Tag Archives: Pelion

A short getaway to Mt Pelion

11 Feb
Milies Village, Pelion. Photo Source thepaper.gr

Milies Village, Pelion. Photo Source thepaper.gr

Pelion is a mountain in Thessalia, Greece that in Greek mythology was thought to be the homeland of  Centaurs. Today, the traditional villages of Pelion are an ideal destination for a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Athens or Thessaloniki. Keep in mind though that as they are over 20, and the distance between some of them can be long, you either need to choose a couple of them for your weekend or decide to take a longer break to have a better taste of Pelion. Here are the best choices if you decide to stay in the Milies area. Enjoy! Continue reading

7 traditional villages you should visit when travelling in the Greek mainland

2 Dec

1. Nymfaio, Florina

Nimfaio Village via www.ethnos.gr

Nimfaio Village via http://www.ethnos.gr

Nymfaio has been often included in “The ten most beautiful villages of Europe” lists, and has claimed the UNESCO “Melina Mercouri International Prize” for the excellent management of the area’s cultural heritage and the surrounding natural environment.

Nimfaio via danezis.blogspot.com

Nimfaio via danezis.blogspot.com

Arcturos’s (NGO dedicated to the protection of brown bears and wolves) headquarters are situated just 1,5 km from Nymfaio and their sanctuary is open to visitors year round (depending on weather conditions).

Don’t miss the chance to visit the “Goldsmith, Folklore and History Museum”, with exhibits including authentic local furniture, traditional tools for jewellery making, and, of course, jewels. Before leaving the area dine at Thoma’s, a 5-star tavern in Amyntaio, a few kilometres away from Nymfaio.

2. Palaios Panteleimon, Pieria

Located at the foothills of the most famous and mysterious mountain of antiquity, Mount Olympus, the village of Palaios Panteleimon is renowned for its hospitable people. The village, also named “the balcony of Olympus” is an ideal destination for every season. Nature lovers and adrenaline enthusiasts will have the opportunity to choose between hiking, mountain biking, climbing, paragliding and off-road driving. After a day full of exhausting activities, relax in one of the traditional cafes (or kafenia in Greek!) on the main square and enjoy authentic Greek coffee prepared on the coals and served in a copper pot, always accompanied by a locally produced spoon sweet!

3. Palaios Agios Athanasios, Pella

Situated within short distance from the border between Greece and FYROM, Palaios Agios Athanasios has become a trending destination in the last couple of years due to its proximity to the ski centre of Kaimaktsalan. For travellers seeking relaxation, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Palaios Agios Athanasios during the winter season, but if you are in pursuit of cosmopolitan ski holidays rush to book one of the charming guest houses; from traditional cafes and taverns to luxury restaurants and nightclubs, you will find everything you need in this small village.

4. Zagorochoria, Ioannina

I would need more than 20 pages if I wanted to fully describe this corner of Greece. Zagorochoria is a set of 46 villages that meet the needs of every kind of traveller. Here you can find cosmopolitan villages, quiet villages, or even secluded villages, only accessible on foot! Either on the peaks of Pindos mountain range or hidden in the woods, each and every one of them will take you back to older times.

The hiking trail of Vikos gorge, part of the E4 European path, and Drakolimni (or “Dragon Lake”) are two places of incomparable natural beauty totally worth your time.

Beautiful spot in Vikos gorge via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186829084515616237/

Beautiful spot in Vikos gorge via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186829084515616237/

The local cuisine is amazing, its cornerstones being the pies (or “pita” in Greek), several traditional recipes with meat and spoon sweets. Pair your meal with a nice red wine made in the area, and spend your evenings drinking tsipouro, a strong spirit made by local producers.

5. Pelion

There are 24 villages on Mount Pelion, some of them hidden in forests of beech and chestnut trees and other on the coastline. During your visit in Portaria village, which is probably the most picturesque one, and after you walk its cobbled alleys, follow the “trail of the Centaurs”, a circular path of 2,7 km (approximately 1 hour), to get inspired by the ancient Greek mythology.

