KATERINI PIERIA GREECE
Katerini, which is the capital of the Prefecture of Pieria, has a population of 60 thousand inhabitants. It is situated below Mount Olympus and the Pierian Mountains. The fact that it is on top of the road that connects Athens to Thessaloniki (only 70km away from Thessaloniki) as well as the fact that the Prefecture has an 80km coastline has had a positive effect on the development of Katerini and the whole Prefecture for the past couple of years.
The first visitor to mention Katerini was the wanderer W.M. Leake, who counted just 100 houses in 1806. The town spread during the 19th century. In 1912, the population climbed to 8000 people. Since then, it octupled due to the great development of the area. Most of Katerini was populated by immigrants, who settled in Pieria and in other parts of Greece as well, when coming from Asia Minor.
Katerini welcomes its visitors by offering amazing holiday options and places of entertainment. The urban feeling of Katerini, cafés and bars full of people from the nearby areas, is inviting. The beach as well as the Public Parkland let visitors admire the Macedonian nature, so Katerini is considered to be both urban and rural.
The market of Katerini is full and ready to fulfill any desire. The pedestrian zone, called Megalou Alexandrou, but the nearby streets too, make up the commercial center of Katerini and it is ideal for relaxation and shopping without time pressure. It provides the visitors of Pieria with anything they would like from clothes, shoes, cosmetics and jewelry to car and computer accessories and other devices. It is surrounded by scenic cafés, restaurants for any taste and hundreds of shops with well-trained and experienced staff.
The town of Katerini has restaurants, hotels, banks, healthcare infrastructure and anything else visitors might need at their disposal. It is situated in the center of Pieria and at a crossing point among the main routes. Few places offer such a huge variety of entertainment options. Eating while listening to music, relaxing at peaceful cafés, enjoying lively nightlife and going to the theater or cinema are some of the activities that can satisfy any visitor's tastes. They can also enjoy themselves at tavernas with music bands, café -bars, clubs and discos with music that the youth prefers or spend their nights dancing to traditional music in their hotels.
In Katerini one can find out about gastronomic traditions from all over Greece. The Pierian sea and mountain products are widely used in the local cuisine, but visitors with more demanding tastes can also enjoy the international cuisine. Hundreds of restaurants and tavernas offer fresh ingredients, a healthy diet and an intense and unique food experience. In the seaside restaurants, tourists can choose among a wide range of fish and sea food. In the mountain areas, they can try game, roast and pies. The traditional Macedonian cuisine is widely known for the different techniques of cooking meat and cheese products, as it uses recipes which combine the advantages of the Mediterranean diet.
Visitors can also enjoy various gastronomic combinations using olive oil, vegetables and sea food, as well as the use of different herbs such as oregano, spearmint and basil. The great variety of desserts and drinks show the area's traditions which have always been characterized by amazing taste.
The Public Park of Katerini
The Public Park of Katerini is situated in the city center and it is a true oasis. It has been regarded as the symbol of the city for decades and it is one of the most beautiful spots. People use the park for their daily walks surrounded by greenery and fountains. Apart from that, festivals, cultural events and film screenings frequently take place there.
The Folklore Museum of Pontic Greeks
One of the attractions in Katerini is the Folklore Museum of Pontic Greeks, which preserves memories and historic relics from the areas of the Black Sea. The association of Pontic Greeks of Pieria was founded in 1928 and aims to preserve the traditions of the Black Sea. The museum was set up in 1990 and contains over 600 items and costumes which help visitors get to know the mores and customs of the Pontic Greeks of Katerini. This collection is permanently exhibited in the museum and it is located behind the Public Park. (www.taxidologio.gr)