The mountain island
As you descend south the jagged peaks and ridges of the mythical land of the Centaurs start to give way to softer, gently rolling foothills, where can almost imagine these legendary creatures trotting playfully amongst the flowers and shrubs, resting after their thunderous gallop across the highland. Turn in any direction and a new scene is revealed to you, the landscape unfolding until a selection of stunning beaches reach out either to the calm waters of the sheltered Pagasitikos Gulf or the frothy, effervescent Aegean to the east. Your idyllic summer retreat is somewhere among them – just take your pick.
Argalasti, a bustling village full of intriguing alleyways and grand neoclassical mansions, is your gateway to Pelion. Admire the marble bell tower of the Holy Temple of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Relax in the central square, where you can ease into a light-headed, tangle-footed afternoon thanks to liberal drams of traditional tsipouro, generously administered by the mischievous locals. On the way to Kalamos, with its beautiful beaches and olive trees that seem to tumble into the sea, pause for a moment of serenity at the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Paou.
Built on a steep hillside, it looks down on the bay of Milina from up high. This beautiful and lovingly tended village, with stone -paved alleys, a square with huge plane trees and the scent of freshly baked bread emanating from traditional ovens, will take you back to days gone by. And if you feel like you want to know a little more about the old village ways, the Fabio Museum is well worth a visit.
Milina, famed for its sunset, is the harbor of Lafkos. On the waterfront the tamaris and pine trees, like well-drilled sentries, line up to offer their shade and keep watch over the coastline out towards the Alata islands, which you can visit by caique if you wish. On this and the nearby Marathia beach, swimming is an absolute pleasure, while in Tzasteni, the colourful landscape makes an idyll that any photographer worth their salt would want in the collection.
There’s no sleight of hand or trick of the light, this is a village that really does pull off the combination of mountain magic and island charm! Ranged around the hillside, this nautical 18th century town, with its buildings huddled together, the stately homes of the captains and the living traditions, is captivating. In Agia Kyriaki, its harbor, the whitewashed houses, the cobblestone alleys, the colourful caiques at the pier – where carefree children go fishing – create an Aegean like image.
Horto emerges from among the olive groves with its virgin beaches and the calm emerald waters of the Pagasitikos gulf, making it ideal for family holidays and getting back to nature.
Sunny, tranquil and two worlds in one. Enjoy the mountain with the island feel!