Escape at the land of the Gods
The beauty of the stone, the mansions, the cobbled streets and lush landscape, make Pelion number one destination for those who like nature walk, stunning views and privacy. Rightly it has been called “destination for all seasons”, combining wonderful sea and mountain. The green slopes encounter exotic beaches that make up a landscape of incomparable beauty, as the island style perfectly combined with the Pelion elements. According to Greek mythology, Pelion was the summer residence of the Gods and homeland of Centaurs (mythical creatures with humanoid form in horse body). Most houses are built amphitheater overlooking the sea. You will definitely love it as a winter destination, while the love for turquoise waters and the “virgin” beaches, make a combination between history and mythology.
What to see
The ideal way to experience the area is to explore some of the larger villages such as Portaria, Zagora or Tsangarada. Although the pattern is dominated almost the same in most (paved square, streets and paths), each one is hiding a separate character that invites you to decrypt.
Public Library of Zagora: The library founded in the 18th century. On the shelves are more than 3,000 books and documents since the 17th century.
The Museum of Folk Art and History: Perhaps the most interesting folk museum in Makrinitsa. Traditional costumes, rugs, important historical relics -as the banner of the Revolution of 1878- are only a few that can be seen.
Portaria: It is just 12 km from the city of Volos and 13 km from the ski center of Pelion. You will walk on paths and streets and visit Byzantine churches and ancient monasteries, as the Monastery of John the Baptist and the church of St. Anargyroi.
Tsagarada: Stand in the shade of enormous plane tree and take a breath full of coolness and fresh air. Go for a walk in Saint Paraskevi, one of the four districts of Tsagarada and one of the most famous villages of Pelion.
Damouchari: Experience the cinematic backdrop one of the most famous beaches, where the scene of Dancing Queen in the musical «Mamma Mia» was shot.
The Old Churches: Don’ t forget to see the wonderful old churches. They will amaze you from the first moment. At Kissos village, you can visit Santa Maria to admire magnificent frescoes inspired by the Revelation, and the Old and New Testament.
Kontou Residence (Theofilos Museum): The only mansion whose interior paintings preserved entirely. Located in Anakasia includes decorative motifs to the Gods of Olympus.
Stone Bridges: The architecture of Epirus is impressed in the stone bridges of Pelion. Katsilochori, Rema of Rodia and Lefokastro are almost the best of what you can see.
Dive into secret blue beaches
The “virgin” beaches deserve special mention, because it’s where Pelion owes the largest number of visitors in summer. The peaceful shores of Pagasetic Gulf with its turquoise waters and sandy beaches vie in beauty those of the Aegean.
Chorefto: The long and sandy beach of Chorefto is located on the eastern side of Pelion and it provides many tourist facilities. According to the legend, near this beach, reachable only by sea area “Old Mitzela”, Peleus fell in love with Thetis. You will love this sea from the first minute, because of its exotic waters.
Parisaina: Located just 8 km away from the village Chorefto, it is at least a “diamond” of the sea.
Saint Forty: A low profile beach, only hundred meters from Chorefto beach, which combines blue waters and seclusion from prying eyes.
Mylopotamos: The most photographed beach with turquoise waters, which is the big star of Pelion. It is a dreamscape with imposing cliffs and “wild” beauty.
Saint John: It is the most popular beach of Pelion. Surrounded by amazing natural beauty, Saint John is well developed in tourism and has one of the finest beaches in the area.
Apart from enjoying walks in the vast trails and navigate between stone paths, Pelion offers a range of activities in order to become one with nature.
Canyoning: Feel your adrenaline rush while you are doing canyoning in the wonderful mountain of Centaurs! Swim in lakes that nobody has seen.
Ηiking: Admire the lush landscape through beautiful routes such as Milies-Tsagarada, Tsagarada-Damouchari and discover all the hidden secrets of the mountain.
Ski / Snowboarding at the Pelion ski resort: The ski center of Pelion “Agriolefkes”, is located in a dense forest of beech trees at an altitude of 1,471m. and It is 27km from Volos. One of its main features is the magnificent view offered to the visitors of on the one hand the Aegean Sea and on the other hand the Pagasetic Gulf. Imagine how often would you have the chance to watch the skiers coming down the snowy slopes, having a view of the deep blue sea. In Pelion this is feasible, offering to the funs of skiing a unique experience…
Riding: Every season is suitable for a walk with horses. Enjoy overlooking the wonderful green landscapes and the blue sea. Try yourself in the position of the rider and feel your adrenaline rush.
Train Ride with Moutzouris train: Take a ride with legendary Moutzouris, a historic train that formerly picturesque route Volos- Milies, flowed over the also historic railway whose construction began in 1881. You will have the chance to enjoy the fantastic view to the sea and the five – arched bridge and the sturdy iron bridge, build both by De Kiriko, unique in Europe.
Excursions to nearby villages: Do not miss to do small excursions to various villages in the region, in order to feel the smell of ancient trees, admire mansions and stroll in stone streets. The most famous villages are Milies, Makrinitsa, Portaria, Tsagarada, Vizitsa and Zagora.
If you visit Pelion, you should not leave without trying the local traditional recipes. The specialty is without doubt the spetsofai (local sausage with peppers), delicious pies, sweets, the local honey, the tsitsiravla (Pelion greens) and the famous raki region, are the best of what you can try.
“Kritsa” (Portaria): The best spetsofai -and other traditional dishes- according to locals.
“Aleka” (Tsagarada): The recipes are moving between tradition and creation: Stuffed kolokythanthoi, chickpea soup, lamb with noodles are some of the must to try.
–“Kritamos” (Mylopotamos): Famous for its homemade recipes. It definitely has the best pies with crisp sheet.
“Meintani” (Zagora): It offers authentic Pelion cuisine and the best you can try is boar and aubergines baked with cheese and bacon.
“Aeriko” (Portaria): It is the best choice if you want a drink while listening to lounge music with candles next to the fireplace.
Pelion is located 220 km south of Thessaloniki and 320 km north of Athens. The nearest town is Volos, which is the cultural and economical centre of the region and acts as the gateway to Pelion. Volos is served by a small airport located in Anchialos, but it is also reached by road. A new highway connects Volos to the Athens-Thessaloniki highway. You can reach Pelion either by car or by train. Travelers from outside Greece have the following options to get to Pelion:
By air to Athens (Airport Eleftherios Venizelos): You may hire a car at the airport and make your way north to Volos via the National Road Athens-Thessaloniki. The distance is 324 kms, and it is covered in approx. 3,5 hours.
By air to Volos (Airport of Anchialos): A distance of approx. 20 minutes by car from the town of Volos. There are charter flights as well as scheduled flights of Air Berlin and other companies to Volos from various European airports.
By air to Thessaloniki (Airport Macedonia): There are lots of charter and scheduled flights from most European airports. You may hire a car at the airport. From Thessaloniki, (216 kms) via the national road you will reach Volos in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
For travelers wishing to use their own car there are Ferry Boat lines, that connect daily the ports Venice, Ancona, Bari, Brindisi in Italy with Igoumenitsa and Patra. The distance Igoumenitsa-Volos is 371 kms and Patras-Volos is 546 kms.