The Olympic Riviera (Pieria) is located in the south of Central Macedonia, one of the 51 prefectures of the Greek state. The coastal areas of the region are flat, with long stretches of fertile land comprising 40% of the total area. To the south and west are the mountainous regions of the Olympic Riviera (Pieria).
Here the Greek mountain ranges of Olympus, Titara and Pieria converge. The eastern coast of the area is fringed by the Gulf of Thermia, the western coast is bordered by the Pierian Mountains with the Olympus, while the northern coast is bordered by the Aliakmonas River. The region is the source of many small rivers that start in the mountains, richly sheltered by mixed forests.
Katerini is the capital of the Olympic Riviera (Pieria). The city lies in a valley between the Pierian mountains and the home of the gods, Olympus. The city takes its name from its patroness, St. Catherine of Sinai. The Christian martyr lived in the 4th century.
Katerini is a popular tourist destination which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. The resort combines the magnificent natural beauty of the Greek mountains with the turquoise waves of the crystal clear sea. Its capital would have been a small town if not for its proximity to Thessaloniki, making it a modern centre with a well-developed economic environment, transport infrastructure and a large number of social facilities.
The city has a population of about 90,000. According to the 2001 population census, Katerini ranks 10th among the Greek cities in terms of population. Agriculture and tourism are the main occupations of the inhabitants. Katerini is one of the fastest growing towns not only in Macedonia, but also in Greece as a whole. This is ensured by the large influx of travellers.
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