It’s been more than 4 months since me and Mitsos, in the midst of Summer, explored by bike the mythical mountain Pelion. So many days I’ve tried to sit down and write this travelogue but the stresses of everyday life evaporated all the energy I had to really express my warm feelings and memories of that trip. But here is Christmas and I enjoy some days off and all those colorful images started to tease my brain again and made me relieve those memories. Pelion is a beautiful place, full of myths, virgin forests and dreamy beaches. So Pelion by bike would be a dream. Me and Mitsos set the date and prepared for another incredible adventure.
It was in the middle of August, the hottest month of the Greek Summer, the day I mounted my bike and rode all the way to Kiato, the train station where I would take the train to Athens. There, Mitsos’ warm hospitality was waiting to ease me in the hectic life of country’s capital until the next morning, when we would drive to Volos, the city closest to Pelion. From there, everything was easy. A very friendly (km wise) route around the mountain was waiting to be explored.
The route (The map in bikemap.net doesn’t have all the correct routes in the mountainous Ano Kerasia and the above area of the trip)
Here is the phototravelogue:
Riding the second half of Patras – Kiato part of the old national highway is always a pleasure for cyclists. You have the sea exactly at your left and humble but unique houses on your right with tables and chairs outside for the people to sit and relax. This area is all about relaxing and enjoying the summer without the frenziness or glamour of the Islands.
I wish I could remember which one of the little villages had this beautiful DIY bench. This image makes me happy every time I look at it. The essence of Summer right there. Did you notice the pillow and the coffee mug?
Me and Mitsos left Athens and arrived in Volos in noon time. We took our bikes and rode for few hours before we stopped in Glafyra village’s main square to rest and eat some snacks. The locals were looking at us like we were aliens!
My heart breaks every time I see dogs like this on the roads. Dogs left to die in the unforgiving sun of the Summer. Why people are so evil? 😦 We found this container and gave this poor dog some water and some food. I really hope this sweet creature is in better hands now…
We are closer to our checkpoint for today, Ano Kerasia. This is Kato Kerasia, a nice village with an even nicer stone spring for tired cyclists to quenching their thirst.
We just found out that Ano Kerasia is a deserted village with only one resident! The darkness of the night was so thick we couldn’t find the main square of the village so we chose to sleep in a monument outside of the village instead. In the morning two farmers were chatting right beside us on a bench !
Mount Pelion has one of the truly untouched forests in Greece and its just magical to cycle on roads like this. It seems like fairies will come out and greet you at any moment!
Why not just cook something in the middle of the road? Cars here are a very rare sight! Ahh, life should be like that all the time!
We saw a little sign : “St. George”. I said ‘Let’s see where it is going! Well, to our surprise, a beautiful place with giant platani trees and giant wooden benches was waiting for us to sit and enjoy our sandwiches!
This little gravel road is taking us from the forest to the Ovrios beach where we will spend the night after eating some spaghetti!
I was waiting for Mitsos in this little square he was eating in a Taverna. I was reading a book and I couldn’t concentrate in the text because of this giant marvel standing in front of me. It is considered one of the oldest trees in Europe (around 1000 years old). Few tourists get to see it because Pouri village is not one of the famous ones in Pelion. The view from the square is also magnificent!
Me and Mitsos are avid readers and this square is the perfect spot for that activity (The upper level of the previous square)!
Roads between the villages of Pelion look like this. It’s like this place was blessed with magical land that trees love to grow in. It is really a pleasure to ride here.
After many wrong turns and frustration we found our way through small roads to the famous Chorefto beach. Huge sandy beach with a view on the Aegeo Pelago. We played with the waves for hours until we decided it was time to get on the bikes and move to the next village.
When we arrived in the big-ish village of Makrirachi we found a low roof of a house to sleep on but a gentleman suggested that it would be better in the local school. He was right! The ground was even, we had tap water available and not disturbances!
We had a small stop in Mouresi to see the village and eat a delicious creampie from the local Bakery (we had to wait a long queue). I really liked this little corner!
We are in Tsagarada village main square which is full of people this time of the year. A beautiful traditional village with the most famous Platanus in Greece. An other marvel of Nature (more than 1000 years old) is standing there for people to admire.
Tsagarada is famous for the traditional houses, great food and beautiful nature nearby. It’s really a place that requires some days to sit, relax and enjoy its beauty! If you are passing from this village and you don’t want to sleep under the stars you can try the Guesthouse Amanita. I have heard people raving about this place.
In this trip me and Mitsos ate more wild berries than we have eaten all our lives. Big, delicious wild berries (among other fruits) everywhere we went! It’s amazing that I didn’t have a belly ache after all that eating !
One of the small and not too well known villages of Pelion, Vyziitsa. We stayed there to eat some food and drink water from its public tap. It’s a shame that beautiful squares like this have no shops open or even people to enjoy it. 😦
My favorite village of all the Pelion. A truly magical place that someone has to see it to understand how I felt when I got to see it’s beautiful old houses, giant trees and inviting alleys right in the time the sun was setting. I’d love to sit there for a day to explore its beauty but we had to go and look for a place to stay for the night.
Although a group of young people kept babbling through the night, a dog was barking at us for 2 hrs straight and a short rain made us relocate under the tree, I still believe that Ayios Vlasios was a very hospitable little village. In the morning a sweet gentleman was sweeping the leaves as quiet as he could so he wouldn’t wake us up! This was also the last sleep in Pelion. The next morning we had to take the road to the city and take the car from there to Athens. From Athens I had to cycle back to my city, Patras.
One more adventure is over and our brains are full again with colorful images from all the beautiful places we saw. We got to see one of the truly mythical Places in Greece with the best transportation available, the bicycle! What more can someone ask?