Kaimaktsalan: The “white top” with the rare vegetation


The mount Voras Kaimaktsalan is the third highest mountain in Greece and it is located along the Greek-Yugoslavian border while the larger part of the mountain belongs to Pella up to the boundaries of the prefecture of Florina.

The highest peak is Voras Kaimaktsalan of 2.524 meters height and according to a version its name means “white top” where there is the church of Prophet Elias which is a Serbian Memorial of the First World War. Other high peaks of Voras is Jenna (2.182 meters) and Pinovo (2.156 meters). Voras has an area of ​​522.860 acres.

The mountain is covered by densely forested valleys and forests of oak, beech and pine. The rich and rare vegetation of Voras contain many rare species of flora and fauna worldwide. It is a very important area for resident raptors, forest species and species of open upland habitats. Much of the mountain has been proposed to included in Natura 2000 regions.

Kaimaktsalan Map

Characteristic of the Mount Voras is the existence of springs at very high altitude as the sources Skopia – Kremasi at a height of 2.400 m. At the foot of Mount Voras lies the Lake Vegoritida, one of the largest lakes of Greece in extent and depth, protected from the Ramshar Convention. The Lake Vegoritida is in the geographical boundaries of the prefectures of Pella – Florina – Kozani.

On the highest peak of the mountain at 2.524 meters, is the Ski Center Voras-Kaimaktsalan. It began its operation in 1995 and its modern facilities begin from the 2.050m. where is the refuge, ski schools, parks, beginners’ slopes, ticket offices and shops rent equipment and end in 2.480 meters where is the arrival station of the highest lift of Greece. At the chalets of the ski resort operate a hotel, a restaurant with traditional flavors and coffee-bar.

The Ski Centre of Voras-Kaimaktsalan is 45 km from the city of Edessa and it is open from late November to early May. It is one of the few ski centers in Greece with so long snow suitable for skiing. Thousands of skiers visit it and every year takes place the preparation of the national team and more schools.

Kaimaktsalan is an attraction not only for the ski lovers but also for nature lovers and hikers. Beautiful trails in a unique natural beauty are organized by naturalist and mountaineering clubs of the area. One of the most beautiful routes is the one that ends in “Rema of Floros”.

In areas close to the ski center Kaimaktsalan like Palaios Agios Athanasios, Arnissa, Panagitsa, Pozar, Neos Agios Athanasios there are artistic guesthouses, luxury hotels and apartments for your stay.

The view from Mount Voras is amazing where you can admire the Thermaic Gulf, the top of Mount Olympus, the opposite ski resort 3-5 Pigadia Naoussa and the impressive panoramic view over the Lake Vegoritida.

Local Flavours & Products

 In all the villages of Kaimaktsalan you will find a rich local gastronomy and many fresh local products. You can enjoy local dishes along with many traditional events organized in all the villages of Pella.

Try the local meats such as sausages with leek, stew and excellent cheeses such as salty mpatsos, kaseri and sheep’s yoghurt. Also famous are the red peppers of Aridaia “tsouskes or peppers Bachovou” with excellent aroma and taste.

In the area are produced the famous crunchy cherries of Edessa “Vodenon”, peaches and other fruits that are used as sweets. In Mountainous Pella are produced local wines of Pella and raki. You will also find many traditional painters, coppersmiths and potters.

Do not forget to buy handmade pasta such as couscous, trachana, small-grained beans “papouda”, honey, raki, asparagus of Almopia etc.

Cultural Events


– Traditional custom of Wedding “Tzamalaria”. Local music, a feast with plenty of wine and the procession returns laughing streets of the village. It takes place on 6 January.
Traditional Macedonian festival on 14-15 August.
– The Varvaritsa, traditional fair with fires, traditional food and wine on 4 December.
Festival Milou (of Apple) in late September.
– Traditional “Lisnik” (fire) custom with fires, traditional music and traditional Macedonian feast.
– Traditional custom Sourva Babo (= Santa Claus comes grandmother) where the children brandishing the kolintaskes (small hammers on wood) sing “Sourva-Sourva strong body, strong crock like silver as dogwood and the next year with health”. It is carried on 30-31 December.

