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Winter holidays in Elatochori

20 December 2014 / 22:12:24  GRReporter
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The colder it gets, the more attractive the northern parts of Greece become. A winter resort awaits us in Pieria, which has so much to offer: ski pistes, stunning landscapes, traditions, possibilities for different activities – as well as people who might show you a different pattern of everyday life.

Elatochori is located at the eastern foot of the Pieria mountains, at 780 m above sea level. It is 28 km away from Katerini, 470 km from Athens and 100 km from Thessaloniki. Apart from natural beauties, the place boasts high-quality tourist infrastructure. This combination makes it one of the most favoured winter resorts in Pieria.

Elatochori’s population is just over 500 strong, most of them involved in traditional farming and cattle breeding.

From a grievous past to the present

This quaint village was not fortunate throughout its past. During the occupation of 27 January 1944, it was burnt down and 32 of its inhabitants were executed by the Germans. Now a monument with the names of the victims is among the heritage sites.

Elatochori’s old name is Skouterna. It comes from skoutia (fabric) as in the Ottoman occupation period the place had several textile factories. In 1928 it was given the name of Elatoussa for the fir (έλατο) forests surrounding it, and in 1929 was finally named Elatochori.

During the 1950s the increasing population and the landslides resulted in shifting the village to a lower lying place. This is why modern Elatochori has an old and a new part. Recently, the old part has seen better fortunes, especially after the opening of the ski resort.

Lost among fir trees and tourist attractions

The beautiful scenery impresses everybody who has gone to visit it, which is why the area is attracting an increasing number of tourists. A hike around the forest paths might take several days unless you have a 4x4 vehicle. You can also cycle or drive a quad bike. There are plenty of shelters for the forest hikers.

If you have decided to stay away from alpine sports, you can have a more leisurely walk around the village. In old Elatochori you might visit the church of Saint Nikolaos, built in 1779 and having beautiful murals and icons, as well as the Saint Georgios Monastery situated 3 kilometres north east of Ritini and built in the 15th century.

Not far from Elatochori, history and ancient culture lovers will find plenty of places to visit: Byzantine Pydna, ancient Vergina, or the antique stone quarry in the Sendukia area.

The Ethnographic Museum is another interesting place to see. Don't miss the spectacular Kremasto Waterfalls on the road to Sarakatsana. Kremasto is 60 m high and is located in a wonderful mountain gorge.

After a day full of excitement, you might take a break in one of the snug hotels in the area.

Snow games

The most entertaining side of Elatochori is the winter resort – the only one in the region, and only 8 km from the village. This is the north-eastern side of Pieria Mountains, the Papa Chorafi locality, at an altitude of 1410 m.

The place has 10 skiing tracks of various altitudes and grades, which can suit both advanced skiers and beginners. Apart from skiing, you can test your skills with a snowboard or sledge.

When you have had your fill of whizzing down the slopes, the two-storey chalet is expecting you for a glass of hot chocolate and some nice chat.

Before you head to Elatochori, check whether the facilities are working at, tel. 23 510 82 994. If snow is yet to fall, you can leave your pair of skis behind, take the lift and enjoy the scenery.

Tags: Elatochori Pieria winter holidays ski resort
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