82 km from Litochoro
69 km from Katerini
22 km from Litochoro
69 km from Elassona
The road distance between Katerini-Elassona is 69 km, lasts approximately 1 hour and 16 minutes and goes by picturesque villages with great historical interest. The first village is Agios Dimitrios, at an altitude of 800 m. Situated between the mountains of Olympus and Pieria, the village is surrounded by fir, beech, oak and pine trees. Southwest of Olympus, at an altitude of 720 m., there is Pythio, known from as early as the Homeric times. Excavations have brought to light the temples of Apollo Pythio and Poseidon, the ruins of which you may admire in the archaeological site of Pythio. The villages of Pythio, Azoro and Dolichi, which are located in short distance from one another and on the right side of the Katerini-Elassona highway, formed in antiquity the first Amfiktionia: the ancient Perraevian Tripolitida.
In Pythio you may, also, admire the eremitic caves from the Byzantine ages. The wall paintings found in the eremitic cave of the Holly Cross date back to 1339. Elassona, the last destination upon the route, has been known since Homer’s Iliad as it took part in the Trojan War. The river Elassonitis divides the new from the old town. Among sights to visit, there is the Monastery of Panagia Olympiotissa and the arched bridge.
As we follow the national motorway from Katerini to Elassona, after the village of Milia, we pass along an impressive densely-wooded gorge that divides Mount Olympus from the smaller Mount Titaros. These are the famous “Petra narrows”, one of the three big passes of Olympus from ancient times to the present. The gorge waters are used to irrigate fruit trees and “pezoules” (terraced cultivations) where the renowned Agios Dimitrios beans are cultivated; the area used to have watermills and “Mantania” (Fulling Mills). 33 km from Katerini lies the village of Agios Dimitrios which was formed from smaller villages in the 15th century. Many of the villagers were executed during the German Occupation due to their participation in the national resistance and the village was burned down three times by the Occupation forces. The Village of Agios Dimitrios still preserves old stone-built houses with wooden balconies, while the shops and taverns offer local products (cheeses, beans, honey, potatoes, jams, etc.) as well as locally-bred wild boar and deer meat produced by the agrotourist unit of the region.
Just off Agios Dimitrios, on the road to Elassona, on a wooded slope of Olympus (altitude 1100 m), at the “Spathes” site, a Copper Age cemetery was discovered (1300-1200 BC). The cist graves brought to light vessels, swords and jewelry, with the characteristics of the Mycenaean civilization, which means either that the region was at some point inhabited by Mycenaeans or that its prehistoric inhabitants had trade relations with south Greece. One of the swords is similar to the sword found in the Acropolis of Mycenae. Near “Spathes”, there is a deer breeding farm.
Excavations in Pythio revealed the temple of Poseidon from the 4th century BC and various other religious areas in its vicinity. The headless statue of a man was also found, identified as that of the god Apollo, and archaeologists are now striving to discover his glorious temple.
The excavations in Azoros began in October 1995. The wall that has been uncovered is unique, built using polygonal stones. In the same region, the tomb of a woman holding her baby in her arms was discovered.
Kastri peak, just above the excavation area, was the acropolis of the ancient city. Within the archaeological site, tombs were unearthed, public buildings and an important Byzantine cemetery where there is a church belonging to the cemetery and a cross-shaped baptistery. Two Paleo-Christian basilicas have been found, one at the acropolis area of Agios Athanasios and the other at Palaiokklisi, dating back to the 7th century.