PELION VILLAS

PELION

Do you like skiing or snowboarding, walking through the snow, or a coffee in a chalet?

The Pelion Agriolefkes Winter Sports Center is 30 km from the Villa Amanti and you can be there in 45 minutes. It is 2 km from Chania Peliou village, 8 km from Ag. Lavrentios village, and 27 km from Volos. It is located on Mount Pelion at a height of 1471 m, an altitude which is surprisingly low for a winter sports center, and which gives it a special properties as regards snowfall, landscape, and climate.

There are five slopes with total length 15 km:

Four main slopes for downhill skiing, approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

One cross-country slope (Lang-Lauf), 5 km in length, that takes you through an area of unique natural beauty, as you descend through a forest of beaches, elms and chestnuts with a view over the Aegean Sea.

There are three parking areas for more than 800 cars, a hostel, canteen, restaurant, an agency for rental or sale of skiing and snowboarding equipment, and of course a first aid center.

There is also a skiing and snowboarding school with special classes for children aged three years or older, given by experienced teachers.

www.pelionski.gr

Would you like to visit the Sporades?

www.hellogreece.gr/sporades.html

How soon can you be in Skiathos? Just one hour and 40 minutes!!! You can wander through the picturesque town of Skiathos, visit the house of author Alexandros Papadiamantis and the medieval castle, swim in the sea at the beaches of Koukounaries, Megalo Aselino, Mandraki, Agia Eleni, Banana, Bromolimno, Achladies, and visit the wetlands of Limni and Koukounaries.

www.skiathos.gr

Two hours and 40 minutes away, lies Skopelos, the “green and blue” island, where you can swim off the beaches of Stafylos, Kastani, Milia and Panormos, visit one of the island’s 300 byzantine churches, admire the traditional village of Chora and the view of Glossa.

www.skopelos.gr

In three hours and 20 minutes you can be in Alonnisos, in picturesque Patitiri, to explore Old Alonissos, to swim off the beaches Agios Dimitrios, Kokkinokastro, Leftos Gialos, Megalos Mourtias, Milia and Chrysi Milia, and of course to visit the National Marine Park of Alonnisos Northern Sporades, which is the largest marine park in Europe.

www.alonissos.gr

What would you say to a trip to Volos?

A wonderful city awaits you, with interesting cultural activities and events, important archeological sites, museums and sights, as well as a buzzing nightlife.

Drink your coffee by the sea, sit in the famous tsipouradika (raki bars), walk through the old town, or do your shopping in the town center.

The hospital (let’s hope you won’t need it), the University of Thessaly, the harbor, the train station, the Volos Municipal Theater (the biggest stage in the Balkans), the Municipal Concert Hall, the cinemas, and the extensive open market, make it more than a beautiful city, the most famous capital of Thessaly.

www.volosinfo.gr

Have you heard of the “little train of Pelion”?

You have a unique opportunity to travel back in time with “Smoky”, as it used to be called, along one of the narrowest railway tracks in the world, whose construction was supervised by Evaristo de Chirico, father of the famous artist Giorgio de Chirico. The journey starts at 10 AM from Ano Lechonia station. After a 15 minute stop at the station of our village, Ano Gatzea, the little train heads for wonderful Milies. The 15 km ride takes 90 minutes, long enough to enjoy your fill of the magical images you will encounter as you travel through the lush vegetation that adorns the wild beauty of the steep mountainside.

www.trainose.gr/thematikatrena/pilio

Do you like museums?

