Oros Pilion Hotels

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  • Reviews: 1635

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

KRITSA Hotel, Portaria: A Steady Value, Exceptional in Every Way!

Although we did not have the opportunity to stay at the hotel this time, yet I asked the owner to show me around only to know what to expect when I return.

The rooms might not be that big but they have a style, charm and a warm ambience. They have an air of romance but also touches of the countryside. The whole package is dreamy.

I honestly wanted to extend our stay if I could but it was not possible, however we have already made a booking for spring so we shall be back. There is no way a guest not be satisfied. The rooms won’t disappoint you, but you won’t be disappointed with the cuisine of the restaurant and the people running this business either.

Service Impeccable, Cleanliness Top! Excellent value for money!
Wi Fi connection free.

Although we were not staying in the hotel, yet we came here for breakfast. The variety was big, and breakfast could fill you up till late afternoon. Fresh homemade pies, fresh orange juice, eggs, cakes, fruit, rice puddings, local honey and marmalades, different kinds of cereals and so much more, enough to satisfy the extremely demanding guest.

I could describe it as -a little Gem among Paradise!

Thank you ladies for the high standards you offer. We shall surely be back. When we had to say goodbye it was hard and we knew that we left behind friends. See you soon!

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Food and Dining, Eco-Tourism, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written September 6, 2013
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Interior of one of the rooms of Kritsa Hotel

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2 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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To Hani tou Kokkini: An average Guesthouse -Cheaper in summer!

My son and daughter-in-law with some friends spent 2 nights here last winter. The Guest house was basic and very average. Neither their friends nor they got that excited about their stay.

The reason I write this is to let travelers know that the location is fine for winter holidays because the little village is only 2 kms from the ski centre and there are also a few taverns in the village but unfortunately there is nothing more to see or do here. * The guest house is more expensive during the winter months because of its location, but it becomes a low budget guesthouse during summer.

During the summer months it can be considered a budget guesthouse, but in reality if you book here you should have a car. Nothing to see or do out here unless you use it as your base but still this is not the best idea! There are still locals selling their products –herbs, desserts, honey, just like in winter, but that’s all. Most of the big hotels remain close and they have them open again in winter.

The small village of Chania is highly recommended as a Stop mainly, especially during the summer months. Tourists and travelers usually stop for a drink or for lunch or simply to unwind but most of them move on.
The taverns or Coffee shops happen to be on both the sides of the main road so it is easy to park the car at the side of the road stop for a while and then move on.

**The photo is from a stop we made before reaching Chania. I missed taking a photo of the Guesthouse my son stayed!

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Road Trip, Budget Travel
  • Written August 27, 2013
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Overlooking Chania from a distance!

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  • Reviews: 1635

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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Aleka's House, Pelion -Tsagkarada: A STEADY VALUE

I have to admit that I have not stayed in Aleka’s hotel but some friends did. One day I dropped by to see them and I had the opportunity to see how the interior looks mostly out of curiosity with a thought to stay here on my coming trip to Tsagkarada.

Both the garden’s terrace where guests take their breakfast in the morning, the building itself and the interior, exceeded my expectations. I found it perfect in every way because the people behind are professionals with a history that exceeds the 55 years of service.

Tastefully decorated (stone and wood) interiors with wood furnishings and with several country-life decorative elements. The rooms are spotlessly clean with much light and breathtaking views of the Aegean and the surround lush greenery of the mountains.

I loved the idea of the welcoming treat which is a spoon dessert (glyko koutaliou) since the area prides for its fruit produce. A nice gesture from the family!

I highly recommend it and I add it in my list of hotels to visit!

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Family Travel, Food and Dining
  • Written August 24, 2013
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Lounge - living room

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Archontiko STAMOU: Quality Stay, High Standards – A STEADY VALUE!

We have visited Zagora several times in the past but never before did we spend more than 2 or 3 hours at this specific village. It was always a stop for lunch and nothing more which proved wrong because the village has much to offer.

HOSPITALITY: The mansion and the people behind this business made our stay look like a break and it was as if we were visiting relatives. This is how the situation was out here.
It is not the kind of guest house with a reception desk but we were shown to our suite in minutes and we met George & Mariana the time we were going out for lunch. Warm and kind and extremely discreet George was anxious to hear our first impressions.

THE HOUSE: The traditional stone-built manor is a structure of the 18th century. The first owners was a wealthy and famous family well-known to all Greeks. Alexandros Pantos lived here with his family, the one who founded the “Panteion School” of University of Athens. Those years Pantos was active both in his country and abroad but his main priority was the place of his origin –Zagora, where he was a great benefactor.

This old building is totally renovated the moment the Stamou family who are the new owners undertake the ownership. The Greek law allows renovations but demands the unique architecture and style of original buildings to be kept, so the house has its originality like the rest of the old mansions in the area. There is a second, much smaller building at the other end of the beautiful gardens and with the recent renovations the owners created 2 more suites for their guests.

THE MAIN BUILDING: The rooms and suites in the main building don’t exceed the 6 or 7. The stained glass motives on the windows of the bottom stairs leading to the upper floors are impressive. I had the opportunity to see the interior of three different rooms and a suite. I found them warm and nice, and they exude a calm and welcoming atmosphere while the entire building keeps the glamour of the past. The magic of this building is that both in the common areas and the interiors the traditional flair is combined with good taste and charm.

STONE HOUSE: The suite we had was on the upper floor of the second building. George told me that it used to be a servant’s room the years when the Pantos family lived here. It is actually a double room, huge and comfortable with old antique type of furnishings, a fireplace and a small private balcony overlooking the beautiful gardens. Its interior has an exposed wooden –Pelian type of roof and wooden floor.
Towels were nicely packed and kept in a locking cabinet made of wood and glass, and not exposed on top of the bed. (I found this cute). Antiques and other works of art decorate the interior providing the ideal comfort and space to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. Facilities like a mini fridge, a hairdryer, a satellite TV and Wi Fi are provided.

The winter look of the interior changes with the coming of the first rains. The bed is covered by a beautiful heavy quilt of multiple colours, a type of patchwork and it does match well with the dome lamp that hangs from the ceiling. Mats are also placed on the wooden floor by the two sides of the bed creating an even warmer ambience for a perfect stay.

BATHROOM: It was not that big but it was functional, pleasing colours with a few details that added charm to the room. The highlight however was the unbelievable pressure of the water coming through the shower giving the body an extra special massage. Not even in Spa hotels did I see this strong flow of water coming out of a simple shower facility!

GARDEN: Wow! How can I describe it! The garden was not only amazingly beautiful but nicely decorated with style and much care. The property is surrounded by huge trees on all sides offering a remarkable privacy which I am sure it is appreciated by most guests. Colourful plants and flowers decorate two fountains one down by the entrance gate and the other on the upper blue-grass garden. The upper garden is full of colours and fragrances and so inviting that you want to have a drink or remain outside with the rest of the guests and family members and enjoy happy-go-lucky moments. Chatting has to do with daily excursions, activities and tips and places not to be missed shared between guests and family members. The truth is that you feel more than a family guest than a client and this is the magic of the whole idea.

