The May Day holiday and this year’s celebration that “falls” immediately after the weekend are ideal conditions for an excursion to a nearby area.
Larissa Prefecture is full of beautiful villages that are visited by hikers and tourists from all over Greece.
Nature, tranquility, walks, moments of relaxation and good food, you will find in the mountainous towns of our prefecture, without saying that there are no others just as beautiful waiting for visitors to discover them.
Take a look at some of the options you have for a short getaway during the three days of May Day:
A picturesque village on the slopes of Kissavos, at an altitude of 388 meters, just 31 km from Larissa and 5 km from the National Highway. Put on comfortable walking shoes and look up to see the town’s stone houses, many of them restored mansions, built in the period 1787-1810, standing proud of the passage of time.
Visit the Schwarz house, discover the village churches and light a candle. Visit the Folklore Museum, the National Resistance Museum and learn about the history of the village, the first cooperative in Greece and much more, from the residents who are willing to chat with you
In the town square under the plane trees you will delight your palate with the traditional flavors, from the area’s grilled meats (ribs, T-bone steaks, chicken, roast lamb, etc.) The town is famous for its taverns and good food! !
Sip local red wine from area vineyards Taste local cheese and chicken, and eat walnut and pumpkin jam, made by the women of the village. Ask if they have rizopita (sweet rice and spice cake), the village women make it amazing!
And after having been in the town in autumn, buy chestnuts and firikia (a variety of apples), from the locals that you will find scattered around the square. And if you’re lucky, they can provide you with tsipouro and wine from their production!
Don’t forget to bring jars of spoon candies (the ones with pistachios, walnuts and chestnuts are terrific).
The town is the base for escapades to the mountains of Kissavos, to Oria Castle, on hiking trails to the top of Prophet Ilias and also for mountain biking ascents.
Another mountain village of the Larissa Prefecture, at an altitude of 600 meters, at the foot of Mount Olympus, is 49 km from Larissa and only 7 km from the national highway. Rapsani has been known since ancient times for its vineyards and for its good wine, red, brusko and tsipouro. According to mythology, the nectar of the Olympian gods was produced here.
However, it is not far behind in food either, it is particularly known for its good meats, since the main occupation of the inhabitants is animal husbandry!
You will find taverns in the town square, sit under the thick shade of century-old plane trees, start with a tsipouraki, eat delicious grilled meats, as the tavern keepers have made grilling an art, drink Rapsani red wine and al end you will taste local sweets of spoon, walnut, carrot with yogurt. And here, as in most mountain towns, empanadas have their place of honor. Ask if they have cheese cake, vegetable cake with cheese, but also the dulce de leche cake and ask for it, you will love it.
Make sure you have taken your walks beforehand through the cobbled streets with the houses and mansions of the town and in the monasteries that are located on the outskirts of the town, in the forest.
In the chapel of Agios Theodoros, 10 km west of Rapsani. See the work of the 10th-century sacred bench and the 13th-century catholicon iconostasis. The chapel of John the Baptist with the wonderful frescoes of the 16th century. The convent of Panagia Glykofiloussa.
The Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior, located 4 km NW of Rapsani, see the marvelous wood-carved iconostasis, dating from the 17th to 18th century.
Sip your coffee in the square and enjoy the view, the beaches of Larissa Prefecture, with the Aegean Sea stretching out in front of you. Nearby are the beaches of Messangalos, Koulouras, Stomios, you can enjoy a spring bath weather permitting.
METAXOHORI AND MEGALOVRYSSO
36 kilometers from Larissa, we head towards Agia and we will climb at the foot of Kissavos at a height of 300 meters to meet a beautiful and picturesque village of Metaxochori. The village was also called Retsiani, that is, a river village due to the Amyros River, which flows through it.
Stroll along the stream and enjoy the autumn scenery, walk up the picturesque streets and reach the Soulioti mansion for a coffee in the most beautiful courtyard in the village. Accompany the coffee with a spoonful of sweet cherry and enjoy the view of the fertile plain of the Agia region.
Go down to the square and drink a tsipouraki under the banana trees that have started to drop their leaves and continue your escape further up at a height of 600 meters, through a beautiful route, to the village of Megalovryso to reach the square with the stone. church There you can eat cooked and grilled meats in the village tavern! Walk through the streets of the village and see the Aegean from above.
Anatoli emerges beautiful and picturesque (formerly known as Selitsiani), it is built on the slope of Kissavos at an altitude of 950 m, admiring every sunrise the wonderful colors of the east. It is 41 km from Larissa and 18 km from the town of Dimitra. Its foundation dates back to Byzantine times, while in the difficult years of the s. XIII. abandoned or deserted The new inhabitants came from the village of Bathyrema, close to present-day Gerakari, after it was destroyed by the Turks in 1423. In the past, the production of white thread and the famous wine flourished, while goldsmith workshops also existed. . Today its 500 inhabitants are mainly farmers and ranchers.
