Top Things to Do in Makrinitsa Pelion

Makrinitsa Pelion, the “Balcony of Pelion”, is a quaint mountainous village clinging to the slopes at 630 meters. Its richly decorated stone mansions, whispering of history, offer tranquility and embrace visitors with the natural beauty of the region. Cascading down the hillside in an amphitheater-like layout, Makrinitsa boasts stunning sunset views over Volos Port and the Pagasetikos Gulf.

No matter the season you choose, Makrinitsa Pelion will immerse you in its abundance of natural beauty, offering a plethora of culinary delights, captivating traditional architecture, exciting outdoor activities, and fascinating historical sites to explore.

Discover Makrinitsa, one of the most traditional and beautiful Greek villages!

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Makrinitsa village with a beautiful view to the sea with blue sky in Pelion Greece.
Makrinitsa and Volos Port

Makrinitsa is located in Pelion Mountain, a deeply forested peninsula with 70 traditional, beautiful villages full of old mansions and monuments, trees laden with pears, apples, chestnuts, planes, streams, and centuries-old bridges. As if that was not enough, the peninsula is surrounded by endless golden sandy beaches, some of the best in Greece. Makrinitsa is a fantastic base for exploring Pelion and visiting the other famous villages: Portaria, Tsagarada, seafront Agios Ioannis, Zagora, Milies, Kissos, and Argalasti.

Fast Facts for Makrinitsa

  • It is located 16 km from Volos port and 3 km from Portaria village.
  • Makrinitsa was founded in 1204.
  • It has 353 residents (2021).
  • Economy: 50 families that operate hotels and rental properties, gift shops, traditional food businesses, restaurants, and bars.
  • There is no ATM in Makrinitsa but you can find one in Portaria.
  • In Portaria there is a Rural Clinic that can be reached at +30 24280 99106.

Best Things to Do in Makrinitsa Pelion

Traditional little shops with goods line the main street in Makrinitsa village in pelion Greece.
Traditional little shops line the main street in Makrinitsa

One of the best things to do in Makrinitsa Pelion is stroll its picturesque kalderimi (cobble-stone alleys) lined with quaint shops selling mouthwatering loukoumades (dough with honey and cinnamon), fragrant mountain herbs, and homemade jams. Pelion Mountain boasts fertile lands, offering an abundance of fresh fruit, herbs, and even chestnuts.

The Main Square

The central square of Makrinitsa with tables and chairs, large trees and houses.

The central square of Makrinitsa is where most visitors stop for a coffee or a delicious dessert. They come for the magnificent view and the relaxing atmosphere under the tall plane trees. All around you can see the traditional shops of the village, laden with delicious treats and beautiful souvenirs to take home with you.

Makrinitsa is divided into small neighborhoods, each one centered around a church or a monastery with always an elaborate fountain nearby offering freshwater from the Mount Pelion springs. There are about 50 fountains scattered around the village. One of the most impressive ones is next to the church of Agios Ioannis on the main square.

Visit the Exquisite Churches in Makrinitsa

As you walk by Makrinitsa you come across various churches and monasteries, which have a richness of icons to show, historical items, and a lot of architectural interest. Some of the churches are:

Church Agios Ioannis and Fountain and a bog tree with two people in Makrinitsa Pelion Greece.
Agios Ioannis Church and Fountain

Located in the central square, this 18th-century church is a landmark in Makrinitsa. Its imposing presence is adorned with a beautiful stone bell tower and intricate carvings. Step inside to be greeted with impressive frescoes and religious relics. Don’t miss the 1809 carved marble fountain with its “immortal water” legend, right next to the church.

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
  • Agios Gerasimos Monastery: Founded in the 16th century, it sits amidst serene natural surroundings with beautifully preserved murals adorning its walls.
  • Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Panagia): Built in 1767, this traditional church has unique intricate wood carvings and a collection of valuable icons.

Have a Coffee with a View

Discover the community cafe ‘Theofilos’, right on the main square in Makrinitsa, and admire the famous wall painting (1910) by the naïve folkloristic artist Theofilos. The painting depicts a Greek hero revolutionist against the Ottomans back when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. In the cafe, you can also have a small selection of local traditional dishes like spetzofai (local sausage in tomato sauce and vegetables).