Agios Athanasios

Feast of Zoodochos Pigi. First Friday after Easter.
Animal Dedication / Auction: Local custom with team cooking in the region where five trees combine to form a human body. Traditional music and dance. It takes place in the chapel of St. George on April 23.
– Traditional festival with music, dance and traditional dishes on the Ascension, 40 days after Easter, performed at St. Athanasios square.
The Fires of Christmas: On 23 December, in the central square of Old St. Athanasios big bonfires are lighted and people are gathered around them and have fun with traditional music and food.

Municipality of Aridaia

Karatzovitko carnival: Carnival and floats parade in the center of Aridaia, eve of Sunday of Carnival.
Koulouma in many districts of Pozar Municipality.
Festival of traditional cuisine the 3rd ten days of May.
– The Cultural reunion takes place in the municipal district Promahi on 28-29 June and they are involved participants from all over Greece.
Green Festival: Visitors can be informed by ecological groups and know viokalliergitikes actions in the region.
Akritia: second ten days of July
Prophet Ilias Feast at 18 to 19 – July 20 in Apsalos.
Cultural weekend in the 2nd half of August
The Pozaritika: 3-day cultural events with traditional music, dance, folk evening, theater etc. in the last week of August in Loutraki Aridaias.
Meeting of choirs – Association of Friends of Music Almopia “Aryans”.
– The Cultural Folkloric Group “The Almopes” organizes folklore events reviving the traditions and customs of our country, on the third ten days of March and the second ten days of June.
– In many districts of the municipality Pozar are organized events reviving the custom “Kolda Babs” by lighting the fire on December 23 and “Sourva Babs” by lighting the fire on December 31.
Tsipouro Festival in the municipal district of Piperia the first ten days of October.
Chestnut festival in the municipal district of Orma the first ten days of October and in the municipal district of Lykostomo the second ten days of October.
Kerasia: Traditional festival with music, dance and traditional dishes of the Ascension, 40 days after Easter, held in Kerasia village.
The Kerasiotika: Cultural events with traditional music and dancing on 23-25 ​​August.

Kaimaktsalan Attractions

 The forest of Kaimaktsalan: An area of unique natural beauty. Being an important habitat, it has been recognized as a protected area by NATURA 2000 and has been included in CORINE network. The forest is home to deers, hares, wild boars, bears and other animals.

The ski center Voras-Kaimaktsalan: The area is dominated by the mount Voras- Kaimaktsalan, which is the third highest mountain in Greece. Just 10 km from the Old Agios Athanasios operates the ski center Kaimaktsalan, with modern facilities and excellent views. It is one of the largest ski resorts in the country, with the highest lift in Greece, at an altitude of 2.480 m. The slopes, famous for the large width and the gentle slopes satisfy all tastes of skiers.

Loutra Pozar (Pozar Baths): Just 2.5 km from Loutraki are Loutra Pozar. The lush natural environment with trees, spectacular rocky cliffs and impressive waterfalls, combined with the beneficial and therapeutic properties of the thermal waters and with the modern facilities, have highlighted Loutra Pozar as an attractive destination.

Apart from spa (rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, bronchitis, nervous, gynecological and dermatological diseases, diseases of the circulatory and respiratory systems), the thermal waters of the sources are also suitable for drinking therapy (diseases of the liver, kidney, bile, digestive , circulatory and urinary tract, chronic colitis, gastritis, cholecystitis). The spa is open all year and 24 hours a day, offering guests a unique relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Gorge of Ramno Bor: It means straight Pine and flows through the stream of St. Nicholas or Toplitsa. Nature lovers will enjoy browsing the gorge hiking or climbing and will be indulged to the magic of nature. The entrance to the gorge is from a paved path that begins at Loutra Pozar. The total length is 34 km, following a unique scenic route through the pine trees, cliffs and waterfalls.

The lake – Wetland Agras – Nisiou – Vrytton: The artificial lake mostly covered by aquatic vegetation and hosts many species of fauna and rare bird species. Herons, swans, pelicans, kingfishers, ferruginous ducks and many other species of ducks, are some of the birds that find refuge in the lake. The wetland is protected by national and Community legislation as a place of great natural beauty, home to rare species of fauna. The tour of the lake can be done by car, boating, and even by train.

