May to 2nd
Paralia Pandeleimona (Olympos)
Camping Poseidon is described as a traditional Greek family campsite which means it is full of long stay caravans that have been added to over the years with various shed type extensions and covered in huge tarpaulins to shade them from the ferocious summer sun. We have stayed at similar Clampett style campsites in Portugal and Spain. There are a small number of touring pitches down by the beach and we were lucky enough to get the last one. Rather than Greek families, it would appear the majority of the holiday makers are Macedonians. The whole coast is clearly tourist heaven (or hell depending on your outlook!). We cycled to the nearest main resort called Leptokarya where the beach was full of bodies frying in the sun. You can understand the attraction; the golden sandy beaches are wide with the crystal clear water of the Aegean lapping at their edges. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the campsite and was ready to move off up the coast the next day but then I went for a shower. The shower facilities would have done a five star spa hotel proud.
They had four different water delivery settings, from having the water fall on you vertically or hit you horizontally.
Our main reason for camping here is that we are close to the Olympos National Park, home to Greece’s highest mountain and of course the home of the Greek Gods. We spent a couple of days exploring the magnificent Enipeas Canyon from the village of Litochoro. Our first trek took us up a section of the E4 long distance path to a monastery (Aghiou Dionisiou) that was destroyed by the Germans in WW II and is gradually being restored. The path up the canyon criss-crosses the River Enipeas a number of times via small wooden bridges. Its waters are glacially cold from the melting snow on the mountain tops. The sheer rock sides of the canyon with a glimpse of snowy peaks in the distance is spectacular. My favourite walk so far this trip. Along the path we picked up a canine companion that stayed with is for the rest of the walk, stopping when we did and waiting for us to catch-up. She clearly knew the path well along with all the doggy short cuts. Just when
we thought she was bringing up the rear she would appear like magic in front of us. Given that the path is along the side of a canyon and has steep rocky sheer drop offs into thick vegetation, this was most impressive. I thought we might be bringing her home with us but once we reached the town of Litochoro and headed to where we had parked, she gave us a little bark goodbye and headed off into the distance (not really, we looked around and she had just disappeared but it’s a nice idea).
Our second walk promised us excellent views of the mountain peaks and the canyon which it did but the day was a bit more cloudy and hazy so the photo’s just don’t do it justice.
As the weekend approached the campsite got busier with families and noisier through to the early hours of the morning. Apparently it is a big holiday long weekend in Greece. By Friday, we decided we had seen what we wanted of the area and have decided we will leave Greece for now and head into Bulgaria.
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