Legend has it that Zeus was so besotted with the bewitchingly beautiful Semeli that he transported her onto the slopes of the Pieria mountains (miles away from her native Thebes) so that he could admire her from atop his throne on Mount Olympus. Named after the legendary princess, Semeli, perched 1050 metres high on the Pieria mountains, enveloped by forests of beech, oak and fir trees offering mesmerizing views of Mt.Olympus and the unspoilt Thermaic Gulf below qualifies as a bucket-list getaway.
The smell of crackling wood, gourmet cuisine, après-ski pampering and designer interiors (Philippe Starck chairs and earthy Bukhara rugs), lend Semeli a warm, inviting vibe. A mere 5 kms away from the ski resort of Elatochori, here is a great way to spend a guaranteedly white Christmas while slaloming down the slopes. Outdoor options range from a leisurely walk in the forests to water rafting at the Enippeas gorge and hiking, trekking and rock climbing on Mt. Pieria and Mt. Olympus. The ski centre at Elatochori is among the newer and better-organised winter sport venues in Greece. For the culturally inclined, Thessaloniki is little over an hour’s drive away; the royal tombs of Vergina and archaeological finds at Dion and Pella are about 45 minutes away.
Tel: 235.108.2996, website