Portaria via pilionterra, Flickr

Portaria via pilionterra, Flickr

Before leaving Portaria, have some coffee and cake at the Cafe “Aeriko” while enjoying the magnificent vista over Pagassitikos bay. The cosmopolitan village of Makrynitsa, known also as the “balcony of Pelion” is located just 4km away from Portaria. Once you get tired by strolling through its picturesque streets with the small shops, head to the restaurant “Gefsokratoras” to treat your sense of taste with a delicious meal.

Makrynitsa; the balcony of Pelion via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/336995984586522246/

Makrynitsa; the balcony of Pelion via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/336995984586522246/

What is more, from horse riding in the woods and skiing to scuba diving in the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, the area of Pelion can offer you numerous dreaming experiences!

6. Monemvasia

Perched on a rock thrown in the sea, Monemvasia gives the impression that the rock and the settlement were created together at once. Surrounded by walls and almost cut off from the mainland, the scenery will make you think that you just discovered a time travel machine! The entire old town looks like a museum, with narrow alleys and small squares while some buildings still retain their marble coats of arms, remnants of an era of wealth and glory.

At sunset, relax on the balcony of your hotel room, empty your mind and lose yourself among shades of red you’ve never imagined.

7. Vatheia, Laconia

Resembling an open-air museum of architecture in the heart of Mani, Vatheia remains untouched by time. A settlement positioned on a hilltop, Vatheia looks like an abandoned village since the permanent habitants are no more than a few dozen, living in tower-like mansions. The fairytale 2-3 -floor chateaus made of stone have very small windows, once used as ramparts during the war against the Turks or pirate invasions.

Many mansions have been renovated and are now charming guest houses. Don’t miss the chance to swim in the turquoise waters at the nearby beaches of Kapi and Exo Kapi.

Labros Psomodotis

6 Holywood-class filming locations in Greece

25 Nov

We love Greece! You love Greece as well! Now, you may be thinking, “How can I like something that I don’t know?!”. Well, think again because it is highly likely that you have seen Greece in a movie!

1. Mamma mia

Mamma mia was filmed in 3 different locations in Greece; in Skopelos and Skiathos, 2 islands in the complex of Sporades, and in Pelion, a mountainous traditional area in Greece’s mainland. Highlight of the movie (and one of Greece’s as well!) the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos in Skopelos, where the wedding takes place!

Agios Ioannis Prodromos church in Skopelos

Agios Ioannis Prodromos church in Skopelos

Skopelos Island

Skopelos Island 

2. Before midnight

Before midnight, probably the latest movie that has many scenes filmed in Greece, was shot in the region of Messinia, in Peloponnese. It includes scenes from the castle in Methoni, a extremely picturesque and well preserved area and also from Costa Navarino, one of the most luxurious hotels in Greece.

Methoni castle, Peloponnese

Methoni castle, Peloponnese

3. Captain Corelli’s mandolin

Captain Corelli’s mandolin was shot in Kefallonia island in the Ionian sea. You will enjoy the amazing beauty of Kefallonia and its traditional villages and at the same time the unique blue green colours of the beaches and the seas of the island.

Assos village in Kefalonia

Assos village in Kefalonia

Agnantia Boutique Hotel in Kefalonia via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/404690716486058911/

Agnantia Boutique Hotel in Kefalonia via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/404690716486058911/

4. Zorba the greek

Zorba the Greek (a name probably related with dance in your mind!), is a classic movie, shot back in the 1960s in the island of Crete and more specifically in the region of Chania with scenes in Apokoronas region and Akrotiri Peninsula. The famous scene with Anthony Quinn dancing on a beach at the rhythms of syrtaki, was shot in the beach of Stavros village!

Stavros beach in Chania, Crete

Stavros beach in Chania, Crete

Acrotiri peninsula in Chania, Crete

Acrotiri peninsula in Chania, Crete

5. The Big blue

Big blue was shot in the island of Amorgos, in Cyclades; showing some breathtaking images of the Mediterranean sea and the island.In the movie you will also see the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa clinging to the cliffs, over the Aegean. There were also some scenes in Manganari beach which is located in the island of Ios.

Agios Pavlos Beach in Amorgos, Cyclades

Agios Pavlos Beach in Amorgos, Cyclades

Panagia Hozoviotisa in Amorgos, Cyclades

Panagia Hozoviotisa in Amorgos, Cyclades

6. For your eyes only

In this James Bond film you will find a couple of scenes shot in Greece; you will have the chance to enjoy the island of Corfu in the Ionian sea and also, the magnificent scenery of Meteora, where monasteries are built on the top of rocks standing hundreds of meters in the air!

