The gem of Maenalos, Vytina, is considered to be one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece, especially in winter when the snow spreads its magic. Picturesque and hospitable, Vytina is a lovely family getaway.
Vytina is merely 190km away from Athens. This makes it a very attractive destination for families, that do not wish to travel too far to enjoy a bit of nature. And why should they? At the roots of mount Maenalo, Vytina emerges out of a beautiful landscape of wild nature. The mountains and pine forests complete this unique setting.
The narrow sidewalks are lovely for morning and evening strolls. You will be impressed by the stone-built old aristocratic houses (petrospita), found in most streets leading to the center. There you will find many traditional shops selling unique handcrafted wooden items, souvenirs and organic local products. If you’re there in the morning, make a stop at Laropoulos bakery. It has been baking traditional bread for over a century, and the earlier you go, the fresher it will be.
The church of Agios Tryfon is certainly one of the most beautiful historical sites of the city. It was built in 1846 by the famous local black marble and was decorated with beautiful frescoes. The town hall, the old primary school and the public library are also historic buildings that will help you understand the culture and history of the area. Especially the library is very interesting, as it hosts books tracing all the way back to the 19th century and the formation of the Greek republic. You can also visit the Museum of Folk Culture, which exhibits clothes, tools and objects from the same period. The famous “Street of Love” is very atmospheric, so do include it in your walks. Many couples stroll around it, under the dense trees that almost cover the street.
Favorite family places to eat in the center are “Klimataria” and “Tsipouradiko of Vitina”, both offering traditional food at affordable prices. Stop for a coffee and a dessert at Dryades cafe or at 1033 Grand café. The Vitina House Forest Resort and Vitina Mountain View Hotel are both very comfortable, with plenty of space for the kids and great views of nature around Vitina.
Every year in springtime there is a honey festival where honey and other handmade delicacies are exhibited, while events and activities for children also take place.
If you have a car, take a day trip to Maenalos and visit the ski center there. Other nearby picturesque villages worth visiting are Laggada, Dimitsana and Vlacherna. If you are fans of walking, all streets around Vytina leading up to Mainalos are ideal for hiking and mountain biking, as they take you through the pine forest, the springs and the monasteries of the area. A monastery of particular interest is Kornitsa (less than 4km away), which was a refuge for Greek rebels of 1821 and houses a miraculous icon of Virgin Mary.
Although Vytina is mostly known as a winter destination, the nature of the area is also charming during spring and fall. In addition, these are the best times for walking and cycling, while there is also the possibility for organized ride horses in nature.
Families should know
- Vitina is a very popular destination and usually during the Christmas period attracts a lot of people
- If the snow is thick, you’d better use winter elastics on your car to be safe
- Visit: all year