If you want to have Greece all to yourself on your next visit, then consider taking a trip to the Pelion Peninsula. Located almost directly between Athens and Thessaloniki as the crow flies, Pelion is a place that very few foreigners seem to know about. You’ll find very few crowds here and in some places, exclusively locals or domestic visitors. This alone gives the Pelion Peninsula a huge appeal.
The whole region of Pelion Peninsula is very lush and green, with lots of lovely nature to explore. There’s a mountain with plenty of opportunities to hike, gorgeous beaches, and unique rocky cliffs. To make things even better, you’ll find some of the best food in Greece here. The region is known for its delectable cuisine, so if you come here just to eat, you won’t be disappointed.
Pelion, Greece is a true hidden gem. If you’re heading to Greece soon, we highly recommend you add it to your itinerary!
Things to do in Pelion, Greece
If you love being active while traveling, you’ll thoroughly enjoy a sea kayaking trip along the coast of Pelion, Greece. The scenery is gorgeous, especially from the crystal clear water, and there’s no better way to experience it than by your own manpower.
There are a number of places where you can go kayaking in Pelion. We did our kayaking tour with Pelion Secrets in the town of Chorefto.
The hiking in Pelion, Greece is some of the best in the country, especially around Mount Pelion in the northern part of the peninsula. The dense, lush forests are stunningly beautiful and waiting to be explored. If you know where to go, you’ll discover rock caves, quiet streams, and even waterfalls where you can take a dip and cool off after a hot day.
Many of the small towns in this region are linked by hiking paths. It makes for a great day to hike between some of the towns and discover them all on foot.
Eat Delicious Food
The food in Pelion, Greece is known throughout the country as some of the very best. In particular, you can expect to taste some incredible seafood, small dishes called mezes, and delicious wines.
- Apalou: This tavern-style restaurant called Apalou is a great option for burgers and pizza, as well as a number of healthy dishes.
- El Resto-Bar: Located in the Agapitos Villas & Guesthouses, El Resto-Bar is a sleek but cozy eatery serving up a number of traditional Greek cocktails and spirits.
- Taverna Paradisos: A traditional Greek tavern right on the sea with a lot of local charm.
- Anapodo Platani: A creative and modern restaurant, Anapodo Platani is the place to go if you love unique spins off of the classical dishes you already love.
- Aggelika Fish Taverna: As the name implies, Aggelika Fish Taverna is a restaurant that you can’t miss if you love fresh and delicious seafood of all kinds.
Take a Cooking class
Since food is such a big theme on the Pelion Peninsula, it’s a great idea to take a cooking class while you’re there. We took one at Karaiskos Farm and were very impressed. This organic farm produces lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, eggplants, pumpkins, peppers, radishes, and more. They also keep chickens and produce their own eggs. You’ll learn how to use all of these to make tasty regional dishes and family recipes during your class on the farm.
The closest island to the Pelion Peninsula is Skiathos Island, which you can reach from the port of Volos. The waters around this island are an awesome place to go sailing.
You can also take a day trip to Skiathos from Pelion, Greece, but if you’re considering doing this, you might want to make it an overnight trip. Skiathos is famous for its nightlife, so plan to spend some time walking along the beachside restaurants and bars, or even going dancing right on the piers.
Explore the Beaches
Agios Ioannis, Pelion
This is one of Pelion’s most famous beaches and for good reason. It’s in a lovely seaside resort town surrounded by greenery and natural beauty. While the area is accessible to tourism, it’s not completely overrun by it. You can take a boat ride at the pier or simply relax on the beach.
Another fairly famous town and beach, Chorefto is must-visit on the Pelion Peninsula. The water here is calm and the scenery is stunning, set against a backdrop of picturesque houses and lush greenery that add to the quaint atmosphere of this gorgeous beach.
A little further south on the east side of the Pelion Peninsula, you’ll find Potistika, a small resort town with some truly stunning beaches. The rock formations here are a sight to behold and allow for some cool exploring along the beach, so make sure you bring a camera.
Visit Damouchari, Pelion
Damouchari is one of the best towns to visit on the Pelion Peninsula for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it has some of the best beaches, with pristine sands and towering, rocky cliffs hugging the edges of each one. You could spend a few days here just enjoying the amazing beaches and relaxed atmosphere.
Secondly, Demouchari, Pelion has a special claim to fame: It was here that some of the scenes from the musical movie “Mamma Mia” were filmed. While visiting, you can visit a few of the recognizable spots where some of the filming took place. In particular, you can visit the dock and harbour area.
Explore the Sea Caves
An awesome option for a day trip around the Pelion Peninsula is to visit the Sea Caves of Thetis. You’ll leave from either the port of Chorefto or Agios Ioannis, Pelion. From there, you’ll head north and discover an uninhabited and truly unspoiled coastline. You’ll explore the stunning sea caves with your guide and even have the chance to swim and snorkel in some of them along the way.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Pelion, Greece
- Sunrise Tsagkarada: We stayed at the amazing Sunrise Tsagkarada while visiting the Pelion Peninsula and absolutely loved our time there. The hotel is locally run in a sustainable building, and it uses all kinds of eco-friendly products during day-to-day operations. The hotel is also beautifully designed and has a fantastic pool with incredible views.
- Kritsa Gastronomy Hotel: If food is your main reason for coming to the Pelion Peninsula, then consider staying right on Karaiskos Farm at the Kritsa Gastronomy Hotel. Just like the farm itself, the hotel is family-run and sustainably operated, and the majority of its delicious food comes right from the organic farm next door.
- Des Roses Hotel: Thus hotel is a part of a greater eco-project called Eco Greco, an earth-friendly tourism complex in the southern Pelion Peninsula. Aside from a number of sustainability practices, this resort is unique for its organic garden and natural soap manufactury. You can even take a soap-making class during your stay.
How to Get to Pelion, Greece
In order to visit the Pelion Peninsula, you’re going to have to rent a car. There’s very little reliable public transport in the area, and with so much to explore, you’ll definitely want the freedom of your own wheels. You can rent a car in whichever major city you’re starting your journey from.
If you’re looking to explore a bit of the undiscovered side of Greece, then we couldn’t recommend Pelion enough. It has stunning beaches, amazing food, and lots of outdoor activities to indulge in. It has everything you’d imagine a Greek paradise to have, just without the crowds. We really enjoyed our time on the Pelion Peninsula and are certain you will, too, should you choose to go yourself.