Pilion mountain. Home of the Centaurs (Part 1)

I do not consider as vacation anything that does not include summer, vitamin sea, beach, sun, and at least 5 days away from daily routine.

It’s been since 2008 and my vacation in Creta island that I had not a proper vacation. So you must understand that I was extremely excited this year! You cannot consider as a vacation a trip to Italy at the end of September or Barcelona in mid-May, not even working in Mykonos island.

Even with the whole COVID-19 situation vacation can become a reality when your best friend accompanies you and you haven’t spent time with him since February and it is now August! Sounds like a reunion, right?

Agia Kyriaki – Tsagkarada

Leaving Larissa on Sunday noon, we arrived at our apartment hotel around 14:30. Not bad, just that the brakes of my car smelled like something had burnt! I need to go back to driver school… To tell the truth, the roads on Pilion mountain are not well preserved at all.

The receptionist was very welcoming and showed us off to our apartment. One huge bedroom, a living room with a fireplace, a small kitchen, a bathroom, but the most amazing part was the balcony and the amazing view.

I got myself the sofa of the spacious living room as a bed since the bedroom did not have a balcony… Every morning I got to see the sunrise from my window. Such a pleasant surprise!

Fakistra beach

On our first day, since we still had time available, we decided to go swimming at the nearest beach. In around 25 minutes we were arriving above Fakistra beach trying to park the car at the side of the road. The place seemed to be crowded. We realized there was a sign sending us down a path to get to the beach. I tend to not wear correct shoes wherever we go, so my Adidas Advantage shoes were slippery enough to get me scared. However, the path was wide enough and very well preserved.

The beach was amazing! So virgin. No beach bars and sunbeds. It was a bit crowded when we arrived but so quiet. Large companies of friends enjoying the sea, couples, friends playing backgammon. People diving from the cliffs, happy shouts, and clapping hands. The place was full of innocence like we were teens once again. The beach is surrounded by mountains therefore shady at the time we arrived (around 4 pm) and filled with small pebbles. And the sunset was so beautiful painting the sky with amazing colors. While we were exploring the rocks and sea life, fish, etc., swimming around, a group of people arrived with kayaks from Damouhari beach.

For me being a smoker, climbing the path back to the car was a living hell. My lungs still remember how this hurt and that I had to stop around ten times… But I would do it again for sure!

Mylopotamos beach

Second day and during breakfast, we are already thinking about what place we are going to explore. Thank God I am not driving anymore!

Mylopotamos beach was decided to be our next destination also around 25 minutes from our hotel. This beach really deserves to be my favorite place on earth so far.

Easy to park your car and with taverns above the beach with an amazing sea view.

Mylopotamos beach is divided naturally by the rocks in two. While the natural passage from one part of the beach to the other is a hole in the rocks. One part has sunbeds and the other one is completely free. We always prefer free access, since we are equipped with everything we might need during our stay at the beach.

The only issue in the second part of the beach featuring also a huge cave is the tide. When there are wind and waves, the sea comes up at the beach more and more. Therefore, you need to move around a lot in order to keep your things of getting wet. I didn’t really make it successfully.

The water was a bit blurry due to the waves. We got some amazing pictures despite the fact that there were many people a the beach, trying also to get photos. In fact, when we tried to get some footage with the drone, the people around us got excited. The truth is that we were waiting for the beach to get empty. Always trying not to take pictures or videos of people (privacy reasons), but everyone wanted to be part of our footage.

Unfortunately, the first day we arrived the beach was already crowded. If you visit Pilion, make sure you get early at the beach you have selected in order to pick the best spot to lay down.

Being hungry, we selected the tavern “Aggelika” above the beach for our dinner and headed back home with our mind full of tastes, our eyes with amazing views, and our souls with relaxation. Isn’t this what vacation is for?

Plaka beach – Village of Agios Ioannis – Papa Nero beach

That was a crazy day!

We arrived at the village of Saint John (Agios Ioannis) and parked our car to the big parking spot right in the entrance of the village next to the bridge driving you to the camping site of Papa Nero beach.