BREAKFAST: Breakfast in summer is taken right by the entrance gate next to the little fountain surrounded by lush greenery. It is rich and tasty and is served to the table with culinary options of the local cuisine and it is different each morning. Our nutrient breakfast includes top quality homemade pies and pancakes, honey and marmalades, omelettes and rice puddings. In other words breakfast include everything one needs to make the first meal of the day special. It is enough to fill you up for hours.

RESTAURANT: In summer the Italian Restaurant opens every night and functions outside in the amazing paradise-like gardens. The tastes are flavoursome and the Italian recipes authentic. The master in the kitchen is George himself who is a qualified chef with good knowledge of the Italian cuisine and fluent in the Italian language. On his menu list there are several options and alternatives of genuine pasta and pizzas which are made from fresh ingredients.

With the first rains the Italian Restaurant moves inside the beautifully decorated Café bar “Anamella” but it opens only on Fridays and Saturdays. The list of beverages is long, -wine from the cellar or a cold beer is always ideal to accompany a nice meal but guests can also enjoy their drink or coffee next to the fireplace enjoying the snugness of the stylish interior with the background of some great music.
ACTIVITIES: Mariana and George are appropriate to help guests organize unique vacations through integrated quality packages according to the need of the individual and his budget. Contact them and find out what activities are on offer and the cost. To name one, is the exploring the wild beauty of eastern Pelion through the amazing forests, stone bridges and waterfalls in one of the owners 4WD cars. Let them know your interests and leave the rest to them.

ATTRACTIONS: The beaches of “Horefto,” “Ag. Saranta,” “Parisaina,” “Elitsa” and several more are a few of the beaches in short proximity. The road to ‘Elitsa’ is steep and the coast (wild-like) but pays back from the breathtaking view.

The ski centre “Agriolefkes” is just a 25 minute drive from the village.

Zagora is the biggest of the 24 villages of Pelion and is surrounded by woods. Fruits thrive here, especially apples and you should not miss visiting the Museum and the school of “Rigas Feraios”. What composes the uniqueness of this place are the cobblestoned pavements, the old churches and chapels, the fountains with cool crystal waters, the imposing mansions, and the breathtaking view of the sea from the mountain. The location combines unique mountain experience, snowy landscape in winter, as well as beach holidays since it is only a matter of minutes (10-20 the most) to the nearest coast.

DINING OUT: I highly recommend the restaurant “ PETROS “ by the central square. A unique location, probably the best in the area. We found the cuisine of Fani –Petro’s wife excellent and good value for money. We were told about the beach restaurant the family owes under the same name and we tried it as well.

It is called ‘PETROS o SOGAMBROS’. It is probably the most popular tavern in Horefto so if you get down to the beach I urge you to give it a try. Why? Because it’s simply the best. A bunch of professionals, impeccable service and tastes with flavours that travel you. (Check for my review)

In all, thank you guys for the warm hospitality. Be yourselves and don’t change at all. Keep the high standards….you are great!

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Mountain Climbing, Eco-Tourism, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written August 23, 2013
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The beautiful gardens

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Pileas & Thetis Villa: Captivating Interiors – A DREAMY Stay!

Well, I truly don’t know how to start describing this place here. It is not a hotel or the usual mansions or guesthouses we visit. This place is Unique and I don’t think there is even one similar in the whole of Pelion.

ARRIVAL: Wow! Wet cool refreshing hand towels so cleverly presented in a crystal jar upon arrival. What a nice gesture coming from sweet Yria who is behind this business. I shall call it an exceptional Manor because in reality this is what it represents.

HOSPITALITY: With Yria around, our stay got another meaning. It was as if we came to see a good friend and the stay was so comfortable and relaxing that honestly we had a hard time leaving. Our goodbyes were hugs and kisses and I felt that after all these days of visiting different villages, staying in so many hotels and guest houses, collecting information for my Travel Guides, this specific stay at this manor was a meaningful stop to fill batteries, feel the homely atmosphere that was missing and see a good friend before moving on to the next destination.

Yria is truly a business professional and I mention this first because she is so concerned about her guests but at the same time she is unbelievably discreet with them. She loves what she is doing and you can tell instantly from the passion and the way she talks.

The other star here is Greta, the beautiful doggy, discreet like her owner. We never heard her barking even once and she would sit in her corner quietly tight by her lashing strap where she can hardly be noticed. I had read one or two negative comments about Greta and I was curious to check this out. It is obvious that the person behind is lying and did it only to harm the business. The dog stays at the other end of the yard and I had to beg Yria to let her free even for a while. Greta is so friendly that even if Yria set her free she remained around the area where she normally is. The doggy stole our hearts.

THE STORY BEHIND: This beautiful manor belonged to a wealthy wine merchant who lived here with his family one and a half centuries back. The smaller house where we stayed used to be the place where the owners kept their animals and different supplies those years. It was much lower and was attached to the big house. The years passed and 35 years ago the property passes to another owner. The lady had it restored but kept the interior rooms and the whole structure untouched. This is the reason why several rooms and living rooms are smaller in size. The lady had travelled a lot in her life, -a classy and sophisticated personality as she was, added touches of elegance and glamour to the contemporary traditional interior. The Ministry of Culture has awarded the house as a remarkable example of the traditional architecture.

Yria is the last owner, who bought it a couple of years back and renovated it once again adding her own touches of aesthetics. It was a dream come true she says, she knew it from the moment she saw the house that she had to buy it. She moved to beautiful Tsagkarada leaving behind her job, her friends and life in Athens to live her dream. Her only abstraction ever since she bought the manor, is to be a nice host and as far as guests are concerned to make them live their own dream through the tranquility and comfort that the manor provides.

INTERIOR: There is classiness in the whole interior of both houses. It is not the kind of interior we come across in the usual guest houses we stay. The people who come here should be aware that there are valuable items, works of art and precious antiques. They should also know that some of the bedrooms are dollish and very small. They are so beautifully decorated and each bedroom has a different style and colour. Handmade valuable crochet quilts with beautiful designs decorate the beds.
In the small suite where we stayed there is no air conditioning but a fan. There is a wooden staircase leading to the attic with a Jacuzzi and cushions on the wooden floor and candles that create the most relaxing and romantic ambience. If you are tall you have to kneel or crawl. Depending on the people staying and the demand of the guests the owner unlocks different rooms that connect between them so the smaller suite we had could accommodate 4 persons (children mostly) in the upstairs attic. When Yria opened the room of the attic I could not believe my eyes! The mattress is right on the wooden floor, -a sloping ceiling the height of which comes to half metre at the other end. You have to kneel to move around! It is cosy, warm, nicely decorated that you have the feeling that you are either hiding or playing. A time when you wish you were a kid.

Downstairs just next to the staircase there is another door (the door itself is work of art) leading to another beautiful suite, which was also kept locked but I asked to see what it was behind. Well, another surprise! Different colours, different décor, and you cannot tell which room is the most beautiful. Each one is unique in its kind.

Tea and coffee facilities are provided, and a small fridge, flat TV and DVD recorder with a nice collection of CDs, movies and books. There was a fireplace in the living room unique for the cold winter months.

