Mountainous Areas of the Perfecture of Larissa
Mounts Karvounia, Titanon, Olympus, Ossa, Mavrovouni, Filihio, Halkodonio or Kinos Kefale, Narthaki or Kassidiaris, Titanio or Dovroutsi and Oxia constitute a natural borderline.
According to the Greek mythology the twelve gods that decided upon the Ancient Greeks’ fate lived on the peaks of mount Olympus. It is the highest mountain in Greece (2,917m). Mount Olympus is divided by the Ziliana stream of the region of Karia into two parts: the main mass and Low Olympus. As mount Olympus rises up on the borderline between Thessaly and Macedonia and in the middle of the mainland of Greece, it is accessible from the national road, the railway network and the provincial roads. It is also visible from the peaks of most Greek mountains.
Mount Olympus was formed approximately 200 million years ago. There have been ancient sanctuaries on its slopes and peaks such as Juppiter’s sanctuary on Saint Antonios’ peak, at Pithio of the Prefecture of Larissa and at Dio which belongs to the Prefecture of Pieria. Mount Olympus is also famous for the important monasteries of Saint Dionysios, of Petra, of Sparmo and of Virgin Mary of Kanala. Its ravines and forests have also been the robbers’ hide-out.
A part of the mountain was qualified as a National Park in 1938 while Unesco
In 1913 the Swiss climbers Fr. Boissonnas and D. Baud-Bovy and the guide Christos Kakalos reached the highest peak of mount Olympus. Nowadays, visitors can get to each corner of the mountain and enjoy its beauty keeping to its safe paths.
Kokkinopilos, Karia, Rapsani, Krania and other picturesque villages are perched on its slopes. There are also interesting monuments and high-quality infrastructures such as taverns and hospices available for visitors.
Mount Ossa is situated in the north-east of the Prefecture of Larissa and is separated from Low Olympus by the valley of Tembi. According to the Greek mythology, giants tried to place mount Olympus, Ossa and Pelion together in order to reach the gods. In her work entitled “Alexiada” that dates from the 12th century A.D, Ann the Comninian first uses the name Kissavos in order to refer to mount Ossa.
It is a mountain overgrown with beeches, chestnuts, arbutuses, firs and oak-trees. A great extent of the mountain has been qualified as an aesthetic grove and is protected by the Pan-European Network Natura 2000. Picturesque villages such as Ambelakia, Karitsa, Melivia, Megalovriso, Anatoli and Spilia are perched on the slopes of mount Ossa.
One of its main features are its precipices and ravines that create impressive cascades and ravines which finally reach the golden jagged coastline of the Aegean Sea.
The road network of the mountain is vast and accessible all year round thus offering its visitors the opportunity to enjoy every corner of it. Its highest peak (Prophet Elijah 1,978 m) is visible from most points of the Prefecture and is easily recognized because of its conic shape.
It is also considered to be an ideal destination for the lovers of nature and adventure seeing that it has
well-traced paths, perfectly organized climbing grounds, cycling infrastructures (Pan-Hellenic Championship) while it is also possible to drive through it in 4x4 vehicles.
The E.O.S mount shelter of Larissa on the spot of “Kanalos” (1604 m) has the right infrastructures for visitors especially in summer period.
Mount Titanos is situated in the north of the Prefecture of Larissa and west of mount Olympus. It is the third highest mountain in the Prefecture of Larissa (1,838 m-peak of Sapka). It is overgrown with oaks mainly on its north-east slopes and with perennial beeches on the highest parts of the mountain.
Its fauna comprehends common species such as wild boars, foxes, woodpeckers, magpies). It also offers a unique view of the highest peaks of mount Olympus, of Pieria and of the Pereviac plain, too. The picturesque village of Livadi that is situated on the slopes of the mountain is the beginning of magic walking destinations on mount Titaros.
Mounts Antihasia are situated in the west of the Prefecture of Larissa on the borderline with the Prefecture of Trikala. These mountains don’t have many precipices but one of their main features are their numerous furrows and branches.
Mamali (1,423m) is their highest peak where in 1881 there was a Turkish demarcation line. They offer a wonderful view of Meteora, of a large part of Pindos, of mounts Agrafa, Velouhi, Iti, Olympus and Kissavos.
Verdikousia is a picturesque village situated on the slopes of Antihasia, 850 m. above sea level. It has a wonderful climate and a natural environment of rare beauty. It is encircled by beech-trees that offer themselves to walking and cycling. They also provide a shelter for a great variety of mammal species (wild boars, foxes, hares, polecats) and of rare predatory animals (robins, sparrow-hawks). The village has hospices, taverns that serve delicious local meat dishes, milk products (“nivato”) and biological culture vegetables.
The wooded mountain of Mavrovouni (1,054m) rises up between mount Ossa (Kissavos) and Pelion. It is considered to be an important biotope for a lot of species of predatory animals such as harrier eagles. It is also protected by the European network Natura 2000. Mount Mavrovouni is overgrown with beeches, oaks and chestnut trees.
Picturesque villages such as Sklithro, Elafos and Skiti are perched on the wooded slopes of the mountain and constitute tourist attractions of the region as the passage of time hasn’t taken away their authenticity.
Tourists can visit several traditional buildings, fountains, houses, significant monuments (the monastery of Campana, the Virgin Mother of Polidendri) and watermills.
Their thick forests extend as far as the Aegean coastline. proclaimed mount Olympus “Sediment of Biosphere”. The Nature Conservancy status quo that this National Park is subject to contributes not only to the protection of the flora and fauna but also to its systematic recording. The nucleus of the National Park and slopes at the “Mikra and Megala Kazania” constitute significant biotopes of various species of plants and animals, too. The sublime and rare beauty of mount Olympus as well as the ancient legends associated with the mountain attract thousands of visitors every year.Climbers can find accommodation and food in its five mountain refuges.