Choice of the Month: Pella Region

Village of Agios Athanasios, near the Voras Mountains, Pella, Greece

 

Pella is one of the regional units of Greece, in the geographic region of Macedonia. It is part of the Region of Central Macedonia. It is named after the ancient city of Pella, the capital of ancient Macedonia and the birthplace of Alexander the Great. The capital of Pella is Edessa.

   
Coordinates: 40°55′N 22°05′E   (1) Edessa (2) Almopia (3) Pella (4) Skydra

An atrium in ancient Pella with a pebble-mosaic paving, Greece

The ancient city Pella was the royal capital city of Macedonia, a city with a very strong and important presence in the history of Ancient Greece.

Today the region of Pella is an area full of surprises, that perfectly combines the natural beauty, with the impressive historical past and the archeological sites, such as the King’s Tombs, the museum with the impressive artifacts and the ruins of the ancient city Pella.

With plenty options for entertainment and interesting activities, alternative tourism and winter sports, the region of Pella is an ideal holiday destination, providing the ideal setting for immense natural beauty where you can enjoy truly relaxing holidays.

Edessa

A traditional street in Edessa, Pella, GreeceArchaeological remains have been discovered on the site of ancient Edessa, just below the modern city. The walls and the agora have been unearthed so far. A colonnade with inscription in Greek dates from Roman times. The city achieved certain prominence in the first centuries AD, being located on the Via Egnatia.

Gianitsa is another town of Pella, with impressive sites such as the clock tower, the charming village of Panagitsa, and the traditional and old hamlet of Agios Athanasios, which has preserved the classic elements that constitute to the Macedonian architecture style.

Kaimaktsalan is a mountain on the border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. It is the southernmost and highest peak (2524 m) of a range known in Greek as the Voras Mountains. The national frontier between the two countries runs across the summit. It is the third highest peak in Greece after Mount Olympus and the fifth highest in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

During World War I, in September 1916, the Battle of Kajmakcalan between Serbian and Bulgarian troops took place at Kajmakčalan and around the adjacent peaks, resulting in a Serbian victory. There is a small church and crypt for the Serbian soldiers who died in the battle. Near the top of the mountain, on the Greek side, there is a small church named Profitis Ilias.

A view of Mount Paiko in Pella, GreeceMountain Paiko is a small mountain range that lies on the border of Pella and Kilkis prefectures in Central Macedonia, Greece

Morphologically, Paiko is a curvy extension to the NE of the adjacent Voras mountain range. Together they surround the plain of Aridea. East and south of Paiko are the plains of the Axios river and the plains of Giannitsa respectively. The peaks of Pirgos (1494 m), Vertopia (1490 m) and Kadasi (1607 m) surround a large plateau (formerly native grassland) at altitude around 1200 m. Most areas of the plateau are residential or cultivated.

Skra lake and waterfalls, Paiko mountain in Pella, GreecePaiko is rich in surface as well as underground bodies of water, often potable. Springs exist at the foothills and small wetlands can be found at high altitudes, connected by several streams. Two waterfalls and a lagoon of blue-green waters are located near the Skra peak.
East of the mountain is a small artificial lake by the name Metalleiou, 35 m deep and of circumference around 4 km.

Things to do

skiingSkiing: Kaimaktsalan Ski Resort is the highest ski resort in Greece situated on the third highest mountain of the country, Kaimaktsalan. It is 660 km from Athens, 140 km from Thessaloniki and 45 km from Edessa, the capital of Pella prefecture. The installations are situated at an altitude of 2018 m and the highest skiing site starts at 2480 m. The resort has 14 skiing sites of a total length of 15 km. (further info…)

Health TravelHealth Traveling: The Thermal Spas of “Pozar” (meaning ‘a place beneath the fire’) are to be found 32 km from the town of Edessa. The Spa center is built in an amazing area as the canyon is surrounded by mountains with caves, paths and routes suitable for hiking, mountaineering and excursions. The facilities provided include swimming pools, a hydrotherapy clinic and the spa’ unique cave park. (Info: +30 2384094300)

hang gliding in GreeceHang-gliding/Paragliding: The air-flying club “Macedonia-Thrace” lies near the village of Panagitsa and has done so since 1950. The gliding center has got a private airport with two runways, control tower, hangar, flying equipment, building for repairs, material storage, parking space, hotel with 10 rooms, hostel, restaurant, cafe-bar, briefing office and camping site. It offers equipment for shoot gliding as well.  There are air athletic sections for flights with sailplanes. These flights last 15 minutes. Next to the earo club you’ll find a Moto Cross racetrack with an automatic water system, control tower, infirmary, room for technical checks and parking space. The racetrack is 2,8 – 3,5 km long with different kind of jumps. It is located 26 km from Edessa. (Info: +30 2384094300)

 

hikingHiking: Walk through the land of Alexander the Great and Philip, along a stone paved path, which starts at Varosi and ends at the Ancient town of Edessa. There are also great paths connecting Edessa with the forest Gavliotissa.
Routes with scaled difficulties at the crossroad of the European paths E4 and E6. The riverbed of Florou (StaraReka) – the ‘Black Forest’ – the ‘Ravine of Loutraki’ and the surrounding mountain peaks await you. (Info/Reservations: +30 2381020300)

rock-climbingClimbing: At the climbing area of Drosia and Loutraki you can attend a brief educational program, teaching techniques that will help you to initiate the secrets of climbing, a ‘must’ for those who want to pass the “Ravine of Chaos”. (Info/Reservations: +30 2381020300)

 

 

BikingCycling/Mountain biking: Take a tour in Edessa on a bike. Start from the waterfalls, continue along the edge of the town to site Kioupri at the Byzantine bridge, and from the old town Varosi to the train station. For those of you keen on mountain biking many great routes through forests and hills await you with their ever-changing sceneries. Bicycles and equipment provided. (Info/Reservations: +30 2381020300)

Horseback ridingHorseback riding: At the villages of Agios Athanasios and Kesariana you will have the chance to enjoy a ride in the village and through the forest on a horse. For beginners there is a small training program. (Info/Reservations: +30 2381020300)

 

BirdingBirdwatching: For those of you loving to watch and listen to nature there is the possibility of boating in the wetlands. Take a boating trip with rafts in the lake, rowing while bird watching. The view is unique, you will find yourself admiring the villages from the lake, sensing nature in tranquility.


External links

Download guide to Edessa & Pella

Kaimaktsalan Ski Resort in the Voras Mountains
Seli Ski Resort in the Vermion mountains
3-5 Pigadia Ski Resort in the Vermion mountains

Traveling to ancient Pella

Thermal Spas of “Pozar” website

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