When is Best to Go to Makrinitsa Pelion?

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Updated June 23rd, 2022 by Travel the Greek Way

Makrinitsa Pelion

Anytime is a fantastic time to go to Makrinitsa in Pelion! You may have never heard of Pelion Mount and Makrinitsa in Greece before but Pelion is one of the most impressive, and magical places in Greece.

fall leaves people walking in Pelion Mt
Travel Ant

Imagine a deeply forested peninsula with 28 traditional, beautiful villages full of old mansions and monuments, trees laden with pears, apples and chestnuts, planes, streams, and centuries-old bridges.

Agiois Saranta beach in Pelion Mount
Agioi Saranta in Pelion

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, Tsagkarada, Agios Ioannis, Zagora, Milies, Kissos and Argalasti.

Evgenia in Tsagkarada Pelion
Me at Tsagkarada Old Bridge

Whichever season you decide to visit Makrinitsa Pelion, you will be rewarded by the abundance of its natural beauty, the many culinary local choices, the original and traditional architecture of the village, the various outdoor activities, and the many interesting sites you can visit and see in the village.

Makrinitsa Pelion

Makrinitsa is located in mid-eastern Greece on the beautiful, green slopes of Mount Pelion (altitude 300-800 m), 16 km from Volos town and 3 km from Portaria village.

According to the plaque at the entrance of the village, Makrinitsa was founded in 1204.

Pelion Mount was Centaurus’ home, according to Greek Mythology. Centaurus were mythical creatures, half men half horses.

Makrinitsa Pelion is a strikingly beautiful village at 630 m, with traditionally built and richly decorated stone mansions, a village offering tranquility, natural beauty, and peace to the visitors.

Makrinitsa cobblestone alley

Makrinitsa’s nickname is ‘balcony of Pelion’ because of its amazing view of Volos town, especially in the evening. Makrinitsa is an excellent starting point for exploring the Pelion peninsula.

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What to Do in Makrinitsa Pelion in Winter

Makrinitsa’s Main Square – zoom in Pelion

If you are visiting Makrinitsa during the Greek winter you have to be prepared that you may have to deal with fog, chilled weather, and even perhaps some heavy snow, especially in January – February. Or you may have nice, sunny days that will make all the wintry colors of the forest come alive.

Traditional little shops line the main street in Makrinitsa

One of the best things to do in Makrinitsa Pelion in winter is to stroll its picturesque kalderimi (cobble-stone alleys) with the small iconic shops selling syrupy local sweets, herbs from the mountain, and jams. Pelion mountain is very fertile and produces a lot of fruit, herbs, and chestnuts.

You should stroll by the lovely main square with the centuries-old plane trees and with a panoramic view of Volos and the Pagasetic Gulf.

Central Church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos

Agios Ioannis Church and Fountain

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.

Agios Ioannis Prodromos (Saint John the Baptist) is a very beautiful small historical church on the main square of Makrinitsa, which is the center of the village’s social, commercial, religious, and touristic activities.

Visit the Exquisite Churches in Makrinitsa

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

  • Agios Gerasimos Monastery
  • Saint Maria Magdalini Holy Orthodox Church
  • Church of Holy Trinity
  • Church of Metamorphosis of the savior

Find more information on the Makrinitsa churches HERE

Related Article: Visiting the Black Orthodox Saints Icon in Milies Pelion

Go to Extraordinary Cafe Theofilos

Find 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 under the Ottomans.

In the cafe, you can have a small selection of local traditional dishes like spetzofai (local sausage in tomato sauce and vegetables).

Makrinitsa Pelion view to Volos
Aeriko Cafe

Other cafes: Ask for directions for the 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

If you like folklore art and you are curious to see how Greek used to live in their everyday life then you should definitely 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 1st of November – 31st of March the museum is open from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm. For the rest of the months, it 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 on the Makrinitsa main square. For more info, you can visit the museum’s website: makrinitsamuseum.gr

Go to Paschalis Art House and Cafe

If you like art and paintings then you must visit Paschalis Art House (Gallery) to see some Greek painters art 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 60 metres away from Makrinitsa main square.

Pelion Ski Resort Agriolefkes

17 km far from Makrinitsa you can find yourself skiing at an altitude of 1.471 m right on top of Chania village.

The Ski center is 2 km from Chania, 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 own equipment, no worries, you can rent it at the base of the ski center.

What to do in Makrinitsa in Spring & Summer

Kato Gatzea © Giannis kazdaridis

You should hit the nearby beaches!

Drive towards Volos town and the western side of Pelion facing the Pagasitikos gulf and cross lovely seaside villages and the perfect beaches of Agria, Karnagio, Platanidia, Kato Gatzea.

After your dive, find a nice seaside tavern and enjoy the fresh fish and the local vegetables, which are delicious!

Hike Centaurs’ Famous Trail

Centaurs Trail in Makrinitsa Pelion
Centaurus Trail starting point

Although hiking in Pelion is absolutely fantastic all year round, the Centaurus trail is suggested as a summer hike because it is a short and 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

© kardamo

Go to Kardamo Oinomageireion and find a table at the terrace, their view is simply amazing.

The cuisine is mostly Greek traditional, with many vegetarian and vegan choices

  • Pleiades Eatery & Drink: This is another food option, for more sophisticated Greek Food, very easy to find in Makrinitsa. Just ask around and they will point it out to you (travel the Greek way!!)

Where Best to stay in Makrinitsa

Selina Centavrus Pelion (mid-range). I really like Selina because of the colorful rooms, the youthful style, the sparkling clean facilities and the ultra helpful staff. Check availability and prices on Booking.com HERE

Archontiko Melanthi (mid-range). A wonderful hotel, great for families or couples, with very beautiful and traditional rooms, amazing views, and the warmest and most hospitable hosts. Check availability and prices on Booking.com HERE

How to Get Around Makrinitsa

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

The best way to see Pelion is by car. You can rent a car from Athens or from Volos town and remember to bring your international driving permit with you. Check out my favorite: Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com

There are public buses going to Pelion from Athens and from Thessaloniki, at affordable prices and in excellent coaches with AC. Find info at: http://ktelattikis.gr/en/

*** ATM: There is no ATM in Makrinitsa but you can find one in Portaria which is only 3 km far from Makrinitsa.

*** In Portaria there is a Rural Clinic and can be reached at +30 24280 99106

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Black Orthodox Icon in Milies Pelion

Message from Evgenia

If you need local help with organizing your visit, please leave a comment below or join my informative and entertaining group on Facebook. Thanks!
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