Gastronomy Enthusiasts in Olympus Pieria
Our experience will start at Thessaloniki where we will participate in a tour at the city’s local markets. We will go through "Louloudadika", the fragrant outdoor florist market and visit Kapani market, the oldest traditional market of the town, where we will enjoy local delicacies (called "mezedes") at a traditional cafe-tavern while listening to Greek music that will make us feel a part of the daily life of the locals. In the afternoon, we will rent bicycles or scooters and visit the most famous cultural monuments of the city, such as the White Tower and the Αrch of Galerius and explore the famous Thessaloniki’s coastline (called “paralia”) in an ecological way. We will admire “Umbrellas” the famous sculpture of Zogolopoulos and rest at some of the beautiful gardens located at “Paralia”. The large waterfront of Thessaloniki will provide us with refreshing images with the wave bursting on our feet and the sun setting in front of us. Then we will have free time to relax and explore the nightlife of the city.
The next morning, we will arrive in Pieria by bus or train and with a minivan we will reach the village of Agios Dimitrios, where we will stay for the following two days. There, we will stay at the farm hotel of Bellou family, who has won many awards and high ratings regarding their services and sustainable practices of their hotel and restaurant. Bellou family will welcome us with a two-hour tour around their farm that is full of wildflowers, organic cultivations and domestic animals. Then, we will enjoy a meal based on dishes with local organic products, that will be harmoniously paired with the appropriate wines of local winemakers. After this exceptional tasting experience, we will take some time to relax and, in the afternoon, we will participate in team building activities in nature, implemented by a group facilitator, in order to come closer as a team and express ourselves.
The 3rd day, we will take our breakfast based on local products and then participate in a 3-hour beekeeping workshop. We will have the opportunity to become beekeepers for a while, to dress in the necessary uniform and learn more about the wonderful life of bees and the unique way they work as a community to produce honey, the sweetest gift of nature. Afterwards, we will have some free time in order to relax and fill our energy levels. Then, we will participate in a cooking workshop based on honey at our cozy farm hotel. In the afternoon we will have free time to explore the village of Agios Dimitrios and have a meal at a traditional tavern.
The next day, we will leave Agios Dimitrios and visit Kourtis Winery, where Mr. Apostolos Kourtis will welcome us and talk to us about the Greek rare variety “Vidiano” that he cultivates. Also, we will learn more about the local varieties of Assyrtiko, Xinomavro and Agiorgitiko and will taste the estate labels based on these varieties. There, around the plane trees we will join a feast! We will enjoy a meal with traditional dishes while listening to traditional music played by local musicians calling us to dance together. In the evening, if our visit to Pieria is in the summer, we will visit one of the events of the Olympus Festival, which takes place every year for more than 50 years, in archeological sites of the area such as the ancient theatre of Dion and the Castle of Platamonas. In the period of time that these cultural events are not available, we will participate in a mental empowerment workshop instead, where we can calm down, express our thoughts and share our emotions and experiences regarding our wine experience so far. That night we will stay at “Ktima Althaia” a lovely guesthouse in Elatochori.
The morning of the 5th day, we will enjoy our breakfast with local products and drink the famous Mountain Tea of Olympus that is produced by Ktima Althaia while gazing at Olympus Mountain. Then, we will visit the field where the tea is grown, and we will visit the processing area. Our hospitable hostess Mrs. Anastasia will tell us the history of Olympus tea from antiquity until today as well as the special benefits it has for our health. Then, we will taste some traditional dishes at a local tavern at the old village of Elatochori and listen to traditional music. In the afternoon, we will have a cooking workshop at the cottage industry unit of Mrs. Georgia at Ritini village, where we will prepare ourselves a Greek traditional “pita” (pie) and traditional marmalades or fruit preserves. We will then return to our guesthouse and enjoy our last night at Elatochori.
The next day we will learn more about the local culture and history. We will travel back it time and visit the Archaeological Museum of Dion and Platamonas Castle. The Museum of Dion houses the archeological findings of the ancient Macedonian city of Dion, that was dedicated to the king of the ancient Greek gods, Zeus (Dias). The Platamonas Castle’s placement and its high and wide walls will help us understand how important it was in the fortification of the area, a few centuries ago. Then, we will check-in at our family run hotel of Ouzas family, located at Olympus Riviera. There we will have some free time to relax and enjoy the perfect view of the Aegean Sea. Those who wish can swim in the beautiful waters of the Olympic coast.
The 7th day, we will enjoy our sleep a bit more and will have some free time for ourselves in the morning. Those who wish can swim in the beautiful waters of the Olympus Riviera. We will have a Greek brunch at the restaurant of our hotel, where we can talk for a while with the hotel owner who is very proud of his endeavor to select carefully local products from all over Pieria and serve them in his dishes. In the nearby area we will visit Pantoulis winery that is located almost next to the sea. After the tour at the winery, the cellar and the traditional distillery we will relax and experience the tasting ritual in the beautifully decorated tasting area of the winery. In the evening, we will participate in a mental empowerment workshop where we can calm down, express our thoughts and share our emotions regarding our experiences during our stay at Pieria.
The next morning, we will leave from our lovely hotel on the coast and visit a local cheese factory, the “Goumas’ Farm”, where we will learn more about the local cheeses and their production steps while we will taste the special cheese produced by Mr Goumas that is called “Agonari”. Then we will travel back to Thessaloniki by bus or train. With all these aromas, colors, flavors and memories that we collected we will say goodbye till the next time we meet again.
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