LOCATION

LOCATION

18 April 2023 2023-05-24 18:01

6 Keys. Located at a key point.

Located just 22 kilometers away from the city of Volos and a mere 500 meters from the village of Afissos, the 6 Keys are perfectly situated. Pelion’s majestic scenery dominates the view from the back of the building, while the verandas of the rooms offer a stunning vista of the blue-green waters of Kalifteri beach, which are just a few meters away.

The beach is characterized by its tranquil turquoise waters and white pebbles, surrounded by dense foliage that reaches all the way to the shoreline, creating a breathtaking setting that words cannot do justice.

This is Kalifteri beach – a place that belongs to us, but also to you!

THE AREA

Volos

As the capital of Magnesia prefecture and the sixth largest city in Greece, Volos is also a bustling commercial port. Nowadays, it is a vibrant and dynamic city with its own university, a thriving economy, and a rich intellectual life. It sits on the edge of Pagasitikos Gulf, close to the site of ancient Iolkos, and in the shadow of the majestic Pelion Mountain. Located 320 km from Athens and 217 km from Thessaloniki, Volos embodies a perfect blend of the past and present. You will be captivated by its renovated neoclassical buildings that exude a nostalgic charm while also being swept away by the vibrant, energetic atmosphere that permeates every corner of the city at any hour of the day.

Pelion

The awe-inspiring mountain that once served as a dwelling for Gods and Centaurs, stands tall between the Aegean and the Pagasitikos, making it one of the most captivating places in Greece. It offers a rare blend of mountainous and coastal landscapes that amazes with its diversity. The lush vegetation serves as a striking backdrop to the boundless blue sea, and the subtle variations in color create a picturesque view that is like no other. The ever-changing landscape is a sight to behold as the beech forests give way to olive groves, and the 24 picturesque stone-built villages that overlook the sea suddenly descend towards the shoreline, creating a breathtaking view as they merge with the waves.

Afissos

Nestled in a tranquil bay on the western coast of Pelion, Afissos is a charming village that is built in an amphitheatrical style. It is located just 22 kilometers away from Volos and is surrounded by three stunning beaches – Kalifteri, Abovos, and Lagoudi. According to legend, this was where the Argonauts stopped to collect water on their journey to Colchis. Its stone-built houses that stand out amidst the lush greenery, a church built in 1765, and picturesque taverns that overlook crystal-clear waters heighten the village’s allure. This environment offers a unique atmosphere where fresh seafood and tsipouro (local spirit) are a staple of the local cuisine.

HISTORY

Mythology suggests that Magnesia, the land of the Centaurs and Argonauts, was named after Magnes, the son of Aeolus, who chose this region as his kingdom.

The prefecture’s capital is Volos, which is associated with the ancient city of Iolkos. It was from here that Jason set off on his famous Argonautic Expedition to Colchis, in search of the Golden Fleece.

The city of Volos itself is relatively new, having been established at the end of the 19th century on the site of a former Turkish settlement. Since Greece’s annexation of the region in 1881, Volos has developed into the third-largest port in the country.

Pelion

Mountain of the Centaurs and, according to mythology, summer residence of the gods, it magically combines greenery and sea, and is famous for its forests, herbs and medicinal plants (the first sanatorium of Greece was founded here in 1903), its fruits (mainly apples) and olives.

It is here where the Titan battles took place, it is here where the cave of “Akraios Dias” (Extreme Zeus) was situated, and on these slopes Peleus married the Nereid Thetis and gave birth to Achilles. The dense forests of the region were home to the Centaurs, among whom the most renowned was Chiron, son of Cronus and the Oceanid Philyra. Chiron was a renowned teacher who instructed notable figures such as Hercules, Achilles, and Asclepius. He was also the first to utilize herbs for medicinal purposes.

“Argo”, which was also called “Pelias”, was built with wood from the forests of Pelion.

As a result, they became the gatekeepers of the Modern Greek enlightenment and played a significant role in fostering the flourishing Peliorite tradition. Even today, one can experience this tradition while ascending the slopes of Pelion. The 24 villages, however, began to take their current form and to know a huge flourishing in trade and letters during the Turkish occupation, due to the special privileges that had been granted to them. As a result, they became the seedbed of modern Greek enlightenment and contributed to the creation of the rich tradition of Pelion, a tradition that can still be experienced today when one ascends the slopes of Pelion.

THE LEGEND

To this day, three unique myths from Greek mythology continue to thrive and come to life amidst flowing waters and within the hidden caves of Pelion.

Peleus

According to the myth, Peleus, after whom the mountain is named, married the Nereid Thetis in the cave of the Centaur Chiron, with the 12 Olympian Gods as witnesses, and had Achilles with her.
The ensuing discord among three goddesses over the golden apple of discord led to the Trojan War.

The Centaurs

Pelion was the land of the Centaurs, mythical creatures with half-horse and half-man bodies.
One of them, the wise teacher Chiron, was the mentor of great figures of Greek mythology such as Asclepius, Achilles and Jason, whom he introduced to the secrets of music, medicine and astrology.