A wide variety of museums can take you on a journey into the past, to fine art, to tradition and nature. So let’s get started:

  • The Athanassakeio Archeological Museum of Volos is one of the most important Greek museums. Its exhibits include objects from the Neolithic settlements of Sesklo and Diminio; clay figures and utensils of the geometric era from Volos Castle, Pefkakia, Neapoli, and from sites in the greater Thessalian region, statues from the classical period, as well as rare articulated figurines and reliefs of the Alexandrian era from Dimitriada.
  • The Museum of Art Folklore in Makrinitsa Square, the Milies Pelion Museum, and the Angelini Museum in Horto village are folk museums with interesting exhibits of the everyday life and tradition of Pelion, including tools, decorations, handicrafts, banners, and traditional costumes.
  • The Greek Museum of Zagora is the famous school of “Rigas”, the oldest school in Pelion, where many famous figures from Greek history and literature studied.
  • The Milies Library is crammed with old books, many of which belonged to the old Psyche Akos School that was founded by Anthimos Gazis and Grigorios Konstantas. The library also has an exhibition of instruments and tools from the School, historical souvenirs of the War of Independence, banners, and old documents.
  • The Theofilos Museum in Anakasia. The Kontou house in Anakasia is one of the most important new monuments in the area, since it is the only preserved mansion in Pelion with an entire fine arts program. The artistic decoration of the house was started by the folk artist Theofilos (1870-1934), who in 1912 painted the salon on the upper floor of the Kontou house in two friezes.
  • The Art Museum of the Sculptor Nikola, in Agios Georgios, is home to 22 sculptures by the artist, of which most are bronze, all, apart from one head of Christ, are full figures, and nine are of enormous size. The engravings by Nikola are also of particular interest and include 13 woodcarvings, one copper gravure, and 16 medals. In two wooden showcases the visitor may see and examine tools of the trade, plans, etching molds, as well as handwritten letters and personal items of the famous sculptor and engraver.
  • The Worry-Bead Museum in Portaria. In the Worry-Bead Museum you will find a great variety of worry-beads (komboloi) made from bone, amber, coral, gum mastic, and other materials. You can choose from among a wide variety of materials to make up your own personal worry-beads.
  • The Entomological Museum, in Volos, is the only one of its kind in Greece and one of the best in the Balkans. It is constantly being enriched with new items and today includes 35,000 insects of different classes, mainly Lepidoptera, that belong to more than 10,000 species, subspecies, and varieties. Among them are rare or even unique specimens, such as the biggest butterfly in the world, the Thysania agrippina from South America, which has a wingspan of 37-40 cm.
  • The Radio Museum, in Lafkos, was the first radio museum in Greece. The collection of radios was made by the German Wilfried Shoeps, who has in his possession more than 1000 radios that he bought from many countries of the world. 90% of these radios are in perfect condition and can be tuned to many frequencies. Today, this famous museum exhibits more than 120 radios that are changed regularly every four months.
  • The Fabio Museum, in Lafkos, was founded in 2005 in honor of the artist Thanasis Fabas (1922-2011). In his painting, which was influenced by ancient minimalism and Byzantine icon painting, the female form is predominant. He designed book covers for G. Ritsos, M. Loudemis, I. Lefousis and I. Tsatsos, as well as covers for classical music records. The Museum’s exhibition rooms contain 60 paintings and 8 statues (from white Pelion marble) that were donated by the artist himself.
  • The Lafkos Folk Museum is under the same roof as the Fabio Museum. In the basement of the building there is an exhibit of various objects and artworks from the folk tradition of Lafkos and of Pelion in general. There is a variety of coffee grinders, traditional chests, weapons, water bottles, farming tools, vessels, and postcards.
  • The Olive Museum, in Ano Gatzea. The main exhibition space includes illustrative collections that have to do with the process of picking, selecting, processing, and selling olives. There are also clay pots of various sizes for the storage of oil, hooks, metal funnels and hoops, barrel staves used in the making of an olive press, etc. The outside area displays an impressive olive press 2.20 m in height and 3 m in diameter, which was dismantled inside the building and reassembled so that it could be used for educational purposes. www.pelionoros.gr