Tip: If you are the kind of person who needs space and air or wants to ‘walk ‘ in the suite this is not for you. It is a romantic hideaway especially the attic and the other suite behind the locked door we had. (Τhe above are comments regarding our suite and not the one next door which is unbelievably huge and comfortable and is ideal for a big family or a group of friends).

BATHROOM: It was small but functional. Toiletries were my favourite which I come across in 5* hotels. –The Etro collection! Robes and slippers proved handy.

BREAKFAST: You should know that breakfast is not included if the entire property is booked from the same family or friends. It is included however when the houses are booked separately by different parties. I suggest that you make this clear from the beginning to avoid misunderstandings. We arranged to have breakfast here and I cannot really find words to describe it. A nicely arranged table on the back yard, Yria would get up much earlier and set the table and prepare our breakfast on a set time. She arranged that we have it at 10.00 am and it was fine with us, so at ten sharp we showed up and Yria was expecting us with a huge smile.

Freshly cut vegetables from Yria’s garden, fresh orange juice, pies, dessert, jams and marmalades all homemade, local delicacies of excellent taste, omelette, seasonal fruit and Coffee. We shared our breakfast time with Yria each morning and it was like having her our own guest. She was so discreet, sweet and delicate but always a step ahead to ensure that everything is fine. Thank you Yria for what you are!

COURTYARD: The yard gorgeous, with a small vegetable garden on the side, a beautiful open BBQ -cook house with an amazing colorful décor and a comfortable seating plan. In front of the entrance of the big house the garden’s décor, the stylish facilities, the candles, and wreaths call for unforgettable and memorable holidays.

DINNING OPTIONS: I highly recommend the Grill Steakhouse MILAGROSA. The food we had was of excellent quality and taste. Both the summer terrace and the winter seating are nice. Try here the Chef’s mixed mouthwatering salad, the Vegetable burgers, Kebab or Grilled meat. The Day’s cooked local dishes are also delicious. Ask the owner to recommend the specialties. –Excellent value for money.

ALEKA'S Restaurant is the other option. Greek cuisine, nice tastes.
The LOST CAPRICORN is highly recommended for gourmet dining.

CONCLUSION: In all, our stay was Dreamy and the hospitality Outstanding.
Highly recommended for romantic getaways.
Avoid having children along if booking the small house to enjoy the tranquility with no disturbance of children’s crying!

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Luxury Travel, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Eco-Tourism
  • Written August 21, 2013
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The bedroom of our suite

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Iakovakis Suites and Spa: Unique choice for Romantic holidays!

Leaving behind the beautiful and unspoiled village of Agios Lavrentios we thought to spend one more night close to the coast before driving all the way up to the other side of Pelion again. It was our 11th day touring around the villages of Pelion, with one more week to go.

UNIQUNESS: The (hotel) and I have it in brackets because it is not actually the kind of hotel we all know. It is unique in its kind. It is not even a getaway with the way we use this word. It is the perfect place for couples who want to spend an extra special romantic stay, or for those who want to live the perfect romance. It is an adult stay only accommodation. Each room is a small suite and each of the 8 suites is different.

LOCATION: The hotel is in the southern part of Pelion close to the villages of Milies, Afisos and Kala Nera. The village of Koropi is not one of the popular ones but it does have a small sandy beach not very far from the suites and one or two taverns and some café bars. I would not encourage people to come here if they don’t have a car or if they are solo travelers.

THE SUITES: They are created to meet the expectations of demanding guests whose aim is to spend moments of tranquility, and romance. The mansion is set in a natural environment about 1.50 km from the beach and it is surrounded by olive groves. It is set amphitheatrically so most of the suites overlook the sea and have nice and spacious balconies with seats of bamboo chairs and stools.

INTERIOR: I would call it traditional architecture, the one we come across in most hotels and Guest houses in Pelion. The interior decorator has added elements that match well with stone and wood but also added modern facilities to create a combination of classic and at the same time trendy look. The 8 suites differ between them and have different colours and different facilities depending on the expectations, demands and budget of those interested.
Some suites include a fireplace, others are extremely modern with minimal lines with shower and a Jacuzzi for two in the room, and facilities that create the ultimate sensual atmosphere. Warm colours are used in the entire building with attention given to detail.

THE INDOOR POOL: The highlight of the whole property and the facility that makes this business unique is the fact that guests are able to book the Spa room with the sauna, the hamam (Turkish bath) and the indoor pool of the ground floor and have it exclusively for themselves on a free basis. I guess the best hour to use it can be during the night with candles on. So, guests have all the above for free on an exclusive use for 2 hours each day and this counts a lot as a special treat. The only thing for the guest is to decide when they wish to use it and book much ahead.
The Spa is nicely decorated with impressive materials in modern design that give a feeling that you are in your private luxurious estate. I guess this exclusive privacy is a moment that most guests look forward to.

Tip: There is not a therapist in the premises but if guests need extra treats or a massage this can easily be arranged by just a phone call. Only, let the reception know much ahead.

STAFF/SERVICE: Impeccable. I would call them professionals! Nothing is too much for Thanos and Yianni. They even recommended a nice tavern for us to dine that evening. Upon arrival we were offered a cool drink and the welcome was warm and friendly till the moment we left. Unfortunately we did not have the chance to meet the owners as they were out those days.

OUR SUITE: The suite we had was the ‘Paradosiako’. It was on the ground floor right next to the reception. The word paradosiako means traditional and it did not actually differ from any other traditional suites I stayed. I cannot say that it was something outstanding and it is considered the cheapest alternative compared to the rest of the suites. It was spacious and clean all right, had a nice balcony overlooking the gardens and the parking lot but we could also catch a glimpse of the sea in the distance. We had a treat of some wine, and there were flowers in a vase. A normal 4* suite. By the corridor there was a little kitchen hidden behind doors but it seemed locked. I don’t know if ever has been used and for what reason. A safe and a mini fridge were also provided.
The bed was comfortable and had a peculiar yet nice design. I guess the room looks more beautiful in winter with the quilt on and a carpet. Honestly I was kind of disappointed having the cheapest suite!
Tip: It truly pays for the little extra to book a better suite. If it hadn’t been for those 2 hours I mentioned above in the private spa room on the ground floor, the main building and gardens are just like any other hotel in the area.

BATHROOM: The bathroom was quite spacious with a walk in shower room and there was a Shower with artificial rain. There were facilities like robes, plastic slippers, a hairdryer and the Oliva toiletries but I expected at least a hydro massage shower which was missing.

BREAKFAST: Breakfast is served until 12:00 noon so it is no need to rush and this is good for those who wake up late. Unfortunately all tables were already reserved out in the terrace which means that we were the ones to get up late that day. We sat indoors but it was ok. It was nice and cool from the air conditioning. Well, it is the kind of breakfast I like, -white table cloth, fresh orange juice, a mixed omelet prepared right that moment, toasts, cakes, a huge mug of Greek coffee and finally a tasty homemade dessert out of the hands –Thano’s recipe, who seems to be an expert in his little kitchen….I need to get the recipe!

GARDENS: Beautifully surrounded by much greenery, blue-grass, a terrace bar and a stylish hammock, yet you hardly see anyone walking outside even if it is summer. We did have a walk out there for some photos late that night and only when somebody noticed the flash of my camera appeared in a distance to have a glimpse and disappeared again in seconds.

