Winter Tourism destinations

Visit Greece

Makrinitsa village_Pelio_Greece. © GNTO/ SKOULASMount Pelion

Where: Only a few kilometres away from the busy port of Volos in Thessaly stands mythical Mt. Pilion, which according to Greek mythology was the home of the mythical Centaurs, creatures who were half man and half horse. Ancient Greek heroes such as Achilles, Jason and Theseus came to Mount Pilion to master the arts taught by the Centaurs. Mount Pilion is home to 24 beautiful villages.

snowed mountains_ZagoriWhy: The unique combination of superb natural surroundings, dense greenery, cascading waterfalls and gorges, romantic bays with crystal clear waters and outstanding local architecture make for a “four seasons’ destination” that attracts visitors all year long.

Must visit: Pilion boasts some of the most famous traditional villages in Greece; set against an idyllic backdrop of shimmering olive groves, dense forests and lush fruit orchards, these stone-built villages are the true gems of Pilion. Visit the lovely old village of Tsagaráda –home to a 1, 000-year-old plane tree; Makrinitsa, the so-called balcony of Pilion, which affords magnificent views over the Aegean; Portaria, which thanks to its impressive traditional mansions has successfully managed to preserve its traditional colour untouched by time, and Chánia, with its famous ski centre.

Stemnitsa village_Oreini Arcadia. © GNTO/ SKOULASActivities on offer: Explore this unspoiled world on horseback! The horseback trip starts in Argalasti, an attractive village in the south of the peninsula. From here you can reach beaches on both sides of the peninsula – open sea or calm gulf. The cobblestone trails between villages lead you back through time and are ideal for rides on horseback. The main trails out of Argalasti lead to many interesting locations, such as Kalamos (6 km to the west) and Lefokastro (6 km to the NW). Ski down snowy slopes at the ski resort of Agriolefkes near the village of Chánia or walk along narrow winding cobbled paths known as calderimia. The Chánia-Kissós path is one of the most popular among trekking lovers.

ArahovaHot tips:
• Discover one of Pilion’s best kept secrets: the tiny, exquisite cove of Fakistra; the highlight is a stream that springs from the mountain and flows into the sea. It is rather difficult to get down to it but it certainly worth it; even in winter the setting is very romantic; pure magic.
• Follow a scenic route from the village of train! Take the legendary Pelion stream train, a narrow-gauge rail track built more than a century ago by the father of the surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico, which crosses stone bridges and passes through rugged landscapes; all the stations are of unique architectural interest.
• Visit the village of Damouchari, where several scenes from the movie Mamma Mia were filmed!

Accommodation: Ancient old mansions of traditional Pelian architecture that used to belong to rich merchants have been turned into cosy guesthouses offering an exquisite atmosphere that is difficult to find anywhere else in Greece.

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