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Pelion Peninsula’s green heart

€560 per person

Take an independent hiking journey to Greece – the cradle of Western Civilization, and explore the mountainous rocky land! This self-guided walking trek will show you the hidden treasures of the less known area by foreign tourists – peninsula of Pelion, located on the east coast of mainland Greece, app. 200km from Thessaloniki and 350km from Athens. According to Greek mythology, these lands were inhabited by Centaurs – a creature depicted as half-human and half-horse. One of the popular figures – the Centaur Cheiron who raised the God of the Medicine Asklepios, also introduced him in the great knowledge of the medical herbs and plants that grew and still grow on Mt. Pelion. Discover this authentic region of Greece by fantastic walks and hikes! The trails cross densely forested areas of plane trees and ferns. The highest parts of the ridges are covered with the intensive green color of the beech forests. The olive groves will be just an accent in the whole picture! Many stops along the way will take you to the idyllic mountain villages where you can enjoy a cup of Greek coffee. A long time ago these settlements were connected via cobbled paths called kalderimia – many of your treks will match these and you feel the authentic experience of traveling from the past centuries. From the spacious village squares, you will have a great panorama towards the sparkling blue waters of Aegean sea.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 1/2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights accommodation (2-3* hotels, en-suite rooms) on B&B basis (2 in Portaria, 1 in Hania, 1 in Agios Ioannis, 1 in Tsangarada and 2 in Milies; Luggage transfers on days 3 (Portaria to Chania), 4 (Chania to Agios Ioannis), 5 (Agions Ioannis to Tsangarada) and 6 (Tsangarada to Milies); Detailed road book and maps in English; Emergency phone assistance;
  • What is not included
    Airport arrival and airport departure transfers; Travel insurance; Admissions and entrance fees of any kind; Drinks and other meals; City tax (payable locally in the hotels; 1,5-3 Euro per person/night)
  • Best period
    mid-April, May, June, July, August, September, mid-October
1
Day 1 : Arrival at Portaria
Best arrival airports: Volos, Thesaloni, Athens (check the Rates & Remarks tab for travel hints, incl. public and private transfer options)
2
Day 2: Round walk from Portaria (13km, 4,30hrs, +550m/-550m)
You start your first walking day with a circular hike around Portaria. It will take you to a village called Makrinitsa - famous with its characteristic traditional mansions and houses that look like embroidered on the green hills. On your trail, you will be accompanied not only by beautiful views but also by the fragrance of thyme and oregano. Your path will take you to a small rustic church. The trail alternates gentle ups and downs and from the top, you can admire an idyllic panorama with a look towards the Pagasitic Gulf and the town of Volos. Before ending back in Portaria you will pass a small green gorge.
3
Day 3: Walk from Portaria to Hania Ski resort (7km, 3hr, +560m/-35m)
After a healthy breakfast, you depart from Portaria by following a lovely path among coniferous forest under the west peak of Pelion - Aidonaki. The scenery will change gently into a dense beech forest. The trek will pass by the ruins of an old sanatorium merged into the greenery of the forest. You will then reach Hania (or Chania) - the highest hamlet of Pelion. The settlement owes its name from a chania (type of lodging) gave from merchants who carried their production from the villages of East Pelion to Volos, and vice versa. The nearby ski resort increases the interest of this area and the tourism flourish. Enjoy a well-deserved rest in a spa hotel in the area.
4
Day 4: From Hania to Agios Ioannis (7-11km, 3hrs, +300m/-650-1100m)
Your day will start with a transfer provided by your hotel to the starting point of the trail – a kalderimi path. This track will descend through a beech forest. After a while, the kalderimi path and tarmac road will alternate each other until you reach the remote and calm village of Kissos – sunk in lush vegetation. Take your time to admire this little piece of heaven, have lunch and once you are ready to continue, follow the picturesque trail to Mouresi village and from Mouresi you descend to Agios Ioannis where you stay overnight.
5
Day 5: Walk from Agios Ioannis via Damouchari and Fakistra beach to Tsagarada (8km, 4hrs, +700m/-300m)
The morning will start fresh and light along the beach of Agios Ioannis. A very pleasant cobbled stone path will take you to the hamlet Damouchari – another tiny settlement with its own charm greets you with the calm and turquoise waters of the sea. Back in the centuries, the village was from great importance, as it was the only natural harbor on the entire cost between Volos and Katerini. Today it attracts people who prefer to stay away from the crowds. Even it is located off the beaten track there are place where you can shop or stop for a rest. From Damouchari you continue along the coast to Fakistra beach – a fabulous place isolated by two rocky capes. There is a possibility to visit the ‘Hidden School’ in a cave. It is actually a three sites located in one place – monk’s cave, church and a magnificent cave with impressive stalactites. You continue your walk uphill on a path now and then crossing the tarmac road, to Tsagarada, a wide stretched village with numerous churches and squares. From the terrace of your hotel you can see the village square with a 1000 year old plane tree with an incredible diameter.
6
Day 6: Walk Tsangarada-Milies (12km, 4,30hrs, +350m/-400m)
Today you leave the beach behind and get back to the forest. You cross a mountain range at 700m elevation towards the south. The walk will start from the village of Tsangarada where you can explore the old churches. Then you leave the village and ascend through a forest and cross the ridge. The trail matches old mule tracks, mainly built for merchandise. Along the trek, you will admire the thick shades of the chestnut and beech trees underneath where you can make short stops to admire the calmness that surrounds you. You descend to the picturesque mountain village Milies whilst enjoying great views over the sparkling waters of the Pagasitic Gulf. Around Milies there are many old olive groves – a typical Greek scenery.
7
Day 7: Walk Milies-Koropi-Milies (12km, 4hrs, +475m/-475m)
A circular hiking trek today will let you admire for one last time the salty air of the coast and the freshness of the forests. You descend via a cobbled stone path from Miles towards the sea and great panoramas will open up on every step ahead. The last part of the trail before reaching the village of Koropi is a dirt road through olive groves. From Koropi you continue to the nearby touristic village of Kala Nera where you can enjoy your lunch in the square of the village, under the branches of an old plane tree. Then you ascend along similar paths and via a hamlet until you reach the narrow gauge railway tracks – the only one in Greece where a steam train runs! During the summer months, the steam train operates once per day only on Saturday and Sunday. Continue along the trail and enjoy interesting civil engineering features from the past – stone road bridges! The final day will be very colorful from the beauty of the trail to its rich history. You will even feel the mystic energy around this place represented in the face of an old cave, where, according to the mythology, the Centaur Cheiron taught Asklepios about medical plants and herbs.
8
Day 8: Departure