DINING OPTIONS: I did not come across the cellar and nobody mentioned anything about it as I saw it highlighted on the website of the property. I guess this has to do with special occasions and upon request. Of course other than a snack guests don’t eat here but the boys can recommend somewhere you can eat depending on what you really want. We wanted the real local tavern and Greek meze type of food. You cannot find a better one in the area, so I highly recommend ZORBAS. I was thrilled with the quality of everything, the service and the flavours. It is in the nearby village of Afissos.

EXPLORING/DINNING: I guess if you are here and you are in an upgraded suite there is no need to even bother get out of the premises. The amazing guys at the bar can send you up a nice snack. If you still want to go out I can highly recommend visiting Milina and Horto if you want to explore another village. There are amazing coves and lots of breathtaking natural beauty out there. In Milina I recommend lunch at STATHIS seafood tavern, and at Horto make a stop at the Olive Bay Café you will come across before reaching Milina. It is an amazing cove for swimming but snacks and drinks are highly rated.
If you drive to Kala Nera (5 minute drive) I highly recommend Paris Taverna for the authentic Greek cuisine and also check IBISKOS Café Restaurant. You can have beach beds and an umbrella which appear to be free as long as you buy a drink.

In all it was a nice stay, -it could have been more romantic if we had a better room I am sure. I recommend the business for all the above reasons.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Spa and Resort, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written August 19, 2013
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The suite "paradosiako" the one we had

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Hotel DRYADES: Exceeded by Far our Expectations -A Memorable Stay

We spent 3 amazing days at this property during our 16 day tour to Mount Pelion. The comments on the reviews I read before booking were all excellent and I thought to give it a try. We were not disappointed, -in fact we can’t wait to be back.

NAME: The word “Dryades” in Greek mythology refers to the nymphs or fairies of oak trees and indeed if you visit the village of Agios Lavrentios where the hotel is located, you will get the feeling that its beauty comes out of a fairy tale. Wait until you walk its cobblestone paths. You will instantly fall in love with the place.

ARRIVAL: When arriving at a family hotel the welcome is warm and hearty. Instantly you notice the difference and indeed we experienced this feeling upon arrival. We went up to the room and we were unpacking when the management sent us a jug of cold water and homemade spoon desert. It arrived exactly the moment we needed something cool to drink.

SERVICE: Impeccable, excellent hosting, amazing people!

PROPERTY: The property and the old traditional manor house dated back to 1860 has been fully refurbished the result of which is this newly-built property which is set in an amphitheatric location offering guests breathtaking views and moments of relaxation.

ARCHITECTURE: ‘Dryades’ have a mixture of the local traditional architecture that blends well with modern touches in a sophisticated way and provides comfort and the warmth of a country stay with modern and everyday facilities. The interior is pleasing and inviting with the typical architecture of the area. It is obvious that it is a labor of love and every single piece of furniture in the property comes from the owners who know the work of carpentry well. The owner showed me four or five other rooms when I requested to see what the rest of the rooms look like and I was impressed. Every single room is unique with different décor. Some have small private balconies with panoramic view and several have a fireplace as well. The owner was telling me that during winter the rooms look even more beautiful with quilts and carpets on.

OUR SUITE: It was spotlessly clean, well equipped, spacious and comfortable with a nice small balcony overlooking the terrace of the restaurant below, and there was much light coming in from the 3 other windows opposite the fireplace. The idea of spending a few days out here in winter is so tempting. The contrast of purple and white on parts of the wall, matched well with white colour of the bed and wardrobe and the rest of the facilities. The room’s walls looked freshly painted that gave the feeling that nobody else has stayed here before us. Later on when I had a look in other rooms, the picture was the same. The property is well looked after and it is something guests appreciate.
Facilities like a mini fridge, a hair drier, and a safe are provided. The suite we had was comfortable enough to accommodate a family of three.

BATHROOM: Spacious and stylish with an impressive hand-crafted washbasin and a shower cabin. These beautiful washbasins come in different colour and designs and decorate the bathrooms of the entire hotel. (I have never come across such beautiful washbasins before) The pressure of water in the shower was similar to a Spa massage. Strong flow and so relaxing! Toiletries are those of the Skin Essentials and the Elaias brand.

WI FI: Free Wi fi access.

BREAKFAST: I would call it heavenly. It is served out in the restaurant’s beautiful grounds at the terrace under the sounds the gurgling water, the twitting of birds and the rustle of leaves. There is no need to rush here. Breakfast is served until 11.00 am. Dimitri the owner is a charismatic, talented and a professional chef. Everything is fresh and delicious. Besides the fresh orange juice, the amazing yoghurt, honey and different marmalades, we had honey balls each morning, (loukoumades) amazing cheese pies, seasonal fruit, a mug of coffee each, and dessert (gliko koutaliou). It was too much and everything was fresh, and flavorsome because the cuisine uses only organic produce.

RESTAURANT: ‘Dryadon Gefsis” is the name of the restaurant and the word ‘gefsis’ means tastes. It is surely the home of tastes!
Dimitri’s homemade specialties will surprise you. Several of the dishes are cooked the moment you set the order. Dishes are Mediterranean and local traditional with an artistic flair of nouvelle cuisine. Tastes are divine because Dimitri uses exclusively indigenous products and ingredients. All dishes are nicely presented, they are flavoursome and mouthwatering. The cuisine uses exclusively Virgin Olive oil, fresh spice and herbs to bring out natural flavor. There might be one or two other restaurants in the village but honestly, NONE BEATS the culinary skills and tastes of Dimitri.

ATMOSPHERE: During the summer months the restaurant serves out in the beautiful terrace which is surrounded by plane and aspen trees and the food is served under the shade of a vine arbour. It is all green outside and the seating arrangement is in two different levels. The upper level overlooks the village’s square while the lower offers a fabulous scene as it overlooks the Pagasetic Gulf and the slopes of Pelion.

During winter the restaurant functions indoors in the nicely furnished dining room by the fireplace. Through the large double glazed windows that go round the living room and the dining room, guests can enjoy breathtaking views from the comfort of the warm interior and enjoy a beverage from the bar. Carpets beautify the ground floor creating the atmosphere of a warm country lodge.

MENU: Ask Dimitri to recommend some of his amazing dishes and choose. There are more than 20 appetizers to choose from. Tip: Ask for ‘pikilia’ and expect several dishes in small portions to have the opportunity to taste several.
Highly recommended are the cooked specialties of Dimitri. You can try the Goat meat Oven baked (gida gastras) it is an exceptional Greek dish. The other dish I recommend is the Anklebone of veal meat with caramel sauce. There are indeed so many in the list that I don’t know what to recommend because I can easily recommend all. “Kleftiko or Exohiko or the Meat Veal with chestnuts….all these are out of this world! You will be amazed and want to be back. Have in mind that a meal here is not expensive at all. You will be surprised when you ask to pay.
Of course there are the summertime specialties like (Pastitsio, Mousaka, Gemista –staffed vegetables with rice and minced meat) fresh beans and more.

BEVERAGE: The list of wines and beer is long but the local home’s wine is just as good and I highly recommend it. It is the cheapest alternative and it surely worth a try.

