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A massive plane tree in the middle of the square, with a multitude of people sitting at the café in Portaria.
#Pelion

The 5 most picturesque villages of Pelion

The paradise of nature
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A few words about Pelion

Greece

Pelion, where the magic of nature meets the Pelion architectural tradition. Specifically, Pelion is a mountain in Magnesia and is one of the most picturesque destinations in Greece.

It stands out for its traditional villages, natural beauty, and charming squares. Enjoy your coffee under the plane trees, stroll through the picturesque alleys, buy traditional local products, walk in nature, and admire the architecture of the buildings. The uniqueness of the landscapes has turned Pelion into the ultimate destination for both winter and summer in Greece.

What are the most beautiful villages in Pelion? In this article, you will learn everything about the 5 most picturesque villages of Pelion that you must visit: Portaria, Makrinitsa, Milies, Vyzitsa, and Tsagarada.

An autumn landscape in the village of Pelion with a plane tree in the middle and a café around it
Explore the unique landscapes of Pelion.

Villages of Pelion

1. Portaria

One of the most famous tourist and picturesque villages of Pelion is the cosmopolitan Portaria, also known as the “gateway to paradise,” just 15 km away from Volos. What makes it so popular is the lush landscape with its stone-built houses.

Take a walk along the “Path of the Centaurs,” where you will feel the magic of nature as you traverse a path amidst wooden bridges, plane trees, and streams. The route takes about 35 minutes and starts from the chapel of Agia Marina on the provincial road just before the entrance of Portaria.

Continue your exploration of Portaria by heading to the central square named “Melina Mercouri.” Have a meal at the central square, surrounded by the plane trees. The most famous restaurant in Portaria is Kritsa, renowned for serving unique Greek traditional recipes.

Also, visit the Historical and Folklore Museum and the sacred temple of Agioi Anargyroi. Within a short distance, you can enjoy skiing at the Agriolefkes ski resort, which features chalets, slopes, and rental facilities for your equipment, as well as accommodation.

Wondering where to stay in Portaria?

In Portaria, consider staying at the Despotiko Hotel, a renovated 19th-century mansion located in the heart of picturesque Portaria. The view you’ll have in Pelion is unique, and you can choose a room with a fireplace.

2. Makrinitsa

Continue your exploration of the picturesque villages of Pelion by visiting Makrinitsa, also known as the “balcony of Pelion,” which is located close to Portaria. You’ll be impressed by the view of the Pagasetic Gulf and Volos, the stone-paved paths, and the charm of the village. Start your walk from the central square with the Church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, which is the iconic symbol of Makrinitsa.

Proceed to the Museum of Folk Art and History, located in the Topali mansion, where you’ll encounter exhibits ranging from tools and local costumes to jewelry and household items. Adjacent to the museum is the church of Metamorfosis (Transfiguration). Inside the settlement, cars are prohibited, so immerse yourself in the tranquility of this village.

Dine at Pantheon, located in the central square, offering traditional dishes. Also, between Portaria and Makrinitsa, there’s Aeriko, where you can enjoy your coffee or indulge in dessert with a unique view.

In Makrinitsa, consider staying at Archontiko Melanthi, housed in a restored 18th-century mansion of local architecture. You’ll be just a 2-minute walk from the central square of Makrinitsa. Inside the rooms, you’ll find handmade mirrors and details crafted from brass.

3. Milies

Another beautiful village in Pelion is Milies. There, you will encounter a unique lush landscape with plane trees, mansions, cobblestone streets, taverns, and cafes. Much like the other villages in Pelion, Milies stands out for its distinct Pelion hospitality.

When most people hear the name of the village Milies, the first thing that comes to mind is the Moutzouris Train, which travels along one of the narrowest railway lines in Europe. Visit the terminal station of Milies and enjoy the journey through dense forests. The route it takes is from Ano Lehonia to Milies, lasting about one and a half hours, with stops in the villages of Gatzea, Pinakates, and Argireika. If you don’t find an available schedule, take photos at the most photographed spot in Milies, the Moutzouris Train.

Another significant and unique attraction is the Temple of Pammegistoi Taxiarhes, where you’ll encounter a distinctive iconography. There is also the Folklore Museum, housed on the ground floor of the Town Hall, displaying exhibits of traditional costumes and crafts, and the library “Psichis Akos,” which includes over 2,500 volumes of books.

