Travel Guide to Pieria in Northern Greece

Discover our travel guide to Pieria, a culturally rich region of Central Macedonia – known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and great food and wine. 

From hiking trails and lush forests to archaeological sites and beautiful beaches – Pieria is also home to Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain and highest peak in Greece, making it a great reason in itself to visit! 

Although it’s an all-year-round destination, spring is the perfect season to visit and enjoy all the wonderful villages and towns that this diverse region has to offer. 

Dion: for a walk through history

This small village is located at the foot of Mount Olympus and here you’ll find an amazing Archaeological Park and the Museum of Dion. An 8€ ticket will give you access to both these archaeological sites, allowing you to get up close to ruins of Ancient Macedonia, Egyptian sanctuaries, a Roman theatre, a cemetery, baths, temples, mosaics, statues and much more that came to light in 1928. For those who love the arts, keep in mind that over the summer months, Dion hosts a great range of plays, concerts and the Olympus Festival at the ancient Hellenistic Theatre. 

Elatochori: for the perfect winter getaway

In the most mountainous municipality of the prefecture of Pieria, you will find Elatochori. This beautiful little village is built at an altitude of 800 meters and attracts thousands of visitors year-round, thanks to its outdoor activities that include hiking, mountain biking, and skiing at one of Greece’s most popular ski centres. Elatochori also boasts traditional stone-built houses, cobblestone streets, and charming tavernas. We also recommend exploring the village’s narrow alleyways, visiting the church of Agios Nikolaos, or just sitting back and enjoying the tranquil mountain atmosphere.

Platamonas: for the classic summer escape

This gorgeous coastal town of Pieria should be added to your summer wish list! Known for its beautiful plane trees, sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape – here you can have a swim and then take cover under the lush natural shade as you admire uninterrupted views of Platamon Castle. This medieval fortress dates to the 12th century and entrance inside is 3€, however, you can wander around the castle and courtyard for free, taking in the magnificent view of Thermaikos Gulf and Mount Olympus. Make sure to also head into town, where you’ll find a waterfront promenade lined with traditional taverns – perfect spot to sample some fresh local seafood and wine. 

Litochoro: for romantic strolls (and hikes)

A pretty town built on the slope of the highest peak of Olympus, Litochoro has become the most common starting point for hiking expeditions for those who want to “conquer” the mountain of the gods. Litochoro stands out for its traditional architecture, lush forests, rushing rivers, and breathtaking mountain views. Attracting outdoor enthusiasts from around the world who come to explore the trails and peaks of Mount Olympus, those less adventurous can enjoy the picturesque streets, traditional tavernas, and cozy guesthouses. Tip: east of Litochoro, you will find Plaka Litochorou, which is essentially the coastal part of the city and is filled with a range of restaurants, cafes and campsites. 

Gorge of Enipeas: for chasing waterfalls

A short distance from Litochoro begins the enchanting Gorge of Enipeas. It is a beautiful route that begins from the Mylon area at an altitude of 320m and ends at Prionia at an altitude of 1100m. Formed by the Enipeas River, which flows down from the slopes of Mount Olympus, carving its way through the rocky terrain  – the gorge features towering cliffs, lush vegetation, and crystal-clear pools of water, creating a picturesque landscape that is perfect to explore. One of the highlights of the Enipeas Gorge is the series of waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs, providing a refreshing break for hikers! 

Katerini: for a city break 

Of course, the capital of this prefecture, Katerini, could not be missing from our list. A lovely city that has become a local favourite year round- here you will discover neoclassical buildings and bustling squares lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants. Stroll along the waterfront promenade for great food and drinks, or relax at one of the many parks including the Municipal Park and Levithra Park. We also suggest making time for Demokritia Square, the old Aquarium and the Church of Agia Paraskevi. 

Vergina: for ancient royal tombs 

Nestled in the shadow of the Pierian Mountains, the ancient city of Vergina is where the story of Philip II of Macedon, the father of the famous conqueror, Alexander the Great, truly came to light. It’s now become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Royal Tombs of Aigai, one of the most amazing ancient sites in all of Greece. Explore the underground tombs where the remains of Macedonian kings, including Philip were discovered; it truly is an astonishing site that’s worth visiting – especially if you are a history enthusiast. 

Getting there: From the city of Thessaloniki it’s a one-hour drive to the region of Pieria, and if you are making your way over by car from Athens, it will take around 4-5 hours, depending on traffic. 

Featured Image by @joannajelly