pelion travel guide

Mount Pelion

Pelion gathers many visitors, both in the winter and summer months. Best time to travel here is during the summer to enjoy the stunning beaches, watersports, sailing, mountain activities and to witness traditional Pelion weddings but all year around there is something for every traveller to do. In the winter the snow shows up and the ski centre fills up with snowboarders and skiers while during the spring the aroma of the flowers that blossom is incredible. Autumn offers cool yet sunny weather and the hiking routes are available to explore the nature, collect mushrooms, chestnuts, apples or even go hunting for wild pigs.

📅 All year round

To reach Mount Pelion one have to navigate to central Greece and the city of Volos. Volos is a beautiful little town located on the foothills of Pelion next to the Aegean sea and a few hours away by ferry from the Sporades islands where the Mama Mia movie was filmed. The distance from Athens is 326 km while from the second biggest city Thessaloniki 207 km. The most common way to get is by air-conditioned bus or by train (35€ – 50€ for a round-trip). The private taxi can be proved a great choice if you share it otherwise it can be pretty expensive (priced around 200€ from Thessaloniki or 300€ from Athens). Another way is to fly directly to VOL airport which is about 45 min outside of the city. The downside is that only charter flights are operating since 2012, meaning expensive tickets and fewer routes mainly from Paris, London, Tel Aviv and Vienna (as of 2020).

The transportation in Pelion and the wider area is made by public buses that run frequently connecting even the furthest village with the city of Volos. The journey is comfortable but with lots of turns making the trips to the faraway settlements exhausting. The taxi service is available for booking from the city making it an expensive solution so if you have booked to stay in one of the boutique hotels of Pelion then a private car is highly recommended. To explore the mountain it is wise to rent a car in advance and pick it up when you arrive in Volos. As Volos and Pelion is our home base, as we call it (we spend most of our time here) we use our motorbike or car, depending on the location we want to visit. Contact us for any transfer service you require or book one of our Xperiences to discover this unique destination with a local.

Where to stay

Pelion has the appropriate infrastructure to host a large number of nature lovers and all kind of travellers. For someone who visits this beautiful destination during the summer months, a good choice for accommodation can be either the villages of Ag. Ioannis, Chorefto, Tsagarada, Katigiorgis, Milina or Affisos which are located next to the sea and from there one can explore the entire area. While if you decide to travel to Pelion one of the rest seasons then it would be a wise choice to stay in picturesque villages of Portaria or Makrinitsa. Both of them offer great options of boutique hotels, traditional guesthouses and old neoclassical mansions from the late 18th century that have been reconstructed and turned into aesthetically fine lodges.

For those who prefer to stay till late at night and be next to the shopping and nightlife scene then consider booking a room in Volos. Having the city as your base to explore the landscapes during the day is what many travellers choose to do.

Find below our list with the best hotels and Airbnbs on the Mount Pelion and the town of Volos or use the map to browse yourself.

What to do

Mount Pelion is the best destination for those who love nature and outdoor activities. With more than 50 trekking routes it is an ideal place to escape and experience the beautiful trails hidden among the ancient forests. The paths-cobbled streets, together with the railway Volos – Milies, were until the 50’s the only axis of communication between the villages and with Volos. Nowadays the legendary Moutzouris train runs from Ano Lechonia to Milies only during the weekends and this unique ride should not be missed. Come an hour earlier to visit the Olive Museum of Ano Lechonia.

Explore some of the most beautiful villages of the mountain and learn more about the culture, history and architecture of the area. Visit Argalasti and Makrinitsa, to witness the traditional mansions, local products and find taverns under plane trees, to enjoy some of the best local treats, tsipouro or a cup of Greek coffee. Go skiing or snowboarding at the highest spot on the mountain in Chania and eat wild pig meat, lamb baked in a wood-fired oven or try fasolada cooked beans next to a fireplace at the Loukoulos tavern.

In summer explore the Eastern beaches of Pelion. Swim in Ag. Ioannis beach or try sea kayaking starting from Damouchari port. Find amazing waterfalls near Tsagarada village and buy a card postal of Mylopotamos while you are there. Go further south to Katigiorgis fishing village and taste Karavidomakaronada or the most popular fish-soup of Pelion made by Mr Kostas in the Floisvos tavern. And if you stay there for a couple of days ask the locals to help you cross to the Skiathos island which is a breath away. While if you feel romantic hire a skipper to sail you around the Sporades islands starting from Volos port or book a full day sailing tour in Pagasitikos Gulf with a traditional schooner boat.

