This is the place where Greek nature makes an offering to the Olympian gods… This is the place where Great Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, bows to the sea forming one of the most interesting coastal areas of the Mediterranean.
The most impressive element of this part of Macedonia is the imposing peaks of Olympus mountain soaring west in the sky. On the other hand facing the East, the open sea reveals its immensity behind enormous pine and plane trees. The small inland town of Litohoro lies between the two. Resting in the shadow of the great Olympus seems like gazing its dreams rise from the sea horizon.
Walks in town
Litohoro nesting at the foot of Olympus next to the riverbed of Enipeas, boasts of abundant trees and spring waters. From the square of Agios Nikolaos you can admire the magnificent view to the peaks of the “Mountain of Gods” and walk down easily to the river-banks. Visit the Maritime museum (www.nmlitohorou.gr ) and walk uphill to Profitis Ilias for an exquisite bird’s-eye view. Also, you can drive to the rural area of Ai Yiannis (1000 m. altitude) hidden in a dense pine forest.
Between the coast of Plaka and Skala of Litohoro(the port), lies the wide beach of Gremnia which due to its inaccessible terrain is fairly quiet. In front of the settlement of Plaka you will find a marvellous beach-a mixture of pebbles and sand. However, the best parts of this endless coastline are located a little further to the south, towards the busy Leptokarya. The shore is organized and covered in golden sand, while at a small distance there are cafés, restaurants and hotels.
Olympus National Park
The variable climatic conditions and the sea proximity have formed through the centuries, a remarkable but complex ecosystem with many peculiarities. The vegetation is divided in four successive zones, where 1.700 different kinds of plants have been recorded. Its fauna is characterized by big mammals, such as the chamois, the roe deer and recently the brown bear. In 1938 a small part of the mountain became the first of Greece’s 10 National Parks, while in 1981 it was designated a “World’s Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO. www.olympusfd.gr
Litohoro – Prionia
From the main square of Litohoro drive to the Nea Moni Dionyssiou (newbuilt Dionissiou monastery) and continue towards Stavros site, the first climbers’ lodge (10 km). Six kilometres further up, you will come across a narrow downhill road leading to the “Palia(old) Moni Dionyssiou” (16th century) and the Enipeas riverbed. From the intersection towards monastery, the road continues for 2 more km and ends at the forest zone of Prionia, where Enipeas rises from the ground.
The ancient Dion
The archaeological site of Dion is located near Litohoro. It is one of the most significant and more interesting archaeological sites of Greece. In Dion village pay a visit to the archaeological museum where you can admire its most impressive exhibit, “hydraulis”, one of the few well preserved musical instruments of antiquity (archaeological site +30 23510 53206).
Hiking on Olympus
The hiking route connecting Litohoro – Palia Moni Dionyssiou – Prionia, through Enipeas’ gorge is suitable for everyone (clearly marked trail). Climbing mount Olympus is generally not a techincal hike. Trails going up to the main peaks and climbers’ lodges, begin from “Prionia” location. (info www.olympus-climbing.gr & www.olympicwings.gr)
Organised every summer, it hosts important national and international artists. Further information: www.festivalolympou.gr
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Copyright photo: Theo Athanasiadis / Views Of Greece
Copyright text: Germaine Alexakis/ Views Of Greece
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