Kaimaktsalan: Winter Paradise
The first flakes of snow have arrived! And with them, a new season of winter fun begins in northern Greece. Away from the tourist trail lies a secret unbeknown to most, even in Greece. You may not know about it, and that’s probably good. You’ll score some brownie points with your other half, or you’ll get to look like the intrepid traveler that you really are in front of your friends.
The Voras mountain range is the 3rd largest in Greece. Kaimaktsalan sits at an altitude of 2050-2480 meters on the northeastern slope of the mountain and boasts 13 slaloms, 4 runs and 6 lifts. Nice! Kaimktsalan offers a slew of options to travelers and skiers. The Dark Forest is situated a few clicks away if you’re into the whole hiking thing. And if you are, be sure to keep a look out for the abundant fauna and flora. There are said to be numerous endemic species of reptiles, birds and amphibians. If you think its unusual for amphibians to be found in such high altitudes, well, its because it is unusual. Several waterways crisscross through the region, even at altitudes of 2,400 clicks.
And herein lies the key to Kaimtsalan’s allure. The various mountain villages and towns adjacent to the mountain are all somehow interconnected with each other to create the best experience for you. Case in point being the Loutraki springs. Located at the foot of the mountain, these springs are at an even 37 celsius all year round. Ideal for sore muscles and joints after a day of skiing. Its 48 private baths, 6 indoor pools, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi are an absolute God send, regardless of what you’ve been putting your body through. And just for the record, the mineral waters are said to be good for curing respiratory and circulatory ailments.
And then there is the inevitable crossing of paths with history. About 16 prehistoric caves lie nestled on the slopes. Flanked by the Ramno Mpor gorge, the ground gives way to a wetland that is home to a rich biosphere.
There are several mountain paths along the trail, too, and with a good guide you’re in pole position to see everything you want.
Kaimaktsalan is a winter paradise. An undiscovered winter paradise in Greece. And you know it’s not going to stay like that for much longer. So get skiing.