Pelion walking holiday in Greece
Single supplement £ 135
Description of Pelion walking holiday in Greece
Follow in the playful footsteps of the gods as you embark on a walking holiday in Greece that combines the traditions of mountain and beach communities with the dense forested slopes of Mount Pelion in central Greece.
Once the home of Chiron the Centaur and renowned as the playground of the gods who resided on Mt Olympus, Pelion is an extremely important site in Greek mythology and certain to enthuse walking holiday makers interested in unspoiled natural landscapes.
Several traditional mountain villages feature prominent stone built properties and characterful central squares with walks to hidden beaches and crystal clear coves providing a spot of sunshine away from the shade of the dense beech, oak and chestnut forests that stretch up and away from the coast.
Pelion holidays are perfect for walkers who love breathtaking sea views, peace and solitude; with villages, such as Makrinitsa, the ‘Balcony of Pelion’, providing all of the above alongside traditional tavernas where beef, bean and oven baked pasta dishes offer hearty sustenance after a good morning spent outdoors.
This walking holiday in Greece can be undertaken either as part of a small group or as a private journey with significant historic sites, such as the monasteries of Meteora, adding to the enjoyment of smoothed stone paths and spectacular views over the Pelion Peninsula.
Throughout the walks you’ll be accompanied by experienced and officially qualified mountain guides who offer a mine of information on all things Greek not to mention which regional menu items come highly recommended.
What’s included on this Pelion Peninsula walking holiday:
- Seven breakfasts, one lunch, five picnics and seven dinners
- Seven nights double en-suite room accommodation
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Airport transfers [Thessaloniki] and all overland transportation
- Sightseeing tours (depending on time)
- English-speaking guide/escort throughout
- Activities mentioned within the itinerary, and local taxes
- Minimum age: 12 years old
- Anyone under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult
- This Pelion Peninsula walking holiday itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the tour leader to account for weather conditions and exceptional circumstances
All guest houses and hotels have been hand-picked to represent the character and hospitality of local life on the Pelion Peninsula. In general you’ll be staying in smaller, independently owned properties that are run by local families who will be happy to discuss their own personal walking routes and the secret spots that are well off the tourist radar.
Accommodation has all been personally inspected and experienced by qualified team members with en-suite facilities, including: shower, WC, air-con, telephone and TV, adding to comfortable double room sleeping arrangements.
This tour can be tailor-made to any reasonable date although there are several small group dates that are guaranteed for April, May, September and October; please get in touch for more information.
|Day 1:||Meet your guide at Thessaloniki Airport before transferring to the village of Kastraki which is situated amongst the sandstone pillars and rock monoliths of Meteora. Settle into your guesthouse accommodation before enjoying your first evening meal at a local taverna in Kastraki.|
|Day 2:||After breakfast at your hotel looking out across to the rocks of Meteora you'll head off with your guide on your first hike; you'll walk between the rocky pinnacles of the famous monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The traditional and the best way to explore the beauty of this unique area, avoiding the tourist crowds, is on foot so you'll walk on the same old trails as the monks did in centuries past, experiencing the sanctuaries built on these natural sandstone rock pillars. Along the way you will spot some of the earliest stages of occupation by the monks, simple cave dwellings and more elaborate "monasteries" hundreds of feet up the side of the rocks. Ample time will be given for photography and at the end of the tour you will depart for the picturesque village of Milies in Mount Pelion.|
|Day 3:||Today you will hike on an old stone path as you follow the old steam engine train route from Milies to the train station of Pinakates and continue on to the village of Kala Nera. As you hike through the olive orchards you'll have a stunning view of Pagasitikos Bay. Upon arrival in Kala Nera you'll swim and have lunch at a quaint fishing taverna before hiking back to Milies.|
|Day 4:||Today’s hike will take you to the opposite side of the mountain. From Milies, which is on the south west side of the mountain, you'll travel north-easterly to Xourichti village & then on to Tsagarada through an enchanting forest road teeming with tall chestnut trees and other greenery. In Tsagarada you'll see the oldest plane tree in Europe, more than 1750 years old, and enjoy a pleasant picnic beside a charming white chapel along the hillside.|
|Day 5:||The destination on today's hike is the isolated beach of Fakistra with its crystal clear blue water. Following the coastal path with magnificent views of the Aegean Sea, you can enjoy a refreshing swim followed by a delicious picnic lunch. After lunch descend to Damouchari beach crossing of one of the most beautiful old stone paths and walk through the lovely seaside village which may be already familiar to those who have seen the movie “Mamma Mia” since many scenes from the movie were filmed here in 2007.|
|Day 6:||Today's hike begins at Damouchari taking the shoreline path to Agios Ioannis and the breathtakingly white sandy beach of Papa Nero. It would be a crime not to leave ample time for relaxing and a splash in the turquoise waters. A 30 minute transfer takes you to Chania, followed by an afternoon walk in the area of the ski centre.|
