Exploring Greece in Autumn: Ten Charming Villages on the Slopes of Mt. Pelion



Autumn getaway in Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

Mt. Pelion, located in the southeastern part of Thessaly in central Greece, is dotted with traditional, scenic villages, which nestle along its green slopes and come all the way down to the nearby Aegean.

During the cooler Autumn season, after the heat of summer is gone and when the leaves change colors, turning beautiful shades of orange and red, it can be like a fairy tale to take a trip in this region of Greece.

The forests are filled with oak, maple, and chestnut trees, and olive, pear, plane, and apple tree groves dot the landscape.

Every picturesque village of the Mt. Pelion area is well known for its restaurants, featuring local dishes, the Greek liqueur tsipouro, and its wines.

You can easily find hiking trails and stone paths which lead to pristine springs, waterfalls, and streams, and you will have miles and miles of forest to explore during this lovely, much cooler season.

Here are some of the most charming villages to visit in Pelion, each one unique and with a different style, but all completely enchanting.

1. Tsagarada

This picturesque village attracts many visitors because it is beautifully situated in the middle of a chestnut forest, and the views from there are simply breathtaking.

This lovely village is known for its enormous, one-thousand-year-old plane tree, found right in the middle of the square of Agia Paraskevi church, and its many homes with colorful flower gardens.

Plane tree towering over the square in the village of Tsagarada, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

2. Millies

Milies, which is built in the form of an amphitheater on the green slopes of Mount Dikri, is considreed to be one of the most scenic and traditional larger villages of the Mt. Pelion region.

The village is called Millies (“apple trees”) because it has been famous for its production of apples since time immemorial. But Millies has so much else to offer as well, including marble fountains, old mansions, and its many silvery olive groves, which cover the nearby slopes.

The village of Millies, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

3. Makrinitsa

A visit to Makrinitsa will leave you entranced by its unique beauty and you will simply not want to leave this beautiful mountain haven.

Makrinitsa is known as “the noble village,” since it has been home to a great many wealthy people over the years. Most of the homes in Makrinitsa are lovely mansions, which are in beautiful settings and are lavishly decorated.

The village itself is also known as “The balcony of Pelion” because of the stunning views it offers due to its altitude, at 630 meters (2,066 feet) above the sea.

Makrinitsa village, with its ancient tree in the square, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

4. Zagora

The village of Zagora has vivid reminders of its ancient past, with the ruins of a castle and a necropolis that can also be found in the area.

The houses in this village were constructed in the style of the folk architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, with decorated false windows and deeply-carved wooden doors.

Zagora is also well known for the variety of fruits produced in the area, including strawberries, plums, apples, pears, and sloes.

5. Pouri

The beautiful village of Pouri can be found near the village of Zagora. The village square is elegant and is a wonderful place to stop and drink in the views after your walk, which should include the lovely arched stone bridge just outside of town. Pouri’s main church is the 19th-century basilica of Agios Dimitrios.

Outside the village, the road used to continue on to Palia Mitzela, known as a “heroic village.” The small town was completely destroyed by the Turks during the Greek revolution against Ottoman rule in the 1800s.

The village of Pouri, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

6. Kissos 

The charming village of Kissos, perched on the mountain slopes at an altitude of 520 meters (1,706 feet), features many chestnut trees and plane trees, which give shade to weary hikers and walkers.

The village includes a wonderful church called Agia Marina, which has a unique beauty all its own. There are many frescoes in the church which are worth seeing for those interested in art.

Kissos’ main square offers views of the ruins of a Roman fort and the Aegean Sea which will enthrall any visitor.

The village of Kissos, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

7. Portaria

The village of Portaria became famous for its silk products, including sashes, silk thread, and handkerchiefs, during the centuries of Turkish occupation.

Like the entire region of Pelion, the village of Portaria is abundant in streams and waterfalls, as pristine waters course over its steep cliffs. Its imposing whitewashed stone houses cling resolutely to the mountainsides.

The village of Portaria, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

8. Afissos

Afissos is located on the southern side of Mount Pelion, and is built amphitheatrically, with sweeping views over the Pagasetic Gulf.

Surrounded by lush greenery, with sandy beaches ringing the shoreline, Afissos is a great choice for those who may want to vacation with the family.

Once just a fishing village, it has developed a bit over the past several years, with family hotels and wonderful tavernas along the waterfront. However, the village has certainly not lost its traditional charm.

The beach in the village of Afissos, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

9. Pinakates

The village of Pinakates, situated close to the beautiful ancient city of Volos, is built on a mountainside an altitude of 560 meters (1,837 feet).

This village is truly picturesque place, with cobblestone paths and traditional homes and mansions.

The main square of Pinakates includes numerous plain trees and a gorgeous fountain, featuring a marble statue of a lion.

The village of Pinakates, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia

10. Milina

Milina is a beautiful fishing village, well known for producing fine sea captains, fishermen, shipbuilders, and sponge divers.

The town has has several places from which to take in the views of the sea, and is well known for its lovely sunsets. The village also has remains of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches which you can explore.

The village and waterfront of Milina, Pelion. Source: Wikipedia