Walked past the whole village next to the sea, admiring the sandy beach and the village that had everything someone on vacation would need. The taverns were so picturesque reminding a Greek island, while the ATM inside a house’s yard was something I tend to remember and laugh.

The cliffs and an odyssey!

My friend had been there before and wanted us to visit the beach of Plaka right behind the port of Agios Ioannis, however, the path had disappeared due to a landslide and was now full of huge rocks. He decided we would climb the rocks but he forgot I am unable to do such stuff due to my fear of getting injured.

I tried once to do it but stepped back, so I told him to keep going and I will reach him later. You have no idea what can pass by a girl’s creative mind!

I headed to the cafe next to the port and asked the barista if she could get me a taxi. We called but couldn’t find availability. The second thought was the idea of getting to the next beach by boat. Unfortunately, the tour office couldn’t help me as the port was undergoing maintenance. That way no boats were allowed to leave the port for some days. We then thought of a transfer but it was not available. Then I thought maybe I could walk there. But everyone told me not to think about it as the road is very stiff and a long way, so I wouldn’t make it.

Mr. Giorgos appeared just on time when I felt a bit distressed! Hurray! I’m introducing you to my savior of the day.

He was supervising the maintenance of the port and waiting for the workers to finish their jobs and call the day off. The only question was…

“Do you ride a motorcycle?”

Normally I don’t (at least without a helmet and an appropriate jacket) but since my friend is already at the beach and I can’t deal with that, the answer was easy.

“YES! I DO!”

So in less than 10 minutes, I climbed the motorcycle, and we were on the road which was indeed stiff. Since it was almost out of gas, when we were at the downhill parts of the road, we powered off the engine.

A little paradise

Arriving at the top of the path that would lead me to the beach I thanked my new friend goodbye. Taking the path down to the beach, I was walking next to olive trees with a great view. Lucky me!

The beach of Plaka is a vast sandy beach since the port of Agios Ioannis with a beach bar offering sunbeds and a tavern. The beach ends in a rocky area on the other side. I preferred this side, to tell the truth.

What do you think?

Let’s call the day off

When it was about time we go, I thought it would be more convenient to arrange a taxi to pick us up. That would cost me 15 euros for a small distance but it would be totally worth it! However, my friend had a different opinion (or wanted to make me climb the damn rocks.). I wouldn’t be able to get away with that.

There we start climbing the damn rocks and I am right behind him following his exact steps. Guess what? In the middle of the “path”, there I am, stuck between some bigger rocks and a dead tree. I start trembling and sweating trying to find a way to go forward. I can’t. I’m afraid I’ll fall. Looking backward I’m not sure I can go back too. I’m having a panic attack. He is gentle at first, taking all of my stuff (He looks like a donkey at a village with all things on him). He tries to give me his hand but I have trust issues that he can hold me.

After we spent almost half an hour there, my friend decides to change behavior and starts yelling at me. That woke me up and there we go! I made it! It’s true that I just need someone pushing me. Otherwise, we would still be hanging on the rocks.

Time to climb the bridge

We walked back to the car to leave our bags and then walk by to the Papa Nero beach Passing by the bridge that was moving up and down on our every step making me a bit dizzy.

Papa Nero beach is also a large beach. After the bridge, the first part of the beach is full of rocks right under the location of the camping. You can also see small sculptures of rocks watching the sea looking like birds standing (with some imagination).

Where the camping ends, the beach starts being sandy towards the end. The place has small houses and rooms to rent as well as coffee shops and taverns.

To tell the truth we didn’t get much excitement from our walk to Papa Nero. If you have visited Plaka beach first, almost nothing can get you excited.

The rain is here

We decided to have a drink before going back to the hotel. Of course, our choice would be Cavos right next to the old port of Agios Ioannis. It took some time to relax and realize how hungry we were. So we got ourselves some souvlaki from Empeirikos. We would head back to the hotel and enjoy our dinner since the rain has just started. Wild winds were blowing off and waves made their appearance. Could this ruin our vacation?

Hell NO!

to be continued…

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