Historically, Ano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Lehonia have been the ‘garden’ of Pelion. The fertile land combined with the mild climate is allow the farming of many different types of fruit trees, vegetables, as well as olives. You will also find many flowers, such as gardenias, which are better known abroad.

Ano Lehonia is one of the lowland villages of western Pelion, 11km south east of Volos, and at an altitude of 150m. It is found 1km (Platanidia) approximately from the sea. Until 2010 the headquarters of the Municipality of Artemidas were based here.
The name derives, either from the Slavic word, which means flat, or from one of the Lehonian rulers of the area. There is also the more popular explanation that links the fertile land to a ‘lehona’, a woman who has given birth, as the area nurtures and provides everything needed, as a mother does.
Close to Upper Lehonia, on top of the hill of Nevestikis, there is a ruin with relics of the old walls, which archaeologists identify to be from the acropolis (or citadel) of ancient Methoni. It is also the station that the famous ‘Moutzouri’, the traditional little train, starts its journey, stopping at Ano Gatzea, before terminating at Milies. panorama icon
This historic train, which once ran the line of Volos-Milies, still operates on railway tracks that were constructed in 1881; the first part until Lehonia and eventually finishing in 1896. The remaining part, until Milies, was continually constructed until it started its operation in 1903.
Construction of the railway line was overseen by Evaristo de Kiriko; father of the well-known Volos born painter Giorgio de Kiriko.
The project of the construction of the network was observed by the younger de Kiriko who took inspiration from the materials and used them regularly at a later stage as the main medium in his creations.
In many of his works there is a small train figure usually hidden behind the walls and arches, as if it were…..a hidden glance of a small child at the great works of the adult.
Travellers have the possibility to journey along 13 magical kilometres across the slopes of Pelion with Pagasitiko golf see view on one of the narrowest railway tracks in the world (60cm) which hosts the 4 ‘Moutzouri’ carriages, it is once said, that announced the steam and smoke left it in its trail. The train makes one stop only for 15 at Ano Gatzea, before it continues ‘puffing’ along the entire route of 13km in around 90 minutes. Here, at the Ano Gatzea station, panorama icon you will find a traditional ‘Kafeneion’ (coffee shop). The fifteen-minute stop on route to Milies is repeated on the return. The ‘Kafeneion’ is located in a century old building and works winter-summer, though the train runs only during the summer on a daily basis, and on weekends during spring and autumn. An interesting site on the route is the stone 5-arch bridge Kalorema, in the area of Malaki.

Approaching Milies, the landscape gains a wild beauty, particularly the passage from the large metal bridge of Taxiarchi. Milies station panorama icon is the end of the line. From here the picturesque footpaths start which lead you into the centre of the village. Traditional guest houses, tavernas, the church of Taxiarchon built in 1741, the folk museum and library of St Athanasiou, one of the oldest in Greece, awaits the visitors curiosity. The history of the train and the myths of Pelion are in fact revived on this magical trip! We highly recommend it.
The train operates from spring until autumn, with a special programme daily on the mountain trail. The rest of the year it is possible to hire the train; information issue of tickets, timetables and rental of the train are provided by the Volos Travel Agency TRAINOSE (Tel/Fax 2421039723, (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by dialing 14511 for 24 hour assistance.
Coming from Volos, and after Kato (lower) Lehonia, following the route to South Pelion, on top of a bend, (right) in Ano (Upper) Lechonia, visitors will be surprised to see a house whose façade has no relation whatsoever to typical Pelion architecture. It is an exquisite example of eclecticism and was designed by the Italian engineer Evaresto de Kiriko, around the time he constructed the railway line. This ruined house in Lehonia has its own legend. The house, and its dramatic legendry tomb with geckos that poisoned children in the Volos cemetery, belonged to the family of N. Kondou. The family lost during a very short period three of their children from tuberculosis. Tuberculosis at that time was seen as a social stigma and the survivors from the family, in an attempt to not be shunned, created the story of poisonous geckos to explain the deaths of their children. The family abandoned the house around 1920 though later it had many different owners. In 1941, on the second day of Easter, the Germans captured Lehonia and used the house as their headquarters, until the liberation of the village in 1944. Today the mansion stays deserted, abandoned and unused, retaining however its basic architectural features. It is a two story building constructed from stone and porcelain (this specialty protected it in the past against cracks). The building is a living example of neoclassicism. It has a basement, ground floor, first floor and attic. The mansion shows characteristics in its morphology of being self-sufficient with its imperishable aesthetics and dynamic plasticity. It is undeniably a masterpiece of neoclassic architecture and as survived the passage of time to stand as a marker of its period.
Further sights of interest are the presentation of the Towers of Olympiou and Kokosli, the old silk shop of Kokosli close to the tower, the neoclassical Hatzikuriazi (1900), Kasiopoulou (1900), Bakali and Hatzistamatiou, the old olive mill of Georgoudi (1900), the old workshop of Dimopoulou (1920) and the fountain of Konst. Mavrogiannis, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century (1906), with the lions’ head, stone pediment and marble wings attached to its three corners, located close to the railway station at Ano Lehonia.
With the passing of time a lot has changed. Roads were tarmacked, a school was built (1956), a doctors’ surgery, nursery school etc and today the village is one of the suburbs of Volos. During the summer period, a Lehonian festival is organised and a flower festival (Kato Lechonia).
Once, at the beginning of the 20th century, Ano Lehnoia was a ‘junction’ for the surrounding villages because of the train. As this suburb of Volos is known for its flowers and gardens the celebration takes place on the 2nd May, which is also the celebration of ‘the redeeming of the relics of Agiou Athanasiou (saint of immortality). Many loyal believers would come for the vigil on the evening of May Day (May 1st) and stay until the festival on the 2nd.
On the 21st May the saints of Costantinos and Eleni celebrate their names with a festival and on the 1st July the oldest and largest festival takes place and last 3 days in honour of Agio Anargyron.
In Palaiokastro, 2km out of Ano Lehonia, there is a trout farm set in the most idyllic location with plane trees, running water and little lakes. A taverna is operational there where you can, of course, eat trout!


Kato (Lower) Lehonia
The flower festival is celebrated here and is of course famous for its large range of flowers and shrubs.
“…a very special, outdoor festival was set up in Kato Lehonia in the afternoon to revive the Flower Fest…that marks the harmony of nature with mankind” was a quote from a reporter for a local newspaper, by the Union of Agricultural Cooperation Pelion-North Sporades, of which the headquarters is in Kato Lechonia.
Worth seeing are the church of Agio Giorgiou (St. George) which is found in the square, the little Monastery of Agiou Ioannis (St John the Baptist) and the church of Agiou Nikolaou (St Nicholas), at the beginning of the road Kato Lehonia –Agios Laurentios.
The beach of Lower Lehonia has the privilege of being the first beach of Pelion from the side of the Pagastiko golf, which is 10km from Volos. Nearby, and easily accessed by car and perfect for a quick swim are the beaches of Karnagiou and Hatzivangelli. The route from Kato Lechonia towards the beach of Karnagio is wonderful, winding down alongside the river of Vrichona, the banks of which are full of deciduous trees and reeds. On the beach you will find a café-bar for a drink on a warm summer night and a beach bar with good facilities including sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and free parking. On Karnagio beach you can eat a range of snacks, toasts, and even tsipouro with accompanying nibbles. These beaches are magical for families, but great for a younger set who want somewhere for a quick dip!


 

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