|Day 7:||Today you will follow the same path that was used, according to Greek Mythology, by the Centaurs. The centaurs were half-horse half-human creatures that constantly struggled with their two natures, one beastly and one civil. The best known however of their breed and a notable exception was Chiron, famous for his modest and learned ways. He was known for his medicinal skills and teaching abilities and was the tutor of a number of mythical Greeks such as Achilles an Asclepius. This path, which begins in Chania at an altitude of approximately 1200 meters and overflowing with Mediterranean vegetation, leads you to the village of Portaria. In the afternoon discover yet another incredibly beautiful village of Pelion – that of Makrinitsa or “the balcony of Pelion”. With its historic old mansions and stunning view of the Pagasitikos Bay and the city of Volos below, hence its nickname, the beauty of Makrinitsa will become etched in your memory forever.|
|Day 8:||Depart Makrinitsa after breakfast and transfer to Thessaloniki Airport in order to meet your scheduled flight back home.|
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4 Reviews of Pelion walking holiday in Greece
Reviewed on 03 Jun 2019 by Anne ForsytheWe loved the whole area that we visited in the Pelion. We walked through a varied landscape : forests with streams, olive groves and beaches. Read full review
Reviewed on 24 May 2017 by Joy FieldOverall, a wonderful experience. We were sad to leave the breath taking and mystical area of Meteora. The Pelion delighted with it's ancient walking tracks and it's ever changing verdant Springtime scenery... Read full review
Reviewed on 16 May 2016 by Giovanna BonitoAmong the group organized holiday, this is the best I have ever had. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 May 2016 by Jane AggMemorable! I particularly enjoyed trying all the wonderful Greek food. Read full review
PlanetOur aim is to promote ecotourism and sustainable adventure holidays at the same time as providing a unique travel experience and allowing you to enjoy the fantastic nature and scenery of this wonderful part of Greece, a world away from busy tourist resorts.
Our treks and holidays throughout Greece, encompassing National Parks, Protected Environmental Areas, Archaeological Sites, Caves & Hot Springs - places that have great natural, geological, cultural, and historical value, and the local guides provide further information about the environment and the benefits of sustainable adventure holidays. All staff have a wide knowledge of local areas that you visit during the trips and, most importantly, they know how to protect them.
On this tour we use a Hyndai mini van with natural gas fuel (currently this is the most environmentally friendly fuel source for vehicles); and we keep our groups to a maximum of 8 persons to avoid excessive trampling on the sensitive coastal paths, in particular. In all of our tours we try to avoid as much driving as possible. So we walk. Just this fact helps makes our tours more sustainable. Especially during the spring time, we see a lot of orchids in Pelion. Although for all of our visitors it is obvious, we inform them that orchids are rare and protected. More interested visitors get details about the Greek Flora and Fauna which is one of the richest in Europe.
We strongly believe in the need to protect and enhance the places we travel to, and in the potential of responsible tourism, to be a positive force in environmental and cultural conservation. Our guides provide lots of information to our clients and encourage them to research and support the two specific NGOs:
1. Archelon - The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
2. Arcturos - The Society for the Protection of Wildlife in Greece (with current emphasis on the Brown Bear and Wolf).
For 2016 & 2017 they plan to donate a percentage of the tour price to maintain ancient paths in the Zagoria area (Vikos National Park) and Pelion.
We ask all our customers to respect the fragile mountain environment by, for example, taking their litter away with them. All our trips are either in very small groups or tailor made for individuals to minimise the impact of large groups on this mountain region.
People100% of our guides and drivers in Greece are local people. We firmly believe that a local licensed guide can offer more insight into the countryside and region as a whole as well as enhancing the local economy. Their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit. This is preferable, in our opinion, than sending a guide from another country or even from elsewhere in Greece. All food on the included trek is bought locally, which provides employment for local shops.
The accommodation used on the tour is in small, family run establishments which have been in business for many years. Many of these hotels are traditionally built, respecting the local architecture and surroundings. Of course at the same time, these enterprises have to offer high standard of quality in dining and accommodation. Food in the hotels is primarily sourced locally. Last, but not least, we have a personal relationship / friendship with all of our providers.
In Meteora we stay in Hotel Dellas, which is owned from the family Dellas; they have 5 more employees, all locals from Kastraki and Kalambaka. We have our lunches and dinners at the Restaurant Paradisos, a family run (couple serving and mother is the cook) with 2 more employees. In Pelion, we mainly stay in Hotel Triantafiles, operated by the same family who owns the restaurant Kritsa at the village's main square. In Milies we use the family run Hotel Dryalos and our favourite restaurant on the whole trip is there - the “Panorama”. Depending on arrival and departure of the flights, we visit two more family run restaurants. One is a small fish taverna in Platamonas by the sea named “To Kaiki Tou Saki” (our head guide says it maybe the best fish restaurant he ever ate in) and in Veria a traditional taverna named Aggelikon.
In all of these villages, the main income of the locals is tourism. Since the economic crisis in Greece, the number of the Greeks visiting the area reduced dramatically. There are no official reports to support this statement yet, but we know it. Greeks used to be the majority of the tourists in the area now only some Greeks can afford a trip there.
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