Nature Lovers in Olympus Pieria
Our journey will start in Thessaloniki, a city of rich history and culture, of slow living and delicious food. We will participate in a three-hour tour of almost 4 km that includes stops at the main historical and cultural monuments of the town such as the White Tower, the Roman Agora, the Navarino square with Kamara and Rotonda, that are in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the same time, we will pick up and taste some famous local snacks and sweets that are the city’s food trademarks. In the afternoon, we will take the local bus and head to Ano Poli, the upper suburbs of the city, where we can enjoy the view of the city and Thermaikos gulf from above. There, we will have plenty of time to explore the Tsinari neighborhood, the authentical traditional region with the narrow cobbled streets and the taverns which are called ouzeri where you can enjoy Greek ouzo and quality local products and dishes.
The next morning, we will depart for Katerini (Pieria) by bus or train. There, a minibus will pick us up and we will head to the traditional village of Paleos Panteleimon, where we will stay in a lovely guesthouse surrounded by nature, the Feggaropetra Inn. Then, we will have a two-hour tour around the cobbled alleys of the traditional village and enjoy our lunch at a restaurant which serves local dishes. In the afternoon, we will participate in a mental empowerment workshop in which we will have the chance to express ourselves, to communicate and bond with our travel mates.
The next morning, we will visit “Olympus National Park Information Centre” in Litochoro, where we will have a two-hour guided tour in order to understand more about the multi-faceted Olympus environment at its different altitude zones. Since being at the foothills of Olympus in Litochoro, we will observe our surroundings and capture with our cameras the flowers and the birds that we can distinguish at this altitude. Then, we will have some free time for lunch, for swimming and kayaking, exercising our collaboration skills, at the wonderful beach of Plaka Litochorou. In the afternoon, we will return at our guesthouse in Paleos Panteleimon.
The next day, we will have a walk into the lively vegetation that surrounds the village of Paleos Panteleimon following the trail that leads to Tranos Lakkos, a beautiful natural gem that only locals know about. In the afternoon, we will participate in an easy yoga session implemented by our guesthouse’s owner. We will, then, have the chance to taste the famous and beneficial tea of Mountain Olympus while gazing at the endless blue of the Aegean Sea.
On the 5th day, we will hike Olympus Mountain and reach Orlias, its famous lagoon, for a dive at the pedestal’s crystal-clear waters. There we will have a snack and take some time for introspection. Then, we will head to our bike-friendly hotel located at the Olympus Riviera (called “Olympiaki Akti”). We will have some free time for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon we will go bicycling by the famous coastline of Olympus Riviera. While bicycling, on the one hand, we will be able to gaze at the fishing boats floating on the endless blue of the sea and on the other hand we will be surrounded by the mythical mountain of Olympus.
The next morning, we will enjoy our homemade Greek breakfast at the restaurant of the hotel, whose owner selects carefully local products from Pieria and cooks with Greek extra virgin olive oil. Full of energy, we will swim at the crystal-clear waters of the wonderful beach at Olympus Riviera and kayak per two, exercising our collaboration skills. Then we will enjoy local cuisine at a traditional tavern by the sea and after that we will take the bus or train that departs for Thessaloniki. In Thessaloniki we will rent two-seater or four-seater bikes (the number depends on the number of participants) 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.
The last day, we will participate in a tour in Thessaloniki’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 makes us all become one big company. 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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