Volos and Pagasetikos guld from Makrinitsa

Ask for directions to the closeby Art Cafe or the Aeriko Cafe, they both have large yards with stunning views of the sea and Volos. You will find them very easily, Makrinitsa is a small village.

Visit the Folklore Museum of Makrinitsa

Folklore Museum

If you like folklore art and you are curious to see how Greeks used to live their everyday life then you should visit the Folklore Museum. The museum is housed in the three-floor Topalis mansion, close to the main Makrinitsa square. The mansion was built in 1844 and contains a wonderful selection of traditional costumes, old photographs, kitchen vessels, and items of daily use.

Between the 1st of November and the 31st of March, the museum is open from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm. April to October is open in the afternoons as well.

Admire the Icons in Makrinitsa Byzantine Museum

For a small place like Makrinitsa, the Museum of Byzantine Art and Culture is of high importance, exceptionally renovated with a rich display and collection of post-Byzantine works dating from the 17th through 20th centuries.

Find the museum in the Makrinitsa main square.

Go to Paschalis Art House and Cafe

A view of a cloudy day from Pachalis Art House in Makrinitsa Pelion Greece.
© Paschalis Art House

If you like art and paintings then you must visit Paschalis Art House (Gallery) to see some Greek painters’ work and sculpting and have a coffee in an artistic environment. Paschalis Art is housed in a traditional building dating from 1830 and for many years used to be the workshop of the painter Paschalis (Paschalis Aggelidis ).

You can enjoy their coffee and homemade cakes while looking at the pieces of art around you or the magnificent views from the balcony. Find Paschalis Art Cafe 60 meters away from Makrinitsa main square.

Discover Pelion Ski Resort Agriolefkes

Ski Resort Agriolefkes with snow and a lot of skiers in Pelion Greece.
Agriolefkes Pelion Ski resort

17 km away from Makrinitsa, you can visit the Pelion ski resort at an altitude of 1.471 m right on top of Hania tiny village. The Pelion ski resort is one of the 19 organized resorts in Greece.

The Ski Center has 6 routes to choose from, for beginners and advanced, with medium and high difficulty. It also has 3 aerial lifts, 1 sliding, and 1 for children. If you do not want to carry your equipment you can rent it at the base of the ski center.

What to do in Makrinitsa in Spring & Summer

Makrinitsa is a year-round destination in Greece. During summer you can go to the numerous nearby beaches! Drive towards Volos town and the western side of Pelion facing the Pagasetikos Gulf and through lovely seaside villages and the perfect beaches of Agria, Karnagio, Platanidia, and Kato Gatzea.

After diving, find a nice seaside tavern and enjoy the fresh fish and the delicious local vegetables!

Hike Centaurs’ Famous Trail

The Best Things to do in Portaria, centaurus entrance
Entrance to the Centaurus Trail

Although hiking in Pelion is fantastic all year round, the Centaurus trail is also suggested as a summer hike because it is a short and very easy uphill trail. It is just 1900 meters long and follows one of the many streams that surround Makrinitsa. The beginning of the trail is between Makrinitsa and Portaria villages and there are signs indicating the starting point.

You follow the signposted trail, cross little wooden bridges with small pools of water, and about 30-40 minutes later you have finished the trail. You can come back using the same path or you can go towards the paved road that crosses Portaria’s nearby village.

The trail is ideal for new hikers and all ages as it is very easy.

Where to Eat in Makrinitsa

A restaurant called Kardamo with food on the table and red wine and a beautiful view in Pelion Greece.
Kardamo Restaurant by Pericles Merakos

Makrinitsa offers a variety of dining options to suit different tastes and budgets. Here are a few of the most popular and personal favorite restaurants and taverns:

  • Kardamo OINOMAGEIREIO: This restaurant is known for its traditional Greek cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. They have a lovely outdoor seating area with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.
  • Kentriko Restaurant: This restaurant offers a mix of Greek and international dishes, with a focus on seafood. They have a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends or family.
  • Απόλαυση: This restaurant offers a more casual dining experience, with a menu of grilled meats, salads, and pizzas. They have a large outdoor terrace, perfect for enjoying the summer weather.
  • Peliades Eatery & Drink: This is another food option, for more sophisticated Greek food and sweets, with stunning sea views and a calico cat hanging around. 😀

FAQs for Makrinitsa in Pelion

Where to Stay

Whether you seek a simple room, a charming historic experience, or a luxurious escape, Makrinitsa has a place to call home.

