Written by sr92111 on 23 Feb, 2001
There are a lot of activities available in Volos. The first of which is sightseeing. The mountains around town are incredible and offer great views of the city and the Mediteranian on the other side. I had the unique opportunity to view the whole coast…Read More
There are a lot of activities available in Volos. The first of which is sightseeing. The mountains around town are incredible and offer great views of the city and the Mediteranian on the other side. I had the unique opportunity to view the whole coast from Mt. Olympus to Mt. Pelion by helicopter. The water is crystal clear and the land in the valley is very vibrant and green. It was amazing to see all of the little mountain towns from above. In one of the photos is the coast, with a castle and it's ramparts. That would have been a great place to spend the middle ages... I also had the chance to also go to Lambinou Beach, which is a tiny cove about an hour from Volos on the Med. The water was so clear that you could see the bottom, and it was about 40 feet deep! It was also very warm, with little caves to explore. Take a look at the photos and I think you'll agree. Close
Written by Re Carroll on 21 Jun, 2003
Makrinitsa is one of the easiest of the Pelion villages to reach from Volos. The trip takes about 25 minutes and buses run throughout the day. I was glad that I opted for a bus because driving the Pelion is not for the feint of…Read More
Makrinitsa is one of the easiest of the Pelion villages to reach from Volos. The trip takes about 25 minutes and buses run throughout the day. I was glad that I opted for a bus because driving the Pelion is not for the feint of heart. The road to Makrinitsa is filled with sharp steep curves and switchbacks and the buses pull into the other lane frequently in order to maneuver through the turn. This is usually preceded by a loud honk on the horn which means oncoming vehicles needed to stop or approach slowly because they will soon have a big bus in their lane.
The views over Volos and Volos Bay were spectacular as we continued to climb toward Makrinitsa. It didn’t matter which side of the bus I sat on since there were many switch backs so each side faced the water during one turn or another.
The bus doesn’t go right into Makrinitsa because the village roads are too narrow for vehicles other than motorcycles and even those are few and far between. During my visit, there was construction happening behind the church and construction materials were brought from the main road via horse train. The clop of their hooves on the cobbles added to the feeling of stepping back in time.
The Pelion folk museum is located on the main lane but it hadn’t yet opened for the season so I spent time just wandering the narrow lanes and climbing the cobbled paths leading to picturesque houses with colorful gardens.
Makrinitsa is called "The Balcony of the Pelion" and its central square makes that claim a reality because it seems to be suspended over the
mountainside. Giant plane trees rim the square and their leaves provide shade over much of it. The square is home to a couple of tavernas whose tables and chairs are placed to take advantage of the view. There are also public benches for those who just want to sit and relax without spending money. At one end, a large fountain still provides potable water for villagers and the old stone church of Ayios Ioannis is open to visitors on a rather haphazard basis whenever the caretaker is in attendance.
Although Makrinitsa depends on tourism for its livelihood, it is done in a low key way without garish signs or overt commercialism. The few souvenir/gift stores are clustered together along the main street before the square so it’s easy to forget that they exist. That might be different during the summer when the tour buses descend but I was able to wander the village and enjoy its quiet charm. Decaying stone paths led above the houses to grassy spots where the only sounds I heard were chirping of the birds. It was very tempting to disregard the rest of my travel plans and just stay in this little slice of Pelion heaven.
On the way back to the bus stop, I stopped at the 18th-century monastery of Panavia Makrinitsa on a small hill above the main road. Although it was closed, I had an impromptu picnic beneath the clock tower which was surrounded by pots of colorful flowers. Below me a man had set up an herb stand and was selling some of the many types of dried herbs that are grown on the slopes of Mount Pelion.
If time is limited Makrinitsa is probably the best bet for
a taste of the Pelion. It can be done as a quick part day trip from Volos but you’re really shortchanging yourself if you don’t allow at least a few days to explore more of the Pelion.