Secrets of the Pelion Peninsula

Enjoy heavenly walks in the lesser-known part of mainland Greece. Spent 8 wonderful days in Pelion Paradise and discover the hidden secrets of this area. Pelion Paradise offers you sites of unparalleled beauty, rich gastronomy and a heritage rich in myths, legends and traditions.

To plan your perfect holiday in Pelion Paradise we have selected a number of activities just for you! Through our contacts in Greece we can offer you the most authentic experience. Below the best suggestion for you with which you can book directly with us.

Highlights:
  • Walk the path of Centaurs
  • Follow ancient cobbled trails
  • Go find the hidden school 'Krifo Scholio'
  • Visit beautiful ancient churches
Accommodation
  • The Lost Unicorn Hotel
  • Kritsa Gastronomy Hotel

€ 665,- (per person, mid-season, excluding flight)

Prices can vary depending on the time of year of your booking.
We are happy to help you also book your flight.


Restaurants & Bars
  • Orea Ammoudia
Sights
  • Papa Nero
  • Damouchari Beach
  • Church Agios Ioannis (1703)
  • Fakistra
  • Agios Ioannis Beach

Plunge yourself in untouched beauty on the Pelion Peninsula

On this trip you will experience heavenly walks in the lesser-known part of mainland Greece, the Pelion Peninsula. Explore this region that we call Pelion Paradise. The Pelion Peninsula was declared a cultural heritage destination in 2014, by the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO. A little wonder as this area offers sites of unparalleled beauty, rich gastronomy and a heritage rich in myths, legends and traditions.

Walk from village to village on old mule paths. Wander through these villages characterized by whitewashed, half-timbered houses with flower-filled balconies and grey slate roofs. Explore a green wonderland where trees heavy with fruit grow alongside olive groves and forests of oak, eucalyptus and walnut. And while walking through lush green and shady forests, alongside the mountain slopes, enjoy the views over the glittering Aegean Sea, where you have the opportunity to swim.  Pelion Paradise welcomes you!

Includes: Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, transfer from and to Volos airport, luggage transfer.

Seasons: spring (from May 1st), summer and autumn

Day 1: Arrival at hotel in Portaria

Day 2: Portaria Loop Walk via Makrinitsa: 13km

Day 3: Walk to Chania: 7km

Day 4: Taxi transfer to trailhead. Walk to Agios Ioannis: 7 or 11km

Day 5: Walk to Tsagarada: 8km

Day 6: Across the ridge to Milies (Mileai): 12km

Day 7: Milies Loop Walk via Koropi: 12km

Day 8: Onward Travel

 

ACCOMMODATION: You will be staying at five different hotels during your stay. All stunning locations of equal quality, typical “arhontika”, traditional stone houses. We know the hotels well and regularly meet with the owners of the hotels. With our choice of accommodation and catering, the visitor has the opportunity to combine the modern luxuries with the beauty of nature that surrounds him/her.

 

Extensive description

Day 1 | You arrive at Volos airport where we will arrange for your transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival in Portaria you will receive a warm welcome in your hotel Kritsa. After you are refreshed join your local host over a welcome buffet of seasonal fruits & drinks for a brief orientation of the area, local customs, your activity schedule & all small details required. Later you can enjoy your day as you please. Relax by the pool, enjoy the views over Volos and the Pagasitic Gulf, wander around the village and admire the square with its typical Pelion architecture with the windows and doors of the houses painted in a variety of colours. Your dinner is included at Kritsa.

Overnight: Portaria

Portaria is beautiful every season, whether it is snowy or sunny, surrounded by trees and flowers with autumn leaves or blooming flowers that decorate the winding cobble-stoned paths, fresh spring waters, impressive traditional stone houses, authentic examples of local architecture, and picturesque squares. The whole village is filled with ornate stone-fountains, squares, churches and monuments. Portaria is surely one of the few places where you can find tranquillity and beauty right in the heart of Greece.

Day 2 | Today you will have a loop walk to the traditional mountain village of Makrinitsa. The village is located on the mountain slope next to Portaria, and its most particular feature is the excellent maintenance of the traditional character. The village is a pedestrian zone.

You will walk to Makrinitsa by following the trail through the maquis shrubland scented with thyme and oregano. On the road to Makrinitsa, you may want to visit the Byzantine Monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, with a rich history and byzantine decoration.

Makrinitsa is also called “the Balcony of Pelion”, due to the incredible views from the village over Volos and the Pagasitic Gulf. An oasis of relaxation where you can admire the over a hundred years old plane trees, hearing at the same time the running waters of the fountains. The central square is anchored by a massive plane tree with a kid-friendly hollow, a marble fountain and the tiny chapel of Agia Panagia.

Have lunch in Makrinitsa and after go back to Portaria.

Ascend through a forest and then via a track towards Portaria, while enjoying views over the city of Volos en route. One of the things that is worth doing is walk the path of Centaurs, starting just before entering Portaria. It is a 3 km walk that starts from the church of Agia Marina at the entrance of the village and goes around it passing through beautiful churches, mansions and incredible nature. It is worth visiting the museum of folk art in the Zoulia mansion and the little squares around the village.

Your dinner tonight is at …

Overnight: Portaria

Walk: 13km, 550m elevation gain and loss

Day 3 | Today you will walk to Chania. You will depart from Portaria and follow a beautiful path upwards and through conifer trees under ‘Aidonaki’, a mountain in the western peaks of Pelion. After a while the scenery changes and you walk through a beech forest. Just before reaching the highest hamlet of Pelion, Chania, you pass by the ruins of an old sanatorium lost in the forest. Here also the ski resort of Chania begins at an altitude of 1250 m and where the air is cool and fresh.

