Daily trips to mountain Pelion
When you mention Volos, Mount Pelion is the first destination that comes to mind. The mountain has relatively low levels of wilderness and elevation. Its highest summit, Stavros, is 1.624 metres, stretching for approximately 50 Km. Mount Pelion forms a natural borderline between the district of Magnesia and the Aegean Sea.
Its soft slopes and easily accessed peaks make Mount Pelion a popular destination for hiking lovers and weekend mountain climbers. Two mountain shelters, the one at Agriolefkes and the other at Agios Georgios of Zagora host weary climbers and hikers. In Agriolefkes, near Hania, there is also a skiing resort for skiing lovers, whereas an abundance of mountain routes and trails are ideal for mountain biking and horseback riding.
One gains an exhilarating experience all year round when visiting Mount Pelion or its traditional villages, whether it’s in mid-winter when everything is covered in snow, or in spring or summer when colourful wild flowers cover its slopes, which are full of fir, chestnut, oak and beech trees.
Portaria is one of the most cosmopolitan villages of Pelion, bustling with life since it hosts visitors throughout the year. Situated at the foot of Mount Pelion, it’s the first village one gets to from Volos. Its popularity as a travel destination and its accompanying cosmopolitanism spring from its vicinity both to a skiing resort and also to the sea. Luxurious hotels, traditional hostels, rooms to let, restaurants and tavernas, coffee shops, bars, and shops selling souvenirs and traditional folk art items meet all visitors’ tastes and needs.
Milies is the starting point of the legendary steam train of Pelion, the so-called “Moutzouris” (i.e. smudgy) extending up to Ano Lechonia. Its rail track runs along a route of natural beauty connecting the centre of Volos to the fertile district of Western Pelion. In Winter , when the train stops operating, walk along its rail track and take pictures of the iron bridge constructed by Evaristo de Chirico, the chief engineer and mastermind of the Pelian steam train and father of the surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. Take the path heading towards Vyzitsa and enjoy the panoramic view of the Pagasetic Gulf. It is also worth paying a visit to the Church of “Pamegiston Taxiarchon”, typical of the Pelian architecture with post-Byzantine icons of artistic and historical significance.
Makrinitsa, the balcony of Mt. Pelion
Makrinitsa known for offering one of the best panoramic views to Volos and the Pagasetic Gulf has retained the traditional Pelian architecture and construction. So one can admire its renovated lordly mansions, its romantic stone paved alleys, its elaborate fountains, its super centenarian plane trees and its lovely flowers, which all make Makrinitsa one of the most breathtaking destinations of Pelion. There are also interesting art cafes and galleries revealing the artistic interests of its local people.