Portaria, one of the most known mountain villages of Pelion, is located at just a 13km distance from Volos and at a height of 650m. Built amidst lush green vegetation with traditional springs and fountains and fresh running water, the streets are paved with the slate stones and cobbles and the village has many of the local ‘archontika’ mansions.

The central square named after Melina Mercouri, the famous Greek actress, stands out for it colours and scent, overflowing with hydrangeas, a general abundance of flowers and tall plane trees. All surrounded by traditional pensions, small tasteful cafeterias and tavernas offering local cuisine with friendly service.

The settlement was established in the early 13th century around the monastery of John the Baptist and the monastery Our Lady of Portaria, panorama icon from which the village was named.

It is worth admiring the beautiful icon and the frescos in the small chapel of the Virgin Mary, also the church of Agios Nikolaos (St Nicholas) panorama icon with the golden shrine and lovely bell tower.

The church of Agias Marinas – Virgin Mary, is situated at the entrance of Portaria.

Next to the hotel ‘Xenia Palace’ and you will find the church of St Taxiari and the stone paved square with magical views of the mountains, Makrinitsa, panorama icon Volos panorama icon and the Pagastiko Gulf.

Portaria was flourishing in the 18th Century, partly due to the growth in production and trading of the silk market, however, most of the mansions were destroyed during the German Occupation in WW2. The hotel ‘Theoxenia’ was also destroyed at this time, once one of the most luxurious hotels in the Balkans in the period leading up to the war. Today they arrange various events in the ‘arts’ which take place amongst the ruins of the once hotel.

It is worth climbing the stone paved footpath ) part of the marked ‘Footpath of the Centaurs’ until the metropolitan temple of Agios Nikloas, the memorial of the dead, and the historical ‘Athanasakeio Nipiagogeia’, the first nursery school founded in Greece.

The Zoulia Mansion houses the historical folklore museum and was built in 1864.
It is a very representative example of the ‘Egyptian’ mansions which were built in the latter half of the 19th Century by Pelionites who had made their fortunes through business interests abroad, mainly in Egypt.

You can also follow the footpath that takes you to Adamena, though the lush vegetation and running streams, once there, the square of Adamenas’ is ideal for relaxation. panorama icon

A little higher above the location of Karavos the water that cascades down from the spring Mana creates an idyllic picture of the landscapes and waterfall.

Higher above the Mana spring, you will find the monastery of John the Baptist. There is also an enclosed basketball panorama icon court and a football field that is regularly picked by athletic clubs for their training.

Particularly active are the Women’s Agricultural Cooperative of Portaria. The women of the village took the old recipes of their grandmothers and made ‘spoon sweets’ and jams, not just with the known and loved flavours but the more unusual carrot, watermelon, tomato etc. They also make the ‘hylopitas’ (local pasta) and ‘trachana’ (added to dishes), which we highly recommend that you try!

A lot of cultural events are organised in Portaria during the summer months. In May they celebrate the ‘World day of Dance’, in July ‘The International Children’s festival of Dance’ and in August the ‘International Festival of dance’.

The first Sunday after the 15th August there is a very interesting representation of a traditional Pelion wedding (contact for details the Municipality of Portarias tel. 24280991218)

In Portaria there are a lot of events themed around dance, as mentioned above, ‘World Dance Day’, ‘The International Festival of Traditional Dance and the ‘International Children’s Festival Traditional Dance’.

(Contact for details the Information office of the Municipality of Portarias on tel. 2428069046)

In the autumn they organise the ‘Hill Climb Portarias Rally’ (for information contact the Volos Automobile Club tel.+30 24210 55339)

Portaria is an area that offers something for both summer and winter holidays.

If you are staying in Portaria during the winter months you can also enjoy skiing at the ski centre in Agrioleukes – Hania, only 12km away. panorama icon

The events that are held with the different co-operations of the region are held every summer by the Athletic Cultural Organisation of the Municipality of Portarias and are as follows:

  • ‘Flower Festival’ – May
  • ‘World Day of Dance’ – May
  • ‘Folk Festival of Agia Triada’ – June
  • ‘Panhellenic Symposium of Informatics’ - June
  • ‘Celebration of Tsipourou’- Early June
  • ‘Children’s Festival of Traditional Dance’ – Early July
  • International Festival of Traditional Dance’ - Late July
  • ‘Sausage Festival’ – July
  • Pelion Wedding – Later August

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