A wonderful feeling
As a result of our excessive enthusiasm, it occurred more than just a few times, hearing ourselves shouting out lound vowels of amazement every time we saw the impressive natural landscape changing in front of our eyes. The temperature, the vegetation and the numerous sites, all drove us to a delirium, which made us forget how heavy our legs had become and continue enjoying the landscape. We cycled from the village of Drakia towards Chania, Pelion’s ski resort, where the highest point of the area is also found. It is a demanding route. However, we all forgot the effort and the pain we suffered because the climb, since it took only 20 minutes of a pleasurable descent, to get ourselves right next to the crystal blue waters of the Aegean.
The next day we rode from the heart of Pelion to its very end, a small village called Trikeri. We were cycling on a more relaxed and leisure pace, recovering from the last day’s ride. We traversed through dense forests, idyllic small beaches, while we saw picturesque chapels, built right on the point where the land meets the sea. It was during that particular moment, when we wondered:
What happens when the passion for cycling meets the perfect terrain?
How does a cyclist feel when after each pedal stroke he / she is exposed to a constantly changing majestic scenery, while the Greek landscape prompts all for more?
The answer couldn’t be more straightforward than:
Just go cycling in Pelion and be ready to explore an authentic and one of the very best cycling destinations found in Greece.
Agios Georgios – Drakia – Chania – Tsagkarada – Milies
Our starting point was set at the small village of Agios Georgios, located at the altitude of 700m above sea level. According to local stories, the church on the village’s centre was built by shepherds, who accidentally found a far forgotten icon of St George. From Agios Georgios we headed to Ano Lechonia, the so-called Elysium of the prefecture of Magnisia. On our way there, we traversed a dense forest of beech trees. The sightseeing, along with the countless smells of the Greek nature, created an enchanting and well promising ride beginning.
Our next stop was the village of Agria. There, we visited the production facility of the locally produced beverage “Epsa” and tasted some of their lemonades. After the energy top-up and with a lot of sugar in our blood, we began climbing towards Pelion’s highest point. A distance of 10 km on this climbing route got us to Drakia, the first of our destinations during our climb. The route is demanding, with its constantly changing grade to raise substantials challenges to any rider who decides to cycle it. The central square found in the verdant village of Drakia, is one of the oldest in the region of Pelion. The traditional network of the narrow paths, use for connecting the village’s remote places, and the colorful front yards of almost all houses, synthesize a fascinating, quite artistic, atmosphere. From an altitude of approximately 500m above the sea level, we headed towards Chania (1300m).
After an additional 8 km of climbing through cherry and oak trees, and just before we reach the end of the climb, we noticed that the vegetation remains the same, in contrast to what normally happens when entering the alpine zone.
Reaching the village of Chania, filled us up with joy and gave us this sense of fulfilment, while the rewarding wide open view left us speechless and made us enjoy nature’s exquisite design.
We left the village of Chania and headed towards the eastern side of Pelion. The 12 km of a joyfull descent got us to Kissos, a small picturesque village. However, it was the excitement of constantly changing landscape and the high speed during our descent, which made our stay in Kissos quite short. We just couldn’t stop for more cycling miles.
The spectacular, wide open view of the Aegean sea, was flirting with us through the countless small openings among the tree leafs. It was only when we reached the magical place of Mylopotamos beach, where we kept staring at those crystal blue waters, while some of us had already got rid off their jerseys and were heading towards the water.
“Eros”, our team’s dog leaded the way and right there, like kids in a incoscent game, playing freely, we enjoyed a swim in the cold and refreshing waters of Mylopotamos beach.
We left the Mylopotamos site behind us heading to our next destination was the village of Milies. After a steep climb of approx 6 km we cycled for another 25km on a hilly terrain, which circles the main mountain mass of Pelion, and leads to the most famous village. One of the nicest parts of the route were unfolding right in front of our eyes, and, speechless we surrendered to the countless smells and the majestic views up to the very last mile.
Milies – Neochori – Argalasti – Chorto – Lafkos – Trikeri
The village of Milies is righteously nominated as the Pelion’s highlight and most well reputed village among all in the area. The traditional architecture, the rich verdant surroundings, the numerous medieval network of small roads (kalderimia), leave no question why Milles is so significant and special.
Our next destination was Neochori. The origin of the word “Neochori” (“New” + “Village”) makes is easy to understand the “short” existence of this village. Indeed, the first settlements are dated back during the Medieval times and the initial group of people lived there, had as their main occupation, working at the nearby quarry.
Leaving Neochori behind, we resumed our cycling on the ridge of the Southern part of Pelion all the way to Argalasti and Chorto. The winding road leaded us through dense forests followed by green open fields, until the point we came down to the sea level, cycling by the water. On our way to Trikeri, the village of Lafkos, captured our interest. Lafkos (“Lefkos”, which means shiny and white) completely ratifies its name, while at the same time it offers a unique view of the Pagasitikos Gulf’s calm waters.
The rest of route is mostly on a scenic, coastal route. The many small picturesque and idyllic beaches significantly enhance the overall experience. It’s a true fact that we caught ourselves pedaling with our head constantly looking at 90o degrees, not being able to resist to this natural spectacle.
Our end destination was Trikeri. The amphitheatrical way the houses were build, assets that the villagers’ were taking all possible measures to protect themselves and their properties from pirates’ invitations. Presently, the village is well known for its small fish tavernas and its calm and easy way of lifem even during when the tourism activity peaks. That is exactly the reason, which made us get-off the bikes, change our shoes and explore this small village, right at the edge of Pelion.