|Along the Pagasetic Gulf
southeast of Volos to Agria, a coastal suburb with an
extensive beach in a fertile district filled with olive groves
and orchards. The chapel of the Virgin of Goritsa and the icon
screen with carved and painted scenes from everyday life in
the chapel of the Holy Cross are sure to leave an impression
From Agria a
secondary road rises 12 km to Drakia (17.5 km from Volos, alt.
500 m.), a village characterised by lush vegetation, running
streams, well-made alleyways and marvellous popular
"tower houses". The main square, thought by
historians to be the oldest in Pelion, hosts a folk festival
on the 23rd of August, complete with traditional costumes and
the main road passes by Kato and Ano Lehonia, where most of
Pelion's cultivated flowers are grown and sold. The air is
scented with the blossoms of gardenias, hortensias, camellias
and tuberoses. Platanidia, the port of Ano Lehonia is a good
place for fresh fish.
south the main road proceeds towards the long beach of Malaki
before arriving at Kato Gadgea (17 km.), a village blessed
with protected beaches and surrounded by a vast olive grove.
Next comes Kala Nera (20 km. from Volos), another seaside
village with a beach, leafy plane trees, orchards and abundant
A side road
to the east winds 7 kilometres up the mountainside to Milies
(28 km. from Volos, alt. 360 m.), one of the most delightful
larger villages of Pelion and an important cultural centre, as
witnessed by the wealth of rare books and manuscripts in its
library. Some of its traditional homes have been renovated to
operate as guest houses. Milies also has a fine collection of
folk art (local museum), while its little railway station -
the end of the old Volos line - is particularly attractive.
You can try the local speciality "tyropsomo"
(cheese-bread) and "firikia", a kind of lady apple.
Just 3 kilometres further up the road you will find Vizitsa
(32 km. from Volos, alt. 450 m.), a mountain village concealed
among plane trees whose lovely Pelion-style towers and
magnificent old mansions have led to its declaration as a
landmark settlement protected from unseemly development. Some
of the latter have been renovated by the GNTO and are run as
guest houses. If you feel like forgetting your cares and
troubles for a while, try a little of the potent local brew,
Back on the
main road, you pass through more olive groves and orchards on
the way to Koropi which occupies the site of the ancient city
of the same name, famous in the past as the home of the Oracle
of Apollo Koropaios.
On the 24th
kilometer of the main road, a short deviation will take you to
Afissos (26 km. from Volos) with various magnificent beaches.
road, which starts its ascent of Pelion after Afetes, forks
near here: after Neohori the northern branch leads to
Tsangarada passing through Lambinou, with a stunning view of
the Aegean; while the southern branch goes to the big village
of Argalasti (40 km. from Volos, alt. 250 m.), situated on a
fertile plateau renowned for its olives. Several secondary
roads radiate out from Argalasti to the seaside villages ob
Kalamos and Paos on the Pagasetic gulf and the mountain
hamlets of Kallithea, Xinovrisi and Paltsi, on the Aegean
south there is a succession of sandy beaches one after the
other as far as Milina, a pretty summer resort. After Milina
the road has recently been extended as far as Trikeri (82
km.), the lovely village at the tip of the Magnesia peninsula.
Up to now communications with Volos were possible only by boat
via the little port of Agia Kiriaki, a charming fishing hamlet
whose taverns specialize in seafood.
in local costume and the traditional customs observed there
during Easter week and on May Day are not to be missed if you
happen to be in Greece in the spring.
Milina the road goes on to Lafkos and Promiri, a typical
example of a village submerged in olive trees, winding up in
Platania, a quaint fishing village to the south.