Loggas Beach in Corfu Island

Loggas Beach in Corfu Island

Monasteries in Meteora

Monasteries in Meteora

Stavros Tsoukatos

Skiing down Greece; discover 9 amazing ski resorts

10 Nov

1. Parnassos

Being one of the closest ski centres from Athens (and the largest in Greece), Parnassos gets quite busy especially during the weekends in the winter. The nearby town of Arachova, full with modern bars, restaurants and cafes, attracts loads of people and is one of the most famous entertainment hubs in Greece during the winter!

Distance from Athens:180km

Ski runs: 21

Total length of ski runs: 22km

2. Kalavryta

Source http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Source news.gtp.gr

 

At an altitude of 2340m, in the northern part of Peloponnese you will find the 2nd largest ski center of Greece, this of Kalavryta, situated close to the town of Kalavryta. Due to its close proximity to Athens, this ski centre also attracts many people during the winter, who enjoy the 12 ski runs of different difficulties including a black one, this of Ino (1400m long), considered to be one of the most challenging runs in Greece.

Distance from Athens: 203km

Ski runs: 12

Total length of ski runs: 20km

3. Kaimaktsalan

Source http://2.bp.blogspot.com

Source e-xionodromika.com

Kaimaktsalan ski centre, very close to the border with FYROM and the traditional village of Palaios Agios Athanasios, offers 13 ski runs of different difficulties. From up there (2500m) you will also be able to enjoy the view of lake Vegoritida and the peak of mountain Olympos!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 139km, from Athens: 660km

Ski runs: 13

Total length of ski runs: 15km

4. Pelion

Source money-tourism.blogspot.com

Source money-tourism.blogspot.com

In the extremely picturesque and full of nature mountain of Pelion, in Agriolefkes, there is a ski centre, at an altitude of 1500m. What is really worth saying about this ski centre is that offers the opportunity to ski while enjoying the view of the…sea! Yes, that’s right, you can go skiing whilst admiring the Mediterranean sea!

Distance from Athens: 346km

Ski runs: 8

Total length of ski runs: 5km

5. Pertouli

The ski centre of Pertouli, near the uniquely beautiful village of Elati, is not a big one; on the contrary, with only 3 ski runs, is probably one of the smallest in Greece! Still, it is worth visiting if you are in this magnificent area and spend some time skiing in all levels of difficulty!

Distance from Athens: 375km

Ski runs: 3

Total length of ski runs: 2km

6. 3-5 Pigadia

3-5 Pigadia (pigadi meaning well in Greek!) is the ski centre of Naoussa in Northern Greece. In this unique location you will find many ski runs and the only ski centre in Greece with a system of artificial snowing to ensure that the quality of skiing will be at high standards throughout the winter season!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 108km, from Athens: 557km

Ski runs: 10

Total length of ski runs: 9km

7. Seli

The ski centre of Seli, near Veroia in the north of Greece, was the first established ski resort in Greece back in 1934. Still a famous winter destination, it attracts people from all parts of Greece and offers a variety of ski runs for the visitors in its well organized facilities.

Distance from Thessaloniki: 95km ,from Athens: 540km

Ski runs: 19

Total length of ski runs: 15km

8. Vasilitsa

Vasilitsa is another very famous ski centre in northern Greece which attracts many ski lovers. Situated near Grevena, it offers high quality facilities and you will find it full with skiers especially during the weekends as many people from the surrounding areas visit to enjoy the snow!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 216km. from Athens: 468km

Ski runs:18

Total length of ski runs: 22km

9. Falakro

The ski centre of Falakro is one of the most important ski centres of northern Greece and one of the biggest as it has 21 ski runs. Although the name of the mountain suggests that there is not much flora (as Falakro means bald!), the mountain is quite rich in nature and magnificent sceneries. The ski centre is situated in an advantageous position which stays covered with snow more months per year compared to other ski centres in Greece and as a result is quite popular!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 210km

Ski runs: 20

Total length of ski runs: 20km

Enjoy your winter vacations in Greece!!!

Stavros Tsoukatos

%d bloggers like this: