“A simple but stylish mountain village hideaway on Pelion's wild, wooded eastern flanks”
In summer, you can explore cobbled paths through chestnut woods, kayak through the turquoise coves of Damouhari, plunge into crystalline waters at hidden Fakistra, or sunbathe on the white sands of Agios Ioannis. In winter, there's grappa by the fireside in an airy reading-dining room, with WiFi, mags, maybe fresh snowfall. Return each afternoon to a crisp, rustic-chic bedroom warmed by bold 3D artworks and contemporary lighting; or to deckchairs under the magnolia tree. Lena's breakfast spread is fabled, her rice puddings and savoury breads dangerously moreish. They don't serve dinner, but it's only a 20-second hop to the village taverna for unpretentious home cooking served under a vast linden tree.
- Lena's breakfasts were among the best on our trip, and she was always plying guests with her latest titbits from the afternoon's baking
- We loved the clean, bright decor of the 2 Junior Suites, and their hot power showers
- The village of Mouresi, with its stately church and scattered stone-and-slate houses, works a slow charm on you
- The hidden beaches of Damouhari (5 km) and Fakistra (7 km) are two of our favourites in Pelion, indeed in Greece
- Keen hikers and bikers will find miles of wooded trails on your doorstep - though you'll need to bring all equipment with you
- Getting here involves a long drive (over 1 hour from Volos, 4 from Thessaloniki), with some tortuous mountain roads at the end
- You're 5km above the coast, so you'll need to drive again to reach the beach (but only 10-20 mins)
- When we visited, the 3 Loft Rooms had not yet been refurbished and looked very dated by comparison
- This is a husband-and-wife B&B in a simple mountain village: don't expect concierge services, pool or spa
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast & snack-bar; restaurant nearby
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
When we visited, 3 of the 6 rooms had been stylishly refurbed with a clean, contemporary look that comes as a refreshing change from the dark-wood-and-stone of most traditional Greek inns. Expect dimmable downlights or tripod standing lamps, plump white duvets offset by cherry red counterpanes, one of those Eames-esque white bucket chairs that are de rigueur in cool homeware catalogues - and, yes, a single exposed stone wall to remind you that you are in a venerable Peliot house.
Some rooms have glassed fireplaces, others striking textured artwork by Volos-based dentist (yes, you read that right) Vasilis Kapodistrias. Here's proof that you can judiciously use flatpack furniture - for those open modular wardrobes are indeed Stolmen - offset by one or two eye-catching statement pieces to create an altogether cool and classy effect.
In due course Dimitris and Lena plan to refurb the 3 Loft rooms, housed in their own wing beneath the terrace, and also split-level. Meantime the Junior Suites and Deluxe are the ones to go for. If you're a couple, request Junior Suite #2 - the loveliest room in the house, where we stayed. For a couple with child, or 2 friends travelling together, Junior Suite #1 is the answer - a split-level room with cosy sleeping platform upstairs, and a living area (with single sofabed and fireplace) plus shower room downstairs. Single travellers, or couples on a short stay / tight budget, could opt for the smaller Deluxe room - but at these rates you might decide to splash out on the altogether lovelier Junior Suite #2.
- Air conditioning
- CD player (on request)
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Fireplace (some rooms)
- Safe box (on request)
Come breakfast time, Lena lays out a wonderful spread - either outside on the sunny terrace, or in their dining room if it's cooler - of whatever she has just baked, plucked and whipped up. We tucked into cinnamon-dusted rice pudding, savoury loaf filled with sausage and cheese, fresh apple pie, juicy Cantaloupe melon slices, pastries with homemade cherry and peach jams - and there was plenty more besides. Sitting at marble tables (repurposed from vintage sewing machines), under the shade of a triangular sail or the vast magnolia tree, there can few better starts to the day.
They don't serve lunch or dinner, but if you're around in the afternoon you may be invited to test Lena's latest pie or Dimitris' coffee-making skills. And it's only a minute's walk to the Plateia taverna where, sitting under a huge spreading linden tree behind the church, I enjoyed a Greek salad, finger-licking chicken stew, dessert and local wine for the princely sum of 8 euros. There are a couple of other eateries in the village, and plenty more on the coast (Damouhari enjoys an idyllic setting).
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- It's a 5-10 minute drive to 2 of our favourite beach hideaways in Pelion: the tiny fishing harbour of Damouhari (used as a location in Mamma Mia), and the pirate-like cove of Fakistra below Tsangarada (this involves a short, steep walk from the end of the road)
- If you prefer a bit more bustle, Papa Nero and Agios Ioannis can oblige: both have pale sands, clear blue waters and parasols for hire, as does the rock-arched Mylopotamos further south
- There's a lovely footpath from Mouresi down through the woods to Damouhari, then up to Tsangarada (bus back), or along the coast through flowering scrubland to Fakistra (taxi required)
- Alternatively, head up from the nearby villages of Kissos or Xourihti into the endless beech and chestnut forests of the 1400-metre Pelion ridge, a world apart from the coast: take a good map, waterproofs and plenty of provisions
- Kissos has a handsome 17th-century church with intricate wood carvings; Anilio a women's co-operative selling preserves and baclava; Zagorá a bustling high street with cafés, fountains and apples galore
- Rent a sea kayak from Pelion Secrets in Damouhari and paddle along the indented coastline to find your own sea-washed rock or secret bay
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Mountain biking
This is not an obvious choice for families, being tucked away in a remote mountain village - but if you do venture here with kids, they will be warmly welcomed by Lena and Dimitris.
Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
One Junior Suite has a single sofabed; the other rooms can fit a cot (book early as there's only one cot). Families with 2 or more children will need separate rooms.
Kids Activities nearby:
You'll find several fantastic beaches within 1/2 hour's drive, including the sands of Agios Ioannis and the pirate-like cove of Damouhari (a great spot for snorkelling and sea-kayaking, if your children are confident swimmers). There's also a small shady playground next to the hotel, with swings, see-saw and a slide.