Majestic mountains, traditional villages, Pella of Ancient Macedonia and the highest ski resort in Greece make this the perfect destination for winter holidays
Agios Athanasios Pellas; a winter wonderland. Kaimaktsalan; a modern winter resort in Macedonia. Together they make a paradise for those sporty types who prefer cooler climes. Kaimaktsalan is one of the most up-to-date ski resorts in Greece, at an altitude of almost 2,500m. It is a luxury winter holiday destination suffused with style, high quality service and glorious mountain views. When you add in the important sights in the area, it’s easy to understand why this has quickly become a popular snow-capped locale. Whether you’re a ski aficionado, a foodie, an adrenaline junkie, or you simply want to be thrilled by the wild beauty of Macedonian nature, this place is for you.
What to do in Agios Athanasios
Agios Athanasios Pellas: a new twist on a traditional settlement
An excellent example of tasteful residential development and the epitome of understated elegance. Once an abandoned village dug into the mountain at an altitude of 1,200m, Agios Athanasios Pellas was listed as a ‘traditional’ settlement in 1992 when its new fairy tale life began. Today it is among the most up-and-coming and rapidly growing winter destinations in Macedonia, with traditional local architecture, sloping rooftops, cobblestone streets and high standards of service.
Kaimaktsalan: The highs of skiing
A favourite destination for skiing enthusiasts, Kaimaktsalan is the only ski resort in Greece where a skier can reach an altitude of 2,480m. It keeps long hours, has incredible snow quality and, if that’s not enough, the landscape of the eastern foothills of Mt Voras will blow your boots off! Kaimaktsalan (meaning white peak) has trails for all levels, from bunny to advanced, a chalet, ski and snowboard schools and equipment rental to suit all your alpine aspirations.
Pella: Ancient treasures of Macedonia
The grande dame of Macedonian cities, ancient Pella was discovered in a land that still has many treasures still to unveil. The plainn is scattered with Macedonian tombs and the remnants of ancient settlements. Gold coins and jewellery are buried in the fields, graves and ravines.
Aridaia’s hot springs: Nature’s elixir
Who wouldn’t want to soak in these thermal springs? The natural warm pools are found among beautiful streams, waterfalls and snow-laden branches of pine. It’s the ultimate spa, with the mist rising around you from the mineral springs. Walking in the gorge, rock climbing and mountain hiking, everything is possible at Pózar Thermal Baths. All you have to do is make your dream holidays in Macedonia a reality!
Hidden gems of Agios Athanasios
In Macedonia, where Mt Voras and Mt Vermio meet the mountain basin of Agra, there is an unknown and yet very important wetland, where more than 250 different bird species have been observed. The short distance from Edessa makes it a paradise not easily lost!
The Archangel of Mt Paiko
Why the Archangel? At 700m above sea level, it took its name from the monastery founded in 1858. One of the most significant attractions in the area, the Archangel of Mt Paiko stands out for its architecture and is the starting point for all alpine routes into the Paiko mountains, as well as exotic Tzenas.
The little church of Profitis Ilias
The 1½- hour walk from the ski resort to the little church of Profitis Ilias, at the summit of Mt Kaimaktsalan, is an experience in itself. At an altitude of 2,524m, the third highest point in Greece, the church is a World War One memorial to the fallen Serbs and was built with war debris found in the area. Take a deep breath and feel the incredible power of the area.