Walking through the area, the visitor meets the springs in the places “Yatriko”, “Vryses”, within the town and “Vrysi Chalkia”. The top of Kissavos “Prof. Ilias” is about 1.30′ east where the well known Kissavos tea thrives. Other special viewpoints are the “Panagia” position with a view of the sea, the Timiou Prodromos Monastery with a view of the Thessalian plain and the “Karliagi” position above the village with a view of the sea and the Thessalian plain. The forests in the area are covered with beech and fir trees and wild boars, roe deer, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, wolves, etc. find refuge here.
The main attraction for visitors are the festivals and customs that are being revived in the East. The town celebrates with traditional municipal dances in celebration of Prof. Elías (7/20), Ag. Paraskevi (7/26), Ag. Panteleimon (7/27), Dormition of the Virgin (8/15) and Dissection of the Sacred Head of the Forerunner (29/8). A special place is occupied by the summer custom of “Alonia”, during which the inhabitants thresh in a traditional way (scythe, adobe, animals) on a stone threshing floor in Ag. Panteleimon.
In the Cultural Center of the East there is a permanent photographic exhibition with old photographs, referring to all areas of the daily life of the inhabitants. Finally, it is worth visiting the Ecclesiastical Museum with pieces dating from the 17th century.
Kallipefki is located on Kato Olympos and in the NE of N. Larisa. It is built at an altitude of 1,100 m and is surrounded by dense beech, oak, fir and pine forests. Its name is also due to the beautiful pine forests. Until 1911, the town was reflected in the waters of Lake Askiridos. That year the lake dried up, yielding 5,000 acres of land for cultivation.
In the last decade, the reopening of the lake has been strongly discussed for reasons of ecological balance, environment and tourism development of Kato Olympos. Since ancient times, Kallipefki has been a passage from Macedonia to Thessaly. From here Xerxes passed with his numerous troops (480 BC) and the Roman army (169 BC Marco Felipe). During Turkish rule it had about six thousand inhabitants and was the seat of a bishop.
Visitors who come to Kallipefki will find themselves in front of a wonderful landscape. Its forest is a huge park with trails, forest roads, murmurs of water and hermitages scattered on the slopes and clearings. Recreational areas such as Agia Triada and Patomeni (refreshment) will please all visitors.
Soccer and basketball courts and three playgrounds will satisfy the needs of children and young people. In the paved square of the village and under the plane trees, everyone can enjoy coffee, tsipouro and food and admire the stone church of Agios Theodoros. Since 1996, the ELFTHERIA camp of the Larissa scouts has been operating in Kallipefki, and Metropolis is also preparing its own.
Skiti is built on the slopes of Mavrovouni at an altitude of 350 m and is 48 km from Larissa. Its permanent population amounts to 400 people, while in summer it exceeds 1000. The main income of the inhabitants is the cultivation of olives, chestnuts, apples and pears, livestock, fishing and tourism (room rental, hotel and camping center). .
Near the village at a distance of 3 km we find the spring “Bourboulithra”, in a rich vegetation with plane trees and to the south of it are the ruins of the walls of ancient Melivoia also known as Philoktitis mentioned by Homer. The Montenegrin forest, dominated by many species of trees and animals, has been included in the European NATURA 2000 Network. Other points with a wide view are the “Castle” at a distance of 2 km from the village and the locality “Simaia”.
In the area there is also one of the monasteries of the “terms of the Cells”, Ag. Anargyri, with its two ascetics. It is worth visiting Panagia Polydendriou, in the forest with the huge oak tree next to the church.
Also close to the village is the Skitis lake, surrounded by hills with chestnut and walnut trees, where canoeing activities are organized.
Spilia is built in Kissavos at an altitude of 850 m. It is 30 km from Larissa. To the SW of the village, vaulted Mycenaean tombs, two of which were excavated by Theoharis, have been identified at the sites “Vrysi Voulgari” and “Kimbourli” and are partially visible today. In the “Sokaki” place there is a cave with stalactites and in the “Bougazi” place a ravine. It has 324 inhabitants, who are dedicated to agriculture, livestock and tourist activities, although there are also some who practice the traditional trade of bricklayer. In summer, Spilia multiplies its population, acquiring a holiday character.
Weary travelers can quench their thirst in the cool waters of the area’s springs. The village is surrounded by the “Paliogephyro” and “Megas Lakkos” streams, creating a rich aquatic environment. From the top of Kissavos “Profitis Ilias” (altitude 1,978 m.) and the points “Seloma”, “Karabiki”, “Trapezos”, but also from the town itself, the visitor enjoys the beauties of the area from above.
A source of life for residents are the “Kouri” forests with oak trees over 800 years old, the beech thicket in the “Fert” place of Agios Panteleimon and the Kissavo forest complex. Spilia belongs to the European “NATURA 2000”. grid. It has the Kissavos controlled hunting area, which is rich in game (hares, wild boars, partridges, deer, etc.), as well as feathered game breeding centers.
Spilia is the main base for mountain activities in Larissa. In the area of the main Kissavos there is the possibility of hiking along the path to the top in winter and summer, climbing, routes with mountain bikes or 4X4 vehicles, horse riding or even alpine skiing. Also, climb Prophet Hlias, the highest peak in Kissavos.
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