TOUR LOCATION

Price
560 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (03/05-07/06; 16-27/06; 06/09-22/10)
620 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (27/04-02/05; 08-15/06; 28/06-05/09)
* Triple rooms available upon request.
** N.B.: If your travel period falls into two periods with different prices, the one with the higher price will be invoiced!
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement:
220 Euro (03/05-07/06; 16-27/06; 06/09-22/10)
280 Euro (27/04-02/05; 08-15/06; 28/06-05/09)
Solo traveler supplement:
350 Euro (incl. sgl. room supplement) (03/05-07/06; 16-27/06; 06/09-22/10)
395 Euro (incl. sgl. room supplement) (27/04-02/05; 08-15/06; 28/06-05/09)
Tips
Daily departures between mid-April and mid-October. Best arrival airports: Volos, Thessaloniki, Athens. From Volos airport it is easy to travel on public transport via Volos to Portaria and back from Milies to Volos city and from there with the airport bus to Volos airport. From Thessaloniki Airport there are frequent public buses to Thessaloniki bus- and train station. There are 8 buses daily from Thessaloniki to Volos. Check-out detailed information on http://ktelvolou.gr. There are also around 10 trains per day between Thessaloniki and Volos (travel time around 2,30-3hrs). From Athens Airport there are frequent public buses to Athens bus station. From Athens airport it is possible to travel to the train station of Athens center and get on the train to Larissa from here. There are around 10 buses daily from Athens Liossion bus station to Volos. Check-out detailed information on http://ktelvolou.gr. There are also around 5 trains daily from Athens to Volos (travel time around 5hrs).
Private transfers (per car, 1-4pax): Athens Airport - Athens city center: 75 Euro; Thessaloniki Airport - Thessaloniki city center: 55 Euro; Volos city center - Portaria: 35 Euro; Volos Airport - Portaria: 90 Euro; Milies - Volos city center: 55 Euro; Milies - Volos Airport: 115 Euro;
The walks are mostly via unsurfaced dirt roads, cobbled footpaths (kalderimia) and rocky footpaths. Sometimes short stretches on tarmac.
Accommodation
Combination of 2-3* hotels (en-suite rooms) incl. breakfast: 2 in Portaria, 1 in Hania, 1 in Agios Ioannis, 1 in Tsangarada and 2 in Milies

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