Pelion Tour, route Volos - Chorefto
1. Volos, Makrinitsa, Anakasia, Portaria, Chania, Snow Center, Zagora, Veneto (caves) Chorefto
The mountain that the myth refers as the summer residence of the gods of Olympus and as the magic country of the Centaurs, raises imposing and green over Volos, between Pagasitikos gulf and the Aegean Sea.
In the magical atmosphere of the Pelion landscape, the history and the legend, the wild and the calm, yesterday and today, all meet.
Here, the marriages of Pileas and Thetis took place, which Omerus, Pindarus and Euripides sang.
From here the legendary Argo with Iason and the Argonauts started for the far journey to Kolchida, seeking the "Golden Fleece".
Near the wise Centaur Chiron, the half-gods Achilleus and Hercules studied, while Asclepius learned the Medicine.
Beyond the myth, however, the tracks of the historical route of Pelion throughout the centuries are printed at the ruins of the ancient towns, at the remnants of the mediaeval castles and at the monuments of old Christian basilicas.
Since the 12th century, Pelion presents at the historical scene as a "monastic state" due to the many monasteries that were built in places mountainous and safe by monks of Agio Oros.
At the passage of the time, around the monasteries of Pelion new dorps are established, which with the translocations of populations of the coast are organized to towns and villages that during the Turkish Domination gain privileges and self-government, resulting to the economical and cultural acme of the second half of the 18th century.
Thus, the head villages of Pelion turn to real museums of folk art and architecture. The lofty figures of the castle houses, the temples of basilica style with the carven temples and the magnificent holy pictures, the cobbly pavements, the cool squares, the stone faucets and the arched bridges are saved till today composing... the unique Pelion scene. Above of these, nevertheless, is the heaven nature of Pelion that attracts and entrances its numerous visitors.
Wild, gnarled and with lush vegetation that descends till the coasts of Aegean, the east side of it and quiet, peaceful, sown with picturesque villages and windless beaches, the side of Pagasitikos.
The uniqueness of the Greek landscape concentrates to this miracle of the nature that is called Pelion, where the rustle of the trees of the mountain unites with the air of the sea and in our imagination we hear the clops, the conflicts and the passions of the Centaurs.
We start the tour of Pelion from Volos, following the road net.
Volos- Makrinitsa: 15 km The balcony of Pelion. One of the most characteristic dorps with mansion houses and houses that seem to hang like gems at the green slope. The square with the age-long platans offers a panoramic view towards Volos and Pagasitikos. In a coffee-house of it, a big mural of the painter Theophilos, is saved. The picturesque cobblestone pavements of Makrinitsa are scattered with traditional faucets, where fresh water flows continuously. At the mansion house Topali the museum of folk art and history of Pelion is housed. It is about a folkloric museum - representation of a mansion house with a full equipment, pictures, jewelry, apparels, firmans, books, tools, records of the community, flags, stone busts and weapons. The stone built church of Ai Giannis o Prodromos (1800) at the square of Makrynitsa consists a miniature of the Pelion architecture. Beside it, the peculiar faucet "the immortal water", at which all the cobblestone pavements of the village end up.
More about Makrinitsa...
Volos - Anakasia: km.
The head of the Municipality of Iolkos, with the Pelion element been strong, with old mansion houses, traditional cobblestone pavements, running waters, and old stone built faucets. Sights of the municipality are the mansion house of Kontos at Anakasia, with pieces of the folk painter Theophilos, the Holy Temple of the Dormition of Mary at the Upper Volos, a byzantine monument with murals of the 18th century and the mansion house of Zafiriou at Agios Onoufrios.
Volos - Portaria: 12 km
It has been the most important commercial center of the 24 villages of Pelion. The hotel "Theoxenia" after 1900 was considered to be the bigger and most luxurious of the Balkans.
Today Portaria is "the lady of the reception" at Pelion. The neo-classical mansion houses of it present interest, many of which function as guesthouses. Every year, around the end of August the custom of the Pelion marriage relives.
Chania - Snow Center
Volos-Chania: 26 km
A mountain dorp at an altitude of 1200 m., built in a dense beech forest is the passage from the west to the east Pelion.
Aforetime, at the inns of Chania the travelers and the merchants stayed the night. Today, beside the village, at the position Agriolefkes, one of the most beautiful snow centers of the country runs. The ski adorers descend the slopes with the frozen like fossils trees, watching at their left Pagasitikos and at their right Aegean.
Volos-Zagora: 45 km.
The bigger village of Pelion that has met a great commercial and intellectual acme during the 17th and the 18th century, is the birthplace of the historical G. Kordatos. There are byzantine texts that refer Pelion with the name Zagora. The library of Zagora is important, as it carries thousands of volumes of rare books. The school of Rigas or Ellinomousio as it is known was the oldest school of Pelion. At this studied among others, Anthimos Gazis, Gr. Konstantas, the Zagorian Kallinikos Lapatis (of Constantinople) and the bard of the Graesism, Rigas Velestinlis (Feraios).
Volos- Veneto: 51 km.
At the northest edge of Pelion, we meet Keramidi, a traditional stone built village that extents till the coast of the Aegean Sea. Port of it is Kamari, a piscatorial dorp with an excellent sandy beach.
Squarely to Keramidi, in a green slope that ends to the sheer rocks of Aegean, Veneto is built. One can visit the impressive caves that exist at the marine area of the ancient "iini" by a boat or a ketch.
Volos - Chorefto: 55 km
The lush vegetation of Pelion hugs the sandy beaches of Chorefto, that was a known port from where the "Zagorian ships" left for the big markets of Europe and East. At this place, where during the bigger part of the year the waves dance, G. Drosinis was inspired his poetry collection, "Galini".
A green path leads from the north side of the village to the lovely desolate sand beaches Parisena and Analipsi.
- Volos, Makrinitsa, Anakassia, Portaria, Hania, Ski-center, Zagora, Veneto (Spilies), Chorefto
- Agii Saranta, Puri, Agios Dimitrios, Kissos (church of Agia Marina), Agios Ioannis, Papa Nero, Tsagarada, Mouresi, Fakistra, Damouhari, Lambinou
- Mylopotamos, Neohori, Afetes, Kopopi, Lefokastro, Argalasti, Kalamos, Potistika, Melani, Paltsi, Mourtias
- Katigiorgis, Lafkos, Chorto, Milina, Kastri, Platanias, Tzasteni, Agia Kyriaki, Old Trikeri, Trikeri
- Milies, Vyzitsa, Pinakates, Drakeia, Kato Gatzea, Kala Nera, Platanidia, Afissos, Agios Georgios of Nilia, Agios Lavrentios, Ano and Kato Lehonia, Agria