Archontiko hotel with chairs, sofas, coffee table and a fire place in Pelion Greece.
Archontiko Melanthi

If you are a history buff you can charm yourself with traditional stone-built mansions like Archontiko Anemos or Archontiko Melanthi, both beautifully restored mid-range mansions of the 18th century, great for families or couples.

If you are more of a budget-conscious traveler you can find cozy guesthouses like Hotel Adam or Mansion Theodora offering comfortable stays without breaking the bank.

Craving a romantic escape? 1822 Makrinitsa Suites and To Stefani Tis Makrinas provide intimate havens with stunning gulf views and homey touches.

When is Best to Go to Makrinitsa

Makrinitsa's Main Square with snow and many people in Pelion Greece.
Makrinitsa’s Main Square – zoom on Pelion

If you’re dreaming of a Greek winter escape, consider Makrinitsa in Pelion. While you might encounter crisp, invigorating air and occasional snowfall in January and February, clear days offer magical vistas where deep browns, muted greens, and snow-dusted pines paint the winter landscape. However, Makrinitsa is lovely to visit any time of the year and I had a great time when I visited last October!

Tip: I love flexibility when I travel so consider renting a car as public transport options might be limited.

How to Get Around Makrinitsa

A stone house in autumn in Makrinitsa Alley Pelion Greece.
Makrinitsa cobblestone alley

Cars are not allowed inside the village. There is a parking lot at the entrance of Makrinitsa where you can leave your car. For the rest of your exploration, you will have to walk.

The cobblestones are at times very slippery, so you better wear anti-slippery shoes.

How to Get to Makrinitsa

Makrinitsa from Volos

Makrinitsa is 16km from Volos, accessible by car via a winding mountain road or a scenic bus journey. There’s also the option to fly into Volos National Airport and take a taxi or pre-booked transfer.

Makrinitsa by Bus from Athens

If you don’t like driving, you can take the public bus from the Athens bus station (KTEL) in Liosion (there is a large KTEL in Kifisos but it doesn’t go to Pelion). Find the routes to Volos and how to issue your ticket here.

When you get to Volos you will have to change buses that go to Pelion Greece. Choose your destination village from this list here.

Private Tour to Pelion Greece

A private tour to Pelion Greece, with a tailored itinerary and a professional, English-speaking driver (with live commentary on the road), is the most carefree choice. And you can stop wherever you want like for instance at the Thermopylae monument with the King Leonidas statue. Would you like us to help you organize one? Send us a message from this short form and will get back to you with free-of-charge travel ideas for Greece.

Is Makrinitsa suitable for families?

Absolutely! With its friendly atmosphere, car-free areas, and child-friendly restaurants, Makrinitsa offers a relaxing and enjoyable experience for families. The nearby beaches and outdoor activities provide ample entertainment for all ages.

How long should I stay in Makrinitsa?

A: A minimum of 2-3 days allows you to explore the village, visit nearby attractions, and relax in the atmosphere. However, you can easily spend a week or longer enjoying the laid-back pace and surrounding beauty.

What’s the nightlife like in Makrinitsa?

While not vibrant, Makrinitsa offers a charming and relaxing nightlife scene. Cozy tavernas provide live music and lively conversations, while cafes offer a chance to sip drinks under the stars.

Makrinitsa won’t be leaving your mind anytime soon. Think cobbled streets under your feet, friendly faces everywhere, and views that knock your socks off. You’ll head home feeling all warm and fuzzy about simple things: wildflowers in the air, clinking glasses with new friends, and stargazing in a village untouched by time.

Throw some clothes in a bag, ditch the routine, and let Makrinitsa work its magic. It’s waiting to welcome you with open arms and a whole lot of stories to share. See you there! 😀

Dedicated Posts on Pelion Mt Villages

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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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