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MAKRINITSA – THE BALCONY OF PELION

If vacations to you in Greece is associated only with beach holidays and islands, then this post will show you the other side of beautiful nature that Greece holds and many are not aware of…

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The mountain village with traditional guest houses, caring owners, homemade breakfasts and delicious taverns with magnificent and breathtaking views, endless walks along the paths in the mountains, small waterfalls and untouched beauty of nature – all these are about the village Makrinitsa or as we call it – the Balcony of Pelion!

The village is located high up the slopes of Mount Pelion, near the city of Volos. Ancient architecture with snow-white stone houses, the mountain panorama of Thessaly and lush greenery are themselves guarantors of a quiet, peaceful and harmonious vacation. This is exactly what my boyfriend, and I needed for our weekend after a busy week.

During your stay in Athens, you have also the possibility to book 3-Day Pelion Peninsula private tour, during which you will also visit Makrinitsa and other beautiful places.

ROAD TRIP FROM ATHENS TO MAKRINITSA

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The most convenient and comfortable way to get to Makrinitsy is to rent a car. From Thessaloniki, the road will take a little less than three hours. From Athens, it took us about three and a half hours. We mainly drove along the highway, which is quite convenient, but paid a lot at the tolls. The tolls cost us about 20 euros per way.

TRAVEL TIP
Make sure you have all the cash in advance so you can pay all the tolls!
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There are a lot of resting zones on the highway, so you can stop to stretch your legs, have a cup of coffee or a snack.

After our snack and small stop, we continued towards the city of Volos, and from the city, we drove uphill for about 15 minutes along a steep road since the village is located from 300 to 850 meters above sea level.

One of the difficulties in the village is to find parking. If there is no parking in your hotel, then you can use public parking of the village (a little bit small), or you may just park on the side of the road.

WHERE TO STAY IN MAKRINITSA

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Going on holiday to a mountain village, so don’t expect to stay in a luxury big hotel. You will not find any , but there are many truly homely and soulful guesthouses. They are mostly small stone houses with country-style rooms (wooden furniture, with window or balcony overlooking the bay and the city of Volos).

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For our stay, we booked a wonderful traditional guesthouse Pilioritiko spiti. It is located right on the central walking road Makrinitsa with one of the most breathtaking views in this village.

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We had our room with a patio, but you can also book a room with balcony and sea view on the second floor. We had a small but cozy space with a shower and window with a great view.

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I forgot to say the most important thing: on the journey, we got with our Clooney boy, because our guesthouse was pet-friendly.

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We also had breakfast at our guesthouse and every day it was different. We were treated with traditional Pelion bakery, sandwiches, juice, muffins, and coffee. All this with a breathtaking view of the valley and the bay – the best beginning of the day.

TASTY SPOTS IN MAKRINITSA.

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Did you notice that in small villages the taverns are always tastier, and all products are fresher? Makrinitsa is a paradise for those who prefer tasty and home-cooked meals. There are not so many taverns in the village, so tables should be booked in advance and better to come earlier.

In our first evening out for food, we were pretty lucky. Based on reviews I found a tavern Kardamo Oinomageireion and we went there around 7:30 pm. To our surprise, we were told that all the tables were reserved. But since we came first and the tavern had just opened for dinner, they found the last table for two. The atmosphere in the tavern was warm like at home, even the menu was written by hand in a beautiful wooden cover.

My advice is to order traditional home-cooked dishes from rooster and goats. Although I ordered a chicken dish, and my boyfriend ordered the pork chop dish, everything was delicious. Don’t forget to try their appetizers and their home made red wine, which was just perfect for our dinner.

In our second night out, we were not so lucky with dinner. We decided to visit the A + B traditional tavern, but we came around nine in the evening and there was almost no food left in the catalog😥. We were told that they had a very busy day and usually they serve only fresh daily dishes. So , after sitting down and finding out about the bad news, we actually left the place to search for another. Don’t get us wrong, the tavern itself was very cool, and on the second floor there were tables near the fireplace and simply a fascinating view of the night city of Volos.

I remembered that I had seen another tavern Apólausē near yesterday’s tavern. We went there, but it was almost closed too, they also run out of dishes, (seems everyone is hungry here in Makrinitsa)… We did not know where to go and the last option was a small and simple tavern Katerina ( YES😁, it has my name). Finally, it was still open and even they had several dishes (YEAHHH)…even though some dishes were missing from the menu too. So we ordered Greek salad, which the cucumber was missing. I guess they ate all the cucumbers in Makrinitsa. We had a burger and a pork chop dish. Everything was simple but not bad.

WALKING AROUND

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If you like walking in nature, then this place is just perfect for you. The labyrinth of picturesque and artfully made paved paths connects 10 districts that make up the village. Here you can wander for hours through the streets of the village or climb the mountains till the Monastery.

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On the main street that crosses the whole village, you will find herbs and handicrafts inside the various tourist shops in Makrinitsa. It’s worth buying for your memerable stay.

TRAVEL TIP
My advice is to take the popular mountain tea, spices and the famous jam from different berries and fruits.
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At the main square of the village, you will find an area where you can sit and relax for some coffee in the shade of plane trees, with an amazing view of Volos and the Pangasinan Gulf.

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From the square you will follow the path leading you to the Museum of Folk Art and the History of Pelion, which is placed in the Topali mansion (built in 1844) with many laographic exhibits, such as traditional clothing, books, old photographs, firms, banner of 1878, weapons of the times revolution, paintings by artist N. Christopoulos, a resident of Volos.

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We began our journey from the square, behind the water fountain, we followed the path leading higher up the mountain, and soon reached the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the cathedral of the village, that was built-in 1767. It is decorated with a rich stone bas-relief, part of an older Byzantine Monastery (Moni Oxias Episcepseos), built in 1204.

Here is a wonderful bell tower with three bells, sent in tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary by people from Makrinitsa, leather makers from Odessa. Behind the fence of the church is the All Saints Church (Aghion Pandon) and St. Nicholas Church, where the Secret School (Krifo Scholio) functioned.

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Despite its significant tourist development, some elements of the past still remain in the life of local residents. You will see drovers carrying different loads on donkeys, hostesses engaged in traditional weaving or embroidery. Many residents grow and sell tourists apples, chestnuts, potatoes, etc.

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Be sure to visit the Aerico Cafe Bar, it is located on the slope between the two villages Makrinitsa and Portaria. At the same time, you can walk and admire the views.

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We found a table outside ( it was a sunny day) with a breathtaking view and ordered traditional desserts ( they were really good) and coffee.

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Makrinitsa is a unique place for vacations – it is in demand among tourists throughout all seasons, especially in spring and autumn. In winter, lovers of skiing can come here, because the ski resort is only 14 km away. If you find yourself here in the summer months, there are some good beaches not far from Volos.

This is one of my favorite places in Greece, where I want to come again and again…

SHOP MY STYLE FOR MAKRINITSA


This is not a sponsored post. All the websites and companies I have included here are based on my personal travel experiences. Please note that some of these links are an affiliate, and with no extra cost to you. I may earn a small commission that helps me run this website and helps me share my adventures and travel tips which can help you.

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