Castle of Platamonas

The next ancient Macedonian city that worth being included in a one-day excursion is Dion, which is at a distance of 15km from the city of Katerini. The first reference about the city was found in the writings of Thucydides in 424 B.C. and later constituted a place of reverence to the Gods of Macedonians. At Dion, Philippos celebrated the downfall of Olynthus and Alexander the Great carried out sacrifices before the Persian expedition as well. The ancient city was surrounded by a wall and had an urban system with two growing avenues and a dense road network. Also, the hot springs, the holy shrine of Goddess Demetra worth seeing.

The town had a system of vertical growing roads, which were tiled during the imperial years. In the northern part of the city the public hot springs were located, namely the Great Thermes, which are dated back in 200 A.D. Next to it we find the Conservatory and in the eastern section there is the impressive Dionysus’s mansion famous for its mosaics. In the centre of the city we can see the episcopal basilica dated back in the 4th century A.D. and outside the walls we can find the cemeterial basilica of the 5th century. In Dion there are and preserved several kinds of shrines with the one belonging to Goddess Demetra being the most important (the most ancient Macedonian shrine) and Isida’s as well. There is also the Hellenistic theatre (built by Philip E’) and part of the stadium where the gymnique games named Olympia took place. Today only the theatre from the Hellenistic years is saved. There was also a theatre in the classical years though.

The castle of Platamonas

The castle is built on the location of ancient Iraklion (or Iraklia). Το κάστρο είναι χτισμένο στη θέση του αρχαίου Ηρακλείου (ή Ηράκλειας). In “Periplus” by Pseudo – Skylaka (4th century B.C.) it is mentioned as “First Macedonian city, Iraklion”. Recent excavations have brought to light ceramics of Euboean, protocorinthian origin as well as from an era of Eastern Greece, which testify Greek presence maybe from the 8th century B.C. The place name Platamonas is mentioned for the first time in 1198, in a golden bull belonging to the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komninos A’.

Old Panteleimonas (village)

Perched on the slopes of Olympus, it offers an incredible view of the Thermaic Gulf and the coasts of Pieria. In the central square with its sycamores, St Panteleimonas’ old church and the old school, is the place that gathers the majority of the people in order to enjoy the view and eat in one of the many traditional taverns. There are also beautiful shops with souvenirs, gift items of folk art, decorative objects, gifts and jewelry scattered in its cobblestone streets, whereas derelict houses of mainland architecture and manors are continually restored and turned into residencies and guest houses.

8:00 Departure from Thessaloniki

9:00 Arrival at Dion 11:00 Departure from Dion 11:20 Arrival at the castle of Platamonas 12:20 Departure from the castle of Platamonas

12:30 Stop at the village of old Panteleimonas 13:30 Departure to Thessaloniki 15:00 Arrival at Thessaloniki

Duration 7 hours 5 seat taxi 170€ Taxi - minivan price upon order/availability

 Amyntha, Thessaloniki
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