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Palios Aghios Athanasios

At a distance of 30 km from the city of Edessa at the Prefecture of Pella and very close to the ski center Voras- Kaimaktsalan (16 km), is found a small “paradiseā€¯ for the guests, the traditional preserved settlement of old Agios Athanassios (or Tsegani). The village was built at the end of the 16th century on the peak Piperitsa on an altitude of 1.200 m., and was once a flourishing cattle community till the decade of the 70's.

After 1985 the inhabitants go lower and they found the new Agios Athanassios. But the modern transportation choices and the communication possibilities in combination to the tourism brought them back again to the old village from 1994 and then. The also known as “stone villageā€¯ is now considered unique for its Macedonian architecture, having the stone and the wood as basic elements and the metal as a less basic element. Like the most mountainous settlements of Macedonia, the geometric organization of the space is irregural. The local architecture was greatly followed by the inhabitants and it was supported by important investments mostly because of the characterization of the area as a traditional settlement in 1992 and its tourism development from 1995, the year when the ski center Kaimaktsalan was put into operation. Many locals but also strangers, mostly businessmen from Thessaloniki, chose to stay permanently and get involved into agricultural and tourism activities in the old village.

Nowadays, the village has a capacity of more than 2500 accommodations, without taking into account the country houses. It will remind you the tourism villages of Germany and Austria that are located near to ski centers. Old Agios Athanassios has everything as far as the equipment for winter sports concern, the local traditional cuisine rich in dairy and meats, the entertainment in several cafes and bars, clubs and wine taverns, skating- rink and outdoors activities (trekking, horse riding etc). You will leave the village only in case you want to visit the surrounding places.

Except the winter sports at the ski center of Kaimaktsalan, there are also many earthen 4x4 routes that lead to the villages Panagitsa, Kerasia, Loutraki and the famous baths of Aridea, but also to Achlada and Skopo (Florina) near the monuments of the castle of Setina. The mountain of Kaimaktsalan consists an important biotope and a place of special natural beauty that has been recognized as a protected area by NATURA 2000 and has entered the network CORINE. If someone stands at one of the forestall roads for several minutes move less, he will feel the sounds of the forest and possibly unusual presents such as roes, deers, rabbits and wild boars…and also bear more rarely(as they stay away from the human presence). Hunting is allowed only with permission at a given controllable area and one must have license from the hunting association of Edessa.

An important sight of the village is the church of the Ascension of Christ (17th century) that imposes at the edge of the village while the little church of Agios Athanassios has a great view to the Lake Vegoritis and the near villages. Also the little church of Agios Georgios is worth seeing, where five trees are getting together making a human body, in an area totally entered into the natural environment, literally speaking.

The climate is mild with temperatures that do not go over 27oC at summer while at winter they do not go under -5oC. You can reach the village through the national road of Edessa- Florina with direction to the mountain Voras.

Welcome to Old Agios Athanassios and have a great staying and fun.

Where to stay: Palios Aghios Athanasios Hotels
See also: Pella Tourist Guide
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