Pelion, Greece Pelion is actually a large mountainous peninsula in Thessaly, central Greece. Dotted with traditional villages and exotic beaches, Pelion Greece is a favorite family destination for all seasons of the year. Makrinitsa, Portaria, Milies, Vizitsa and Tsagarada are among the most traditional villages, with elegant houses and grey stone roofs. The high location of these villages gives nice view to the sea. Along the coastline of Pelion Greece, there are lovely seaside places to enjoy summer holidays, such as Agios Ioannis, Horefto, Platanias and Milina. Do not miss the delicious restaurants with local dishes that you will find everywhere in Pelion. Sightseeing is few there and includes mostly traditional churches. Of great interest is the church of Taxiaxhes in Milies.
The beautiful peninsula of Pelion is perfect for both winter and summer holidays In Greece. Mountainous scenic villages, lush nature, amazing beaches and interesting sightseeing create the marvelous picture of Pelion. Makrinitsa, Milies, Vizitsa and Tsagarada are among the most beautiful villages of Pelion. In fact, in Milies is the marvelous church of Taxiarches dating from the 17th century. Most beautiful beaches of Pelion are found on the eastern side of the peninsula and are famous for their exotic blue water. Such beaches are Agios Ioannis, Mylopotamos, Papa Nero, Fakistra, Damouchari and others.
The church of Agioi Taxiarches in Milies, Pelion: The historical church of Agioi Taxiarches is found in the central square of Milies, a mountainous village in Pelion. It is easy to access and very close to the train station of Milies. It is unknown when exactly this church was built, but a sign at the entrance informs visitors that it was renovated in 1741. The church is dedicated to Saint Taxiarches and to Agioi Pantes (All Saints). There is no bell tower or windows and the interior is quite cozy and impresses visitors with the wall paintings that depict scenes from the Bible and Hell. There is also the Zodiac Cycle at the entrance. This church is an important historical monument for Pelion as on May 17th, 1821, the scholar Anthimos Gazis raised the Greek flag of Revolution there. This flag is housed today in the Library of Milies. The acoustics is also great and in fact, in 2000, a choral festival with ecclesiastical songs of Johann Back took place in the interior of this church.
Makrinitsa village Pelion: Visitors who will have the lick to visit Makrinitsa will be amazed by its unique beauty and will never want to leave this dreamy place. The village of Makrinista is a pure jewel hanging on the side of the amazingly green mountain. It is divided in two settlement, Koukourava and Moutsara, only 500m one from another. Makrinitsa is known as
the noble village, because it was mostly inhabited by wealthy people. This is why most of the houses in Makrinitsa are noble mansions, very richly decorated. The village is also known as the balcony of Pelion because of its amazing view due to its location (630m above the sea). The houses have decorated tall walls and window, work of the folk-artists of the region. All the climbing streets of Makrinitsa are stone paved and lead to a beautiful large square, shadowed by tall plane trees. The square has a cafeterias, a lovely church dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos and a carved marble fountain, built around 1809 and whose crystal clear waters are called Immortal Water. The whole place offers tranquility, natural beauty and peace. In Makrinitsa, visitor can visit many beautiful churches and basilica as well as the Folklore Museum which has a wonderful collection of rare objects and mementos.
Portaria village Pelion: During the Turkish occupation, Portaria was an important village, famous for its silk products such as handkerchiefs, sashes or silk thread. Portaria was so prosperous that the French trade consul Barthelemy moved there. Many important donators and benefactors for the entire Greece were born and raised in Portaria.
This village is where the tourism of Pelion began for memories if former glories survive in Portaria, such as the magnificent mansions which were once the propriety of Zoulias, Athanassakis and Kantartzis. There is also the lovely little 19th century three-aisled basilica of Agios Nikolaos which has interesting exterior reliefs on the front. Like the entire region of Pelion, Portaria is really rich in waters and because of that is full of watercourses and waterfalls giving particular embellishing the village.
Tsagarada village Pelion: This particularly beautiful village attracts quite a lot of tourists during summertime for it is built in the middle of a chestnut wood forest, it is extremely agreeable and the view from there is unbelievable. Tsagarada was founded in 1500 and is composed of four lovely settlements formed around the old restored churches of the Taxiarches, Agia Paraskevi, Agia Kyriaki and Agios Stephanos, each one housing wonderful wooden carved iconostasis.