  • The Museum of Lakeside Culture, in Kanalia, Karla municipality. This museum houses a series of photographic collections, including those of Dimitris Letsios, of Volos, portraying life in the marshland, of Takis Tloupas, of Larisa, depicting the life of fishermen, of Voula Papaioannou, immortalizing events from the Second World War and the Civil War, and of Nikos Tsogas, of Volos, recording the struggle of the homeless in 1983. There is also a collection of photographs by unknown photographers, as well as the archive of L. Chatzizisis, illustrating the musical tradition of the region. The museum houses a reproduction of a hut from Lake Karla, photographic materials and models of the Lake, as well as various objects and tools of the lakeside culture.
  • The Ecclesiastical Museum, in Agios Georgios, is housed in the Monastery of St George. It was founded in 1995 by Aurelia Vafeiadi (sister of the sculptor Nikola) and is part of the Vafeiadis Cultural Center. In an area of approximately 55 m2 there are relics from churches of the village (cherubim, altar screens, chalices, vestments, etc.), portable icons and ecclesiastical books. Here also is preserved a codex dated 1864 from the monastery Pammegiston Taxiarchon of Nileia, which records the entire movable and fixed property of the monastery, as well as a pair of silver cuffs belonging to the Elder Gabriel.
  • The Chrysoula Zogia Museum and Art Gallery, in Volos, known to the locals as the “Rose House”, functions as a museum and gallery featuring the artist Chrysoula Zogia. The museum houses around 200 works by the artist that are representative of her career. However, the visitor’s eye will also be caught by the furniture of the house, the countless notes made by the owner that may be found all over the place, photographs of her, personal items, hundreds of painted bottles, and many other things that reveal the special personality of the owner.
  • The Thessaly Railway Museum is housed on the first floor of the Volos railway station building, which was built in 1882 to plans by Evaristo de Chirico. It contains rare photographs, share certificates, archives, historical documentaries, unique books, and architectural plans for railways of the 19th century, photocopies of papyruses, and many other rare documents of the era that depict the history of the railway over the course of time.
  • The Achillio Marine Museum, in Pteleos municipality, was founded in 2003. Its purpose was to make the public more aware of matters related to the marine environment. The nucleus of the exhibits is a collection of seashells by Vas. Stefanou Papastergiou, although the museum is constantly being enriched with shells and other exhibits from all over the world.
  • The Typographical Museum of the Thessalia Newspaper, in Volos. The Museum of the longest running Greek provincial newspaper—uninterrupted publication since 1898—cannot be anything but a very special typographical Museum. A hall covering 350 m2 at the newspaper’s headquarters in the Volos industrial area is home to 100 years of daily history and 100 years of technology. Linotype machines from the 19th century, presses, cutters, printing accessories, typesetting tables, are flanked by the oldest and most complete newspaper archive in Greece (more than 1 million pages) and 40 glass frames with as many distinguished historical front pages.
  • The Giorgio di Chirico Art Center, in Volos. On the three floors of the building there is a permanent exhibition of the Aleksandros Damtsas collection, with about 500 paintings from all the important artistic movements of our century. These artworks include engravings, maps and documentaries about the area, works by Greek engravers, and works by artists from Volos, Magnesia, and Thessaly. The largest part of the donated collection is made up by works from Greek artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In other parts of the Art Center are regular exhibitions covering a range of artistic interests.
  • The EPSA Soft-Drink Museum, in Agria. The well-known EPSA soft drinks have a 50-year history. This, together with the modern production unit, is made available to the public through a museum that functions within the factory installation. In the museum you can observe the modern process of production, you will get to know the history of EPSA, you will see the “machines” that used to be used for the manufacture of soft drinks, you will have the opportunity to get to know all the EPSA products, you will see the five valuable awards won by EPSA, as well as works of art by artists, famous or not, who were inspired by the company’s products, and you will see an enormous collection of glass bottles used for older brands, from all over Greece, that unfortunately no longer exist!