The physiographic Speleologic – Folklore Museum: It operates in Loutra Pozar and houses a valuable collection of important paleontological findings. Of special interest are the fossilized bones of the cave bear and the coral fossils of 140 million years age.

The Forest Promahi or Black Forest: This forest grows the pentaveloni pine, protected by the Ramsar Convention as a unique species in Europe. According to tradition, Alexander the Great armed the Macedonian Phalanx with spears made of wood sourced from the Black Forest.

Surrounding Area

 Aridaia is a picturesque town situated in the heart of the basin of Almopia, surrounded by the mountains of Voras and Paiko. Aridaia is built on the right bank of the river Toplitsa at an altitude of 128 meters, and at a distance of 26 km. from the city of Edessa.

Agios Athanasios or Tsegani is a picturesque traditional village built at the foot of mount Voras Kaimaktsalan, in Piperitsa top, next to Vegoritida lake at an altitude of 1.200 meters. Agios Athanasios is located 28 km. from the city of Edessa.

Panagitsa is a traditional village built on the slopes of Mount Voras at 750 meters altitude. Panagitsa is the second largest village of Vegoritida and numbers about 1.000 residents.

Loutraki is a beautiful village, built at the foot of mount Voras, at an altitude of 350 meters, located 33 km. from Edessa. Under the municipality of Aridaia and just 13 km from the town of Pozar. The area is known for its healing baths since ancient times.

Kaimatsalan Activities

 In Kaimaktsalan you will have the opportunity to do many activities such as paragliding, hiking, climbing, mountain biking and skiing at Voras-Kaimaktsalan Ski Centre.

A beautiful and easy route for hiking is the one that ends in “Stream Floros”. The route starts at the junction of the shelter of Naturalist Group of Edessa in Voras and reaches “Rema” crossing a wooded area with many waterfalls. The journey takes about 60 minutes along with the return.

If you want to feel the thrill of flight with double gliding over the tops of Kaimaktsalan overlooking Lake Vegoritida, you can go to “Kerasies” position and then take off the airfield of Panagitsa.

The Ski Center Voras Kaimaktsalan offers great excitement to the lovers of adventure and action. Besides skiing you can visit the church of Prophet Elias at 2.524m., to have endless rides with the snowmobiles and try the Airboard Trail. The Airboard Trail are inflatable boards special for movement in the snow, and there is a track where you can move with the Airboard Trail.

There is also a specially equipped and fenced track for lovers of snowboard and there is qualified staff to assist guests. Except for adventure moments you can relax in the chalet of the ski resort enjoying coffee or tea.

How to get there

 Kaimaktsalan Ski Centre is 49 km from the city of Edessa.

There are two different routes you can take to get to the ski center Voras-Kaimaktsalan. The first route is Edessa – Arnissa – Agios Athanasios and the distance is 49 km and the second path is Edessa – Lykoi- Kerasia just 39 km.

From Athens the distance is 620 km and you take the national road Athens – Thessaloniki and get on to exit Veria, to Egnatia Odos. From Veria you continue to Edessa and from there to Florina. About 35 km from Edessa you will find the junction for Arnissa – Agios Athanasios.

From Thessaloniki the distance is 140 km and you take the road to Edessa and continue to Florina until the exit for Arnissa – Agios Athanasios (140 km).

* To access the ski resort the existence of snow chains is necessary.

Kaimaktsalan Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)

Municipality of Edessa
23813 50701
Police Station Edessa
23810 23546
Railway Station Edessa
23810 23510
Ski Center Voras Kaimaktsalan
23810 32000-3
Municipality of Aridaia
23843 50211-12,15
Hospital of Edessa
23810 27441-6
Municipal Corporation Loutra Pozar
23840 91300
– Outdoor Activities Edessa
– Wetland Information Center
– Tourist Information Edessa
23810 20300
Municipality of Giannitsa
23823 50850
Radiotaxi Edessa
23810 23392, 22904
Physiographic-Folklore Museum of Loutraki
23840 91300, 91388
Bus Station Edessa
23810 23511

Video Kaimaktsalan

Kaimaktsalan Photos