fbpx
Skip to content
Hidden Gems
Ancient Trails of Pelion Peninsula  The Natural Adventure 48

Ancient Trails of Pelion Peninsula

Overview

The Pelion Peninsula in mainland Greece is dominated by a dramatic mountain range, Mt Pelion. The mountain is peppered with delightful villages, linked by age-old trails, and holding whitewashed, half-timbered mansions that serve as guesthouses or tavernas. Down at sea level, several former fishing ports have become beach destinations.

Explore this hidden jam on our tour 8-day tour, from village to village on old mule paths through a lush green mountainous interior and on trails overlooking the glittering Aegean Sea.

  • Ancient cobbled trails through the Pelion Peninsula
  • The Greek legend of the Centaurs
  • Delicious local specialties of fasoladha and gyropsomo
  • Swimming in the inviting turquoise bays of the Aegean Sea

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Portaria

Portaria is accessible from Volos, Athens or Thessalonika with good train or bus links. Explore one of the most beautiful villages in Pelion with its traditional little houses with grey stone roofs and paved alleys that ooze charm in abundance!

Day 2: Circular walk Portaria | 13 km

After breakfast, begin by walking to the traditional mountain village of Makrinitsa, which has characterful stone houses with slated roofs. Follow the trail through the maquis shrubland scented with thyme and oregano as you walk to an idyllic church. Ascend through a forest and then via a track towards Portaria, whilst enjoying views over the city of Volos en route. Before reaching Portaria you will enter and walk through a lush green gorge.

  • Walking for the day: approx 4.5 hrs, 13 km, ­↑550 m ↓550 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Xenia Portaria or similar

Day 3: Potaria – Hania | 7 km

Today’s walk starts in Portaria and follows a beautiful path upwards and through conifer trees under ‘Aidonaki’, a mountain in the western peaks of the Pelion. Walk through a beech forest just before reaching the highest hamlet of Pelion, Hania, and pass the ruins of an old sanatorium lost in the forest. Hania ski resort is located at an altitude of 1250 m, so enjoy the cool, fresh air.

Day 4: Hania – Agios Ioannis | 7-11 km

Start your day with a transfer to the start of the kalderimi (paved stone mule path). Upon arrival, descend on this ancient path through a beech forest and then on the alternate tarmac and kalderimi paths until you reach the picturesque village of Kissos. After a lunch break in a local taverna continue on a pretty track to Mouresi village and then descend to the Aegean coast and arrive in the small and quaint resort of Agios Ioannis. Take an evening stroll on the long beach that is covered in white stones that resemble pearls.

  • Walking for the day (Option 1): approx 3 hrs, 7 km, ­↑300 m ↓650 m
  • Walking for the day (Option 2): approx 4 hrs, 11 km, ­↑300 m ↓1100 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Eleana or similar

Day 5: Agios Ioannis – Fakistra beach – Tsangarada | 8 km

Walk along the coast on a lovely cobbled path to reach the hamlet of Damouchari, a small fishing village located in a pretty bay. Though this place is tiny, in the past it was of great strategic importance as it was the only natural harbour on the entire coast between Volos and Katerini. Today the bay provides a natural swimming pool with a pleasant pebble beach. Continue along the coast to Fakistra beach where there is a possibility to visit the cave of Krifo Scholio, which was used during the Turkish occupation as an illegal school! From here, walk uphill on a path eventually reaching Tsagarada, a wide village with numerous churches and squares and with a panoramic view over the Aegean Sea. From the terrace of your characterful accommodation, you can see the village square with its 1,000-year-old plane tree. It has an incredible diameter of 14m!

Day 6: Tsangarada – Milies | 12 km

Start early by crossing the mountain range towards the south of the Pelion. Ascend through the forest via old mule tracks that were mainly built to allow the transportation of supplies from village to village, and later descend to the picturesque mountain village of Milies. Enjoy great views over the Pagasitic Gulf. In the charming village of Milies you will find many old olive groves.

  • Walking for the day: approx 4.5 hrs, 12 km, ­↑350m ↓400m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Dryalos or similar

Day 7: Circular walk Milies | 12 km

After breakfast, descend from Milies towards the coast enjoying great views all the way. On the last section before reaching the coastal village of Koropi you walk on dirt roads and through olive groves. From Koropi walk to the nearby village Kala Nera, where it is possible to have a sustaining lunch in the shadow of the five huge plane trees in the village square.

The cobbled paths will take you through a small hamlet until you reach the narrow gauge railway tracks, that you follow all the way back into Milies. These tracks are 200-300m above sea level and you will pass many engineering features from the past, plus a cave where, according to mythology, the centaur Cheiron taught Asklepios about medicinal plants and herbs.

  • Walking for the day: approx 4 hrs, 12 km, ­↑475 m ↓475 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Dryalos or similar

Day 8: Departure

Departure after breakfast.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in cosy small hotels in double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfasts are included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurants and taverns.

Difficulty & terrain

The walks are mostly via unsurfaced dirt roads, cobbled footpaths (kalderimia) and rocky footpaths. Short stretches on tarmac (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This tour is available from end-April to end-October.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Volos airport (charters only). Thessaloniki and Athens are good options as well.

By train or bus
  • From Volos airport you can travel by public transport via Volos to Portaria and back from Milies. For more information use the Omio planner above. Optional transfers available upon request.
  • From Thessaloniki airport it takes approx. 4 hrs by public transport and from Athens – 6 hrs. to Pelion. You can book additional transfers from/to Volos bus or train station or from/to Volos airport.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation on bed & breakfast basis
  • Transfer from hotel Manthos on day 4 to the starting point of the walk
  • Luggage transfers when changing hotels
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site.
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and ferry tickets
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights in Portaria or Milies

Gallery

Reviews