mountainous peninsula with traditional villages and beautiful beaches

Tzasteni seen from the road


Pelion, or Pilio in Greek, is a mountainous peninsula in the shape of a hook, located near the town of Volos. It is a beautiful combination of mountain, sea and traditional villages with preserved architecture.

Pelion is known as the Land of Centaurs because according to Greek mythology, it was home of Chiron the Centaur.

General information about Pelion

Old style houses with sea view

There are 24 villages in Pelion, with authentic architecture and stone buildings. Each village has the so called plateia (πλατεία) - a small square under the shadow of trees, usually next to a church and with a taverna. There is no chance to miss it when the road passes by the plateia, or in some cases you will see signboards when the square is away from the main road and accessible on foot.

The main road which connects the east and west side of the peninsula is away from the sea and has many curves and hairpin turns, that is why even small distances take more time than expected. The highest settlement of Pelion, Chania, is built at an altitude of 1300 meters and 2 km from it is Agriolefkes Ski Resort. The east side is more picturesque and rugged, with deeply indented coast and lots of coves and blue water beaches.

Where to stay in Pelion?

The village plateia

Popular seaside villages are Kala Nera, Afissos, Agios Ioannis and Milina. There are also smaller settlements around the beaches which are seasonal and function only in summer - such are Damouchari, Chorefto, Micro and Lefokastro.

The most visited mountainous villages are Makrinitsa, Zagora, Mouresi, Tsangarada, Milies, Portaria and Vizitsa. The hotels and tavernas there work all year round. Makrinitsa and Portaria are the closest to Volos and they get very busy during weekends and holidays.

Which are the best beaches of Pelion?

View from above

The beaches on both sides of the peninsula are very different from each other. Those on the west shore are very calm and without waves but they are all covered with pebbles. The beaches on the east shore are more picturesque and some of them are sandy, but they are often exposed to winds and waves, including the most photographed Milopotamos and Fakistra.

If you are looking for beaches with fine sand, Pelion is not your destination. There is just one place where the sand is really fine and this is Katigiorgis. However, many of the east beaches have coarse sand or mixture of sand with tiny pebbles around the shore - Agii Saranda, Papa Nero, Potistika, Paltsi, Plaka, Chorefto, etc.

The farther south you go, the less people you see and the beaches become more secluded.

What to do in Pelion?

The steam train

The list of interesting places to visit and things to do in Pelion includes:

- The mountainous villages - Makrinitsa, Vizitsa, Milies, Zagora, Neo Chori, Lavkos, Pinakates, etc.
- The bay of Tzasteni
- The Hidden School near Fakistra
- Kottes, a remote bay with nice fish tavernas
- The bay of Damouchari
- Agia Kyriaki, the southernmost village of Pelion
- The inhabited islet of Palaio Trikeri, via water taxi from Alogoporos
- Trip with Moutzouris, the Pelion Train
- One-day boat trip to Skiathos from Platanias or Katigiorgis

Hotels in Pelion

Traditional house

Some of the stone old houses in Pelion function as boutique hotels or guest houses and help you to dive in the authentic atmosphere. Many of them have the word ”Archontiko” in the name, which means ”mansion”. The hotels in the high mountainous villages usually offer breathtaking sea views as well.

There are no all inclusive hotels in Pelion, accommodation emphasizes on the basis of bed and breakfast or self-catering. There is a choice for everyone - budget studios to rent, small guesthouses, holiday homes, luxury four and five star hotels, spa hotels, adults only hotels and campings.

How to travel around Pelion?

The village seen from the road

A car is highly recommended during your holiday in Pelion otherwise it would be very difficult to explore it. The beaches on the east coast are accessible via steep roads with no public transport between them. Hiking trails are available in some areas to connect a couple of beaches but they also take a lot of time to cover and steep hills to conquer.

Pelion photo galleryx