so thank you for showing it’s beauty! Who would have thought you could go skiing in Greece! My image of Greece is one of beaches and Greek Temples so again, thank you for introducing this new part of Greece to me:-)

  • Chrissy, you have truly opened my eyes to a part of Greece I never knew about. Of course, I knew about Mount Olympus, but I did not know about the forests and waterfalls in this region of Macedonia. The scenic beauty coupled with the monasteries and archaeological discoveries makes this a huge draw for travelers like me.

  • The mosaic is pretty incredible. I love to see archeological sights like that. I also LOVE wine, and touring wineries, so that would definitely be on my itinerary.

  • Piera looks so amazing. Love that you made a guide that would help travelers like me experience the place much like a local.

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