What Best to Do in Agios Ioannis in Pelion Mount

Agios Ioannis in Pelion is a popular seaside village on the eastern side of the lush green Pelion mountain. It is a moderately tourist-organized village that retains a certain charm and authenticity. I first discovered Agios Ioannis more than 15 years ago when I went camping at the nearby Papa Nero camping.

Agios Ioannis

Agios Ioannis stole my heart instantly. It is the type of village I love most: built around a small bay with traditional stone houses and tiled roofs, surrounded by a lush, green natural environment.

Agios Ioannis in Pelion houses and taverns
Agios Ioannis Village – Photo by @nistagramer

In this article, you will find information about

  • My favorite things to do in Agios Ioannis in Pelion
  • Where Best to Stay
  • How to get to Agios Ioannis
  • Quick tips about visiting Pelion and the villages
  • Basic information on Pelion Mt

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Things to Do in Agios Ioannis in Pelion

The last time I visited Agios Ioannis was in October 2022, but it is a perfect year-round destination. To enjoy this beautiful village I suggest spending at least 3 days visiting its many beaches and attractions.

1. Swim in Agios Ioannis 3 Stunning Beaches

Agios Ioannis Beach . Credit: arxinos

Agios Ioannis, an organized and awarded with a blue flag beach, is one of the most popular beaches in the area, with golden sand, white pebbles, and crystal clear waters. I always stroll to the end of the beach where you will find its small port and a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunrise.

Sailing Tour the caves near Agios Ioannis
Tour the caves. Photo by Pelion Activities

A great tour you can book in Agios Ioannis is to travel by boat to the underwater caves of the area. If you pass by the Agios Ioannis port you get to the village’s second and my favorite beach, Plaka.

Plaka Beach. Credit: giorgos.kzs

At Plaka Beach, you can enjoy the sea with a lush forest backdrop, and if you get thirsty, there is a small stream with fresh, drinkable water nearby. You don’t need to bring an umbrella as the forest behind you provides plenty of shade. Plaka is one of the best beaches in Greece, known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Papa Nero beach near Agios Ioannis in Pelion
Papa Nero beach – Photo e-thesalia

You can reach the beautiful Papa Nero beach on foot from both Agios Ioannis and Plaka Beach. It features a unique combination of tiny pebbles that feel almost like sand. The waters are always crystal-clear with a lush green landscape, which is characteristic of most of Pelion. The beach is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds (but only a small part of the beach), and there are taverns along the coast that serve delicious local food.

Papa Nero Bridge in Pelion
Papa Nero Bridge

On your way to Papa Nero from Agios Ioannis in Pelion, which is just a 15-minute walk at most, you’ll come across an iron bridge with a small river beneath it. The locals call it “Rovoam Bridge” Further along, closer to Papa Nero beach, you’ll find the spacious and well-organized Papa Nero camping site.

2. Stroll the Agios Ioannis Main Street

Parallel to the beach you will find the main road of Agios Ioannis. Its right side has been turned into a picturesque seafront promenade, that everyone strolls during sunset. On the other side of the road, you will find a few apartments, supermarkets, bakeries, cafes, and taverns. “Galeos” and “Poseidon” are top choices for fresh fish and tasty seafood meze, while “Paralos the bar experience” is perfect for enjoying expertly crafted cocktails and a lively party scene with regular DJ sets.

I often take a beer walk to the end of the beach where the tiny port with fishing boats is, find a cozy spot, and admire the beauty of the billions-star sky in Pelion.

3. Visit the Churches and Monasteries of Agios Ioannis

Chapel St. John the Theologian, Agios Ioannis Pelion
Chapel St. John the Theologian, Agios Ioannis Pelion – Photo by K. Ntougkas

Right next to the camping in Papa Nero and under the trees, you will find the small church of Agios Ioannis the Baptist. If you would like to discover the uphill area around Agios Ioannis village, there are a few quite old chapels and churches that you can explore and visit if they are open.

Some of the most significant churches are:

  • The Chapel of St. John the Theologian is on the south part of the village right after the ravine. The chapel is the center of the celebrations in honor of the saint on June 24th and part of the celebrations is the traditional custom of Klidonas that comes alive during the village festival.
  • Church of Agios Georgios
  • Church of Profitis Ilias

4. Explore the Nearby Pelion Villages

Tsagarada Pelion 1000 years old plane tree
Tsagarada gigantic plane tree in Pelion

From Agios Ioannis village you can visit the nearby villages and discover their historical sites and natural beauties. The Folklore Museum in Agios Dimitrios has an amazing collection of folk items if you love tradition.

Tsagarada Pelion Agioi taxiarches
Tsagarada Agnanti Tavern

Tsagarada, which is 8.5 km away from Agios Ioannis, has many things to do and see. Go to the 1000-year-old plane, the gorgeous Mylopotamos beach, or have a memorable meal at Agnanti Tavern. Go to Mouresi and hike to the waterfalls, stroll gorgeous historical Zagora with beautiful Chorefto beach.

5. Hike Agios Ioannis

If you love hiking, you should try the circular trails starting in Agios Ioannis.

