The Olympic Riviera is one of the most popular holiday destinations among tourists from Eastern Europe. It stretches along the west coast of the Thermaic Gulf, on a section of almost 70 km.
Administratively, the Riviera is located in the Central Macedonia region and includes several dozen smaller or larger towns and resorts.
See on the map where exactly the Olympic Riviera is located:
Holidays on the Olympic Riviera
Good weather is guaranteed on the Olympic Riviera. Wide, sandy beaches, warm water, as well as the possibility of practicing various water sports tempts many tourists. The proximity of the Olimp massif and the Ossa mountain range encourages hiking.
The Olympic Riviera also has a very well-developed accommodation and gastronomy base. This region is also efficiently connected to the rest of the country, which facilitates trips to nearby tourist attractions and monuments.
One of the main magnets is the price. Prices are reasonable here, which means that more people can enjoy the holiday charms of this place without fearing for their wallets. Going forward.
Weather on the Olympic Riviera
The climate on the Olympic Riviera as well as throughout the country is Mediterranean. In addition, in this region, the close presence of the Olimp mountain range, which retains cold air masses, means that there are even more sunny and warm days.
Summers on the Olympic Riviera are hot and dry, while winters are rainy, but temperatures do not fall below freezing.
The season on the Olympic Riviera begins almost in May and ends in October. In spring there are favorable temperatures for visiting and admiring attractions – around 24 degrees, while in the summer months (the hottest ones) it is better to settle down for rest and sunbathing.
In July and August, temperatures can reach over 30 degrees, and the number of sunny hours per day is 12. However, the chance of precipitation is low then. If you do not like crowds, it is better to go to the Olympic Riviera after the season – in September or early October, when it is still warm, but there are visibly fewer tourists.
Water temperature on the Olympic Riviera
The water in the Aegean Sea begins to heat up again in May, but then it may still be too cool (19 degrees) when it comes to bathing.
However, in June it will be possible to swim without any problems.
And now attention!
Pleasant water temperature – 24 degrees on the Olympic Riviera persists even until the beginning of October.
Accommodation on the Olympic Riviera
The base on the Olympic Riviera is very well developed. There is no shortage of hotels, guesthouses, holiday homes, apartments and private studios.
You have a full range to choose from when it comes to equipment, standard and location. From luxury hotels to cheap apartments for rent. In smaller towns it will be less crowded, while in larger towns the night life is more varied.
How much does it cost to stay on the Olympic Riviera?
Accommodation prices, especially in low season, are very affordable. Lovers of motorhome travel and tent accommodation will also find suitable accommodation on the Olympic Riviera. The campsites here are not crowded, especially out of season, and their prices will not ruin our wallet.
See also which cities and towns are worth visiting while spending your holidays on the Olympic Riviera.
Towns on the Olympic Riviera
Paralia – the most famous and extremely popular resort on the Olympic Riviera. A typical holiday spot with a wide sand and shingle beach with a gentle entrance to the sea. It is full of taverns and diners, and after dark the town turns into party rooms. For this reason, it is a good choice for young people who like to have fun, but also families with children should be satisfied with the vacation spent here. You just need to look for accommodation on the outskirts of Paralia to avoid loud youth playing.
Katerini – is the capital of the region, one of the oldest cities on the Olympic Riviera. It has no direct connection to the sea, you need to drive about 5-8 kilometers to the beach. You can visit the Thia Analipsi cathedral or the local folklore museum. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants with typical Greek cuisine in the city.
Leptokarya – the second most popular town on the Olympic Riviera. Located at the foot of the Olimp massif, a good place for sunbathing and water sports. The location of Leptokarya makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area.
Olimpic Beach – not a large town, known mainly for its beautiful beach. A spot rather for those seeking peace and rest. However, located not far from the more entertaining Paralia, where you can reach the promenade.
Litohoro – a small town located at the foot of Olympus. It gives the possibility of hiking, but Litohoro is also a great place to practice various water sports. It is worth coming here if you want to spend your vacation actively.
Kokkino Nero – a small town surrounded by greenery, known for its specific climate and mineral waters, ideal for relaxation.
Nei Pori – a nice family resort, with a wide sandy beach with a gentle descent to the sea, perfect for the youngest. Around the local promenade there are shops, taverns and water equipment rentals.
