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Ag. Ioannis - Plaka Beach - Click to enlarge

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To visit the Pelion picture gallery - click HERE

 

Video Presentation

The Pelion is served by an airport located just outside Volos at Aghialos. If the building was made of wood it would be called a shed. No, that’s a bit unfair but it is basic. On landing you have to board a bus to be taken to the airport building. Just hope you don’t have to hang around for too long.

We stayed in Aghios Ioannis on the east coast. This is one of the more popular resorts and is blessed with 3 excellent beaches. To the north is the prettiest, Plaka beach and to the south Papa Nero. The village beach is in between and benefits from having all of the amenities of the village just metres away from the beach.

Unfortunately we were there the first 2 weeks of October 2000 and had more than our fair share of very spectacular storms.Aghios Ioannis - Click to enlarge So much rain came down off the mountains that the sea turned brown for a couple of days !! So for a lot of the time the camera stayed in it's bag !!

The whole region is heavily wooded – often reminiscent of Devon and the scent from the trees and plants is very strong. The area is very beautiful and you really do feel that you are off the beaten track. It is genuinely unspoilt and traditionally Greek. There are many pretty (working) villages i.e. they don't rely on any income from tourist’s etc and you can just observe them going about their daily life. Zagora is a fine example and also the apple growing centre of Greece.Near Zagora - Apples everywhere - Click to enlarge The Pelion is a favourite place for Greeks themselves to go on holiday and consequently it gets busy in July and August. Places also become livelier at the weekends.

There are lots of walks in the area although you do need to be reasonably fit as at times the paths just seemed to go vertical !! A popular walk is from Ag. Ioannis to Damouchari. Damouchari has that end of the road feel although you can continue on towards Fakistra via a kalderimi (paved or cobbled path). This particular one is most definitely not for those scared of heights. It heads up the cliff skywards – very steep. At this point we retired to a taverna !!

To see the area properly you need to hire a car although it tends to take quite a time to get anywhere - mountain roads, hairpin bends etc etc !! Agios Ioannis - Click to enlargeFor instance it is about 8kms from Ag Ioannis up to the main road. When you get there the road, whether you go left or right, then hugs the mountainside – lots of twists and turns. For those of a nervous disposition, resist the temptation to look down.

The Pagasitikos Gulf side of the region is a complete contrast. Whereas the sea on the east could be quite rough, here it would be as calm as a mill pond. The whole coastline seemed much easier to navigate and get around. Kala Nera - Click to enlargeAnother advantage is that it faces west and some wonderful sunsets (or so I am told – we always left before the sunset as I didn’t fancy driving the mountain roads in the dark).

A good map is essential is you do decide to travel around. I used the ROAD EDITIONS (No. 33) Pilion – allegedly GPS compatible!!

To visit the Pelion picture gallery - click HERE

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