Hiking towards Papa Nero beach. Credit: Allan Risk

One of my favorite trails is Agios Ioannis – Papa Nero Beach – Damouchari – Fakistra Beach. This is a 10.5-kilometer round-trip trail, a moderately challenging path, that typically takes around 3 hours to complete. This trail is well-frequented by hikers and walkers, but you can also relish moments of solitude during quieter times of the day.

Find details of the trails on Pelion Mt in the fantastic blog of a hiker located in Volos here.

6. Explore Pelion Mountain

Tsagarada Pelion Evgenia at Old Birdge
Tsagarada Pelion

Pelion, a densely forested peninsula, boasts 28 charming traditional villages adorned with old stone mansions, trees heavy with pears, apples, chestnuts, plane trees, babbling streams, and centuries-old bridges. This impressive mountain is also encircled by endless stretches of golden sandy beaches, with the Pagasetic Gulf to its west and the Aegean Sea to its east.

Tsagarada Pelion Agios Stefanos

Pelion Pelion Mountain is famous not just for its stunning natural beauty, but also for its rich traditions, fascinating legends, enchanting myths, and historic battles. This mountain has been home to legendary creatures like the Centaur (half man, half horse), brave warriors, and mythical heroes.

It is a year-round destination in Greece, offering incredible summer getaways on its western, eastern, and southern slopes (such as Agios Ioannis). During the winter months, you can experience exhilarating skiing at its exceptional ski resort in Agriolefkes ski resort.

Pelion hiking in the Fall. Credit: Depi Korou

Throughout the year, Pelion offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, horse riding, kayaking, and rock climbing. If you love history, you’ll find an abundance of monasteries, centuries-old churches, libraries, folklore, and religious museums. Agios Ioannis, a beautiful village, is no exception and provides a rich experience for its visitors.

Where Best to Stay in Agios Ioannis

Boutique Hotel Kentrikon & Bungalows

There are both hotels and apartments to choose from for your stay in Agios Ioannis. A few of them are seafront while others are located on the slopes of the hills surrounding the beach:

MARIA Studios & Apartments (family-friendly, budget) is located centrally in Agios Ioannis along the beachfront offering an excellent ratio quality/price.

Kenta Beach Hotel (family-friendly, mid-range) is a beautiful, seafront property overlooking the main beach of Agios Ioannis.

FAQ for Agios Ioannis Pelion

Tsagarada Pelion road in a forest
A usual road in Pelion Mt

How to get to Agios Ioannis

Pelion Mt is roughly in the middle of mainland Greece, so you can reach it from everywhere by car. It doesn’t work as a day trip, and 2 days is too little if you are traveling from Athens.

Reaching Volos, the major town before you start your trip to Pelion, either from Athens or Thessaloniki is easy. The town is connected through modern highways (326 km to the north of Athens, taking about 3-4 hours to drive, and 206 km to the south of Thessaloniki, with a travel time of 2-2.5 hours).

Volos Port

Agios Ioannis is located 55 km to the east of Volos town, accessible via a relatively narrow road with numerous twists and turns. It’s important to note that, apart from the summer months, this route can experience foggy conditions in certain areas.

Here are the different ways to reach Agios Ioannis:

  1. By car – The easiest way to reach Agios Ioannis in Pelion is definitely by car. This is because if you are traveling by bus, you will have to get to Volos and then take the bus that goes to Agios Ioannis which runs infrequently. We always book with Discover Cars and recommend them.
  2. By KTEL buses (public) – Each region in Greece has its own website. As Pelion belongs to the Magnesia region you can find info for buses from Athens or Thessaloniki and also local buses connecting the villages here
  3. By Guided Tour – I have found this private tour of a great Greek company with new Mercedes cars leaving from Athens (they have free airport pick up and return!). Check out the 3-Day tour to Pelion here. This is the easiest and most convenient way to travel from the comfort of a new car.

Quick Tips about Visiting Pelion and Agios Ioannis

Damouchari village,  Mamma Mia locations in Pelion Greece
Damouchari village
  • You should spend at least 3-7 days in Pelion which will give you ample time to explore many of the villages both the mountainous and the seaside ones
  • Pelion village Damouchari was one of the 3 Greek locations where the Mamma Mia film was shot. Don’t miss visiting the picturesque village and dancing at its tiny port the ‘Dancing Queen’!
  • No need to book any restaurants or taverns unless you are with a large group of people (more than 20), better to give them notice in advance
  • The beaches might be slightly cooler than Cyclades or Crete and a bit wavier on certain days
  • Some useful items to have with you in Pelion Mt are good hiking boots if you are going to do hiking, a light jacket for the evening (it is a mountain after all), organic sunscreen, a white linen shirt, a fantastic CUPSHE Bikini, and a UPF sun hat.

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If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

Did you Go to Agios Ioannis in Pelion Mt?

Did you manage to go to Pelion? What were the best things you did in the area? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear whether I managed to get it onto your bucket list! 🙂

Travel Guides to the other Pelion Villages

If you’re looking for deeper information, check out my in-depth Pelion Villages travel guides for a ton of details on accessing all these places.

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    About the author
    Evgenia Mataragka
    Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

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