"Our Long Overdue Return to Pilion" Top 5 Page for this destination Oros Pilion by nickandchris
Oros Pilion Travel Guide: 157 reviews and 471 photos
Click here to see our first visit to the Pilion (Page 8 of The Adventure.)
At long last, our holiday to Pilion had arrived, with a slight change to the agenda. Just two days before we were due to fly to Volos with Kosmar holidays, we were informed we were now flying to Skiathos and boating it to Platanias in the south of Pilion. Our only problem with this was that we had arranged with Pangosmios car hire company to collect a car from Volos airport. Now we would be miles away from Volos. No problem. We simply emailed Pangosmios and their very friendly and efficient team assured us our car would be delivered to our accommodation in Horton at 8pm the evening we arrived. As good as their word our car arrived, even early. An excellent company to deal with.
Arriving at Skiathos was a fantastic experience. It has the shortest runway in Greece and as far as we were concerned, the fastest ever baggage reclaim. We were off the plane and out of the airport within 15mins. A superb arrival.
In all fairness to our rep. Marcia, she had done a wonderful job re-arranging travel to Pilion from Skiathos and about 40 of us piled onto a boat chartered to take us to Platanias.
I know we were travelling on Friday 13th but things had seemed to be going well until the boatman tried to raise the anchor. It was well and truely wrapped around another mooring rope so another 30 mins passed before we finally left harbour! The crossing was fine, only when we tried to disembark was there further delay by a huge swell from a High Speed Ferry hitting us , making it impossible to cross the gangplank. Another 10mins. and we were off only to have a further delay at the transfer coach as not all the luggage would fit in. 15 mins. later and with a lot of cursing and shoving and pushing from the driver, we were on our way. 45 mins. later we were in our resort of Horton at 7.15 pm.
Pleased to have arrived after a long day's travel we were shown our accommodation, Athina Studios and Apts. right next to the river. Nice views, we thought. Not for us, our room was at the back where we would have had a view of a parking area if we hadn't got a tree growing right outside and onto our balcony. No view whatsoever but not to worry as we soon discovered a few yards away, looking onto the river and the sea were seats and a covered area with a water fountain. Here we would sit with our pre-dinner drinks every night, absorbing the views over the sea and river with the ever changing light on the water. Marvellous. Here we would also entertain the scraggy cats and chat to people as they passed by. It was a place to watch life from. So, although the room was small and basic, we felt privileged to be able to sit here whenever we fancied.
The village of Horton is situated between Argalasti and Milina and is roughly an hour and fifteen minutes ride from Volos. It is just off the main road, so not too much traffic noise.
In May, there were supposedly two mini-markets open but they were only just stocking up for the season (although you could find tonic water there owing to the sailing lot 's presence) so it was better tro drive to Milina or Argalasti (for a more Greek experience) for most essentials. A baker's van called every day in Horton as did various other travelling shops, you just had to know roughly when to expect them. There is also the universal periptero in Horton.
Most people holidaying in Horton opted to hire a car to make exploring easier as the bus service was extremely limited.
There were three excellent restaurants open in Horton, all serving good, home cooked concoctions as well as the usual grilled meats and fish. A short walk on a pleasant footpath (lit at night) took you to the next little cove with the Perigiali Restaurant with beautiful sea views. Prices here were a little up on the village ones and it tended to cater for the boating lot.
In a nearby bay, up the hill towards Argalasti, was an entirely British encampment of Leda Holidays, an all inclusive with water sports. Not our cup of tea at all and most people felt the same. It seemed as far as they were concerned they could have been anywhere in the world as long as they had their water-sports. Not a word of Greek to be seen and they even demanded a full English Breakfast. (Sorry to all those who are into this sort of thing but this is the impression I had of this lot!!)
There are two or three little beaches within Horton, shingle and fairly shallow water, all beautifully clean. There are more within walking distance.
There are rooms to rent, from the basic to the luxury.
As well as Kosmar staying here, Tapestry and Houses of Pilion fill the up-market end of the market.
Our hire car was a Hyundai Atos and was a brilliant little car with excellent visibility from the back seat for me, (Philip taking the front to combat travel sickness). We decided to not travel more than an hour each journey as the roads were steep and winding and as I have said, Philip is not a brilliant traveller.
Our first day's touring we stuck to the west coast and visited Lefokastron and Kalamos, where we knew Sunvil and Tapestry stayed. Both nice little places but even quieter than Horton and down long, winding roads.
At the only place we could find for a drink in Kalamos, we met an English party who were independant and had flown to Thessaloniki and driven from there. We kept bumping into this lot in other places
Both these places had numerous stretches of pebble and shingle beaches..
We always took a picnic with us in case we couldn't find anywhere to eat at lunchtime. More often than not we would be on a beach with no facilities so were grateful for our picnic. We became familiar with the places we were likely to be able to get lunch and sometimes planned our days around a lunch trip!!
Platanias was one of these lunch trips, in fact we lunched here twice, it was such a lovely experience. We would swim on the beach and then head for Trata Liakkios where we met Spiros, the very friendly and gently spoken owner. Here we would also watch the high speed ferries pass and wait for the huge wash they created.
Horton is well positioned for both west coast beaches,(shallower, stonier and warmer) and the east coast. We didn't bother visiting A. Ioannis as we knew it was fairly touristy and Horefto we had been to in 1997. Really ,for us, that stretch of coast was too far anyway so we went as far as Potoki, via Syki. This was beautiful, a gorge entering the sea with absolutely nothing there. We had to cross a little ford to approach the beach and the whole area was covered in beautiful woodland.
There were lots of fantastic beaches on the east that we visited, all very accessible and hardly ever many people there. I expect it is a very different picture in full season.
The whole Pilion region is just unbelievable. Geared for tourism but so very quiet in May. Just perfect. The water was warm enough for swimming and those tavernas that were open mainly had full menus available. There are many speciality foods of the region, Spetsofai (sausage and pepper casserole) being delicious. We thought the Saganaki was wonderful and such huge portions! The natives were very friendly and helpful. The roads are mostly surfaced but not easy to drive because of the terrain. You just have to adapt to not being in a hurry.
There are no really large towns , Milina, Argalasti and Platanias the main places in the region we visited.
For a large shop, there is always Volos, where there is a Lidl (not sign-posted!!)
We loved Horton, the position of it ,the smallness of it, the friendliness of the villagers, the pace of life, the spectacular flower and vegetable gardens everyone seemed to have, watching the fish rise, the boats on the river, oh, just everything. We did notice was that there were some magnificent properties in the village with spectacularly huge gardens, all looking very lush. there seemed to be no shortage of money anymore.
One other thing, I definitely think the climate is changing. We saw plenty of rain this holiday, in fact it poured for a whole day as well as showers on other days. We were told the water was needed as it had been a dry winter. This was evident in the dry rivers whereas when we were in the region in 1997 the rivers were all full.
Platanias is the major fishing port in south Pilion. There were some enormous caiques there when we arrived by boat and... more travel advice
We stopped off in Milina sometimes for a drink. There are quite a lot of places to choose from, we just chose somewhere... more travel advice
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