Set on the slopes of Mount Olympos, this lovely hotel is a true family affair. Lazaros Bellos gave up his teaching job to build Ktima Bellou and he now runs it with his wife Theodora and their four children. I met the parents and the two daughters, all four very courteous, gentle and welcoming. The hotel buildings are all made from natural stone and wood in the traditional Macedonian style, beautiful! The main building has a restaurant and lounge on the ground floor and seven studios on the floor above. Right above it, further up the mountainside, there are several small cottages (I stayed in one of those) that each have a living room with a fireplace (ready to be lit, with extra supplies of wood), a nice ‘country-style’ bathroom, and a bedroom with a super comfy bed. Without being overly stylish, everything is done in good taste: walls, partly in natural stone, are thick; terracotta floor tiles lend a rustic touch; timbered ceilings add charm; ingeniously integrated state-of-the-art heating panels are both pretty and functional; and private balconies and verandas are wonderful spots to enjoy lazy summer evenings. After an active day in the mountains, Ktima Bellou is the perfect place to return to and to relax.
The great comfort and the welcoming atmosphere of Hotel Ktima Bello made an impression. Dinner with one of the daughters playing the piano was excellent!
The swimming pool is not heated, and is only used in the summer.
5 studios for up to 2 persons
2 studios for up to 4 persons
5 cottages for up to 4 persons with a living room, one bedroom
En-suite bathroom (shower, Jacuzzi in 2 of the studios)
Facilities to make coffee and tea
One of the cottages has wheelchair access
Oh wow, what a breakfast I started the day with! Imagine a spread you can help yourself from with something like four different kinds of hearty pies, fresh bread, omelettes, homemade jams, thick creamy yogurt, loukoumades dripping with honey, rice pudding, home-baked cake, and yes, you get it, forget about that healthy diet!Lunch and dinner are really good too. Expect refined slow-cooked traditional Greek cuisine with a few creative twists, prepared with organic, locally and home-grown (the estate has its own, certified organic farm) ingredients*. How do cabbage salad with grated pumpkin, crab apple, black currants and a mandarin dressing; fried black pork meatballs with an Olympus’ tea sauce and “Armenovil” with grated meringue biscuits and caramelized almonds sound? I ate well. A bit too well!
During the summer, the hotel organises (once per week) Greek wine masterclasses, Greek pita seminars and barbecue nights.
* Menus can be adapted, on request, if you have food allergies or special dietary requirements and there are plenty of vegetarian options too.
Ktima Bellou is a great hotel for active family holidays in Greece. The cottages can comfortably accommodate families of four (or even five if your youngest can sleep in a cot/crib (provided on request), and the studios are suitable for families with one or two children.
I have no doubt your little ones will love the food at Ktima Bellou (and they will eat healthy!) and highchairs are available for the very little ones.
The hotel has some great facilities for children. The farm is always a hit with kids of all ages, and there also is an outdoor playground, table-tennis and archery equipment. You can borrow board games and children’s books. The swimming pool has a shallow part (parents, do supervise at all times!).
But the part for families with children is the surrounding area, the mountains, the nature. Pack your sturdy walking shoes and take the kids on hikes, or if they are a little older borrow mountain bikes. If you are all fit (and old enough), you can make the one-day ascent to the top of Mount Olympus (2,918 m). The hotel can organise a licensed mountain guide to take you. (Don’t try it on your own!) Guides can also take you climbing, trekking, ski mountaineering and canyoning to the Orlias waterfalls at Dion.
Art and music
Enjoy live piano music in the restaurant on Saturday nights. The hotel periodically also organises other cultural events, musical evenings and art exhibitions.
Explore the organic farm of Ktima Bellou; 12 acres are planted with fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, strawberries, beans and asparagus. Say hello to a small bunch of farm animals.
The hotel has archery equipment for guests to use, so how about shooting some arrows? There’s table tennis too, and during the summer you can swim your laps in the large pool.
Walking and hiking
Discover little trodden mountain scenery on foot. The hotel has maps and can provide a picnic lunch if you go for the day. They can also arrange for a certified guide to take you to the summit of Mt. Olympus, a hike that can easily be done within a day.
Grab mountain bikes (provided for free by the hotel) and follow tracks on Mt Titaros. Ask the hotel for suggestions. If you plan to make it a day trip, ask the hotel to prepare a picnic for you.
The ski centre of Elatohori is about 40 km from Ktima Bellou. With only a handful of runs it is not particularly exciting for experienced skiers, but the scenery is very pretty and if the snow is good and you fall on one of these perfectly sunny days, you will definitely have a good time. (Avoid weekends and holidays when it get crowded.)
The hotel can arrange for licensed mountain guides to take you climbing or, usually between December and May, ski mountaineering on the slopes of Olympus. There are also possibilities for canyoning at the waterfalls of Orlias near Dion. The ideal period for this is between April and October.
Day-trips and excursions
Visit the stunning underground museum near Vergina with the tombs of Macedonian royals. One of them is believed to be that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. Or spend a day by the seaside. The coast near Katerini is lined with endless stretches of sandy beach.
Ktima Bellou is situated in the midst of greenery on the slopes of Mount Olympos, at an altitude of about 850 metres. It’s a quiet location just off the road between Elassona and Katerini, 2.5 km from the village of Agios Dimitrios.
Ktima Bellou is on the road between Elassona (a town 40 km northeast of Larissa) and Katerini, 2.5 km south of Agios Dimitrios. You can ‘t miss it.