Anna Nesterenko: Pelion set my love for Greece.

Agios Ioannis is a small village on the east coast of Pelion with a seafront 1500 meters long. All the things I have heard of Greece were waiting for me here: crystal blue water of Aegean, great local food (especially fresh seafood), legendary hospitality of Greeks, beautiful white church, little port for boats and dozens of activities around.

Being a hiking lover I can tell that Pelion (Magnesia region) is the best area for exploring mountain roots with its beautiful villages like Makrinitsa, numerous bays and secret places. Take one kayak for two or a boat trip and enter most beautiful sea caves with stalactites and stalagmites, reach stunning wild bays available only from the water.

Lovely bays and beaches are also found at arm’s length in Ag. Ioannis village. I had an opportunity to visit all tavernas, bakeries and local village shops. In the center of the village Vassiliki sells cosmetics with olive oil and dishes made from olive oil tree. At Annoula’s you’ll find snow-white Greek lace. If you visit Athanasios to buy some postcards you hardly will leave him without sharing “ouzo” or other delicatessen he treating his guests.


I do recommend trying local dishes here and I’m not talking about a Greek salad. “Papoutsakia” (baked halfs of an aubergine with a special sauce), mousaka, giant beans “gigantes”, Greek cheeses grilled in phyllo dough with honey ­­– lots of things to try.

Do not forget about Greek coffee, pastry and sweets. Seafood and fish you’ll order for sure. Ask your waiter what was the morning haul from a fisherman. If you are a fan of “Mamma Mia” movie you can have a dinner in Damouchari bay, 20 minutes walking distance. Every Greek in Damouchari is happy to tell you about the shooting of a movie scene and which bar Meryl Streep preferred.

If you are brave to spend a few hours in a bus or a car you will be granted by the beauty of a very special and holy place in the heart of Greece. Visiting Meteora’s elevated monasteries is a real diving into the Greek history. Breathtaking experience, you don’t even need a drone to feel the magic of the place included in UNESCO World Heritage List.

After a long day of hiking, being on an excursion trip or swimming you enjoy golden sunset in Agios Ioannis and little by little fall in love.

Recalling people I met and beautiful places I’ve seen makes me smile as if it happened yesterday. Pelion set my love for Greece. It is still one of my favorite places, a small paradise, hidden in the mountains and hugging blue sea.

Anna N.