Jason

Returning from Pelion to Iolkos (Volos) to claim his father’s throne from Pelias, Jason lost one of his sandals, crossing a rushing river.

But the oracle had warned King Pelias to beware of “Monosandalus” (wearing one sandal), so Pelias, as soon as he saw Jason, agreed to surrender the throne, if Jason brought him the golden fleece that was in Colchis and had as his sleepless guard, a dragon.

With his ship, the mighty Argo, and his crew of brave men, Jason managed, after many adventures, to reach Colchis. There, they seized the coveted Golden Fleece and return victorious to Iolkos.

In 2008, a replica of Argo traveled all the way to the Adriatic, bringing the legend of the Argonautic Expedition to life.

SIGHTSEEING

Sights not to be missed

Explore the remarkable sights just a short distance away from 6 Keys, which will undoubtedly captivate you and your camera! Take a look at some of our recommendations. Volos – “The city of the Argonauts”
  • The replica of the mythological ship of Argos, anchored on the seaside Argonaut Street.
  • The Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos. One of the oldest museums in Greece with exhibits from the Paleolithic, Minoan and Roman eras.
  • The Museum of the city of Volos, which focuses on the recent history of the city.
  • The Museum of Industrial History and Brick Pottery in the Tsalapata complex.
  • The Entomological Museum of Volos, unique in Greece and one of the best in the Balkans.
  • The Museum of Natural History, with rocks, minerals and fossils from Thessaly and Greece in general.
  • The Metropolitan Church of the patron saint of the city, Agios Nikolaos, with the amazing altarpieces of Aginoras Asteriadis.
  • The altarpieces of Gounaropoulos in the chapel of Agia Triada, with their original and unique technique.
  • The amazing buildings of the Library of the Conservatory and the Giorgio de Chirico Art Center, with frequent thematic exhibitions of unique collections.
  • The Holy Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (Panagia Tripa of Goritsa) inside a cave at the foot of the hill of Goritsa.
  • The Theophilos Museum, in the village of Anakasia, a few kilometers outside of Volos.
  • The Neolithic Settlement of Sesklo, one of the oldest settlements of the early Neolithic era, dating back to 6,800 BC.
  • The Mycenaean and Neolithic settlement of Dimini from 4,800 BC.
  • The “Palaia” (Old) area, the oldest neighborhood of Volos with its retro atmosphere.
  • The traditional “tsipouradika” (venues where tsipouro spirit is served) that give the city its culinary stamp.
Makrinitsa – “The balcony of Pelion”
  • The village itself (a historical preserved settlement) with the church of Ai Yiannis Prodromos (1806) and the marble fountain in the square (1809).
  • The Byzantine Museum “Oxia Episkepsis”, with valuable relics from the 13th to the 20th century.
  • The Museum of Folk Art and History of Pelion at Archontiko Topali (Topali Mansion), a typical example of Peliorite architecture.
  • The church of Panagia (1767) with the Despotikos old school that surrounds it.
  • The “Theophilos” coffee shop, with a mural by the well-known painter Theophilos Hatzimichail.
Portaria – “The Princess of Pelion”
  • The stone mansions, such as the Athanasakeion Kindergarten, the Zoulia mansion (former vocational school for girls) and the Tsopotio School (current City Hall).
  • The remains of the “Theoxenia” hotel, which in its time, was considered the largest and most luxurious in the Balkans.
  • Fountains, simple, elaborate or vaulted, scattered both on the main road and in the cobblestones.
  • Churches and monasteries, such as the church of Agios Nikolaos with the bas-reliefs inside, located in the village square.
  • Panagia Portarea, the small church of the 13th century, which takes you on a journey to pre-revolutionary Greece, and the monastery of Agios Ioannis with its rich Byzantine decoration.
  • The Komboloi (Worry beads) Museum, with a multitude of beads made of various materials. Many of these can be purchased.
  • The Agriolefkes Ski Center, at an altitude of 1471 meters.
Milies – “The miniature Pelion”
  • The paradoxical church of Pammegiston Taxiarchon in the square, without a bell tower, with the amazing frescoes, which took 36 years (1741-1777) to complete, and the excellent acoustics (no sound can be heard from outside).
  • The completely unusual and even incompatible with an orthodox Christian church, representation of the zodiac on the church altar, with the inscription “The Vain Life of the illusional World”.
  • The Public Library of Milies. One of the oldest in Greece with volumes of books from 1497 to 1899 as well as manuscripts dating from the 10th to the 18th century.
  • The School of Milies (1814) founded by the scholar and revolutionary Anthimos Gazis. At its entrance, there is the famous inscription “PSYCHIS AKOS” (Healing of the Soul).
  • The Folklore Museum, a few meters from the central square, with the collection of local costumes and works by Theophilos.
  • The old train station next to the waterfall.
  • The rare, De Chirico metal bridge, one kilometer from the station.
  • The special, historical route of the train of Pelion, the famous “Mountzouris” (classified as a preserved historical monument).