In Milies, consider staying at  Archontiko Filippidi, which has preserved its traditional character, is beautifully maintained, offers a unique view, and serves a breakfast consisting of local and handmade products. The Train Station in Milies is just 600 meters away.

 

4. Byzitsa

Βyzitsa is one of the most well-known and well-preserved villages in Pelion that you shouldn’t miss, as it distinguishes itself with its genuine Pelion landscape. Located between Milies and Pinakates, the houses are traditional, and most of them operate as guesthouses. Wander through the cobblestone alleys and enjoy the view of the Pagasetic Gulf.

On the central square, you’ll find tall plane trees, fountains, numerous churches, and paths leading to unique natural landscapes. Visit the Holy Temple of Zoódochos Pigi and observe the wood-carved iconostasis. Additionally, hike along the trail starting from this temple, covering a distance of 8 km, leading to some of the well-known beaches of southern Pelion.

In Byzitsa, consider staying at Ratzoni which will impress you as it is surrounded by lush forests and offers a unique view of both the mountain and the Aegean Sea. The central square of Byzitsa, where you’ll find traditional cafes and taverns, is only 1 km away from the accommodation.

 

5. Tsagkarada

Tsagarada couldn’t be missing from the list of the most beautiful villages in Pelion. It is built an amphitheatrical style and consists of four neighborhoods, named after the churches located in their central squares: Agioi Taxiarches, Agia Paraskevi, Agios Stefanos, and Agia Kyriaki. These four areas are interconnected with stone-paved paths.

Many tourists visit Tsagarada for the Plane Tree of Tsagarada, a 1000-year-old tree that is one of the oldest in Greece, located in the square of Agia Paraskevi. You can also go hiking, horseback riding, and explore the trails.

Visit Agia Kyriaki with its Holy Church and impressive bell tower. Then, climb the hill of Athonas, where the temple is surrounded by a lush landscape with tall fir trees. Next, get a close look at one of the most famous landmarks in Pelion, the Old Stone Bridge, surrounded by chestnut and plane trees. Don’t forget to explore the square of Agioi Taxiarches to see the Holy Church and the impressive fountain.

The largest and oldest plane tree in Tsagarada, Pelion.
The venerable plane tree dominates the cobblestone central square of Tsagarada, Agia Paraskevi.

If you visit Tsagarada in the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to swim at one of the most beautiful beaches in Pelion, Mylopotamos Beach, with its turquoise waters, massive rock, and fine pebble. It features a beach bar with sunbeds and umbrellas. Another beach worth exploring is Fakistra, where you’ll be impressed by the rugged cliffs. Did you know that inside the rock, there is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary?

While in Tsagarada, consider staying at Diogenis Hotel where rooms come with a fireplace and are adorned with wooden and stone elements. The view of the Aegean Sea is truly unique.

Book your accommodation early and secure the lowest prices

Now, you can explore Pelion by booking a stay in one of the charming mansions and enjoy the magic of nature.

Accommodation in Pelion

How many days should I stay in Pelion?

When going to Pelion, you will definitely need to stay for at least 3 days to get a taste of the most famous villages. However, you’ll probably want to visit it at least twice in your life – once in winter and once in summer. During winter, you can focus on the western Pelion and visit the villages of Makrinitsa, Portaria, Hania, and Milies within 3 days. If you visit Pelion in the summer, you can go to Tsagarada, Zagora, and Agria.

Useful tips for Pelion

Here are the 4 most useful tips you should pay attention to during your trip to the villages of Pelion:

  1. Most villages are crowded, making parking challenging.
  2. If you plan to travel with the Moutzouris train, it’s advisable to make a reservation well in advance, as there are limited daily routes, and there are only four carriages. Call 24210-39723 to make a reservation.
  3. If you visit Pelion in winter, stay on the western side to be close to the villages of Makrinitsa and Portaria. For more accommodations, click here.
  4. The roads between villages have many turns, so the distance on the map might seem short, but it takes longer due to the road layout.

 

A wooden structure displaying the most traditional foods of Pelion.
Don't forget to try the traditional dishes of Pelion.
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