Discover a destination with a cultural background of global radiance!
Ktima Bellou is encompassed by the two most emblematic mountains of Greek mythology - Olympus, mountain of the 12 Gods and the Pierian Mountains, birthplace of the 9 Muses. Together they have fueled the Greek civilization and provided a source of inspiration & concepts of reference for all the subsequent Western Literature & Art.
Our location, directly between Olympus and the Pierian range on an altitude of 900 meters, allows for immediate access to both mountain masses. Enter the most authentic sides of the two mountains, with pristine nature, where every excursion automatically takes on another dimension, subconciously conjuring up myths and legends.
The area is distinguished by its ages-old history where archaeological research has brought to light a cemetery of the Late Bronze Age [13th century BCE]; findings classify this part of the Macedonian realm into the Mycenean cultural sphere, supporting the claims of the Macedonian dynasty that traced their ancestry to mythical Argos.
Throughout the centuries, from antiquity to our more recent history, the gorge separating Olympus and the Pierian mountains, the so-called "Straits of Petra", has been a nodal passage linking Macedonia and Thessaly. The unique geomorphology of the area hosted strategic locations and control over it has always been of major importance. Indicatively, historical references include the Persian wars, the Roman onslaught, the Ottoman conquest as well as World War 2.
All of the area around Olympus is dotted with various sites of lesser or greater significance, hailing from different historic epochs. The most important of those - and the second most significant in Northern Greece following Aigai - is that of Dion: the sacred city of the Macedonians, dedicated to the father of the gods [Dion = city of Zeus]. The Ancient Theater, the Urban site and Archaeological Museum compose a uniquely interesting complex, where nature and antiquities interconnect inextricably. Here, the river Vafýras magically resurfaces refusing to purify the murderous Maenads that killed Orpheus, here is where King Archelaus held the radiant athletic and theatrical competitions "Olýmpia en Dio" and here, in the exact same place, is where the established Festival of Olympus takes place for the past 52 years!
Communication with the Divine transformed through the ages and the region's mystical suggestiveness turned it into a refuge for hermits and monastic communities to this very day. Hermitages, old churches and historic monasteries in idyllic locations peripherally of Olympus constitute monumets of rare byzantine art and wondrous architecture. The majority of the chapels are open to the public, while all the monasteries are manned with monks or nuns, are constantly maintained and endow peace and serenity to all visitors.
The valley lying between the two mountains is host to a number of inhabited highland villages with an undisturbed life rhythm. Depending on their exact location, our close local communities rely on agriculture, viticulture, animal husbandry and dairy production. A short visit or drive with the car will bring you into contact with many flavors and images from their every day life! Many of the local products are famed and have exceeded the boundaries of the country. For the local residents every traveler is always welcome, but he doesn't change their pace of life and their authenticity.