Situated at 900m between Mount Olympus and the Pierian Mountains in Macedonia, Ktima Bellou is one of the friendliest and most authentic agritourism hotels Greece has to offer. With its ‘green’ accommodation, organic farm and 'slow food' restaurant, it's the sort of place that feels good and does you good too.
The new and very pretty buildings are the work of local craftsmen, in the local Macedonian architectural vernacular – all rough-hewn stone walls, dark wood, beamed ceilings and pitched roofs, clustered picturesquely up the hillside.
The farm grows fruit, vegetables, herbs and trees, much of which ends up in the kitchen, along with Ktima Bellou’s free-range sheep and chickens. The estate is particularly proud of its strawberries, walnut trees, beans, asparagus and tomatoes, grown from heritage seeds cultivated in the area for centuries.
Also part of the estate are a café, piano bar, small conference facility, swimming pool, shop and playground.
Nearby Mount Olympus, itself a National Park, dominates an area of magnificent natural beauty, rich in history and mythology. Depending on the time of year, skiing, trekking, mountain biking and visits to the archaeological and religious treasures nearby can all be arranged by the hotel.
Highlights include the ancient site of the Macedonian kingdom, with its tomb of Alexander the Great’s father Philip II, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, a complex of Byzantine monasteries second only to Mount Athos in importance.
Closer to home, archery, table tennis and swimming will keep younger guests amused.
Food is immaculately sourced from Ktima Bellou’s very own farm, plus local farmers and producers, all – naturally – organically certified. Greek microbreweries supply the beer, and wine is made from local heirloom varieties of grape.
Add to that the hotel’s location at the intersection of three regions, and you have a rich and sophisticated culinary tradition to draw on (sample dishes being ‘cabbage salad with grated pumpkin, crab apple, black currants and a mandarin dressing' and 'grilled black pork pancetta with roasted potatoes and a homemade lotus barbecue sauce').