Walking in the footsteps of the Centaurs is an experience! The trails are endless offering incredible vistas to the mountain slopes and the Aegean Sea. Along the way you discover stone built bridges, old monasteries, traditional mansions, and small picturesque villages.
Greece isn’t best known for its mainland; it’s the islands that always take the limelight. But make for Pelion and you’ll find a secret stretch of coast with sleepy fishing villages and deserted beaches, where the swimming is heaven and you can go completely off-grid.
So check these 10 reason why you MUST visit Pelion, Greece.
1. Pelion was the favorite summer resort of the ancient Greek Gods.
If Pelion was the Greek Gods’ preferred retreat, imagine what it can become for you!
2. Getting to Pelion has become a doddle!
The Airport of Nea Anchialos only 40 km from Volos has made things considerably easier with direct flights from/to Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Genève, Munich, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.
3. Affordable sailboat rentals and sailing vacation.
Experience the thrill of sailing from the port of the Argonauts. Explore the calm, picturesque beaches of the Pagasitikos Bay and the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonissos.
4. Tsipouro is just endless.
Volos has more than 150 tsipouradika! One of them will become your favorite.
5. It’s heaven for seafood lovers.
From sardines to small cod and the Mediterranean sea bass, everything here is sold fresh right off the boats.
6. Abundance of organic herbs.
Pelion is home to thousands of different herbs and medicinal plants. In Greek mythology, Chiron, Asklepios, Medea, and ancient Thessalian witches carried the knowledge of the healing properties of the Pelion herbs. Today, several local small farms sell organic herbs and welcome visitors for workshops on production of essential oils.
7. Unforgettable winter ski vistas.
On the Pelion ski resort, you ski with a view to two different seas, the Pagasitikos Bay and the Aegean Sea. On a clear day, Halkidiki and Mount Athos may also be visible.
8. The Little Train of Pelion.
The little train that features on the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio De Chirico keeps on riding. Hop on the train and get lost in the forests of Pelion.
9. Local fresh fruit all year round.
Throughout the year local farmers sell yummy crispy fruit at small roadside stands. Lemon peaches are the top!
10. Well maintained and marked hiking trails.
The peninsula pokes out into the Aegean and then bends back towards the mainland about halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki. The city of Volos and its port sit at the top of this huge bay, Mount Pelion towering above them. And a ridge of hills runs down from the mountain to the southernmost tip, its slopes as thick with chestnut forests and olive groves as they are with myths. Jason and his Argonauts sailed from Pagasae near Volos in search of the golden eece. The forested hills were home to the centaurs, half-man, half-horse, and in a cave on the slopes of Mount Pelion, the semi-divine centaur Chiron instructed Achilles before the hero went to war. This was where gods and mortals feasted together: it was at one of these that Paris was asked to choose the most beautiful woman in all the world, a conversation that led to the Trojan War. More recently, but still long ago, Christian monks came in search of retreat. Like the more famous Mount Athos, on the other side of Thessaloniki, Pelion is dotted with monasteries, some still thriving, some dating to the time of the Crusades. So if this place of respite and pleasure was good enough for gods and mystics, surely it would do for me?
All year long
In winter, when it snows, people come from Thessaloniki and Athens to use the chair lifts and ski down Mount Pelion. In summer, the same sort of people come to swim and sleep. Many are from old Pelion families and still
own houses in the hilltop villages. Others, are foreigners and prefer to stay closer to the water. Which is to say that the place is empty. Argalasti’s Saturday market, the region’s only fresh food and farmers’ market, can get crowded with people from the peninsula alongside Greek, British and German holidaymakers buying tuna, mackerel and sardines from the back of a pick-up, or wildflower honey from an old hippie, or pickled mushrooms, dried thyme and oregano, tresses of garlic, locally pressed olive oil… But where are they the rest of the time?