It was seven years ago when I purchased my first DSLR camera. This device helped me to improve my photography skills and inspired me to follow a new career path. I launched the website walkcatwalk.com and began sharing the beauty of our world with as many people as possible.
Inspiration to Visit Pelion for the First Time
Pelion was a region I discovered a few years ago before starting my blog. I began searching for hidden gems in Greece and found this place called Pelion. Greece is one of my favourite destinations due to the diversity and beauty of its landscapes. That is why I return here almost every year.
When I first visited Pelion I was impressed by the abundance of vegetation and by its charm. However, I noticed that Pelion was not popular with foreign tourists in comparison to the Greek Islands, for example. Ever since my first trip to Pelion, I have been longing to come back one day.
This year, with so many travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pelion was the best option for me. I went on a road trip to this remote corner of Greece. The goal was to enjoy the beauty of the sea, the lonely beaches surrounded by forested hills and of course the Greek taverns.
A Wonderful Week in the Paradise of Pelion
I visited Pelion in June for one week – exploring the eastern side where the most beautiful beaches are located. My days were spent visiting these stunning beaches which included Mylopotamos, Fakistra, Damouchari, Agio Saranta and Plaka, just to name a few of the best beaches.
The weather in June wasn’t too hot and the area wasn’t busy. It was the perfect time to come. There were a few times when I had beaches to myself! This is always a possibility as Pelion is not the most touristic place. Outside the peak summer months Pelion becomes even more tranquil.
Spending a week in Pelion was all about slowing things down. I spent this time dipping into the crystal-clear waters, snorkelling at the many beaches, exploring a new village everyday and savouring the local Greek cuisine. It was a marvelous experience and made me so relaxed and happy!
The scenery of Pelion is dominated by abundant vegetation, hidden waterfalls in the forests, simple and charming stone houses, and some of the most beautiful beaches you can find in Greece.
Favourite Place in Pelion: Zagori Region
My favourite part of Pelion is the Zagori region which is the mountainous area. I love all the beaches of Pelion but the mountain villages located in Zagori are different from any other place I have visited in my life.
The Zagori region is beautiful and unique – the pearl of the area in my opinion. Here you can find stone houses which are beautifully decorated with flowers, big plane trees located in the squares of the villages shadowing the taverns, boutique shops and rocky mountains.
These mountains watch over the charming villages like a guardian angel!
Top 10 Things To Do in Pelion
1. Discover the Beautifully Secluded Fakistra Beach
Fakistra is my favorite beach in Pelion. It’s no wonder why this beach is included as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by some publications. The beach is isolated, surrounded by forested hills and accessible after a 10-minute hike. Views on the hike down are wonderful.
2. Relax at the Most Popular Beach, Mylopotamos
The nearest beach to Fakistra is Mylopotamos, the most popular beach in Pelion. The beach is divided in two by a natural arch that distinguishes it from others. This stone arch, together with the crystal-clear waters, makes it a heavenly place. There are a few taverns, bars and sunbeds too.
3. Hike the Tsagarada – Fakinstra – Damouchari Trail
Pelion is an amazing place to go hiking. One of the best trails is Tsagarada – Fakinstra – Damouchari. This 7.5km long hike links three areas of Pelion: Tsagarada, Fakistra beach and Damouchari village. During the hike, you will enjoy seeing panoramic ocean views, lush vegetation and old plane trees.
4. Admire the Thousand Year Old Tree in Tsagarada
On the road to Mylopotamos beach you can stop at Tsagarada. This is the nearest village to the beach. The village is worth a visit for its restaurants and souvenir shops but mostly to admire the 1000 year old plane tree which is amongst one of the oldest in Europe. It’s an incredible sight!
5. Visit Damouchari Village, Home to Mamma Mia
Damouchari is a small and beautiful village which is famous for being a Mamma Mia filming location. When we visited we enjoyed the beach of Damouchari. It was the perfect place to spend a day swimming in the sea, snorkelling and enjoying the food at one of the nearby Greek taverns.
6. Explore the Mountain Villages of Zagori
Zagori is the mountain region of Pelion which hosts 46 small villages. Among the most popular are Makrinitsa, Papingo and Monodendri. These mountain villages are the pearl of Pelion and can be visited on day trips. I highly recommend staying overnight as the charm here is intoxicating.
7. Check out the World’s Deepest Gorge, Vikos
Located in the Zagori region 7km away from Monodendri, you will find Vikos Gorge. It’s believed to be the world’s deepest gorge – ranging from 120 metres in parts to 490 metres in others. This is a superb destination for hiking while enjoying the panoramic views and mountain scenery.
8. Shop for Local Specialties at the Small Boutiques
One of the best things to do in Pelion is to buy local specialties such as honey, fruit syrups, jams and aromatic herbs. There are many small boutiques in the region that sell products made by locals. All types of fruits, vegetables and herbs are sold and should be tried on your visit.
9. Try the Delicious Greek Food with a Local Flair
Greek food is absolutely delicious and in Pelion there is no exception to this rule! One of the best ways to try the local cuisine is to order mezze platters which are small platters of traditional food. I love this way of eating. You get to try the most interesting foods and flavours in many small quantities.
10. Go Snorkelling in the Beautiful Aegean Sea
Pelion is blessed with many beaches to go sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The waters of the Aegean Sea are crystal-clear and offer a variety of colourful fish to see. There’s plenty of underwater life on the coast of Pelion to keep you busy swimming away for days on end.
The Amazing Local People and Culture of Pelion
The first thing I have noticed in Greece and also in Pelion was the hospitality of the locals. They are happy to serve you the best food and to recommend the most beautiful places nearby. The locals are always happy to tell you the story of the place and to show the authenticity of the region.
Food is a big part of Greek culture and there are some fantastic family-owned taverns in Pelion. They are the perfect places to enjoy traditional cuisine and immerse yourself with locals. I love Mediterranean food – from fish specialties and mezze platters, to Greek salad and tzatziki.
The best Greek taverns in Pelion were the ones in Makrinitsa, Papingo and Monodendri. I also enjoyed the taverns in Damouchari village. Many of the taverns are shadowed by plane trees which makes them even more special.
Where to Stay on your Visit in Pelion
There are many fantastic family-owned villas in the area. All of them keep with the authenticity of the region and the hospitality of the locals. Every time we visited Pelion we stayed at Elda Hotel in Agios Dimitrios.
This charming villa has a beautiful garden, rooms overlooking the sea and incredible breakfast spot with sea views. We felt amazing there!
What you Need to Know Before you Go
The first travel tip I would give is to take into consideration the fact that Pelion is a mountainous region. It offers a great diversity of beautiful hiking trails in the mountains – so you should keep this in mind for your visit.
Zagori is amazing and a visit to Pelion would not be complete without stopping at one of the many mountain villages such as Makrinitsa or Papingo. You can’t go wrong with combining the beaches of the region with the mountains. It adds so much diversity to your trip.
There is so much to do in Pelion. It’s impossible to be bored as you have heavenly beaches, majestic mountains, deep gorges, the oldest plane trees in the world, the filming site of the Mamma Mia movie, and so much more!
For me, this destination will remain the secret gem of Greece. A place where one can be lazy all day on the most beautiful beaches, away from the hustle of city life or touristic locations. Pelion is the place to enjoy nature at its finest – both by the sea and in the mountains.