If you are looking to escape the city and detox yourself from city noises, daily routine and urban life, then we‘ve got the perfect place for you; the village of Ai-Giorgis in Pelio is the ideal getaway.
We drive past Volos, where the signs point to Kato and Ano Lehonia. Apple, orange, lemon and olive trees, as well as different flowers, lead the way to western Pelio. My choice to keep a distance from all the classic, touristy villages gave me a sweet surprise. In Ai-Giorgis, there is no overcrowding, no traffic jams, no shops packed with people.
The village scenery consists of peaceful nature and cottages lying on the two mountain slopes, right over the Pagasitic Gulf. A smiling Mr. Dimitris was the one to welcome me to the well-preserved “Arhontiko Ioannidi”, the place where I was going to stay. I sat comfortably in the living-room while listening to him talk about the ornamental ceilings and old Egyptian furniture. And this is what I discovered about Ai-Giorgis: It used to be one of the richest villages in Pelio, inhabited by 1500 people; a place where migrant merchants to Egypt would return to build neoclassical building just as Ioannidis himself did. The mountain air, the running water, and the picturesque architecture of the local houses, made my walk around the small village streets highly enjoyable.
I walked through gardens forgotten by time, as well as newly renovated hostels, to St. George’s church and all the way to St. Elias, where I enjoyed a wonderful view. I had tea in a cozy café and I visited the Pavlopoulos Museum, an internationally renowned sculptor, born there.
A treat from the nuns:
At dinnertime I found myself in a tavern, in front of a table full of local dishes, which all seemed simply delicious. These dishes contributed to a sweet night's sleep. What I retained as a final memory from this place, is the handmade Christmas treat from the nuns of the neighbouring monastery; a sugary closure to a wonderful trip.
Where to stay:
Tel: +30 210 902 2291, +30 24280 94071
An astonishing historic building, built in 1888, with high, decorated ceilings, Egyptian furniture, 4 bungalows with a view of the Pagasitic Gulf, and homemade breakfast.
Tel: +30 24280 86898.
A block of traditional, but renovated, buildings.
Tel: +30 24280 93135.
Modern as well as traditional elements are beautifully combined in this renovated neoclassical house from 1908.
Where to eat:
Right in the village centre, there is a tavern called Tsakitzis, where you can taste the local cuisine. Try fish, bekri meze and tsipouro at Stefanis’, or meat filet and mozzarella broccoli at Anovolios’ restaurant.
Area Code / +30 24280
Tourist Information Volos / +30 24210-23500
Milies Town Hall / +30 24230-86891