The dreamy town of Pelion is located in central Greece and includes numerous little villages which are all equally beautiful in their traditional Greek character. If you’re a nature-lover Pelion will definitely impress you. The area has forests and wild mountainous parts as well as pristine, crystal clear beaches. This makes it a suitable destination for any season.
During the colder months, you should probably visit the areas of Makrinitsa, Milies, Portaria, Vizitsa and Chania. These villages are found at a higher altitude and will therefore probably be covered in snow and you will have an outstanding view of the sea at the same time.
The Pelion Ski Resort is also situated in Chania and there are several accommodation alternatives open to you. The resort provides the ideal family day out to go snowballing and rolling around in the snow.
If you want a more peaceful place to stay, book a room at the Hotel Pelion Resort. Request a top floor room as there are lovely views to be seen from the balcony. Children will enjoy running around the enormous garden, playing in the playground or on the mini football pitch, or splashing in the pool if the weather permits.
Pelion is ideal for long walks in the forest, especially during springtime when everything is blossoming. There are many marked paths you can follow on your own but most hotels and local agencies can provide you with a guide to take you hiking over longer distances. Similarly, you can try horse-riding and bike-riding, both of which are particularly refreshing if you choose to go to Mount Pelion. If you like photography the waterfalls at Kissos will provide you with some of the most impressive natural scenery in Pelion.
The most popular summer destinations in Pelion are Agios Ioannis, Horefto and Portaria, as they have easier access to the sea.
The beach of Agios Ioannis is one of the best ones as it has tall trees and crystal clear water, but no umbrellas. However, there are hotels and tavernas around to provide you with anything you might need. Horefto, on the other hand, is equally popular and caters to tourists. Mylopotamos is also recommended but sometimes it can get windy in which case you should avoid it if you are traveling with children. In Agia Kiriaki there is also a diving school (Trikeri Diving School) for the more adventurous amongst you.
We recommend taking the little train from Volos to Milies. The train covers a distance of 28km and stops at all the important places and villages. Apart from the soothing ride through the green areas of Pelion the train is also a ‘must’ because it is considered to be a preserved historical ‘monument’. The train was the first to use and test all the important technical constructions (stone bridges, tunnels, etc.) of the 20th century.
If you get a chance stop by the church of Taxiarhes in Milies. Although Pelion is full of picturesque little churches this one is of particular historical importance as the flag of revolution was raised there in 1821. The frescoes on the walls, which depict scenes from the Bible, are exquisite and the church is known architecturally for its perfect acoustics.
Where to eat
All villages of Pelion have a variety of traditional, family-owned tavernas which serve home-cooked Greek food at reasonable prices. One of the best known local dishes is ‘spetsofai’, which is spicy sausage in red sauce which is usually washed down with a glass of wine. If you’re looking for something different then try Gefsokratoras restaurant in Portaria. Although a bit more expensive than the rest this restaurant offers more imaginative gourmet dishes in a snug atmosphere.
Weather permitting most cafes will arrange extra tables outside so you can enjoy beverages and local delicacies in the fresh air. There are also plenty of stalls where you can buy sugared fruits and other goodies prepared by the local women themselves, as well as souvenirs, jewelry, etc. Don’t leave Pelion without visiting ‘Anna, na ena milo’ , and establishment that will take you back to childhood years and your children will simply adore it.
Families should know
- Some beaches, including Milopotamos, can have deep water and be/or get dangerous when it is windy
- Many hotels are relatively isolated so we would definitely recommend you to rent a car to make it easy to reach facilities such as supermarkets, restaurants etc.
Kids will love
- Playing in the snow or on the beach
- Horse-riding and skiing on the mountain
- Adventurous walks in the woods
Parents will love
- The local delicacies and yummy food
- The natural scenery that combines both mountain and sea
Best season to visit