The Weekly Getaway: getting lost amidst the colourful wilderness of Mount Pelion
Mount Pelion, taking its name from the father of Achilles, Peleus, and dubbed as the mountain of Centaurs has always been a magical destination to explore winter and summertime alike. With around 70 villages and settlements spanning across the Pagasetic gulf near Volos, Pelion represents a unique getaway hidden in the dense forest at times levelling with the sea.
In an effort to capture what's not to miss in this blessed countryside, we visit Tsagkarada, Milies, Neochori and Mylopotamos.
The small settlement of Neochori is located up in the mountains and offers a unique taste of the region. With less than 50 permanent residents, Neochori offers very little amenities but gives visitors a real feel of the countryside life. Plan for a visit during the morning hours and try to get a bread from the local bakery... rumor has it the owner only sells bread to locals!
As you make your way towards the inner part of the peninsula, Mylopotamos is one stop you shouldn't miss! Offering a unique seaside landscape, it is the perfect attraction during the summer. Make sure you get there early enough as the sun goes away after 3-4pm, at which time you'd want to transfer to the nearby taverna of Aggelika for some nice treats.
Milies is always a good idea for a brief stop either during the morning hours or at night. There a couple of coffee shops and tavernas around worth exploring, such as the traditioal taveral Salkimi offering the best meat around, while our personal favorite coffee shop (and this is also the case for many visitors) is Anna Na Ena Milo.
Also, the main attraction here is the old train station located in the woods that was once home to the famous locomotive transferring passengers from Ano Lechonia to Milies. Now it mostly operates on weekends and public holidays.
Tsagakarada is probably one of the few settlements in Mount Pelion that is very popular with visitors from all over Europe but still unspoiled. It offers good accommodation options and serves as a good location for both the wintertime (as it's not very far from Chania's ski centre) and also the summertime (as it's close to the beaches of Ntamouchari, Mylopotamos and Agios Giannis).
Whatever the season, you will definitely like to spend some time in the main square of the village for a coffee or a visit to the old church dating from the 1800s.
- Tsagkarada - combining the best of the two worlds, the more developed and the less explored, Tsagkarada offers good accommodation options, a few cafes and a traditional town square waiting to be explored
- Mylopotamos - offering one of the best beaches around, Mylopotamos is just 10 min away from Tsagkarada
- Milies - one of the most central villages of the eastern Pelion, you will definitely want to make a stop there and get a taste of the village's architecture
- Neochori - lost up in the mountain-side of eastern Pelion, Neochori is purely a gem! A small mini-market, a nice taverna and a bakery that operates purely for locals is what you'll find in the main square of the village
- 12 months - more of a resort, 12 months is a great option for both families and couples, especially if you want to have a carefree stay equal of what you would find in a more developed area, also offering spa facilities to enjoy
- The Lost Unicorn - lost in the heart of the dense forest around Tsagkarada, this establishment offers a unique character probably due to their foreign owners
- Six Keys - if you're there during the summer and are looking to enjoy the beach, this hotel is ideally placed on the beach of Amfissa offering a great location for short trips around the area of eastern Pelion
- Adis Oneirou - perfect for the wintertime, this small boutique hotel is located in the heart of Mouresi comprising of 5 stone-built rooms
- Dipnosofistis - romantic atmosphere, good food and good selection of wine. If you're there during summertime you'll enjoy the cosiness of the garden; otherwise you'll snuggle in the heigh-ceiling country house
- Aggelika Fish Tavern - nice views from the hill overlooking Mylopotamos bay, best to make an après la Plage lunch and aim for fish and seafood
- Gefsokratoras - located in Portaria, great countryside food, make sure you get the filo-pastry cheese-pie
- Anna Na Ena Milo - great place for breakfast or just a taste of the traditional Greek coffee. Ask for the specialty apple pie
- Ki Opou To Pei - nice and relaxing vibe underneath the dense forrest in Neochori
- Scala Bar - great cocktails and music, served both by owner Komninos who inherited this lovely house from his grandpa. This is definitely one not to miss!
- Skalimi - traditional family taverna in Milies, offering among the best ribs and beef patties you've ever tried. You should also try their homemade pies and their oven baked meat with tomato sauce and eggplant