Two elements characterize the village of Tsagarada: the large flower garden houses and a huge and imposing one thousand-year-old plane tree located right in the middle of the square of Agia Paraskevi.
Vizitsa village Pelion: Vizitsa is a small, traditional village about 30 km to the east of Pelion. It is found on a mountainside, surrounded by forests and with a beautiful view to the sea of Pagasitikos bay.
Vizitsa amazes every visitor with its traditional architecture. The whole village is crossed by paved paths and has a lot of lovely churches. Among the churches worth to visit are the Monastery of Agios Ioannis and the chapel of Zoodochos Pighi, both built in the 18th century. In the middle of the village, there is a fountain and a huge plane tree, which covers the whole square with its long braches. Enjoy your coffee under this old plane tree and take a view of the great landscape that will surround you. Among the things to do in Vizitsa, you can try some hiking. The route from the square of the village to the close by Milies village is pretty easy and enjoyable.
Vizitsa can also be used as a base for car excursions around all Pelion area. Festivals in this village are organized mostly in summer. The most famous are the feast of Agioi Anargyroi on July 1st and the feast of Ioannis Prodromos on August 19th. The feasts include food, drink and traditional dancing in the square. Although Vizitsa is a small village, it is developed in tourism. There are many hotels there, which used to be mansions a century ago and now there have been renovated into traditional hostels. Vizitsa is mostly preferred for winter vacations, but you can also go in summer, as the sea is not more than 10 km away.
Zagora village Pelion: Zagora is one of the most famous villages of Pelion located 45 km east of Volos. Reminding us its antiquity past, many ruins of the famous kastro and a necropolis can be seen in the area, proving the existence of the ancient town. According to the archaeologists, Zagora is the Homeric town of Thaumicia or Thaumaka. During the 17th and the 18th centuries, the village was an important trade, cottage industry and culture centre. The production and cultivation of silk was so important that a lot of people from Zagora became rich and left abroad to found big commercial and industrial enterprises.
Here was found, in the 17th century, the first school of Pelion as well as the School of Rigas where was the famous Greek freedom-fighter Rigas Feraios. The houses in Zagora are typically made according to folk architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, with decorated false windows, carved wood doors and Intels. Zagora is also famous for its diverse and succulent variety of fruits such as apples, sloes, plums, strawberries, pears and much more.One can visit there some really beautiful old churches with unique iconostasis.
Agios Ioannis Beach Pelion: Agios Ioannis is an extremely beautiful sandy beach on the northern side of Pelion, 52 km east of Volos. Trees and fabulous waters combining together are forming a landscape of dreams, giving to the place a magical tone. Because of its unique beauty and an international publicity, this beach
attracts every summer thousands of visitors inundating it and the many hotels on the
Mylopotamos Beach Pelion: Milopotamos is a white pebbled beach, with exotic crystal water of unique beauty. It is divided by rocks into two sections with a snaky path leading from one part to another. Pine trees are shadowing the path leading to this beautiful beach. Above the beach there is a beach bar and few lovely taverns. The road to Mylopotamos passes through the village of Tsagarada,
Horefto Beach Pelion: Horefto is the seaport of Zagora and was the old trade and maritime centre. It has one of the largest (more than 2 km) and most beautiful sandy beaches of eastern Pelion. Those superb white sand beaches with deep blue waters are the nonorganised, quiet beaches of Parissena, Analipsi, Litsa and Agioi Saranta.
Organized things to do in Pelion are not many. The largest part of the peninsula is not tourist developed and keeps a lower profile. As the region is covered by forests, it provides many chances for hiking. In fact, hiking trails cross all over the peninsula of Pelion, from the northern till the southern side, leading to old monasteries, mountainous villages, secluded beaches and waterfalls. The hiking trails vary in difficulty and most of them do not need guides, as they are signposted. Diving is a developing activity in Pelion. Few diving centers have opened in tourist places, offering courses and organizing diving trips to close islands and around the coastline. Very few beaches of Pelion also have water sports centers with fun games. In winter time, there is a small ski center in the village of Chania, where you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding.