Pieria prefecture – Katerini
The prefecture of Pieria combines uniquely the endless light blue beaches, the beautiful mountains, the myths and the history.
Capital of the prefecture is the city of Katerini built in the rich plain that begins from the foot of mount Olympus and reaches the sea.
Katerini, according to historical sources existed from prehistoric times. According to a version, it was the ancient Atira, which with Pydna, Dion and Methoni were the most important cities in the region around Olympus. The current version is that the city owes its name to its protector Saint, Ekaterini of Sinai, and it is truth that the city is reported by this name in many documents after 1710. During that time settlers from the peninsula of Sinai came to live in the area and build the homonym church in honor of Saint Ekaterini.
Katerini today has developed in to a modern city with rich economic and social activity, intense intellectual and cultural life and all the characteristics of a European city.
Nature – Environment
Mount Olympus, well-known as the residence of gods of mythology has the taller peak of Greece, Mytikas (2.917m.), and dominates imposingly all the region.
Olympus, declared a National Forest, has exquisite flora and fauna and is ideal for mountain climbing and walks and has organized routes and shelters. The landscape is unique with forests, natural beauties, waters that go down and shape small lakes. Starting line for the climbers is the town Litochoro at the slope of Olympus.
Pieria. The green all around Pieria mountain with the traditional settlements and routes that are included in the European Mountainous Paths are ideal for alternative tourism.
In Elatochori during the winter months you will enjoy ski at the ski centre.
In Palaios Panteleimonas you must visit the traditional settlement at the slopes of Olympus on 700 meters altitude with view to Thermaikos gulf.
The gorge of river Enipeas near Litochoro. There the waters coming down from Olympus shape small beautiful lakes.
The forest of Palaia Leptokaria
The traditional settlement of Morna
The water biotopes with more important the water biotope of Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas – Alikis Kitrous.
The prefecture of Pieria has a lot of beaches with beautiful sandy beaches and blue waters at its shoreline with hotels, tourist lodgings, tourist market, places for amusement and recreation. All the beaches have credentials of light blue flags form the European Union.
Dion. The excavations brought to light the “city of Zeus”, the holy city of Macedonians. The city appears to be occupied from the classic up to early Christian times. Because of the continuous occupation of the city, the discoveries of the excavations are more of the Roman and Byzantine times.
The city was fortified with great town planning. The central road of 670 meters is paved. In the building squares were revealed private residences, public buildings, market, paved streets etc.
The monuments that were revealed are many. Among them the Sanctuary of Zeus Olympios, the Sanctuary of Demeter, the older known Macedonian sanctuary (6th B.C. – 4th A.D. century), a sanctuary dedicated to the adoration of Egyptian gods, at the south of the city the buildings of the great thermae (200 A.D.), the villa of Dionysus named by the big mosaic composition with a representation of Dionysus that covers the flooring of the room of conferences, the Hellenistic theatre of Dion, probably constructed in the years of the reign of king Philipp E (221-179 B.C.), the Roman theatre (2nd century A.D.), the necropolis, grave monuments, the stadium.
Today the archaeological site has an extent of 1.500 acres and is organised and the visitor can wander and admire the monuments.
The castle of Platamonas.
A Castle – city of the middle Byzantine period (10th century A.D.). The castle is built in strategic place at the foothills of Olympus. Recent excavations revealed the traces of a Hellenistic wall (4th century) that confirms the opinion that in this site was the ancient city Heraklion that according to sources was the first city of Macedonia after Tempi. Today at the castle area take place cultural events.
Livithra, an ancient city that is considered to be the homeland of Orpheus. In the archaeological site are revealed parts of the city, the citadel, buildings, and the cemetery. It is between Palia Leptokaria and Skotina and the access to visitors is not allowed.
The Neolithic settlement of Makrigialos
It is a settlement of the newer Neolithic period (5300 – 4500 BC).
Ancient Pydna, an important city and one of the bigger centres of Macedonians. In the region Macedonian tombs were found that belong to the necropolis of ancient Pydna.
Mycenaean cemetery, in the region “Spathes” near the village St. Dimitrios
Byzantine and Post Byzantine Monuments
- The old Monastery of Saint Dionisios of the 16th century on an altitude of 900m.
- The monastery of Kanalon
- The monastery of Virgin Mary of the 11th century in Petra
- The church of Dormition of Virgin Mary in Kontariotissa with rare murals
- The monastery of Saint George in Ritini
- The church of Saint Friday in Αno Milia
- The church of Saint Nikolaos –Palaia Vrontou
- The church of Saint Trinity-Vrontou
Access – Transportation
From Athens and Thessaloniki
Pieria KTEL (Public Bus Service)
0030 23510 23313
Thessaloniki KTEL (Public Bus Service)
Macedonia Public Bus Service
0030 2310 595428
Athens KTEL (Public Bus Service)-Liosia station
0030 210 8317059
Routs- Customer Service Center: 14511
Nearest airport “Macedonia” in Thessaloniki
Area: sq km
Pieria prefecture administratively belongs to the Region of Central Macedonia.