Platitudes and every travel cliché in the book have been used to describe holidaying in Pelion – sun, sea, lush greenery – but the thing that you have to keep in mind when it comes to it is that in Pelion there is an array of traditional accommodation stays that allow you to fully immerse yourself in an authentic Greek cultural experience. Here’s one such accommodation we recently stayed at – Victoria’s Country Apartments in Zagora!
Decades from now, my daughter will ask in awe ‘Did we really go on holiday in Pelion when I was 7 months old?’, to which the only response is ‘Yes, we drove several hours until we reached the beautiful village of Zagora in East Pelion and received the most heartwarming welcome from our hostess Victoria who made our trip unforgettable in so many ways!’. Then, I will proceed by showing her some pictures of our room.
There are eight spacious, two-bedroom apartments, all of them designed uniquely with treehouse beds and traditional stone-built walls by Victoria herself. We stayed at the Peacock – a large room on the first floor with a big wooden bed that was surrounded by colourful hand-painted peacocks on the walls. We had a wooden Greek-style kitchenette (where I prepared my daughter’s breakfast every morning), a sitting area, a Moroccan-style bathroom with in-build shower and spectacular tiles, and a balcony with a stunning view overlooking the Aegean!
Every morning Victoria would wake up early to prepare and serve us a feast for the eyes kind of breakfast with no two breakfasts alike regardless of how many days we stayed in her traditional accommodation.
Our options would vary from traditional Greek phyllo pies with fillings from Victoria’s organic vegetable patch, omelettes, fruit salads, pancakes, Greek yogurt with plums and cherries and freshly squeezed orange juice accompanied by the standard tea and coffee. We would sit on the balcony and have small sips of the coffee while devouring the omelettes and nibbling on the pies and pancakes. All while taking in the sea and mountain views with the sound of birds chirping in the background.
But what makes Victoria’s room so special is not just that, foregoing the beautiful, clean rooms and delicious food, and taking part in the local activities will make for an altogether richer and more rewarding holiday in Zagora.
Luckily, Victoria’s daughter, Kiki, is happy to show you around the most well-sought places to explore, connect you with the local travel guides and tell you about the history of the place.
From here, you can embark on the square of Zagora for a coffee or souvlaki, have a little shopping trip around Sindetiras jewellery store, Istos Pelion for traditionally woven scarves and cushions from the loom of the owner Kaiti, Gi Anatolis for souvenirs and higgledy-piggledy gifts, and the Women’s Agrotourist Cooperative of Zagora store with the delicious jams and liqueurs.
Into history? Then visit the Museum of Zagora, situated a short car ride away on your way to Horefto beach. There is a parking space and the famous school where Rigas Feraios studied is just opposite the museum. Then, there’s also the Public Library of Zagora with an impressive collection of original manuscripts but you better make sure it is open before you visit.
Whatever you decide to do, I am sure you will have the most fun!