On the national Athens – Thessaloniki highway, right after the valley of Tempi, we come to a sign in front of the railway station building that reads Rapsani. The road snakes up and meets Rapsani at an altitude of 640m.
The village is built on the south-eastern slopes of kato Olympus, at a location bathed in sunlight throughout the day. The village’s unique position, its clear and digestive waters and cool climate have made it a very popular summer resort. The paved square of Rapsani with its plane trees, mulberries and linden trees offers a view of Tempi is filled with small traditional cafes and shops selling tsipouro and, of course, the famous Rapsani wine.
Beside the Pinios Delta, in the Thermaikos Gulf, we find Stomio, a summer resort for the people of Larissa that combines both lush vegetation and abundant water.
The suspension bridge of Tempi leads the visitors of this picturesque valley to the country church of Agia Paraskevi, which welcomes hundreds of worshippers everyday. The imposing beauty of the setting alternates each season throughout the year.
In the plain of Elassona and at a short distance from the town, we come to Tsaritsani that is famous for its greatness in the arts and letters. It reached its peak development in 1750 to 1830, when its residents became involved in red-cotton dying and silk farming.
The village is split down the middle by the Xairias stream and there is a bridge connecting its two parts. The large building, behind the statue of the teacher of the nation and benefactor of Tsaritsani, Konstantinos Oikonomou Ex’ Oikonomon, is the Oikonomios School that was built in 1910 on the ruins of his home.
Old Panteleimonas is a traditional settlement that has been preserved in its original state, without having undergone any architectural alterations or interventions in the process of time. The village, which was most probably founded in the 14th century, is built over an altitude of 700m. and offers amazing views towards Mount Olympus and the Golf of Thermaikos. Due to landslides along the cliffs, the village’s permanent residents have moved to New Panteleimonas. Most of the buildings forming the traditional settlement were bought and were renovated by people living in Larisa and Thessaloniki, who were eager to maintain intact the region’s architectural heritage.
Among sights to visit, there is the church of Agios Panteleimonas, old buildings, the renovated school-building and the picturesque village-square with its taverns serving local cuisine, and its known barbequed goat and cheese (galotiri). Cobblestoned alleys lead to the settlement’s center, while cars stay parked at the outskirts of the village.
Built at an altitude of 400 m, the village acquired its name (ed. note: vrontos means loud noise) from the roar of the mountain’s waters rushing through the village. It’s a a ghost town today, with the old church of Agios Nikolaos being the only surviving building, with a hand-carved wooden altarpiece, which has been declared a protected monument.