Places to stay in Pelion, Greece

As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to Pelion, Clare Hargreaves picks out a selection of characterful places to stay in the peninsula.

Pelion has it all. Choose between living it up in 5-star luxury and winding up a day on the beach with a wallow in the spa; a simple guesthouse nestled in the chestnut woods, where you hang out with the owner and breakfast on their homemade pies and jams; Or if you want something completely different, stay in one of the grand stone mansions that grace Pelion’s mountain villages. Pelion is open for business all year round, including in winter when snow cloaks its densely-wooded peaks.


12 Months Resort Luxury Resort hotel, Tsagarada

Hidden discreetly in the chestnut woods and built in Pelion’s traditional style, 12 Months skillfully blends natural beauty with relaxed luxury. In fact, with 20 swanky apartments, each with a view of mountain, garden or sea, it’s a village in itself. After a day on one of the area’s pristine beaches or a coffee under the 1000-year-old plane tree on Tsagarada’s square, head for the sauna or the hammam in the resort’s spa, or work out in the gym or on the tennis court, before sampling the international cuisine in its stone-floored Melia restaurant. Great for families. 12hotel.gr


Hotel Portaria, Portaria

With its plane-tree-shaded square, cobbled footpaths, and stunning views, Portaria offers the first real taste of the mountains as you approach Pelion from Volos, so is popular with weekenders all year round. This hotel, right at the top, is its most luxurious offering, with 80 rooms, including 7 suites and 4 family apartments, as well as an outdoor pool and well-equipped spa. For food, choose between traditional local dishes or international cuisine, enjoyed by the fireplace in its main restaurant or in summer, outside on the verandah. It’s also a great base if you want to ski at nearby Agriolefkes. portariahotel.gr


Hotel Aglaida, Tsagarada

Turn off the road that snakes down from Tsagarada to Pelion’s steep-shelving Aegean coastline, and these white-washed apartments are your final stop - so you won’t find a quieter spot from which to watch the sun rise over the neighbouring islands of Skiathos and Alonissos. The unfussy rooms all have balconies and basic cooking facilities, though the owners do a cracking Pelion breakfast, including homemade wild greens pie, loukoumades (fried doughnuts) and strapatsada (eggs scrambled with tomatoes). Walk it off with a hike to Fakistra beach, below, one of the region’s loveliest. aglaida-apartments.gr


Amanita guesthouse, Tsagarada

The air here is heavy with the scent of sage and rosemary and at night, nightingales or cicadas sing you to sleep. Filaretos and Marianne both abandoned high-flying jobs in Athens to transform a ruin-in-the-woods into the immaculate boutique guesthouse it is today. Rooms are simple but stylish, most with fireplaces too. Marianne will show you the garden’s herbs, while Filaretos will whisk you off to forage mushrooms. Herbs, mushrooms and fruits and vegetables from the garden come together at breakfast time for a gastronomic feast. amanita.gr


Lost Unicorn Hotel, Tsagarada

Walk along the cobbled path from the village square and through the front door and you’ll need to pinch yourself to remember you’re not in an English country house. Chandeliers, model unicorns and a baby grand piano adorn the characterful library, sitting room and dining room, while the eight antique-furnished rooms upstairs could be from a period drama. Owners Clare, from England, and Greece-born Christos, met while Clare was touring Greece as a professional dancer. He does the cooking, from breakfast (full English if you want it) to dinner, which in summer you can enjoy on its clematis-draped terrace. lostunicorn.com


Karagiannopoulou traditional guesthouse, Vyzitsa

This archontiko (mansion) constructed in 1791 in the enchanting mountain village of Vysitsa, is one of its oldest survivors from the era. Sleep in one of its wood-panelled bedrooms, and relax with a mountain tea under the magnificent painted ceiling of the upstairs sitting room with its low-cushioned benches and stained glass windows. Breakfast, properly Greek and homemade, is served on the tranquil terrace or by the fireplace in the mansion’s cosy ground-floor stone kitchen. Try one of owner Mahi Karayiannopoulou’s apple or savoury pies, and the local honey. karagiannopoulou.com


Karamarlis boutique hotel, Makrinitsa

No wonder they call Makrinitsa “Pelion’s Balcony.” The views from this stone village across the Pagasitic Gulf, are mind-blowing. And there’s nowhere to appreciate them better than this gorgeous mansion, stylishly yet sensitively restored by the Karamarlis family who have lived here since 1800. Its warren-like rooms are all different, but many retain original wooden floors and ceilings, and some have fireplaces too. Breakfast (including vegetable pies, halva and rice pudding) is served in its neoclassical-style cafe-lounge, and homemade fare and drinks, such as its hot chocolate with homemade rose liqueur, are available throughout the day. archontikokaramarlis.gr


Sakali boutique hotel, Pinacates

Boutique hotels don’t get much slicker than this; housed in a restored mansion on the fringes of one of Pelion’s prettiest and remotest west-coast mountain villages. Drool over the sea views as you down a cocktail on the terrace after a swim in the pool, chill out in Pinacates village square and visit its historic church, or follow cobbled footpaths to neighbouring villages. Bedrooms have fabulously comfy antique beds, original art, handmade rugs and multi-jet showers. And breakfasts, served in an annexe, include homemade pastries and jams. From October to April there’s also a spa. sakalihotel.gr


Villa Gayannis, Zagora

Today Zagora, on Pelion’s northeast corner, is famed for its apple orchards its famous 18th-century library. Many of its fortress-style mansions, including this old merchant’s house from 1770, were built during this period. Rooms are simple, but with its massive gardens and views of the Aegean, it’s a wonderful place to relax. If you’re feeling active, owner Nicolas Gayannis will guide you to the nearby beach of Horefto, or in winter, to the ski station at nearby Agriolefkes. Villagayannis.gr


Alatinos, Pinacates

Pinacates is one of Pelion’s most unspoiled villages. What makes this simple stone-built guesthouse special is its central location, just off the cobbled square and its marble fountains, so you can immerse yourself into village life. En-suite rooms have spectacular views across the Pagasitic Gulf. Breakfast is served on the ground floor. For other eating and drinking, you’re spoiled for choice, as there’s a cafe on the main street above the village and at the end, an excellent taverna (Y Drosia). An excellent budget option. alatinos.gr



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