Visit The Birthplace Of Greek Mythology At This Mountain In Greece

Since the dawn of Western civilization, Greece has been a land of mirth and mythos. Just as Greece has influenced how we govern, philosophical theories, math, and science, so too have its stories of old gods and heroic legends permeated our modern media. If you're one of the many interested in Greek mythology and you want to discover the source of such incredible stories, you have to make your way to Pelion (or Pilio) when you visit Greece.

Mt. Pelion is not only known as the home of centaurs, but it was also the supposed summer retreat for the gods when they weren't reposing on Mt. Olympus. As such, the peninsula of Pelion is an area of great cultural and mythological significance. Not only that, but Pelion is a fantastic travel destination and is still considered a hidden gem since it lies between the capital city of Athens to the south and Thessaloniki to the north.

You really would be missing out if you skipped Pelion, though. There is as much to do here as anywhere else in Greece, and you get the opportunity to explore a place that few travelers have even laid their eyes on.

The mythology that makes Pelion so special

It is said in Greek mythology that two giants — the Aloadae, whose names were Otus and Ephialtes — attempted to reach the home of the gods by lifting Mt Ossa onto Mt Olympus and then placing Mt Pelion on top. Their plot was foiled by Apollo, who killed the two giants with his bow, and Zeus separated the mountains again with his lightning bolts.

However, possibly more importantly, Pelion is the mythological home of the centaurs, creatures that are half-man and half-horse. One of these centaurs, Chiron, plays a significant role in Greek mythology since he taught the god of medicine, Asclepius, Jason of the Argonauts, and Achilles, whose father, Peleus, is the namesake of Pelion. Finally, Pelion was also the location of the infamous apple incident that led to the Trojan War, thanks to petty party crasher, Eris, the goddess of strife.

Today, you can explore the mythos of Pelion via the Centaurs' Path and feel transported back to a time when magic and mischievous gods were as real as the sun and the moon. You can also check out a recreation of the Argo ship (the one helmed by Jason of the Argonauts) that was made using ancient shipbuilding techniques. However, to really feel one with Pelion, you'll have to explore its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and idyllic villages.

Explore the villages of Pelion and its stunning nature

One of the best things to do in Pelion is to explore its many villages. The most popular are Portaria, Zagora, Milies, and Makrinitsa.

Thanks to its location near Volos, the main port city in Pelion, Portaria is the most touristic of these villages. This is where you'll find luxury hotels, hostels, ski resorts, souvenir shops, and the Centaurs' Path. This is a short, circular trail that takes only about 40 minutes to do and is great for families. There are beautiful stone paths and bridges along the way, which adds to the feeling that you're among an enchanted forest.

Next, you could head to Zagora, the most populated village on the eastern side of Pelion which is famous for its apple orchards and fruits. Definitely take home some of the preserved fruits that are made here as a souvenir. For train enthusiasts, Milies is where you can catch a famous steam train that was designed by the father of painter Giorgio De Chirico, Evaristo De Chirico. You can ride the train to Ano Lechonia, which takes about 90 minutes and features incredible views as you pass over stone bridges and through ancient forests.

Makrinitsa has some of the best views in Pelion and has maintained some of the area's more traditional architecture. Take your time exploring the cobblestone streets and grab a bite to eat on a terrace with a view of Volos.