Pieria. Pieria is one of the thirteen prefectures of the Greek district of Macedonia. It is located southwest of Thessaloniki and borders the prefectures of Imathia, Kozani and Larissa to the western side, and the Aegean Sea to the east. It is an area with beautiful nature including many forests, rivers, wetlands and rich flora and fauna.
Pieria is a prefecture where you can vacation for twelve months a year. This is partly credited to the gorgeous beaches of Pieria that are perfect for a summer holiday. Secondly, Mount Olympus and the Pieria Mountains are located here and are ideal for hikers and mountaineers.
To summarize briefly, the west and south of the region is mountainous and covers 60% of the total area. The northern and central part to the east is flat. Those who come in the summer on holiday, will enjoy the beautiful resorts that are on the 70 kilometer (43 mi) long coastline. The beaches of Korinos, Paralia, Olympiaki Akti (Olympian coast), Litochoro, Leptokarya, Platamonas and Neoi Poroi are famous. Most of these beaches are beautiful sandy beaches.
If you like active holidays, you've come to the right place because you can participate in various sports activities such as hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, paragliding and all kinds of water sports in a beautiful natural environment where mountains and beaches are close together.
Pieria is also very rich in history and culture. There are several archaeological sites where remains of buildings and objects are visible. Best known are Dion, the Neolithic settlement of Makrigialos, Ancient Pydna and the castle of Platamonas.
Capital of Pieria is the town of Katerini, which lies 68 kilometers (42 mi) from Thessaloniki. Katerini is located on the route Athens-Thessaloniki. About 80,000 inhabitants live in this town. In the center of the city is the very popular park of Katerini a favorite among both locals and tourists who enjoy walking it.
Litochoro Litochoro is a nice traditional village on the slopes of Mount Olympus. From here begins one of the many mountain trails leading to the summit of Olympus. Beginning from this location you can walk through the gorge of Enipeas, where the river flows. It is a glorious hike through beautiful, wild nature.
Olympus: The highest mountain in Greece, with the top, Mykitas, at 2,918 meters (9,600 ft). According to Greek mythology, this was the home of the twelve Greek Gods. This massive mountain is the second highest mountain in the Balkans and is located on the border of the prefectures of Pieria and Larissa. The top, Mykitas, is located in Pieria. It is a paradise for hikers, who can reach the top via many different paths. Every year thousands of nature lovers come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery at Olympus. Refuges are stationed at different places and heights to accommodate the hikers. It was the first mountain in Greece designated as a National Park (in 1938) and enjoys a protected status.
Pieria mountains: Northwest of Olympus are the Pieria mountains. These are mountains of exceptional beauty and geomorphological softness. Here, nature is art unlike the rough terrain of Olympus, where high peaks and deep canyons often alternate. Here everything is “kinder.” According to Greek mythology, the Nine Muses lived here. These mountains are also famous for their rich flora and fauna and the wonderful, traditional mountain villages such Skotina, Milia, Elatochori and Ryakia.
Wetlands: There are several wetlands in Pieria – the wetland of the river Aliakmon in Elos Agathoupoli, the wetland Aliki Kitrou and the wetland of Neoi Poroi.
Pieria is close to Thessaloniki, where an international airport is located and where both domestic and international flights are scheduled throughout the year. Trains from both Athens and Thessaloniki can also access Pieria.
Text: Yorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Revised by Katrina Butzer