Pelion peninsula is truly heaven on Earth with a big mountain dotted with the most picturesque hillside and seaside villages. On top of that, the whole peninsula is surrounded by a string of stunning beaches hidden in coves below the steep mountain slopes. Famous during summer for its gorgeous beaches and yacht mooring spots and famous during winter for its ski sport activities and cosy chalets in the mountain villages.
The first reason for you to fall in love with Pelion is surely its picturesque villages and the stunning views to either the Aegean Sea or the city of Volos. The traditional houses are built in stone with grey stone roofs and beautifully paved alleys set on lush green hillsides or hidden in tiny coves by the Aegean Sea.
On the eastern coast of the peninsula you will discover some extremely exotic beaches where the water has the most incredibly blue colour. Some of the most popular beaches on Pelion are Fakistra, Mylopotamos, and Agios Ioannis. They are absolute must-sees!
Pelion – nature activities and sightseeing
If you are not into relaxing under the sun in the beach but prefer activities in nature or sightseeing, there are many things to do in Pelion all year round. Pelion is a top holiday destination, popular to Greeks as well as travellers from abroad. Nearby Volos is a big city with a busy port and a small airport receiving charter flights during the summer months.
Pelion Greece – the peninsula in Thessaly
Pelion Greece is a peninsula situated in Thessaly, in the central part of Greece. The diversity of the natural landscape makes Pelion a perfect travel destination both summer and winter. The mountain of Pelion is thickly forested, mainly of beech, oak, maple, and chestnut trees, with plane tree groves surrounding places with water.
Pelion – the most beautiful mountain in Greece
Pelion is considered the most beautiful mountain in Greece: hiking trails and stone paths give access to springs, coves, and numerous beaches, sandy or pebbly, set among lusciously green slopes. Pelion is an amply watered mountain, with an abundance of springs, gorges, streams, and rivulets, with many streams routed in carved-stone artificial beds to bring the water to the villages and their thriving orchards. The higher elevations of the mountain receive enough snowfall to host skiing facilities that operate from Christmas to Easter
Villages in Pelion Greece
Picturesque little villages are scattered all over the green mountain slopes of Pelion, all with a different style. You will find hotels and accommodation in many of them whether they are located down near the shore or high up on the mountain slopes. In Pelion, the most popular villages for winter holidays are Portaria, Makrinitsa, Vizitsa, Miles, Tsagarada, and Chania, where you will find the ski center. The best villages for summer vacations in Pelion are Horefto, Agios Ioannis, Milina, and Platanias.
Find a list of the most popular villages in Pelion below.Read more
- Afissos – a fishing village located 25 km southeast of Volos with great taverns and family hotels. Perfect for families.
- Agia Kyriaki – a fishing village 82 km from Volos, close to Trikeri. During summer fishing boats and yachts are mooring in Agia Kyriaki.
- Ano Volos – a suburb of Volos, located just 5 km from the city of Volos. It has a beautiful traditional architecture and great views to the large port on the one side and Mount Pelion on the other.
- Argalasti – a mountainous village located 50 km southeast of Volos has good tourist facilities and is famous for its great sunset.
- Chania – is located 27 km northeast of Volos. It is mountainous and the closest village to the ski centre of Pelion. The great location provides stunning views the Aegean Sea and the Pagasetic Gulf.
- Chorto – a small seaside village located 46 km southeast of Volos on the southern side of Pelion. It is situated midway between Argalasti and Milina.
- Keramidi – is to be found 44 km northeast of Volos. Located at the edge of Mount Pelion Keramidi offers gourgeous views to the Aegean Sea.
- Kissos – is a traditional village on the eastern slopes of Pelion, located 51 km northeast of Volos. In Kissos village you will find a great base for hiking tours in the area.
- Lafkos – is located 50 km southeast of Volos with gorgeous stone houses, mansions, churches, and picturesque streets.
- Makrinitsa – just 15 km northeast of Volos you will find the village of Makrinitsa, built amphitheatrically at the slopes of a green mountainside. This makes it one of the most picturesque villages in the peninsula. From the beautiful squares you will have a stunning view to the port of Volos.
