Jutting out into the gulf between Athens and Thessaloniki, the Pelion peninsula is where the Greeks thought their gods came on holidays. This peninsula, which soars upwards 5,000 feet in a matter of miles, is very different from the rest of the Greek coast. The best places to stay in Pelion can be found both beachside and in the heart of the countryside.
Laced with streams and rivers, it's very lush, something which apple, apricot and chestnut growers have taken advantage off. And in the winter, Mount Pelion, gets enough snow to support a ski resort.
If you're looking for a more typical Greek holiday experience some of the best places to stay in Pelion are the towns along the Aegean Coast. The beaches are a mix of long stretches of shingle, and small coves, and the landscape is drier. Some are backed by beach resorts and some small fishing villages. All have crystal clear waters.
By Mylopotamos the coves are particularly beautiful and the fact that the coastline itself is relatively undeveloped makes it peaceful. Most of the accommodation options here are on the surrounding hills.
Agios Ioannis is one of the best places to stay in Pelion if you're looking for a traditional type of beach resort for your family. Busy with Greek families in July and August, this row of whitewashed hotels is much quieter in the weeks outside of Greek school holidays. There are a couple of nice beaches in this area, one of the best for families being Plaka, a short stroll around the headland.
Damouchari, just south of Agios Ioannis, is the right place to go if you're looking for the prettiest village! There's a lovely little harbour, around which there are stone houses and narrow car-free streets. There's also a lovely, quiet beach.
A great way to explore this region is along the donkey paths, which still provide the main link between some villages. These criss cross the whole area and make for easy exploration. Harvest time is one of the best seasons to explore the region on foot, it's very colourful.
One of the best places to stay in Pelion for walkers is Tsangaragha. On a hillside amongst apple orchards, this village boasts Greece's oldest plane tree, amongst other similarly charming features.
If you're looking for somewhere right off the beaten track, visit Trikeri island, just off the peninsula's foot. Car free and only 2.5kms across, you can only get to the island by water taxi. The island has plenty of walking paths though, mostly ending at deserted beaches, or the 18th Century monastery on the top of the hill.
A fabulous traditional hotel in the highest mountain village of Pelion. Elegant rooms sleep up to four people and have stone walls, wooden floors, fireplaces, and attractive beds. A great choice for an active mountain holiday for couples, groups of friends and families. Great value too.
A rural Grecian villa with elegant romance just below the Mountains of Pelion. Traditional chic interiors and rooms have fireplaces, private balconies, paintings, some with private hot tubs. Excellent breakfasts and a laid back atmosphere. Perfect for local exploring.
A large traditional house in a mountain village with beautiful valley views. Traditional elegant rooms have carved wooden beds, wooden beams and wooden floors. Lovely terrace and pool. A great choice for families, couples and groups of friends. Great value and lots to do in the surrounds.
A stunning Grecian villa on Mount Pelion with fantastic sea views. Beautiful rooms, some triples, and a few romantic cottages in the garden. Traditional elegance and artisanal painting throughout the interiors. Delicious breakfasts, swimming pool, and plenty to do on the beach and the mountain.