Platamonas – a small village located near the Olimp massif. Known for its medieval castle, situated on a hill, built by the crusaders. Platamonas is also the place where the annual Olympus Festival takes place in summer.
We mentioned earlier the beautiful beaches. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The entire Olympic Riviera has long and wide, sandy and gravel beaches. A large number of people come here just to lie on the beach, sunbathe and enjoy the entire range of water sports available on the Aegean Sea.
Most of the beaches have a fairly gentle descent to the sea, so ideal for families with children. However, you can also find here rocky beaches, which also have their charm and photographic values.
By definition, the beaches of the Olympic Riviera are free, we will only have to pay for the rental of sunbeds and an umbrella (about 6-8 euros per day).
Most of them have beach infrastructure in the form of wc, showers and care or rather supervision of lifeguards. On the beaches of the Olympic Riviera we can go canoeing, parasailing, windsurfing, or ride a banana, water-skiing and scooters.
What about attractions? As you will soon see, there will also be many!
Sights, interesting places and tourist attractions of the Olympic Riviera
In addition to sunbathing and water sports, there are also other attractions for tourists on the Olympic Riviera. Both in terms of ancient and modern monuments, as well as natural values:
One of the biggest tourist attractions of the Olympic Riviera is undoubtedly the Olimp Mountains National Park. You can not only go hiking in the mountains (although the peak of Olimp should be left for rather skilful climbers), but also try your hand at parachuting or rafting or canyoning in the canyon of the Enipeas River.
Another place worth visiting is the Tempe Gorge (also called the Tempi Valley) with high cliffs, lush vegetation and a small church of Agia Paraskewi, integrated into the mountain massif.
The Pinios River, which flows through it, is also connected to the Tempe Gorge. Above it a bridge leads to the church of Agia Paraskewi. The Pinios River has also been used more touristically and kayaking and bird watching are organized here in the water reserve located in its delta.
Cruises to the island of Skiathos are also a popular holiday attraction on the Olympic Riviera. It is famous for its charming, typically Greek towns, picturesque bays with beautiful beaches. It is worth swimming, resting, catching the sun and lace up. By the way, check out our ranking of the most beautiful Greek islands.
This is not the end of attractions.
The Olympic Riviera is a typical holiday region, but it is also a good base for trips to nearby towns, where interesting monuments are hidden. When it comes to sightseeing, there are many religious buildings (churches, chapels and monasteries) as well as medieval castles (in Platamonas) and museums (in Thessaloniki or Vergina).
The largest monument is the archaeological site in Dion. It was here once there was an ancient city and main sanctuary, in honor of the Olympic gods. It is currently the largest archaeological territory in Greece. Some of the uncovered ruins of various buildings are located within the city limits of the then city (e.g. walls, hot springs or public toilets), others are outside of it (temples and theaters). In Dion there is also a museum dedicated to these discoveries, with the most valuable exhibit which is the instrument that was probably a precursor of modern organs.
It is worth while on vacation on the Olympic Riviera to visit the surrounding cities, such as Katerini with its cathedral and museum, and the city of Larisa, where we will see the remains of the ancient theater and Turkish defensive walls. It is also worth visiting the village of Ano Skotina, where you can see stone houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, surrounded by deciduous forest.
Thessaloniki with its monuments will also be a separate point: the Hagia Sophia church, the Arch and Galerius Rotunada, the White Tower (symbol of the city) and Kastra (the oldest district of the city). Near the city of Thessaloniki there is also a water park – Waterland, with lots of attractions for the whole family (slides, swimming pools, artificial waves and mountain river).
During your vacation on the Olympic Riviera, it is definitely worth moving a little further and see one of the wonders of the world, namely Meteora. Orthodox monasteries hung on rock pillars are an unforgettable view.
Another video showing the beauty of the regions of the Olympic Riviera:
Access and Opinions
The fastest way to get to the Olympic Riviera is by flight. The nearest airport is in Thessaloniki. The whole riviera is well connected with other places (Aegean highway), so there should be no problem with accessing the selected resort.
If any of you had the opportunity to spend your vacation on the Olympic Riviera and therefore has opinions, I invite you to provide them in the form of feedback in the comments. Remember that every practical tip and all key opinions may prove to be important for future tourists who intend to spend their holidays on the Olympic Riviera.