DESSERT: The high quality ingredients guarantee the best flavor. The restaurant’s homemade delicacies are unbeatable. You can end your meal with Dimitri’s ‘loukoumades’ –honey balls sprinkled with cinnamon. Even yoghurt here tastes differently. Have it with honey and walnuts, or ask for ‘ravani’ a Greek dessert. At restaurants it is usually served with a ball of ice cream. Of course I could go on and on because I got excited with the quality and taste of every single dish we had here, but one thing is for sure. Guests will not leave disappointed. Everything is cooked to perfection, reasonable cost, and hospitality beyond compare.

THE VILLAGE: The village of Agios Lavrentios is still a hidden gem. It is not touristy like other villages of Pelion probably because when you come up here you have to take the same way back as the road stops at the square. But the best part and the mystery that comes out of this village is when you take a stroll through the cobblestone pathways that extend to all directions. I walked as far as the orchards of the village which are way up and they are full of chestnut and cherry trees, apples and dense forest. As you walk through the paths you get the feeling that you are hundred years back. Horse riding is also possible in the village and there are a few interesting places to visit like the Monastery of St. Lavrentios and the beautiful churches and chapels found here.

TIPS: Highly recommended for people who are Nature Lovers, who Love History, Photography and love Tasting good food….I mean Real Good!
The hotel is not handicapped friendly as there is no lift.

In all, we spent 3 memorable days at this hotel and I can highly recommend it for the very good value of money, the exceptional stay and warm hospitality of the owners.
“Dryadon Gefsis” Cuisine will surprise you.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Food and Dining, Eco-Tourism
  • Written August 18, 2013
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The interior of the suite

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IKOSIMO Apartments -Milina: Good Value for Money -An enjoyable Stay!

The owners of this hotel are the two brothers Pari and Christo who owe the “Paris” famous Taverna in the village of Kala Nera which I urge you to visit if you happen to be out there. We dined at the tavern and we were impressed from the impeccable service, their professionalism and excellent cuisine. When Pari told us about the family’s hotel and the beautiful sunsets of Milina we decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately the dates were not matching with the vacancy of the hotel and I had to make one or two changes in the original plan. So, we booked out here for this one night only, driving southern and we never regretted it. In fact on my coming trip to Pelion I will consider the village of Milina and this specific hotel as my first priority before visiting any other village.

LOCATION: The Ikosimo traditional apartments are on an off-road only 2 minutes on foot to the beach and about 48 kms south-eastern of Volos. As you come down the road you will come across STATHIS Taverna which is right on the corner. IKOSIMO apartments are 20 metres in that road.

PROPERTY: The hotel is new and impressive both outdoors and indoors. I did not expect it to be that good but it is brilliant. Maria who is Pari’s wife was telling us that the brothers and the whole family worked endless hours out here to finish it. If you happen to come and not find the owner at the reception there is a phone number left on her desk and if you give her a ring she will come in seconds. The owners’ house is just next door and the two brothers share the same garden in two separate properties down at the side of these apartments.

OUR ROOM: The room we had was on the top floor and the view from there was amazing. It was a spacious corner apartment overlooking the beach from the side road and the whole of the village. I was impressed with the big comfortable porch which was well equipped and the fact that every balcony had its own awnings which are handy and can be drawn down to block the heat from coming in the apartments at noon. A nice gesture to guests! Several pieces of the interior (light fittings and pendants) both in the rooms and out in the lounge and corridors are works of art created by Pari himself.

The room was nicely appointed and spotlessly clean. The interior was cozy and perfect for comfortable and relaxing holidays. Pity that it was fully booked and we could not extend our stay for one or two more days!

FACILITIES: The room was fully equipped with kitchenette, coffee/tea facilities, an ice box, a wardrobe, a flat TV set, and a safe. Linens and towels were bright clean bearing the name of the hotel in red colour. Attention is paid to detail and everything is of high standards. It is obvious that the owners have given a careful thought and this is the reason why repeaters keep coming back.
BATHROOM: It is not that big but it is ok. The small bath tab is functional and fits out there perfectly. You can sit and take a shower, way better than the step- in showers we come across in some hotels with the plastic curtains and water running down the floor. The small window out here overlooks the sea. Shampoo and Bath Gel are provided.

BREAKFAST: The hotel does not provide breakfast but since it is an apartment you can either make your own or get to the nearest bakery or coffee shop (kafenio) and have one. You will find several in the village.

WI FI: It is provided and it is free but the power is not that fast.

TIP: Have in mind that there is no lift and the apartments are not handicapped friendly.

BEACHFRONT: The beach is just a 2 minute walk, umbrellas and beds are free and they are opposite STATHIS Taverna which I highly recommend. The beach is partly sand and pebbled. Expect to see the most breathtaking sunsets from out there.

MILINA: The Village is typically a Greek village popular for its breathtaking sunsets and the beautiful natural coves hidden in greenery. You will find plenty of restaurants, tavernas and café bars right on the beachfront road and by the beautiful Square of the village which is impressive especially with the lights on and it is quite crowded during the summer months.

EATING OUT: I highly recommend “O STATHIS” tavern. We went there for dinner. The owners Sophia and Stathi are amazing hosts and professionals in every way. They are running the business since 1983. We tried several of Sophia’s local cooked dishes and Seafood. The seafood we had was the catch of the day. It was so fresh that smelled sea. The tavern is right on the waterfront. Be sure to bring along your camera to catch the sun disappearing in the blue crystal waters.
Ask for ‘meze or pikilia’ so that you will have the opportunity to taste several of Sophia’s dishes because the variety is big. It is not an expensive restaurant and good value for money. There was a dinner party gathering of repeaters in the village and STATHIS Tavern was their meeting spot. Most of the guests were coming from Europe and they exceeded the 30. The cuisine met their requests and everybody was satisfied judging from the hugs and smiles when the time came for them to leave.

In all, it was an amazing short stay that exceeded our expectations. I have already talked to friends about it and I am planning to return. Keep the good work up guys. You deserve to be the best and you surely are.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Sailing and Boating, Eco-Tourism, Budget Travel
  • Written August 11, 2013
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Porch overlooking the village of Milina, Pelion

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Guest house AMANITA: Unique in Every Way -Great Experience!

If you want to experience a different stay from the usual in a beautiful location in Greece, that should be definitely Amanita.

The name of the property “Amanita” is an ancient Greek word and it refers to the mushroom genus amanita. Because I love mushrooms myself so much I instantly understood that the owners are probably involved in mushroom picking and I called to check for availability. It was actually the very first Guesthouse I called to arrange for my 16 day tour to Mount Pelion.