Chania was not really a village, but owes its name from a few chania (a type of lodging) that were visited by passing merchants who carried their commodities from the villages of East Pelion to Volos, and vice versa.

Over the years, Chania became privileged since at the neighbouring mountain summit “Agriolefkes” (1.470m.) the ski resort was built, resulting in the increase of tourism in the area.

Nowadays, you can find taverns with local food, shops with traditional sweats (preserved fruits in syrup) and souvenirs in Chania.

Overnight: Chania

Walk: 7km, 560m elevation gain, 35m elevation loss

Day 4 | Today you will walk to Agios Ioannis, beginning with a transfer to the start of the kalderimi (paved stone mule path). Upon arrival descend on this ancient path through a beech forest and then on alternate tarmac and kalderimi paths until you reach the picturesque village of Kissos.

Kissos village is much quieter than other villages with dense vegetation and beautiful views of the Aegean sea. Visit the central square and the impressive church of Agia Marina built-in 1650 with the incredible interior decor. Have a coffee at the square just opposite the church in a traditional cafe called “Sholarheion” (old school). Explore the many paths around the village.

After a lunch break at the taverna called Synantisi (meeting), you will continue on a pretty track to Mouresi village and then descend to the Aegean coast and arrive in the small and quaint resort of Agios Ioannis. Take an evening stroll on the long beach that is covered in white stones that resemble pearls.

Dinner will be at Orea Amoudia

Overnight: Agios Ioannis

Walk: 7 or 11km, 300m elevation gain, 1100m or 650m elevation loss

Day 5 | Today’s walk will bring you to Tsagarada. Starting after breakfast you will walk along the coast on a very pleasant cobbled path. Before too long you reach the hamlet of Damouchari, a small fishing village located in a pretty bay. Though this place is tiny, in the past it was of great strategic importance as it was the only natural harbour on the entire coast between Volos and Katerini stad. Apart from the harbour there is a nice beach with white big pebbles and a few restaurants. Also on the hill overlooking the sea stand the ruins of a Venetian castle. Venetian sailors and villagers used the castle as protection against pirate attacks. According to a Venetian legend the name Damouchari derives from the Greek expression dos mou han’ which means give me grace’ which was a prayer of the seamen when in danger in the area.

Near the castle are the remains of the ramshackle stone building of the Turkish customs and some old warehouses. In the little church Agios Nikolaos the wonderful sacred wall paintings by Pagonis, from around 1800 AD, can be admired.

From Damouchari you continue along the coast to Fakistra beach where there is a possibility to visit the cave of Krifo Scholio, which was used during the Turkish occupation as an illegal school! From here walk uphill on a path eventually reaching Tsagarada.

Tsagarada consists of four regions, all named after the church that can be found in each square. There is Agia Paraskevi region, Agioi Taxiarches, Agia Kyriaki and Agios Stefanos. From the village you will have panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. You can have a walk in one of the many pathways that take you around the village through the forest and see little streams and little wooden bridges on the way. On the village square Agia Paraskevi is the 1,000 year old plane tree. It has an incredible diameter of 14m!

Dinner and overnight:  Tsagarada

Walk: 8km, 700m elevation gain, 300m elevation loss

Day 6 | Today you will go across the ridge to Milies (Mileai). You’ll cross the mountain range at 700m elevation towards the south of Pelion. But first you will have some more time to explore the pretty village of Tsagarada.

Ascend through forest via old mule tracks that were mainly built to allow the transportation of supplies from village to village. Now descend to the picturesque mountain village of Milies (Mileai), whilst enjoying great views over the Pagasitic Gulf. In the lovely village of Milies (Mileai) you will find many old olive groves.

Milies (Mileai) is built in an amphitheatrically style, on the green mountain slopes of Mount Dikri. The village is called Millies (apple trees) known for the production of apple trees. Full of old mansions, marble fountains and olive trees, Milies (Mileai) offers the perfect harmony.

The village is the birthplace of some of the leaders of Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment like Anthimos Gazis, Danil, Philipidis and Grigorios Konstantas. The famous school of Millies (Mileai) is also there, operating as a spiritual and cultural creative centre during the Turkish occupation. Really interesting to see are the Library of Milies (Mileai) which contains four thousand rare books, the Folklore Museum of the community and the three-aisled basilica of Pamegistoi Taxiarches.

Overnight: Milies (Mileai)

Walk: 12km, 350m elevation gain, 400 m elevation loss

Day 7 | Today you will have a loop walk from Milies (Mileai) via Koropi.

Descend from Milies (Mileai) towards the coast enjoying great views all the way. On the last section before reaching the coastal village of Koropi you walk on dirt roads and through olive groves. From Koropi walk to the nearby village Kala Nera, where it is possible to have a sustaining lunch in the shadow of the five huge plane trees in the village square.

Ascend via cobbled paths through a small hamlet until you reach the narrow gauge railway tracks, that you follow all the way back into Milies (Mileai). These tracks are 200-300m above sea level and you will pass many engineering features from the past, plus a cave where, according to mythology, the centaur Chiron taught Asklepios about medicinal plants and herbs.

Overnight: Milies (Mileai)

Walk: 12km, 450m elevation gain and loss

Day 8 | This morning after breakfast you will depart to the airport to fly home.

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Customize your holiday

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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  • We focus on authentic places only
  • We partner with local providers
  • We'll arrange everything for you
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Read more about everything Pelion has to offer: Discover Pelion