VILLAGES AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Litochoro is a small modern town with a population of 7000 inhabitants located at the foothills of Mount Olympus just five km from the sea. It combines the cool of the mountain air with the sea breeze and visitors can walk around the lanes between the traditional houses with the Macedonian architecture, the old wooden courtyard doors and the gabled roofs, work of Litochoro wood turners and stonemasons.
The local folk traditions are kept alive through customs that are continued to the present day, such as Sichna for the feast of the Epiphany (January 6) and the burning of the cedar tree for the carnival. Litochoro is an ideal base for investigating the wider area due to its easy access and excellent tourist infrastructure.
DION- ANCIENT DION
Dion has a population of 1554 inhabitants and is an important point of interest for Greek and foreign tourists alike. Each year thousands of tourists visit the archaeological site and the Archaeological Museum to admire the findings from the holy city of the Macedonians. In the summer the Ancient Theatre is brought to life with performances and concerts of the Olympus Festival.
Dion was the holy city of the Macedonians. Its heyday is dated to the years of Archelaus (414-399 BC) when the king would organise nine days of games in honour of Olympian Zeus and the Muses. Furthermore it was here that Philip initially celebrated his glorious victories and Alexander the Great began his great campaign in the name of Olympian Zeus.
A small village of 120 inhabitants built on the northwest foothills of the mountain with a wonderful view over Pieria Plain. The village was originally named Lokovi and is located close to the historical location of Petra which in ancient years was the passage from Pieria to the rest of Greece. Due to the altitude and location of the village (580 m) it is a good starting point for routes which begin or end at Xerolakki Stream and is a great spot to enjoy fine food at the end of a hike.
Karya has a population of 833 inhabitants and is located at the foothills of the south side of Mount Olympus. Despite being a small village it has a rich tradition, both mythological and folk. In ancient times close to Karya was located the town of Leivithra which tradition has it that was the birthplace of Orpheus.
Eight km from Karya is Klimadon Monastery (which today is known as Naidrion of Agia Triada) which played an important role during the Turkish occupation. The contribution of Kanalon Monastery was also significant during the same period, which is a monastery of the 9th century located seven km along the Karya – Leptokarya road. The visitor can also go to Xerolaka which is an organised recreation area with hiking paths close to Ziliana River, Samara spring or Spilaio tou Moria (Moria Cave) in Bechtesi which was used as a refuge by guerrillas.
Located at an altitude of 1250 m, this is a small village with approximately 220 inhabitants. It dates back to the 12th Century and in 1442 AD it was occupied by the Turks and during WWII the occupiers set fire to the village. Some of the sites worth visiting from Kokkinopilos include: many springs, Stalagmatia spring, Kroutseli and Tsiamara. Additionally many paths and routes to Olympus start out here.