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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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:
*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.
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.
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.
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.