”Agios Athanasios” village was created at the end of 16 th century, probably by farmers and builders from Epirus district. This area became the eastern border of the control zone, of Ali Pasha big estate at Ioannina.
Its older name was “Tsegani”. The settlement was self-sufficient during the Ottoman Domination, because of the local production of cheese, meat, fleece, textiles, such as wine and “tsipouro” drink.
The village was inhabited until 1981, when a destructive earthquake destroyed most of the houses. The epicentre of the earthquake was 100km southeastern from the village.
Most of the inhabitants were farmers and cattle breeders . After the earthquake they leaved their houses and established about 6 km lower, at the slope of the mountain and created New Agios Athanasios village. The new village was constructed, following a nice and modern street-plan which designed all the streets to be in right angle.
Later on, visitors from everywhere started to come for the New Ski Center of Kaimaktsalan, 13km away from the village. Many houses started to be restored and transformed into traditional guesthouses and many restaurants opened. All the above matters made the village a main winter destination. Additionally, many construction companies started to build new, stone house complexes for sale.
Agios Athanasios is a wonderful, mountain village , situated next to one of the best ski centers of Greece, far away from the metropolitan centers of the area. The village maintains its peace and colour all year , except the holiday periods, when many visitors from Thessalonica and other cities are gathered to the village.
The village has about 300 permanent inhabitants and it is rapidly developed according to the contemporary facilities for high quality hospitality. In addition, the area combines the traditional, local cuisine, the recreation to various cafes and wine shops with the mountain activities (trekking, horse riding etc.) and winter sports. There are many earth-roads for 4x4 vehicles which lead to the villages Loutraki, Kerasia, Panagitsa and Achlada, Skopo (Florina) next to the ruins of Setina castle.
The Kaimaktsalan wood is an important biotope and an area of great natural beauty, recognized as a protected of *NATURA 2000* area and a member of *CORINE* network.
If someone stands for a few minutes at one of the roads inside the wood, will feel the sounds of nature and will probably see roes, deers, rabbits, wild boars and rarely bears (they avoid human presence). Hunting is allowed only with permission of the Association of Hunting of Edessa and only to a particular, controlled area.
- Walk the paths around the village
- Enjoy the local cuisine to the restaurants
- Buy local biological products from the center of the village
- In addition, visit the ski center AEGEAN of Kaimaktsalan, 13km northern to the village.
The ski center which is situated at the highest altitude of all Greek ski centers, is well organized and offers excellent service to the skiers, visitors and allocates:
ALTITUDE: 2.020-2.480 m.
LIFTS: 6 (1 air & 5 sliding)
OVERALL LENGTH OF TRACKS: 15km.
SEASON DURATION: Early days of December until the end of April
The Kaimaktsalan Ski Center is one of the biggest of our country, with the highest altitude, since the highest lift is situated at an altitude of 2.480m. Its tracks are included to the bigger ones in length in Greece and satisfy all the preferences of the skiers; mainly they are known about their big width and gentle inclinations.
Today, the Prefectural Local Authority through its developing company has the management of the ski center.
At the new building next to the central chalet, you will find shops for renting and selling ski equipment and next to the beginner's tracks you will find the two, wooden buildings of ski schools.
One more advantage of Kaimaktsalan is Prophet Helias chapel which is situated on the top of the mountain, at land of Skopia. It is constructed during the First World War from Serb soldiers. Nowadays, it has many visitors and there is a track-laying vehicle which makes itineraries for this cause, from the central chalet to the top.
At Kaimaktsalan ski center there is the famous Snowbar «2.069 m», an amazing cafe – bar, located at the start of the two-seater chair and which is considered to be one of the most successful cafe bars of Greece.
The last years, there have been made many changes for the better service to the skiers and visitors. The great fact was the reconstruction of the central chalet, using earth materials – stone, wood and glass – in combination with the special architectural demands because of the high altitude, the fully renovated chalet is ideal to offer all the necessary facilities.
A two - storey space of 2.000 sq.m, combines the snow lifestyle with relaxing and comfort and in the meantime can offer rhythms of intense music and dance. It also offers a great view to the round mountains, the Olympus top and the tracks.
At the ground floor of the chalet you will find mini market, first aid service, fast food, internet cafe, cafe with playground, big atrium, new offices for the management and the personnel, wc for handicapped people.
At the first floor you will find a restaurant specialized in international cuisine but also in Greek traditional tastes. There is also a self service, cafe with atrium of 60sq. m. viewing to Vegoritida Lake and to 3-5 Pigadia Ski Center.
From Athens, you can follow the National Road Athens-Thessalonica and go out to the exit for Veria, to Egnatia Road. From Veria you continue to Edessa and from there to Florina. 35km from Edessa you will find the crossroad to Agios Athanasios.
From Thessalonica you take the road to Edessa and continue to Florina until you reach the exit to Agios Athanasios.