The Byzantine Castle of Platamonas
Is located in the southern part of Pieria, on the top of a small hill by the sea.
The Castle of Platamonas was conquered -about in 1389- by the Turks, who, thus, could have the overall control over the “passage” of the Valley of Tempi, leading to Southern Greece. Later on, nevertheless, while Mourat was encirclinf the Bay of Thermaikos, the Venetians took over the administration of Thessaloniki in 1423. The castle of Platamonas was fortified, then, on a parallel with the fortification of Cassandra, Chalkidiki, so that control over the entire Bay of Thermaikos would by possible.
During the years of the Turkish Occupation, the Castle of Platamonas was considerably fortified very early. Owing to its strategic position and the commencement of the nationalistic liberating movements and recolutions taken up by the Greeks. The epicentre of which uprisings being the Olympus. Even more, Captain Lazos coming from the district of Olympus son, John, managed to conquer the castle after a row of tremendous battles against its Albanian defenders.
Traditional Villages near the Castle
Archaeological evidence dates Palaios Panteleimonas to the end of the 14th century. A strict uniform architectural design has been maintained which is immediately obvious and which separates this village from others. Old Agios Panteleimonas church stands in the central square of the village with its age-old plane trees. There is the old school with a good number of traditional taverns.
The approach to the village and the surrounding area is marked by a rich forest of chestnut, beech and arbutus trees and the rich flora and fauna of Kato Olympus. It is an ideal area for hikes in nature, parachuting, paragliding, mountain biking and 4×4 routes all of which are on offer. There are many traditional local taverns serving the local dishes of the area, spicy mezes, local wine and traditional tsipouro from the arbutus berries of Olympus.
Palaios Panteleimonas is located just 6 km from the village and beach of Neos Panteleimonas. Also offers many options for accommodation, food, recreation and tourist information. During the summer months many cultural events. Palaios Panteleimonas is easy to access from the National Road E75 and by National Rail (Neoi Poroi Station).
On the southeast outskirts of Olympus at an altitude of 600 m is Palaioi Poroi. Is a traditional village with stone houses from the 17th and 18th centuries and the Byzantine church of Agios Georgios in the paved central square. There is a stunning forest above the village which is a great place to walk and admire the flora and fauna of Kato Olympus. Furthermore there are two impressive churches which are well worth a visit, Agioi Apostoloi Church and Zoodochos Pigi Church.
South of the village is the aquatic landscape of Pappapouli in Neoi Poroi. Visitors can investigate the unique natural fish farm of the prefecture. Nine km towards the sea is the seaside village of Neoi Poroi which has many restaurants, fish taverns. There are places to enjoy ouzo with mezes and many other food and leisure options.
This traditional village on the slopes of Kato Olympus has the impressive Agios Athanasios church dating to the 14th century. Have a unique wood-carved iconostasis. In the central square of the village is the parish church of the Dormition of the Virgin (Koimiseos Theotokou).
There are some highly interesting hikes to be done. Offering a good opportunity to admire the flora and fauna of Kato Olympus. Mountain biking and routes for 4×4 vehicles are also plentiful. Palaia Skotina is just 7 km from Skotina village and 9 km from Skotina beach. Katerini is 40 km far away with excellent access along the National Road E75 and via National Rail (Skotina station).