A two - day trip
We start our exciting journey with a stop in Litochoro, Pieria, where we visit the Olympus National Park Information Center, which is dedicated to the natural wealth and multifaceted uniqueness of Greece's most emblematic mountain, Olympus, inviting the visitor to a “virtual hike” from the foothills of the mountain to its highest peaks. Inside the modern exhibition space, we see impressive images, static exhibits and lightboxes, films and a three-dimensional projection to approach the multifaceted environment of Olympus by altitude zone. Upon completing our “virtual hike” to Olympus, we follow a passable path in nature, accompanied by the sounds of the river Enipeas to reach Orlias that is situated in Dion. Orlias is an easily accessible canyon, appropriate for beginners and more advanced climbers, and its deep and clean natural pools are a charm of nature. The route lasts for about 45 minutes and is within a charming and wild at the same time landscape, ridden with thick vegetation and countless birds singing. The path is well marked and preserved. We make a stop in the natural fountain and we shall dive in the cool waters in one of the natural pools of Orlias. There we dedicate time to admire the charming landscape in harmony with the rhythms of nature. At midday we shall take a rest at Palaio Panteleimon, a traditional settlement of Macedonian architecture, which offers an amazing view to the Thermaikos gulf, the castle of Platamonas and the beaches of Pieria. At the heart of the village, we come across the square with the centenarian plane trees, we walk the stone alleys, and we admire the impressive church of Agios Panteleimon and the renovated old school. We can then enjoy local food and characteristic flavors of the wider area and local wine at a traditional tavern. Finally, we can drink our Greek coffee on the ember and taste traditional handmade pastries in the picturesque coffee shops of the village, while we can visit souvenir shops, folk art shops, decorations, gifts and jewelry shops which are situated here and there in the cobbled streets of the village.
Our next day begins with a good breakfast at the guesthouse’s buffet and then we walk down to Dion, where a certified guide shall wait for us to initiate us to the knowledge and the secrets of the Archaeological Park and Museum of Dion. Dion is an ancient city of strategic importance and one of the most famous Macedonian states. The geographical location of ancient Dion is located at the eastern foothills of Olympus, where today is the homonymous town. There we have a two-hour tour and we are mentally transferred to other eras. The archaeological park is also impressive, the most beautiful in Greece, a wonderfully designed archaeological site-example with ancient sacred sites, Hellenistic and Roman theaters, ancient cobbled streets, hot baths with pools and mosaics, odeon, Roman houses, mansions and early Christian basilicas. Continuing our day, we visit a local winery, with vineyards planted in open slopes, exposed to a constant exchange of northern and sea wind. At the vineyard of the estate, we have the opportunity to participate in viticultural processes, while at the modern winery we learn about wine making and taste their special wines. Next to the vineyards, a tasty surprise shall await, as there will be local recipes on the table for us to feast upon while we admire the endless view before us. We continue our day and we visit Elatochori. According to tradition, Elatochori was called “Valley of the Palace” and was the place where, according to Greek mythology, the Pierides Muses lived, who were the patron of the arts, theater, poetry and harmony. The last years, this wonderful and blessed place is also known for something else... For the cultivation of big areas of mountain tea as well as other aromatic and therapeutic herbs. Legend says that Zeus scattered the Olympus tea with a thunder at the mountain of the Gods and the Pieria Mountains. Today, cultivated hills are extended in the beautiful slopes and the heady scent of the aromatic and pharmaceutical plant “Olympus tea” or in the botanic language “sideritis scardica”, simply makes us travel. We visit the Olympus tea and aromatic plants standardization laboratory at "Ktima Althea" to see up close the Botanical Garden of Pieria, to learn about the cultivation, harvest and standardization of Olympus mountain tea and aromatic plants. Upon our tour at this exhibition area, we shall taste the beneficial mountain tea and then, full of strength, we shall follow a route of natural beauty at the Park of the Muses, Keramida, following the Botanic path. We then collect nature materials in order to create our very own souvenir in the area of the workshop. Full of images, aromas, flavors and experiences, we return to Thessaloniki in the afternoon.