  • The Cave of Chiron. 1,000 square meters and 10-15 meters high, very well hidden in the mountain, home of the famous centaur Chiron, according to ancient legends.
Vyzitsa – “The Fairy of Pelion”
  • The village itself, a living example of traditional Peliorite architecture, and one of the best-preserved traditional settlements in Greece.
  • The most photographed mansions (around 20), some preserved to this day, and others half-destroyed by time, reminders of the grandeur of the past.
  • The large paved square, with the stone-built fountain and the covered fountain “Mousga” from 1888.
  • The stone-built Basilica church of Zoodochos Pigi, dating from 1725 with its ancient wood-carved temple in unusual blue tones and the small, hard-to-see domes, with the hidden, overturned urns, for better acoustics
  • The mesmerizing natural scenery with its distinct cobblestone paths that meander through it, offering a breathtaking view of the Pagasitikos shores.
  • The monastery of Agios Ioannis the Baptist and Forerunner (1789) with its wonderful frescoes.
  • The agro-tourism Women’s Cooperative “Esperides” in the old elementary school, with the excellent handmade sweets and jams.
Tsagarada – “The navel of Central Pelion”
  • Its four districts, Agios Stefanos, Agia Kyriaki, Agia Paraskevi, and Taxiarches, are nestled among lush greenery, seemingly lost in nature’s embrace.
  • The square of Agia Paraskevi, where the famous plane tree dominates, with a trunk circumference of up to 14 meters and an age that local legend claims to be 1000 years old. Next to it is the church by the same name (1909) and the stone fountain dating from 1890.
  • The square of Agioi Taxiarches with the marble fountain with the four faucets and the church of 1786 with the wood-carved Venetian-style temple, which was completed in 1749.
  • The square of Agia Kyriaki with the church by the same name (1886) with its impressive bell tower.
  • The Holy Church of Agios Stefanos, standing in the same name square since 1772, with the high priest’s throne and the special temple.
  • The digital, interactive Folklore Museum in the Achillopouleion School, one of the most emblematic buildings of Pelion, built in 1864 (donated by the Greek-Egyptian Achillopoulos brothers, initially to house a civil school and from 1905 the commercial school).
  • The imposing Nanopouleion School (today’s elementary school), classified as a work of art, donated by Nikolaos Nanopoulos at the beginning of the 20th century. Every summer, theater performances, exhibitions and other cultural events are organized here.
  • The Kartaleio Primary School (what is left of it), classified as a work of art since 1985, with a very important role in the Tsagarada uprising against the Ottomans.
  • The single arched stone bridge, built in 1787, in the ravine of Mylopotamos. It is estimated to be the oldest in Pelion.
  • The small incredible chapel inside the rock, on the Fakistra beach, which the locals call the “secret school”.
  • The stunning landscape of Athos Hill (820 meters altitude), named after the small church of Agios Athanasios in Athos, nestled amidst towering beech trees. Ideal place for a picnic.
Damouchari – “The hidden paradise”
  • A picturesque and charming coastal village, featuring the remnants of a castle situated on a narrow peninsula, connecting two small bays. The movie “Mamma Mia 1” was filmed here.
Kissos – “The Jewel of Pelion”
  • The houses of the village, some from the 19th century with high defensive walls, and others from the 20th century more extroverted, with neoclassical features, exude the economic prosperity of the region in this particular period.
  • The Church of Agia Marina in the central square, with its impressive wood-carved temple.
Zagora – “The authentic Pelion”
  • The traditional settlement itself with its two-story mansions, stone-built cobblestones, traditional fountains and stone bridges. Its artistic and spiritual heritage permeates every corner.
  • The “Ellinomuseum” (Greek Museum), the oldest school of Pelion. A boarding school of the highest education, where Rigas Feraios also studied.
  • The library of Zagora, with a history from the 18th century (1762) and a valuable collection of books.
  • The Holy Church of Agia Kyriaki, with the carved temple, a beautiful example of the famous woodcarving of Pelion.
  • The square of Agios Georgios with its huge plane trees, coffee shops, taverns and the church by the same name (1765) with its gilded temple and ornate pulpit.
  • The Flamouriou Monastery (1564), one of the most beautiful monasteries of Pelion that operates according to the standards of Mount Athos (women are not admitted).
  • The Old Mintzella. Coastal, ruined settlement from the years of Turkish rule, hidden in the forest.
  • The Agricultural Cooperative of Zagora (100 years of operation) where the famous “Zagorin” apples are produced.
Beaches
  • Mylopotamos beach, one of the most photographed and impressive beaches of Pelion.
  • The Aegean beaches Xinovrysi, Kalamaki, Fakistra, Chorefto, Ai Giannis, Papa Nero, Agioi Saranda.
  • The lacy Pagasitikos beaches of Afissos, Lefokastro, Kalamos, Marathias, Milina, Trikeri.

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