There are countless things to do in Pelion and one thing is certain, that you will never get bored.

Popular Tours

A taste of the local cuisine will round out our introduction to the Pelion and Volos gastronomy. Two types of cuisines are typical in the area of Magnisia. The appetizers or meze served at the taverns that serve tsipouro called tsipouradika and the Pelion-style dishes.

What to taste?

The cuisine of Pelion is known for the purity of its local ingredients and the herbs used, the local recipes, the great variety of pies (spinach-pie, cheese-pie, pepper-pie, galaktoboureko) and the delicious handmade spoon sweets made from fruits found on the mountain. Every traveller should definetely taste spentzofai made from local sausage and green peppers, sauted greens with eggs, boubari which is a type of long sausage stuffed with rice and chopped offal. Tsitsiravla and kritama are the best seasonal greens that are hand collected during different seasons and are well accompanied by tsipouro. If you like sweets like we do then don’t miss baklava, traditional cake with nuts and the delicious apple-pie baked from local apples from Zagora village.

Where to eat?

Our favourite restaurant in Makrinitsa is called Apolavsi, there you can find many homemade dishes that we described above. Order their speciality, the little goat with potatoes in the oven or their delicious eggplants with local cheese. In Portaria the well known to the locals Kritsa restaurant is one of the best choices for lunch or dinner. At the nearby village of Katichori, the family-run taverns Ortansies and To Katofli tis Kaitis are must-visit places for good local food. For the best fresh catch of the day explore the fish taverns near Affisos, Milina and the other coastside settlements. For the best seafood meze head to the well-known tsipouradika of Volos.

What about drinks?

Three choices of spirits that the area is notable for. Tsipouro (common to Ouzo and Raki), wine from that comes from families and wine producers of the entire state of Thessaly and the fine local beers Plastigga and Argo. If you want to live like a local for the days you are in the area then the strong taste of tsipouro with anise is the only way to go. Tsipouro is a distillate made from the pomace of grapes after they have been pressed to make wine. The alcohol percentage is around 40% degrees and that’s why it is served in a tiny 25ml bottle. Each of this bottle is accompanied by a different meze (similar to tapas), a ritual that has been followed since the last century. The more you drink the more you eat…

If you like to explore the traditional products of every destination you visit then on Mt. Pelion you will find a plethora of them. Best of the local ‘gems’ to bring back home can be the various Greek herbs and the mountain tea collected from the area. While thyme honey, oregano, dried mushrooms and the handmade spoon sweets made from local firiki apples, chestnuts or figs are really popular to the foreign visitors. Don’t forget that Pelion produces the best olive oil in Greece and of course delicious and cheap olives. You can order the most delicious fresh virgin olive oil from Ladim website that we also prefer for our own consumption. While if you want to have a glance at the other products visit The Myrro online shop.

Mount Pelion and the entire area of Magnesia is surrounded by numerous gorgeous beaches and has nothing to envy from the exotic beaches of other destinations in the Mediterranean. The crystal clear waters, the green landscapes and the colourful cute taverns make the beaches of Pelion a unique vacation destination for couples, families or solo travellers.

Our 10 favourite beaches are below. Click on them to see the photo.

Flowers & old mansions of Portaria
damouchari greece
Damouchari bay
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Octopus drying method
sailing tours in Volos
Sailing Tours Pelion – Volos
pelion what to do
Bougiourdi – Feta cheese, olives, tomato baked in the oven
pelion what to do
Pelion during winter
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Milies train station
Makrinitsa Pelion

Makrinitsa village

pelion greece what to do

Hidden trails of Pelion

Not to miss

📌 Visit the archeological museum in Volos

📌 Enjoy a unique ride in the nature on the legendary train ‘Moutzouris’

📌 Trek to Makrinitsa village for lunch or coffee

📌 Explore Mylopotamos and Damouchari beach

📌 Discover the gastronomy and drink ‘tsipouro’ like a local

📌 Taste the handmade sweets made from local fruits

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