- Milies – is a beautiful village at the centre of the peninsula, located 28 km east of Volos. With lush green surroundings and many foot paths Milies is a perfect base for hiking in nature among streams and trees.
- Milina – a seaside village in the southern part of Pelion, located 50 km southeast of Volos. It has good tourist facilities and is famous for its gorgeous sunset.
- Mouresi – located 55 km northeast of Volos it is one of the oldest villages on Pelion. Mouresi resides in a lush green area with great views to the Aegean Sea.
- Neochori – a traditional mountainous village located 36 km southeast of Volos in the centre of the peninsula. Neochori is picturesque and with a beautiful square.
- Pinakates – is built in an altitude of 560 m 26 km from Volos. It is a quiet and picturesque village.
- Portaria – is located 12 km northeast of Volos and is one of the most stunning villages in Pelion. Portaria is a popular winter destination of Pelion set in lush green surroundings with traditional architecture and good accommodation.
- Pouri – located 52 km northeast of Volos the village is perches at a mountainside. This gives it a stunning view to the sea, and besides, it is a great place for hiking.
- Trikeri – is located on the southernmost spot of Pelion, 78 km southeast of Volos. Trikeri is a traditional village with a rich culture and an interesting history.
- Tsagarada – one of the most famous villages of Pelion is located 51 km east of Volos. Visitors enjoy the picturesque architecture and the beautiful square of Tsagarada.
- Vizitsa – is set in a gorgeous natural environment 30 km east of Volos. The village of Vizitsa impresses its visitors with its traditional mansions, beautiful footpaths, and the view to the Pagasetic Gulf.
- Zagora – is a beautiful village located 45 km northeast of Volos, set amidst a green forest with traditional houses, Byzantine monuments, and stunning views to the sea.
Best beaches in Pelion Greece
In Pelion you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, hidden in little coves under steep green cliff walls and with crystal clear turquoise blue waters. The most impressive beaches are to be found on the eastern side of the peninsula. You will find a list of the best beaches in Pelion below.Read more
Partly organized beaches
- Mylopotamos Beach – Pebbled, located 52 km east of Volos
- Agios Ioannis Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 52 km northeast of Volos
- Papa Nero Beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 51 km northeast of Volos
- Horefto Beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 55 km southeast of Volos
- Mourtia Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 63 km southeast of Volos
- Katigiorgis Beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 68 km southeast of Volos
- Platanias Beach – Sandy, family friendly, 60 km southeast of Volos
- Potistika Beach – Sandy, family friendly, located southeast of Volos
- Damouchari Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 53 km northeast of Volos
- Fakistra Beach – Pebbled, located 53 km northeast of Volos
Where is Pelion Greece?
Pelion is a mountain at the south-eastern part of Thessaly in central Greece, forming a hook-like peninsula between the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea.
Map of Pelion Greece
Mount Pelion in Greek mythology
In Greek mythology, Mount Pelion (which took its name from the mythical king Peleus, father of Achilles) was the homeland of Chiron the Centaur, tutor of many ancient Greek heroes, such as Jason, Achilles, Theseus and Heracles. It was in Mount Pelion, near Chiron’s cave, that the marriage of Thetis and Peleus took place. The uninvited goddess Eris, to take revenge for having been kept outside the party, brought a golden apple with the inscription “To the Fairest”. The dispute that then arose between the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athene resulted in events leading to the Trojan War. When the giants Otus and Ephialtes attempted to storm Olympus, they piled Mount Pelion upon Mount Ossa.
Island hopping from Pelion
Daily ferries are going from the islands of the Sporades to the port of Volos:
- Skiathos – 2 hours by ferry or 45 minutes by hydrofoil
- Skopelos – 2,5 hours by ferry or 1 hour and 15 minutes by hydrofoil
- Alonissos – 3 – 3,5 hours by ferry or 2 hours by hydrofoil
Pelion Greece – What to see?Read more
- Museum of Folk Art and History of Pelion – is to be found beneath the central square of Makrinitsa, housed in Topali mansion, which was built in 1844. It looks like a fortress and it hosts items from the folklife in Pelion.
- Church of Taxiarches – is the historical church of Agioi Taxiarches situated in the square of Milies. It was built in the 17th century. It houses some interesting frescoes with biblical scenes.
