In the mountain villages of Pelion you have a wonderful selection of hotels, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses. The choice is huge. You can find anything from basic and traditional to stylish and luxurious. If you value an impeccable blend of tradition, warmth, elegance and great comfort, you will love the stylishly restored 18th century Archontiko Sakali. It is an impressive Pelion-style mansion with eight beautiful bedrooms spread over three floors, all furnished with carefully selected antique and handmade pieces (and very comfortable beds). Two have a fireplace. We stayed at the Sakali Mansion with the children and were given a suite on the first floor, tremendously cosy but with small windows and not much of a view. On the top floor I saw two rooms with much larger windows and sweeping views over the Pagasitikos Gulf. There’s also a smaller side building, with a breakfast room and a sitting area, both very cosy, as well as a Hammam, a whirlpool bath with view, and, for the summer, an outdoor pool with a terrace looking out over the mountains and sea. It all has heaps of charm! Kriton and Anastasia live near Athens, but spend as much time as possible in Pelion. They take the best care of the mansion and of the guests. You will be spoiled with a fantastic breakfast.
The Sakali mansion really scores on all fronts: architecture, style, decoration, comfort, location, breakfast, the welcome… Everything makes it special. My visit was in the winter; if I’d been here during the summer I’m sure I would have added the pool to my list.
7 double rooms (some with the possibility of an extra bed; all rooms are non smoking!)
1 suite for up to 4 persons
Prices for two persons from 90 Euro per night, breakfast and taxes included. For a full overview of room rates, please contact Anastasia.
En-suite bathroom (shower)
Fireplace (in 2 rooms only)
Outdoor swimming pool
Hammam (first two hours free of charge)
Use of PC
An excellent homemade Greek traditional breakfast is served from 9 to 11 am. It includes traditional pita, cake, really good (and fattening!) loukoumades, yogurt, dried fruits, cerials, fresh orange juice, and more…
For lunch and dinner you can just walk to the village tavernas – one is right next door – which offer simple fare. During the summer, you can order snacks and light meals (toasts, sandwiches and salads) by the pool.
Despite the swimming pool, Archontiko Sakali is not really a hotel to book for family holidays. Children are welcome from the age of 12 and up. All rooms have double beds so they are not ideal for teenagers to share. But the suite has a double and 2 single beds (in separate spaces) and works well for a family of four, and some of the double rooms have an comfortable sofa bed for a child.
If your teenage children don’t need ‘nightlife’ and organised entertainment to have a good time, but instead enjoy walking and exploring traditional villages, and if you don’t mind the driving to the beach with them from time to time, they will love staying at Archontiko Sakali.
Walking and hiking
Follow the footpaths and centuries-old cobbled mule tracks connecting the mountain villages of Pelion. It’s a walkers’ paradise with breathtakingly beautiful landscape and views, historical villages, gorgeous nature, waterfalls, old stone bridges and small churches and chapels. Some routes are marked. If you are in good shape, you can walk over the mountain to the Tsangarada. One route starts at Agios Giorgios, the other, slightly shorter, is from Milies. Bring plenty of water, sun protection, something to eat, and make sure you can take a bus or taxi back. From Milies, you can also follow the old train track through the mountains.
You may not have the beach at your doorstep, but as long as you have a car, there are plenty you can drive too. The nearest is at Kala Nera (a bit over 20 minutes’ drive); there are some nice ones on the way towards Afissos (only 5-10 minutes more driving), and if you are okay to drive 45-60 minutes you will find amazing beaches on the eastern coast. If you feel like swimming from beaches and in little coves that are only accessible by sea, sign up for a one-day sailing trip (leaving from Kala Nera), with, if you are lucky, dolphin spotting as well!
There are several places for horseback riding in Pelion; one you will find not far from the Sakali mansion, on the way from Milies to Kala Nera. If you are a beginner, you can sign up for a one or a two/three-hour trip on horseback, but if you are an experienced rider, you have a choice of rides of up to six hours.
Go scuba diving in Afissos, the PADI certified diving centre is great both for beginners and qualified divers. The area around Tsangarada, on the eastern side of the mountain, is great for outdoor activities including canyoning, rock climbing, sea kayaking and stand-up paddling.
Pinakates is a charming village built on the western slopes of the Pelion peninsula. It consists of beautiful old stone mansions, a church, a village square, two tavernas and one small shop. Sakali Mansion lies just below the road, but it is quiet. It has wonderful views over the mountains and the Pagasitikos Gulf.
Follow the coastal road from Volos in the direction of Avria. Take a left in Ano Lehonia and follow signs for Agios Georgios. After Agios Georgios, continue to follow to road to Pinakates. You will see the guesthouse on your right just after you pass the church and village square.