Mt. Pelion is one of the most fabled of Greece’s “ancient” mountains. Its location in the middle of the Greek mainland, its sheer beauty, its wealth of natural resources and its association with the sea (both the Aegean and the Pagasetic Gulf) made it widely known even in antiquity. Homer sang in praise of Mt. Pelion referring to its dense forests. Pindar the poet spoke of the winds that blow here, stirring the branches on its forested slopes. Simonides the poet talked of its imposing grandeur while Hesiod talked of soaring cliffs and dense forests in one work, while in another talked of the sheer plenitude of medicinal plants and herbs to be found on the mountains, as did Heraclides who praises the wealth of medicinal plants available.
Mythology has it that Mt. Pelion was home to the Centaurs, mythical creatures half man, half horse. The best known was the wise Chiron, skilled in the use of healing plants and a teacher of medicine whose pupils even included the god Asclepius.
The mountain was inhabited in prehistory and throughout the historical and Byzantine periods and flourished under the period of Turkish domination; in fact most of the surviving remains on the mountain date from that period. The intellectual and economic boom experienced at that time was the result of the set of privileges enjoyed by the area, which was semi-autonomous in a sense, which attracted many progressive thinkers and restless minds from elsewhere in Greece.
The mountainous massif has a total of 6 peaks all above 1,450 m, the highest being Pourianos Stavros at 1,624 m. The mountain also has numerous streams. They flow all year round ensuring that a dip in the sea is a truly “refreshing” experience. As one descends from the mountain peaks, wild forest gives way to orchards of trees and fertile valleys where all manner of plants are cultivated.
Mt. Pelion has a Mediterranean climate with moderate temperature fluctuations. As a rule the summer is cool and the winter is not particularly harsh. Here the seasons can be easily distinguished by their own unique colours and smells, but it is hard to tell which season is best. This well-endowed mountain landscape blends mountain and sea harmoniously, and couples wild nature with tailored landscapes, dense forest with bare rock, the cool of the mountain with the warmth of the sea, and rain with wave.