Katerini is one of those Macedonian seaside towns that always goes unreported. There are countless little gems like this scattered across Greece. They offer seclusion and tranquility in spades, and for those in the know, these villages and towns hold oodles of authenticity. Not by way of some spectacular natural wonder, or even an illustrious history that brings collective pride. In fact, in what is probably a first, the town of Katerini was actually built by the Ottomans in the 15th century BC, which would certainly explain Katerini’s fall into ignominy. And in a way, that is a good thing for travelers seeking something new. For Katerini is brand spanking new and unspoiled by mass tourism.

Katerini, as a city is nice to look at, but the real magic and appeal of the place is best felt outside city limits. Katerini serves as a marvelous springboard from which to deploy to nearby sites of interest. And boy there are many. One could do far worse than visiting Mt. Olympus on a day trip. The mountain and its satellite village, Litochoro, are but a mere 20 kilometers. Litochoro itself is a charming alpine village with lots of character and a ski slope. Mt. Olympus needs no introductions as the seat of the Greek Pantheon. The skiing opportunities alone are worth the trip. But if you’re a dedicated nature lover you re only limited by your imagination. There are a number of endemic species of fauna and flora and a naturalist would definitely appreciate it.

The archaeological site of Dion, at 10 kilometers away is also a surefire way to get to grips with the Macedonian legacy. Dion was once the center of Macedonian royalty and the remains of the palace where alexander played are still lying around for visitors to gawk at.

Not to be outdone, the ancient sites of Leivithra, reportedly the stomping ground of the Nymphs, is also worth the visit. There’s also the ancient site of Pydna at 27 kilometers and close to Olympus.

Katerini will take you in and embrace you in the long winter months. In between day trips and cozy afternoons by the fireplace you may need all the willpower available to dislodge yourself and head back home.

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