Milia Village In Greece: A Remote and Romantic Getaway
Greece may be known and famous for its islands and wonderful beaches, but it has some gems in its mainland as well. We are talking about the Greek mountains of course. But firstly, let me tell you about our 2-day getaway in a small village in the town of Katerini, which is located in northern Greece. The village is called Ano Milia and has just one permanent inhabitant! The first thing we thought, was what we will do for two days in a place where there are no people! The answer comes below and will surprise you!
Watch the sunrise with a view of Mount Olympus
The first morning we woke up early to get the chance to watch the sunrise. The Greek mountains are often overlooked by visitors that have no idea what they are missing out on. Fresh oxygen, the peace and quietness of nature and the soft morning light made for a relaxed and joyful start to our day.
The detail that made the scenery even greater, was the view of Mount Olympus standing tall in front of us. The home of the ancient Greek Gods is the tallest mountain in Greece, the highest part is at an altitude of 2,918 meters. Our window was just across this majestic view, which was the reason why we choose this specific place to spend our weekend.
For visitors, the closest accommodation options can be found at Old Elatochori just half an hour away or Katerini, which is also 20 kilometers away. If you are thinking of exploring the area around Mount Olympus, Milia village makes for an excellent road trip destination.
If you are set on getting the same view as we did you might want to check out “Melies Traditional House”, a three-bedroom villa in the village that can accommodate up to 7 guests.
Visit the “The Path of love”
The Path of Love is a beautiful hiking path situated in the middle of Ano Milia and one of the places you will want to explore during your visit.
The path is suitable for all ages, family-friendly and of minimum difficulty. Of course, with such a name it is best if visited with a significant other. We, however, went as a group of friends, which I can assure you did not its beauty diminish. It took us about half an hour walking through a lush forest of chestnut and pine trees to reach the main picnic area with its small water spring. If you are quiet you can listen to the sound of the running water from the stream coming straight from Mount Olympus. Do not hesitate to taste it, mountain springs such as this one are common around the mountainous villages of Greece. The water is pure, cold and delicious.
The scenery changes colors according to the season. There is also a small wooden bridge that connects one part of the hiking path with the other. This is the perfect spot for your photos!
Here you will also see some of the oldest tree trunks, standing still and hollow on the edge of the hillside.
☞ Related: Another village nearby to discover Palaios Panteleiomonas
Hiking on the E4 European route
If you are a fan of hiking, you can choose the international hiking route E4. This is a route, which goes through Pieria mountain and reaches the hiking shelter of Katerini. It will take around five hours to complete the whole thing. While hiking, you will pass through thick forests of firs, chestnut trees, and pine trees. An activity for those wishing to fill their lungs with fresh air, away from the concrete jungle and the pollution.
Visit Agia Paraskevi Church
In the center of the village, there is the church of Agia Paraskevi. This small stone church has a great story that goes back in history. It was initially constructed in the 16th century by the Greek family of Lazeos. During the Ottoman occupation, the church and the whole village was burnt down by the conquerors.
After the Greek Independence, and specifically the year 1854, the villagers rebuilt the church of Agia Paraskevi. A few years later, the imposing bell tower was built that still retains its original aspect to this day. During WWII, the church was again destroyed by the enemy. It is said that only after the villagers had removed all the holy icons, the church was consumed by flames and reduced to ruins. The villagers consider this as a miracle of St. Paraskevi.
Once again, people started reconstructing the church in 1967 and since then it is considered the jewel of the whole village.
Apart from the church of St. Paraskevi, there is another smaller church close to this one, called the Chapel of Cosmas of Aetolia. This is a small chapel inside the forest, dedicated to Saint Cosmas of Aetolia, who preached in the village in the 16th century. Before departing, he positioned an iron cross in between two tree branches, which remains there until today. The villagers claim that this specific tree has since then neither dried up nor grown any bigger.
Today the place is known as “Iron Cross”, and all visitors pass through this spot to admire it and pay their respects.
Eat all the Greek goodies
The village of Ano Milia has but one single taverna, owned by its only permanent resident. Mr. Kostas and his family serve delicious, homemade local produce daily and if you visit on a weekend, you might also get some special game meat. There are other options in the general area as well, or you can plan ahead for a picnic.
Considering we visited during the bank holiday “Clean Monday” when Greeks celebrate the beginning of the 40-days fasting before the Orthodox Easter, food was very important and carefully planned. During this day, Greeks cannot eat meat or dairy. So, the menu for us had grilled shrimp, lots of Greek salad, the traditional tarama dip, mussels, and gigantes, a traditional Greek dish with lima beans. Another Greek delicacy that was in the center of our table was “Dolamdakia”. This is actually boiled rice and herbs wrapped in grapevine leaves. Another must in our table was the fresh fish and octopus.
Kite flying is a popular activity on Clean Monday. We attempted and failed but had fun in the process!
Greece may be known for the summer season and the wonderful islands, but the hidden treasures of the mainland are worth visiting as well. A small village like Ano Milia is a chance to discover parts of Greece that most tourists never venture into. Actually, they probably don’t even know that such destinations exist within Greece. Ano Milia and the nearby villages that make up the Milies prefecture are undisputedly charming but there are many more villages a short drive away equally rich in beauty and scenery.
Had you heard of Milia village in Greece before? The Greek mountains are waiting for you to explore them! Where will you go first?
Hello! My name is Erilda Goga, but they all call me Eri and I live in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. Although not my actual hometown, Greece has stolen my heart and made me feel like home for the past 20 years. I am a recent graduate of International and European Studies Department with interests in politics, human rights, books, and travelling. Travelling through Europe made me want to learn more about other cultures and more importantly made me appreciate even more the beauties of Greece. Through this blog, I want to try to introduce you to the things that made me love this country. So stay tuned!