- Spring of Manas – is in a dense forest in Portaria, close to the Centaur’s Path surrounded by unspoiled nature with some wooden bridges helping you to cross the stream.
- Museum of Worry Beads – or “Komboloi” are yet another expression of the Greek culture. The museum of Worry Beads presents the history and a variety of worry beads.
- Church of Panagia – in Makrinitsa is a traditional church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. It has a tall bell tower with bells from Odessa and an interesting architecture.
- Monastery of Agios Lavrentios – is a Byzantine monastery built in 1378 on the ruins of an even older monastery at the village of Agios Lavrentios. It has played an important role in the Greek War of Independence.
- Greek School Museum – is built in Zagora village. This is where the famous freedom fighter Rigas Valestinlis-Feraios was attending school. The Greek School Museum, also known as the School of Rigas has had several famous Greek personalities attending during its working years. Not far from the museum you will find the library of Zagora with more than 15,000 old books and manuscripts.
Pelion Greece – Things to do
- Moutzouris Steam Train – is an old steam train of Pelion carrying the nickname Moutzouris, meaning “smudgy”. It started operating in the late 19th century and has played a key role in the development of the peninsula.
- Centaur’s Path – is a great foot path surrounded by astonishing nature. You will find it in the village of Portaria. The path is marked with red circles on stones in order not to lose track. On your way you will find a fountain with drinking water and benches for a rest on you journey.
- Ski Centre – The Ski Centre of Agriolefkes is in an altitude of 1,530 meters near the village of Chania, where you will find accommodation and other tourist facilities. The ski centre is quite popular during winter from December to Marts.
- Wine tasting – Discover the vineyards of Pelion and learn about the wine culture in Thessaly. In Argalasti village you will find the “Milea Estate” where you can book a food and wine testing tour guided by the sommelier at the estate.
- Scuba Diving – You will find a few diving centres in Pelion, in the villages of Afissos, Agia Kyariaki, and in Chorto. Zoumbosub Pelion Divers in the village of Afissos is a PADI 5* dive center.
- Horseback riding – Do you prefer enjoying nature from a horseback? In Millies village in Pelion you will find the IFOM group with experienced mountain horse riders offering different shorter routes for children and beginner riders as well as long routes for experienced riders.
- Sailing from Pelion – Being set in the most stunning landscape surrounded by islands Pelion is a perfect starting point for your sailing trip in the Aegean Sea. Different sailing companies organize bareboat, assisted, and skippered boat trips.
Pelion Greece – Where to stay?
In Pelion you will find great hotels, luxury resorts, guesthouses, and boutique hotels. Here is something for every taste and every pocket. During summer it is nice to stay in the seaside villages near the gorgeous beaches and during autumn, and winter months I suggest you choose to stay in a mountain village with view to the sea. Near the ski resort you will find guesthouses and chalets in Chania village perfectly fit for the winter season with fireplace and great restaurants.
Pelion Greece – nearest airport
In Pelion there is no airport. The nearest one is Nea Anchialos Airport in Volos, a small airport working only in summer. It does not serve internal flights, just some charter flights from abroad. A few European low-cost air companies fly to the airport of Volos, including the popular company Ryan Air.Read more
It is more convenient to fly to Eleftherios Venizelos in Athens or Makedonia Airport in Thessaloniki, as both cities have international airports receiving flights all year from several major cities around Europe. Upon arrival in either you can reach Pelion by car or by a Greek intercity bus, named KTEL.
If you chose to rent a car in either airport, you need to follow the National Greek Road Athina – Thessaloniki. From Athens it is 341 km and from Thessaloniki it is 212 km. Beware, the National Greek Road includes toll. In Pelion it is convenient with a car due to long distances between the villages and the steep terrain.
Weather and climate in Pelion
It is difficult to predict the weather in Pelion because of the influence by the mountains. Since the ancient years it has been famous for its healthy climate.Read more
These perfect weather conditions exist due to a combination of factors: Forested mountains, rich water springs and streams, and the Aegean Sea. Even when the mountains are covered in snow, Pelion has a pleasant mild temperature, the lowest being 7.5 degrees. Especially the mountain slopes on the western side towards the Pagasetic Gulf are protected by the strong winds of the Aegean Sea.