Dion: The most beautiful archaeological park in Greece is located in village of Olympus.
A not-so-well-known village that hosts an archaeological park worthy of admiration!
Until 1962, the village was called Malathria, from the herb malathro which was abundant in the area. Kefalochori is located next to the famous archaeological site of ancient Dio, and it may lose in picturesqueness but it wins with history and the beauty of nature.
Here, after all, was the sacred city of the Macedonians that flourished in the 5th century BC, in the years of Archelaus who established the “en Dio Olympias”, the nine-day athletic and stage competitions in honor of Olympian Zeus and the Muses.
Today in Dion you will see the ancient theater that was built in the Hellenistic era and hosts every summer the events of the Olympus Festival.
The archaeological park is also impressive, the most beautiful in Greece, a wonderfully designed archeological site-model with ancient sanctuaries, Hellenistic and Roman theaters, ancient paved streets, thermal baths with pools and mosaics, conservatory, Roman houses, mansions and early Christian basilicas.
It is a model for the rest of the archaeological sites of Greece and is worth visiting.
Inside the village it is worth seeing the Archaeological Museum of Dion with exhibits from the area and the rest of Pieria. Inside the village it is worth seeing the Archaeological Museum of Dion with exhibits from the area and the rest of Pieria.
From the village you will have the unique opportunity to visit the gorge of Orlia (or Ourlia) to find yourself in a fairytale setting with waterfalls, lakes. Continuing, you will leave the car at the chapel of Ag. Kon/nos and Elenis and you will take the path that reaches the mountain shelter at Koromilia.
The entire area of the archaeological park is smothered in vegetation and small streams and running waters cross the archaeological site creating a paradisiacal setting through which the ancient findings shine white.
The ancient Dion was the holy city of the Macedonian kingdom with the mosque of Olympian Zeus being the center of religious life and the place of exposure of the Macedonian kings. At the end of the 5th c. BC, thanks to the initiative of King Archelaus, the “en Dio Olympias”, multi-day sports and stage competitions in honor of Zeus and the Muses, were established, which contributed to the pan-Hellenic recognition of the Pierian sanctuary.
The strategic position of Zeus in the north-eastern foothills of Olympus, a short distance from the coast, with a navigable river, the Vaphyra, flowing to its east, and in control of the passage from Thessaly to Macedonia, led Cassander, in the late 4th c. BC, to fortify the city with a strong enclosure.
Philip II and Alexander the Great organized epic festivals in Dion and offered magnificent sacrifices and rich tributes in honor of Olympian Zeus and the Muses.
During Late Antiquity, with the prevalence of Christianity, Dion became the seat of a bishop and was an important urban center of Pieria.