Frequent travelers to Greece and the Mediterranean are fond of lamenting the neglect the Grecian mainland receives due to the popular fascination with the better-known islands and archeological sites in and around Athens and elsewhere. This may be a bit of a false dichotomy, as it’s perfectly feasible to sample a bit of all of the above with some careful planning (we’re not talking about mainland China here, Greece is relatively small and easily traversed), but it is true that the beauty of many coastal and interior destinations are unfairly overlooked by incurious tourists hustling off to Piraeus. This can work to your advantage, however, if you forgo the ferries for, say, a rental car or tour package.
One of the most striking areas of Greece for travelers in search of beautiful scenery, trekking, and unspoiled beaches is the Mount Pelion Peninsula in Magnesia. It hardly scratches the surface of what’s available to describe the region’s beaches as follows, but the peninsula is blessed with some of the most numerous and lovely stretches of sand in Greece.
The mountain for which the peninsula is named and Cathedral Mountain to its west offer invigorating hiking amid beech, oak, maple, chestnut, and plane tree forests. The many springs, gorges, streams and trail systems that connect the two dozen villages in the area make this one of the most popular trekking destinations in the country. Its elevation also makes it an excellent choice for ski vacations from Christmas to Easter.