www.dimosvolos.gr/?cat=298

www.aroundpelion.com/pelion-museums-gr.html

www.golden-greece.gr/places/thesalia/pilio/pilio_pilio.html

www.infopelion.gr

www.travel-pelion.gr

And which beach will you choose for bathing?

Pelion has the good fortune to be washed on the south side by the waters of the calm Pagasetic Gulf and on the east by the magical Aegean Sea.

So which do you prefer?

The beaches of the Pagasetic have warm, shallow, calm water, ideal for families with small children.

Descending from the house until the main road there is a small path that leads to a tiny beach, Krypsana. This is also the nearest beach.

Unfortunately, Kato Gatzea, though a very picturesque harbor, is not recommended for bathing.

At Kala Nera (good waters), a beach that has been awarded a blue flag, there are sun beds and umbrellas all along the beach, with coffee and musical accompaniment. You can sit in a tavern, an ouzeri, a grill, cafeteria, or bar along the beach road, under the shady plane and eucalyptus trees.

Koropi or Boufa, between Kala Nera and Afissos, attract many people from the surrounding area.

At Afissos, the beach bars hold sway. If you feel like something more active, here is the place for windsurfing or other sports.

At Lefokastro, only a dirt road separates the very shallow sea from the small establishments where you can drink coffee or an ouzo.

The next beach is Milina, with beautiful small bays for more privacy.

The road continues to Horto, a tiny pretty village with small inlets and green water.

All the way to Alogoporo (the harbor from where you take the sea taxi to Trikeri), the road is lined by small bays with beautiful water.

The Aegean Sea needs no introduction. Its clear, deep, and sometimes choppy waters are a magnet to all those who are tempted by its beauty.

You can reach the beaches of the Aegean by following two routes:
  • On the main road turn left towards Milies and follow the road in the direction of Tsagarada until you arrive at the first Aegean beach, Kalamaki. Kalamaki is ideal for those who love deep, cold, clear water and are not particularly bothered about the sun, which is hidden behind the rocks from early in the afternoon, letting those who choose this beach stay blessedly cool. There are no commercial establishments here, but there is running drinkable water, which trickles out from a spring among the rocks.

    The very next bay is Lampinou, a small beach that is very often full of people.

    A little further along you will find Limnionas, a pretty beach with a small tavern.

    After that, there is the famous Mylopotamos, one of the best-known and longest beaches in Pelion, which usually has big waves. However, if you go there on a calm day, you may feel you are beside a lake.

    Going to Fakistra means descending a difficult path, but when you reach the bottom you will be rewarded by a beautiful bay that few people visit.

    Right next door is Damouhari, a long and wide beach with picturesque taverns and wonderful sea.

    If you are feeling more sociable, Ai Giannis awaits you, with an organized beach, beach bars, restaurants, and crowds of people of different ages.

    Going on, you reach Chorefto, a long and wide beach, ideal for families, and not only because the taverns and cafes are just a breath from the sea.

    Finally, going along the beach, once you climb over the little hill at the end, you will arrive at Parisena: the ideal beach for more “liberal” conditions, since nudity is permitted here.

  • On the main road from Argalasti turn left for Xinovrisi – Melani – Paltsi.

    At Melani there is a long beach with wonderful deep water. Nudity is permitted, and many campers choose to stay there. If you are someone who takes care of your appearance, at the end of the beach there is clay you can use for a beauty mask in a natural spa. The beach has no shade, but don’t let that bother you. There is a tavern right there, among the plane trees, where you can spend a pleasantly cool afternoon.

    Paltsi is a long beach with fine sand, ideal for relaxation.

    Next to Melani, you arrive at Potistika, a fabulous beach with fine sand, deep blue sea, and a rock that tempts the most daring to climb up and dive off.

    www.greekhotel.com/thessaly/pelion/pelion-beaches/home-gr.htm

Or maybe you would like to go to a festival or celebration?

In the villages of Pelion, all the year round there are many cultural events and local festivals.

Of particular note are the festivals of wine in New Anchialo in August, tsipouro (raki) in Katohori Portarias in August, apples in Pouri, Zagora, in September, cherries in Agios Lavrentios in June, flowers in Alli Meria in May, firiki (a kind of apple) in Vizitsa in September, olives in Achillio in August, and sausage in Stagiates in July.

