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Mt. Pilion (Pilio, Pelio) Magnesia Prefecture Page 1

The Pilion Peninsula

map of PilionEast of the city of Volos, the Pilion peninsula, land of the centaurs, curves around the huge Pagassitic Bay. It is a sizeable, unique and beautiful world of its own within Greece. In common with the rest of the country It has the usual two distinct features: high mountains peaks-Mt Pilio (1551meters / 5,089feet), and Mt. Ossa to the north (1978meters/6488feet) and many miles of rugged coast line broken by enchanting swimming spots.

The beaches of the Aegean side are longer, sandier and more wind swept and less popular but they are superior and worth the extra driving time.

What makes Pilion different is that it has orchards of cherry, peach, apple, pear, walnut and olive trees, and is forested with stands of pine, beech, oak and chestnut. With such wood at its disposal, its villages have developed a unique traditional architecture of timber-framed houses with projecting upper stories and balconies supported by wooden corbels, and slate roofs with overhanging eaves, and narrow cobbled streets.

The village churches also have stone roofs, and differ architecturally from those elsewhere in Greece, not so tall, and with carved wood inside and an outer narthex with wooden pillars. The houses are spread out, unlike more typical Greek villages elsewhere, with water everywhere, at least where the villages are most concentrated. With so much water, vegetation is also plentiful, though it varies between the two coasts, with gardenias and camellias on the moist east coast and drier Mediterranean plants on the drier west one).

Mount Pilion is much visited by Greeks from both Volos and Athens, especially in summer, when it is much cooler than the mainland to its west (though also more humid). They also come during the Christmas holidays and at Easter.

As well as the plentiful fruit and nuts (sold all over Greece), Pelio is also noted for its local wine, honey, herbs, and attar of roses.

Schist is quarried here, timber cut, and plant nurseries abound. Its has its own local cuisine as well. There is good hiking all over the peninsula, and some good beaches.

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