LOCATION: A privileged location right next to the middle of nature on a secluded hillside. This is the magic of it! I believe any season would be ideal out here –from skiing to swimming within minutes. It is the unique combination for nature lovers as the place is rich in flora and fauna. The surround area is a “magic paradise”. The area has plenty of hiking trails, the ski centre is only a 40 minute drive and yet so close to some of the best beaches. Amanita in other words has the whole package to provide excellent accommodation the year round.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND: The owner was out picking wild raspberries the moment we arrived but we were made welcome by Katerina who called him to let him know of our arrival. We were unpacking when our great host showed up to greet us in his work uniform, -such a natural welcoming that I loved. I got so excited seeing him with the bucket of raspberries that I offered to follow him the next day to experience this myself. Of course this never happened because I was there trying to combine work and holidays so I had to be out most of the time.
Now if I had to describe Filaretos I would highlight the fact that he is genuinely kind, discrete and an extremely courteous person that you instantly feel that it cannot be otherwise. A noble mind who has found his paradise and in reality he wants to share it with his guests. The hospitality is from the heart because you can feel it. Personally I felt that we have been friends for years. He is so calm and positive, athletic, with deep knowledge in botany. Wait until you see his rich collection of homemade delicacies which are on display. I am sure you have never heard of mustard mushroom flavoured or a jelly tomato marmalade.

PROPERTY: The property is a labour of love and the owner with much pride describes how from the original ruins of the old mansion he and his wife restored the Amanita. (Not lucky to meet his wife this time but Niko his son was there –a loveable young man who is just as kind as the Father is). The real story behind the property is on their website by the way!

The newly restored ‘Amanita’ exude a calm and welcoming atmosphere and the entire building and interiors are harmonized with the surround environment. The traditional flair here is combined with good taste and charm creating a cozy atmosphere both in the common areas and the interiors. Outside the beautiful garden terrace with comfortable seating is the ideal spot to mix up with the rest of the guests for a nice chat. If you are lucky you can even spot 3 of the Sporades islands in the distance.

The Guesthouse consists of 2 separate buildings. The main house is a three-storey mansion with two sitting areas and a breakfast room. On cold and rainy nights all the chat is done out here by the fireplace where guests can socialize with each other if they wish. Surely nobody comes up here by chance. They are nature lovers themselves so there are things in common to share. The other alternative is to choose a book to read or a DVD from the big collection of the owner, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings by listening to music.

The other two-storey building is where we stayed and on the top floor is the residence of the family.

ROOMS & SUITES: I had the opportunity to see two or three other rooms other than our own. All are elegant and tastefully appointed in country-styling that beg for long afternoon siestas. They are designed to stay cool in summer and warm in winter due to the thick stone-walls of the local architecture. Earthly colours, nice furnishings and cozy ambience.

VASILOMANITARO: This was the amazing apartment we had; self-contained with its own courtyard which was private in a way. All windows have nets to keep possible insects from coming in and we found them all wide open and kept them that way. When looking out of the windows it is as if you look at several paintings hanging from the walls. It was comfortable, spacious with doors between rooms. Furnished in good taste, Vasilomanitaro (the king of mushrooms) was dreamy with attention to the least detail. It gives the impression that you are home and not in a Guesthouse. The warm country interior with the fireplace to warm the long cold winter days reminds a little of the Victorian country mansions. The apartment is furnished with both authentic old Greek and modern facilities for more comfort. I am sure that anyone coming here will want to return.

Wi Fi is available but very weak.

BATHROOM: Roomy and functional with amazing toiletries, (the Apvita brand) shampoo and body lotion. A hairdryer, slippers, and robes are provided.

SUNRISE: There is nothing more enchanting and inviting than watching the beautiful sunrise from the Amanita. A new promising day each morning, stunning colours in contrast to the blue of the Aegean. I was out in the side street and further up the hill for a stroll enjoying my last exceptional morning out there for photos and moments to cherish till I return again.

BREAKFAST: Breakfast was a culinary treat each morning but it is actually brunch because it is available until 12.00 noon. Unbelievable but true. So, take your time, come here and be prepared to watch a ritual because Filaretos will bring you his own homemade cookies, biscuits, shortcakes, jams and pies in his own unique way –everything baked with his own hands! He even sets something like a competition asking for possible hidden ingredients and guests start guessing and asking. The way everything is brought is like a game.
Each day there is a different surprise, a different menu since the owner does not want his guests get bored. The first afternoon we were chatting and I was surprised when he tells me that he has to go up to prepare for the next morning’s delicacies. It was not long before the air was pungent with the smell of spices, cookies and bread which is by the way hand-kneaded. We loved the herb- omelettes and pies which were delicious and nutrient. His bread was tempting and everything else. Breakfasts here are made with love and respect and they have a style. His jams are out of this world and you can also buy some before leaving. If you appreciate organic food and nature you will have a fabulous experience at the Amanita.

ACTIVITIES: There is much to do and see and the owner will give you the best guidance. Depending on the season there are different activities to keep everyone happy and busy. Rely on him and you won’t be disappointed. Collecting berries and mushrooms are the highlight here. The village offers pristine beaches, hiking trails and hideaway waterfalls. There is no way to get bored!

EATING OUT: I recommend the Taverna “Agnanti” for a more formal outing. The cuisine is great. (Mondays is closed). Taverna Barbeque Milagrosa is the other alternative and much cheaper. Food is really nice with a nice setting.

Through this review I wish to thank the owner for the warm hospitality, and the amazing stay we had. I long to be back but this time I will be there for mushrooms!

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Hiking and Walking, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written August 11, 2013
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Interior of "Vasilomanitaro" the apartment we had.

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Portaria Hotel and SPA: High Standards - A Steady Value!

We spent 2 dreamy nights at this amazing Spa Hotel of Portaria.
We were made welcome with a huge smile and I mention this because it is important for the guest to feel welcome right from the beginning. The hotel was full the time we were there but everything was functioning well.

STAFF AND MANAGEMENT: The staff is truly world class. The service is Impeccable. As you walk pass them you are greeted with a smile that it is so warm that makes your day! I don’t want to start naming people because the list is big but both the reception and the gentlemen of the restaurant were exceptional. The percipient observer notices instantly the value of these people and how they perceive to make guests feel at home. The best is that you don’t have to be a repeater to receive this exceptional personalized service. You can enjoy it even if you are here for the first time, and this surely counts.

LOCATION: We were coming from Agios Ioannis (Mouresi) and for us it was about a 50 minute drive with the several stops on the way for photos. Volos however is so close that visitors who book here and love the night life of a big city can easily get there in less than 15 minutes. It is only a 12 kms ride, but in 12 more from here you can get to the Ski Centre as well.
The Hotel is built in the higher part of Portaria in an exquisite and relaxed location. It overlooks the imposing city of Volos, giving breathtaking views of the Pagasitikos Gulf. It is more or less a km to the Square if you spare the time, but by car it is a matter of 3 minutes ride. Luckily the municipality made sure that there would be a spacious free parking lot opposite the main Square so parking is not actually a problem. The village of Portaria can easily become your starting point to visit the whole of Pelion.

ARCHITECTURE: The resort respects the traditional architecture of Pelion, but in all it is a mixture of the local architecture blended with modern touches in a sophisticated way to provide tranquility and comfort to the guest.

