Hiking in Greece in summer? Unbelievable!
Hiking in central Pelion
Central Pelion has become a hiker's paradise in the last two decades. At first, the locals couldn't understand why tourists wanted to walk uphill and downhill on donkey trails. The villagers were happy that roads had been built in 1980 and that they no longer had to walk from village to village on the arduous paved kalderimia. Their attitude changed when they realised that this would bring more tourists to the Pelion, even in the marginal months.
In the meantime, many German and Austrian tour operators offer hiking holidays in the Pelion, groups of the Alpine Club come, and last but not least, one meets many hikers from Israel who do not have far to go here.
The book "Hiking in the Pelion - With 16 Maps and 100 Flowers" ("Wandern im Pilion - Mit 16 Karten und 100 Blumen" ) offers everything you need for hiking in the central Pelion: detailed route descriptions, hiking maps and altitude profiles. It is also an identification book, including many endemic plants of the Pelion.
(A5, 174 p., 140 ill., German/English,
ISBN 978-3-00-05196-5-9, 14,80€).
Click here to go to the order page...
16 Hikes - Hiking like in Cinque Terre or in the Spessart
The 16 hikes lead along the coast, are circular routes at 500m to 700m altitude or even summit hikes up to 1450m. The duration is between 2 and 6 hours. All the walks are described in detail, they are well marked in the terrain and, not unimportantly, everywhere they end in a taverna or you find one on the way.
An example of coastal walks is Hike No. 8: Choreftó - Coastal Safari to Análipsi. It leads from the seaside resort of Choreftó along romantic beaches and on paths at an altitude of 40m with wonderful views to the rocky beach of Análipsi with its idyllic chapel and the beautifully situated taverna Plimári. Total difference in altitude 100m, length (there and back) 7.2km, duration 3 hours. (Picture: Coastal hike near Choreftó)
Hike No. 2 Plane Tree Circuit Paraskeví Taxiárches is a circular walk at an altitude of about 500m, leading from church square to church square and offering breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the Koútra Gorge along the way. The paths are reminiscent of poems by Hölderlin, in which he describes walking through vineyards. And of course, you can either stop halfway at the Platía of Agioi Taxiárches or on your return at the Platía of Agia Paraskeví. Difference in altitude 200m, length 7.6 km, duration 2:45 hrs.
Hike No. 12, the Panoramic Chánia trail, is an example of high-altitude hiking. It leads from an altitude of 1200m down to 900m, on the first half through high beech forests, then after reaching the slope facing Volos suddenly through pine forests, this is due to the warmer wind. Along the way, one view is more beautiful than the other, you look down on the Gulf of Volos and at some point directly on the city. Instead of a circular route, you can also continue halfway down to Portariá (hike no. 13), which means an additional 400 m of altitude loss, the total time from Chánia to Portariá is 4.5 hours.
If you want to go on a multi-day hike with a backpack, you can find a description of a seven-day long-distance hike online.
It leads from Portariá via Chánia to Mouresi, Kissós and Damoúchari. From there via Tsangarada to Miliés and Kála Nerá. 7 overnight stays are planned in 5 different places.
Hiking in Southern Pelion
Hiking in the southern Pelion is rather sweaty in summer, but enchanting in the marginal months.
A group called "Friends of the Chalderimia" has taken it upon itself to keep the old footpaths clean; it is largely made up of English homeowners and organises regular clean-up events.
A Dutch couple, together with friends, have put together a very nice site in four languages.
There, 18 hikes (mostly in the southern Pelion) are described lovingly and in detail; you can also download the hike descriptions as a PDF.