The hilly PELION PENINSULA confounds every stereotypical image of Greece, with its abundant fruit trees and dense forests and water gurgling up from fountains or aqueducts. Summer temperatures here can be a good 5°C cooler than on the baking plains nearby, and this finger of land is very popular with Greek tourists and more discerning foreign visitors drawn to its pretty villages, excellent beaches and hiking routes.
The peninsula is dominated by Mount Pelion (Mount Pílio; 1651m), below which villages are spread out widely, linked by cobbled paths. The best concentration of traditional communities lies just north and east of Vólos, the main gateway to the region. The west coast down from Vólos to Áfyssos is less memorable, with concentrated development along the Pagasitic Gulf despite no decent beaches. The far south, relatively low-lying and sparsely populated, has just two major resorts – Plataniás and Milína – plus a few inland villages and the picturesque fishing port of Ayía Kyriakí at the extreme southwestern tip.