OUR ROOM: The superior suite #220 we had was spotlessly clean, classy, spacious and well equipped. I was happy that there was plenty of space to walk. The combination of Warm colours, Wooden floors and the contrast of Red, created a relaxed ambience. Space is so important but most of the times is missing from many hotels. The bed was in the master room and it was comfortable enough and there was also the lounge with a fireplace nicely decorated making the guest feel at home. All the above preserve a state of constant serenity if you plan to remain indoors.
Now about the view! The word “stunning” is very little to describe it. Nothing could stop me from getting up early to catch the crack of dawn as it breaks into a new day. It was like standing in front of a nice landscape painting - a palette of true to life natural colours. The real beauty of Mount Pelion. Trust me it worth paying the few extra to get a superior room.
Facilities like toiletries, robes, a hair dryer, slippers, a safe, pool towels, a mini bar, a flat TV and a second set in the living room are provided. Wi Fi connection is also free.

BATHROOM: It was roomy and functional with a Jacuzzi and a shower. The hand wash basin was red making a nice contrast.

BREAKFAST: The first meal of the day out here was an adequate buffet which was enough to fill you up till late in the afternoon if you tried to taste the different things offered.

RESTAURANT: Breathtaking sunsets! Dining was out at the big porch overlooking the city of Volos and it was the perfect spot to catch the sun going down. The menu varies and it is different every day including gourmet dishes. Quality is satisfying, dishes mostly Mediterranean/Greek and the portions are huge. Impeccable service with the Chef doing an excellent job, and several of the guys in the kitchen are an asset to the business especially the ones who are here for years and teach the youngers. You truly make the difference guys!

TIP: The restaurant’s home wine is good. Try it instead of asking for bottled wine which is more expensive. The ‘Barrel’ beer is the other option I recommend.

GARDENS & POOL: A marvel. You can lazy on the loungers with a drink from the pool’s bar, read a book or just sit out there and relax. The spot is simply unbeatable.

SPA: We were mostly out but I had the time to visit the SPA once. After a whole day out taking photos and walking through the nearby picturesque villages, it is wonderful to slip into the bathrobe at last and walk over to the Spa pool. It was nice and cool. I spent some time in the Jacuzzi and also used the Rassul. I cannot comment on the treatments or the therapist since I did not have the opportunity this time. Perhaps on a coming trip I will.

CONFERENCES: Versatile function rooms to host a conference with the state of the art audio-visual equipment are provided for the businessman.

1990 RESTAURANT: Recently renovated the New Restaurant of the Hotel stands right opposite the main entrance and it opens its doors for special occasions, wedding venues, private gatherings or parties. The hotel’s chapel provides the unique location for a ceremony.

THE BEAUTY OF PELION: The region offers the tourist indescribable, unique feeling of serenity and tendency to romance. Besides its divine atmosphere, the magic thing about this place is that the villages are only a few km away from the city of Volos. The area is full of dense forests, olive groves, with endless acres of fruit orchards, medical herbs and all these with just a few km from beautiful unspoiled beaches.
The traditional villages of Pelion are picturesque and so unique. They are perched along dense green mountainsides, boarding the seaside with gold sandy beaches or winding cobbled paths that lead the visitor to magical journeys.

Out of my 16 day tour and after visiting many of these villages, I loved Agios Lavrentios. It is not that touristy and still unspoiled and I consider it a hidden gem. I stayed at the Hotel DRYADES by the way which I highly recommend. Another place that excited me was Milina in the south. I stayed at ICOSIMO, a nice family hotel only 20 metres from the beautiful beach.

Of course I don’t exclude Portaria, Makrinitsa, Zagora,Tsagarada, Mouresi and all the other popular and very touristy resorts. I am only pointing out two destinations that should be added in the “must see” list. The front desk of the hotel will guide and help you in every way with information for all the above destinations if you just ask them.

EATING OUT: In case you wish to eat out in Portaria undoubtedly you should get to ‘KRITSA” at the central square of the village. If you happen to get to Tsagarada get to “MILAGROSA” near Agios Taxiarchis Church. (Check for the pink building and let the owner recommend. You will certainly not regret it.

If you get as far as Agios Lavrentios, the Hotel Dryades has an amazing cuisine. The owner Dimitri is a Chef himself, he is an incredible guy and he works miracles in his kitchen. All three offer unbeatable, delicious local dishes for good value of money. Avoid going to the standard restaurants that hotels suggest. They are not always recommending the real best.

CONCLUSION: In all I highly recommend this hotel for all the above reasons and I will definitely return. Keep the good work up guys and thanks for making our stay interesting.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Hiking and Walking, Eco-Tourism, Spa and Resort
  • Written August 9, 2013
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Gardens and Pool

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MAGIC BALCONY Studios & Suite Apts.: The Surroundings are a Paradise!

I noticed from the beginning that there are ‘magic balconies’ in 2 different beaches, 2 accommodations by the same owner. The one is found at Papa Nero opposite the camping somewhere and the other is at north end of the beach of Plaka 10 minutes by car from the beach of Agios Ioannis.

LOCATION. The location was exactly how I expected it to be with a terrace built right on top of the rocks with steps going further down to the water. This is the kind of beach I love to swim in and I rate it as top.
It took us sometime to find the place because the location is not central but we did and from then on moving around is only a matter of minutes to the beach of Agios Ioannis. (I doubt if you want to leave this idyllic spot and get to the other beach in the village after you come here)! I would not trade it for anything.

SERVICE AND STAFF: Impeccable service, Amazing guys, Helpful in every way.

OUR ROOM: The real good apartments of the property are fine, -unfortunately ours was not an apartment. It was just one room and it did not even have a proper window or a balcony but being nature lovers we did not spend time indoors at all. We used the room just for a sleep.

BATHROOM: The bathroom was very small and dark with no opening at all.

BREAKFAST: Average. I enjoyed the black strong coffee and the couple of cheese pies that we had.

TIME AT THE PREMISES: The location is magic indeed, lush and green, the waters cool, deep crystal turquoise and extremely inviting to those who prefer this kind of coasts which differ a lot to the sandy crowded beaches of the south or the one at Papa Nero and Agios Ioannis.
It is a paradise like spot where the guest can fill up his batteries and relax over the sounds of nature.

LUNCH: Niko prepared a nice tasty omelette and a salad for us and it was so delicious that we decided to have dinner here as well. With one or the other way he works miracles in his miniature little kitchen. Whatever we had was coming from his hands and it was delicious.

DINNER: A dreamy night, a full moon and good company. What more to expect! We got acquainted with the other guests and relied completely on Niko’s cuisine which is unbelievable. I still have no idea how he manages to present such delicious delicacies in minutes. Many of his cooking secrets come from his Mom and Grandma.

We had a barbecue out in the beautiful terrace and then all residents together with Yianni and Niko enjoyed the evening out. Everything was a delight, there was much chatting and laughing until very late.

Come here for a romantic getaway, snorkeling, peace and quiet to fill your batteries up. The guys running the business are great hosts. Thank you Yianni and Nico for the nice moments we had out there.

This place is not handicapped friendly!

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Hiking and Walking, Eco-Tourism, Diving and Snorkeling
  • Written August 6, 2013
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The beautiful view from the apartments

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Minelska Resort -Kala Nera: Luxurious Suites for Demanding Guests

We spent only one night at Minelska but it was enough to make us love it. The name of the Resort refers to the Icelandic “darling” or “my love”, and it is ideal for the independent traveler who wants to combine a holiday in nature with the luxury of space in perfect harmony with the environment.

LOCATION: Centrally located, in the beautiful seaside village of Kala Nera, only 18 km from Volos.