Among traditional customs we have the re-enactment of the burning of Judas (Rogatsaria) and the traditional kalanta (Epiphany song) in Velestino (January 5), the Carnival events in Volos municipality (last Sunday before Lent*), the “Carnival walk around the city neighborhoods” in Nea Ionia (Sunday and Monday before Lent), and the Shrove Monday feast and kite flying on the beaches of New Anchialo and Alykes, Volos municipality (last Monday before Lent), the Mayday events in Kerasia (May 1), the “fortune-telling” custom on the saint’s day of John the Baptist at Afetes and Agios Dimitrios Mouresiou (June 24), reproduction of the Pelioritic wedding at Portaria (second fortnight of August), and the “Maithes” mime and dance ceremony in Makrinitsa, which symbolizes the rebirth of nature in the spring (May).

There are also a large number of athletic and cultural events, as well as important concerts and festivals, which will make your stay in Pelion memorable.

A detailed list of these events can be found here:

www.aroundpelion.com/pelion-cultural-events-gr.html

www.magnesia-tourism.gr/ΕναλλακτικόςΤουρισμός/ΠολιτιστικόςΛαογραφικόςΤουρισμός.aspx

*Please note that Orthodox Easter may or may not fall on the same days as the western Easter, so associated holidays may also occur at different times. Check the dates to avoid disappointment.

Are you the sporting type?

On the wonderful beaches of Pelion, apart from swimming and relaxing, you can also engage in other activities, such as diving, water skiing, windsurfing, jet ski, and sailing.

There is no more ideal place than Pelion for hiking, as there is a huge network of footpaths (more than 500 km in all). Wonderful routes, through lush undergrowth, villages, and views that will take your breath away. The best-known routes for walking are: Kala Nera – Milies, Milies – Tsagarada, Tsagarada – Damouhari, and Milies – Lehonia. From the Villa Amanti, you can do part of the latter route, setting off from Ano Gatzea station and following the path that goes parallel to the railway lines, passing through lush greenery and ending up in Milies after crossing the well-known Di Chirico Bridge.

You can find special walks here: www.pilionwalks.com and http://walking-pelion.blogspot.ch/

Many of the mountain paths, such as Milies – Lehonia and Kala Nera – Milies – Pinakates – Kala Nera, are ideal for mountain biking. Kit yourself out with a good bicycle, the right equipment, a bottle of water, and get ready for exercise and adventure.

One wonderful experience is canyoneering in Pelion. The canyons of Pelion feature dense vegetation and wonderful beaches where they emerge. If you are in good physical condition, know how to swim, and are not afraid of heights, then you should not miss the descent through the canyon of Mylopotamo and Damouhari.

For the more daring, we recommend mountaineering and climbing, on excellent and fully secured routes of varying difficulty.

Another activity to get your blood pumping is sea canoeing/kayaking. You can visit places that cannot be reached in any other way. Hidden caves and beaches will be revealed on your voyage and this experience will be a landmark in your holidays.

Holidays on Centaur Mountain would not be complete without horseback riding. A ride on the Greek horses of the region, through the beech and chestnut forests or along the beautiful shores, will be unforgettable. Several riding clubs and professionals organize outings and tours that will enchant you.

www.magnesia-tourism.gr/ΕναλλακτικόςΤουρισμός/ΑθλητικόςΤουρισμόςΤοξοβολίασκοποβολή.aspx

Do you have ecological interests?

The Pelion region is host to rare kinds of flora and fauna and threatened habitats that are protected by European Union Directives 92/43 and 79/409. Because of its importance, Pelion was included in the NATURA 2000 network of the European Union with the code GR 143 0001.

Among its habitat types, those that stand out include the undersea meadows of Posidonia oceanica (priority habitat), the beech and chestnut forests (which are in excellent condition), and the marine caves.

Flora: three species are included in the Greek “Red Book” (Campanula incurva, Lesquereuxia syriaca and Soldanella pelia), while a total of 38 species and subspecies are endemic, rare, threatened, or protected.

Fauna: the survival of certain protected species of birds and insects—such as the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the booted eagle (Aquila pennata), the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), the semi-collared flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata),and the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus)—depends on maintaining the deciduous forests in good condition.

www.magnesia-tourism.gr/ΕναλλακτικόςΤουρισμός/ΟικοτουρισμόςΠήλιο.aspx