Park of Agios Panteleimonas
About a 1-hour-drive away from Thessaloniki and 25 km away from Kozani, there is a park called Agios Panteleimonas. This huge nature park is spread across 6 hectares and there is a small church within it, but what's really interesting about it is that it's home to about 70 domesticated deer.
The first couple of these magnificent creatures was brought to this park in 2004, and thanks to the dedicated locals of Agios Dimitrios, their number has notedly grown since then. They feed these animals and take care of them, especially during the winter when the temperatures in this area become much lower and many roads are blocked.
The park has been unknown even to the locals for a very long time, but over the last few years it's been getting more and more popular and tourists from the entire North Greece visit it. Nowadays, many people even decide to get married or baptized in the St. Panteleimon church within the park.
A great open space, trees and the untouched nature make this a perfect spot for a picnic or a BBQ. A lot of families take their children to visit this park because deer feeding is a unique experience and it brings special joy to all the kids that get to do it. The entrance to the park is free.
If you're spending your summer holidays on the Ionian coast and you enter Greece at the Medžitlija-Niki border crossing, you will drive past Kozani which is about 25 km away from the park. If you have time, you can make a stop there and have a wonderful time playing with these incredible animals. The park is open during winter too.
Photos by: Nikos Kopanidis