PROPERTY: The Resort consists of 2 fully renovated traditional mansions (a total of six exclusive elegant suites that are designed in the best way offering both privacy and comfort to its guests.
The original building dates back to the 18th century. The current owner kept its unique Pelioritic traditional architecture and added charm and luxury to all suites which are decorated with passion, taste and sophistication to meet the needs of the very demanding guest. The interior décor is made by the owner’s wife who paid attention to the least detail. (I asked to see two other suites and I was impressed).

ARRIVAL & SERVICE: The welcoming was warm even though that day the manageress in charge had left the premises without a notice and the owners were really anxious in case something went wrong with the new arrivals as it was a Friday and new guests were expected. Of course we found out the next day at breakfast but I can say the boys at the bar with the help of Thanasi –the owners’ son did not let us down. They were warm and welcoming like professionals. We were shown to our suite, we had help with the luggage and Thanasi helped me a lot with the Wi Fi connection in the room, which is free by the way! The only thing we missed was probably the complimentary treat which is usually a bowl of fruit and some wine, but this was not important for us.

THE VALLARI SUITE: This was the suite we had on the ground floor overlooking the garden. The country chic interior captures a marriage of local stone and wood with a palette of earthy colours. Its stone walls, the wooden ceiling and floor, the corner fireplace in the living room, create the most romantic and cozy atmosphere. It has more or less the ambience of a French country-style manor house. The suites are ideal for a romantic getaway and I would not recommend that you bring children along.

BEDROOM: The bedroom was not that big I can say, but the king size bed with the Coco Mat linen fabrics make the difference and preserved a state of constant serenity. Facilities like robes and slippers, a hair dryer, a safe, a Satellite TV and a mini bar were provided, but our complimentary treat was only a bottle of water. It was nice and cool though and it was just what we actually wanted the moment we got inside the suite.

The door of our bedroom overlooked the back garden but the facilities out there seemed to be private because they were right outside our own suite but I guess other guests can use the Jacuzzi as well upon request. The garden’s Jacuzzi was indeed a nice surprise but I did not have the time to enjoy it even for once. One night was too little!

BATHROOM: Ιt was roomy and functional with a hydro-massage shower and the toiletries were the well-known Apvita brand with natural ingredients, -a brand of high standards. A plastic cap was missing though and it was missing from almost all other hotels we visited. I recommend that you take along your own.

BREAKFAST: It is taken right across the street by the Resort’s popular Minelska Café Bar at the waterfront terrace. What a treat to have breakfast out here each morning!
It is a buffet but so different from the usual ones.
Everything here is homemade, ingredients are fresh and of high quality. The variety is so big that it is not possible to try everything in one morning. There were different kinds of jams and marmalades, desserts of different kinds, fresh orange juice, seasonal fruit and a fruit salad, yoghurt and honey, -anything you can think of, and things you cannot imagine! In one word I can call it is a “feast of taste and variety”.

THE VILLAGE: Kala Nera is one of the many coastal villages of the south-western Pelion with both sandy and pebble beaches on the Pagasitikos Gulf and only 20 km from Volos. Because the village is by the coast it does not mean that it is ideal only for summer holidays. On the contrary it can be just as interesting in winter as well. It has a unique location and it is close to Chania, the ski resort of Pelion. I find the village an ideal base for mountain excursions and have in mind that the village provides hospitality and services the year round especially in winter when availability of accommodation is limited on Mount Pelion.

The beachfront road is usually busy and crowded both in the day and night because there are all kinds of restaurants and café bars lined up one next to the other. All kinds of festivals take place frequently especially during the summer months. Popular singers and bands come to the area, and I was really impressed by the many cultural events posted on sign posts throughout the village. There was one such festival right next to Minelska that night but our room was soundproof from the double glazed windows so that was not a problem at all.

ACTIVITIES: Horse riding and trekking are two popular activities here like in the entire region of Pelion. Ask directions from the reception (in the Minelska Café) and visit the nearby village of Milies for a ride with the Pelion Historic Train. The trip might be a bit expensive but it is interesting! There are so many things you can see and do here even off the beaten track.

PELION CUSINE: The whole region prides for its cuisine, its meze and tsipouro. Don’t order something specific unless you want to have it so much. Otherwise leave it to the owner of each restaurant. Each one knows well what to serve so rely on them. The more tsipouro you have the better the meze you will get!
Another alternative is to ask for the Pilioritikous mezedes right from the beginning and ask to have them in smaller portions. They are not expensive unless you pick to eat at a gourmet restaurant.

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS: I highly recommend PARIS Taverna for good authentic local food. Both seafood, meze, and kebab. The service is amazing, good value for money, and it is so popular that people remain standing waiting to find a seat. It is right on the beach and we went there for dinner. The people running it are professionals. Check for my extended review under the name of the restaurant.

Another restaurant that I highly recommend is IBISKOS. We went there for lunch and what we had was great. It is a few metres further down from Paris and next to Enalion Hotel. (Check for my extended review under the name of the restaurant).

IN ALL: I highly recommend both the Resort where we stayed and also the seaside village of Kala Nera. I consider both a good choice for year round holidays.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Eco-Tourism, Beaches, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written August 6, 2013
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The garden's facilities of the suite

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  • gkaralakis profile photo gkaralakis
  • Reviews: 18

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

guesthouse Ellis: very 'warm' rooms in a 'winter' place!

the house of Eli Tsagarada is a small mansion with beautiful decoration and beautiful rooms. small, cozy and practical helps you relax and enjoy your holiday.

rooms have TV, central heating, Internet access, Jacuzzi, safe. the living room fireplace. is at the center of the village and overlooks the Aegean Sea

outside has a big garden for summer activities!

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Skiing and Boarding, Hiking and Walking
  • Written January 14, 2013
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  • steve250 profile photo steve250
  • Reviews: 1

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Paradisos Hotel: A great family hotel

A great stay - We stayed in Paradisos Hotel it Tsagarada for four days during the first week of August 2010. The service from arrival thru departure was warm, professional and welcoming. We stayed in a room that was quiet and certainly large enough for two adults. Staff were able to suggest and arrange daytime activities like horse riding, mountain walking, etc. The restaurants that were reccomended by the hotel were unique and fit just what my wifr and I were looking for. Almost everything was within walking distance, cafes, restaurants in the immediate area. Can not say enough good things about this hotel or our stay there. Certainly would return only wish we could have stayed longer. Finally I need to say that hotel was found through this web site http://www.gopelion.gr which I recommend to you 100%

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Written November 9, 2010

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  • alexthegreat13 profile photo alexthegreat13
  • Reviews: 1

1 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Petradi hotel: very bad hotel

a very BAD experience in this hotel due to the rudeness of the woman who owns this place.
this place is very isolated,nothing there to do. the owner tried to steal as much money from us as possible as we were the only clients,tried to charge us for an extra day we didnt stay and we didnt accept it,she decided as punishment,even we have paid for the following,not to give us breakfast and not let us use the fireplace! the internet also not working and this also in the price we paid! generaly avoid this place!

Pilion is very nice place but other places like portaria and milies more central and better to stay.

  • Opinion of Price: most expensive
  • Written December 30, 2009

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