Holidays in Pelion, Greece

Pelion a secret fairylike attraction

Mount Pelion (Pilion) dominates in Greece the Magnesia Peninsula below which dozens little villages fan out, apparently unchanged for centuries. They are linked by cobbled paths paving the way through thick old forests deciduous and perennial, mainly beech,oak, maple and chestnut trees and plane tree groves surrounding places with water. It will transfer you hundreds of years back in time.

Pelion (Pilion) has a bit of everything and it will surprise many, even seasoned Greek travellers. It combines mythology with history, cultural tradition and pure nature well away from the hectic activity in todays’ life. A fantastic romantic holidays for couples and families.

Some rate it as Greece’s most beautiful region and it certainly has some striking contrasts. A rugged spine swathed in olives and pines climbing towards a lofty mountain with some fantastic beaches.

Take a flight to the nearest airport, Nea Anchialos, near the city of Volos, jump in a car and explore its riches.

Special Activities all seasons

At more than 1.600m, the mountain offers some of Greece’s best skiing possibilities. It  has a grand wealth of activities to undertake, things to explore al round the year.

There’s a delightful, nostalgic narrow gauge steam train nicknamed Smudgy (meaning black) a few miles south. It departs from Ano Lehonia, crossing six gorges as it winds up the mountain to the village of Mileai (Milies). Up there you’ll find a variety of adventure activities including canoeing and more great hiking.

Riding holidays, cycling and tours are popular, particularly in the quiet, rural spot around Argalasti using the trails between the villages and even descending to the coast.

Pelion mountain in Greece, chosen by the gods as summer residence

Between three seas the mountains in the east, and the glowing hills in the west. Hiking trails and stone paths give access to springs, coves and numerous beaches, sandy or pebbly, set among lusciously green slopes. The road to Pelion follows gently the hilly and covered with a blanket of millions of old olive, oak, maple, chestnut trees, and plane tree groves surrounding places with water. Pelion is an amply watered mountain. The abundance of springs, streams carved-stone in artificial beds bring water to the villages and their thriving orchards, gorges, and creeks.

The villages hidden in the mountain slopes, to avoid Turkish and pirate attacks, retain the Pelian architecture and construction, with stone buildings made out of expertly carved local grey, blue, or green slate and red clay.

The combination of mountain, sea, the 24 ancient villages, on the steep slopes, encircled by dense forrests of apple orchards, sweet chestnut trees, apricot, beech and oak, offer stunning panoramas of the surrounding slopes and the sea. On the coastal villages terraces along the route extend colourful table settings, cheerful contrast to the quiet rippling blue sea.

It is no wonder why the gods on Olympus chose Pelion as their summer residence.

Pelion Mythology

According to Greek mythology, Mount Pelion was the home of the mythical centaurs, half man-half horse, and for centuries the area has boasted a proud equine tradition. Mount Pelion took its name from the mythical king Peleus, father of Achilles. Chiron the Centaur lived in Pelio was the homeland, tutor of many ancient Greek heroes, JasonAchillesTheseus and Heracles. In Mount Pelion, near Chiron’s cave, took place the marriage of Thetis and Peleus.

The uninvited goddess Eris, took revenge for having been kept outside the party by bringing a golden apple with the inscription “To the Fairest”. The dispute that then arose between the goddesses HeraAphrodite and Athena resulted in events leading to the Trojan War. When the twins Otus and Ephialtes attempted to storm Olympus, they piled Mount Pelion upon Mount Ossa (this is the origin of the idiom, to “pile Pelion on Ossa”).

Charming Pelion places

Charming traditional communities concentrate to the north at the main gateway to the region. They include Agios Dimitrios a particularly lovely mountain village and, a little to the south, Tsagarada one of the oldest villages in the area.

The regional capital and biggest city for kilommeters is Volos. A well-heeled port at the top of the Pagasetic Gulf. The city is stocked with some grand buildings – notably the neoclassical Conservatory – an impressive railway station and a fine waterside park. Its smart waterfront is filled with restaurants and bars or tsipouradika, serving the popular local spirit tsipouro (one of Greece’s most popular drinks) and little tapas-style delicacies (mezes). Unsurprisingly, the locally caught seafood is delicious.

There’s a strong cultural scene here. A well-stocked archaeological museum, the Athanasakeion, and one of the oldest cinemas in Greece, the Achilleion. In the west, by the port terminal you’ll find a full-scale replica of the Argo, the mythical ship which left from the region (or more accurately Iolcus, the city’s ancient forerunner) carrying Jason on his quest for the Golden Fleece. A little way out of the city lie two important Neolithic settlements at Dimini and Sesklo.

 

“There are some marvellous beaches and stretches of coastline on both sides of the peninsula”

 

Dropping down from Mt. Pelion brings you to the most renowned in the area, Mylopotamos, where two arches have been carved out of the rocks by the sea. A little to the north you’ll find Damouchari, a small beach with white and pink pebbles where scenes for Mama Mia! were shot and, beyond that, Agios Ioannis, another popular resort.

 

The Sporades islands just off the shore of Pelion.

Off the Aegean shore you’ll find the Sporades, a clutch of islands that includes Skiathos, Alonisos and Skopelos. Over on the gulf Kala Nera is a beautiful coastal settlement and a little to the south there’s another popular resort at Afissos.

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On the website there are some suggestions for trips. In addition to this you may already have your own wishes and ideas, or perhaps not at all. With our local knowledge we may well optimize your ideas with you to create the trip of your dreams. Well thought-out itineraries, locations and then arranged everything to perfection. If you are traveling alone, as a couple, with a group or as a family, tell us your ideas and wishes, personally, via Skype or telephone, just when it suits you best.

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Pelion Paradise, summer residence of the Olympian Gods

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Read more about everything Pelion has to offer: Discover Pelion