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Portaria Village | Pelion | Crafting Memories of an Artisanal Legacy amidst Natural Beauty

Updated: Mar 6


George P. Papadellis | SG Head

Nestled amidst the majestic landscapes of Mount Pelion, lies the charming village Portaria. This picturesque village graces the slopes facing the enchanting Pagasetic Gulf, just north of Volos and its suburbs. It is a treasure trove of Pelion architecture, with its vibrant buildings adorned with colorful windows and doors. The village holds tightly to its traditions, celebrating an annual traditional wedding in its main square, inviting visitors to witness the customs of yesteryears. As we embark on this journey, we delve into the rich history, cultural heritage, and natural allure that make Portaria a hidden gem worth exploring.

Portaria Village Pelion

Portaria Square | Photo by: anonymous, PortariaSquare, CC BY 3.0

Roots of Portaria

The origins of Portaria trace back to the era of Slavic settlements in Greece. During the Byzantine period, the settlement in this region was known as Dryanouvaina, as evident from historical documents. Later, monasteries were established in the area, with the Monastery of Panagia tis Portareas being one of the notable ones. The name "Portaria" is believed to have originated from this monastery, which holds a significant place in the village's history.

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A Flourishing Era

Throughout the Ottoman occupation, Portaria and the entire Pelion region witnessed an influx of population, with people seeking refuge from lower areas. By the 18th century, Portaria had blossomed into an essential commercial and craft hub, exemplified by the opulent mansions that still grace the village today. It was particularly famous for its silk fabrics and scarves, and its bustling bazaar, which held prominence in Thessaly. Furthermore, Portaria played a vital role during the Thessalian revolution of 1878, standing tall as one of its main centers. After the liberation of Thessaly in 1881, Portaria became part of the Greek state and the seat of the Municipality of Ormini.

Portaria Village Pelion

The Kantartzi Mansion | Photo by: C messier, Arhontiko Kantartzi 3853-HDR, CC BY-SA 4.0

Journey to Modernity

Portaria continued to evolve, becoming the seat of a community from 1912 to 1998. Subsequently, in 1998, it was designated the seat of the expanded Municipality of Portaria. In recent times, since 2011, Portaria has been administratively part of the Municipality of Volos. Recognizing its unique charm and natural allure, Portaria has been declared a place of special natural beauty, alongside its neighboring village Makrinitsa. Additionally, it is acknowledged as a designated traditional settlement.

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The Allure Today

Today, Portaria captivates visitors with its authentic charm and draws many people, especially from Volos, to invest in holiday homes within its embrace. The reasons are abundant: its proximity to Volos, being only 12 km away, allows residents to indulge in both village serenity and urban amenities. In just 3/4 of an hour, one can escape to the azure beaches of the Aegean Sea, basking in the crystal-clear waters. Moreover, being only 13 km away from the Pelion ski resort, Portaria transforms into a winter wonderland, making it a year-round destination for travelers seeking diverse experiences.

Portaria Village Pelion

Painting of Portaria in 1820 | Photo by: Edward Dodwell creator QS:P170,Q536003, Dodwell Portaria, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Architectural Heritage

Portaria stands as a testament to the traditional Pelion architecture, and among the treasured buildings, several late 19th-century mansions have survived despite the destruction inflicted during the Occupation. The Zoulia Mansion, built in 1864 and now transformed into the Historical and Folklore Museum of Portaria, showcases the village's rich history. The Tsopotou Mansion, erected in 1857, presently serves as the Despotiko Hotel, welcoming guests with its timeless allure. Another architectural gem, the Archontiko Kantartzi, constructed in 1859, is now a beloved establishment known as the Hotel Archontiko Kantartzi.

Hotels we Propose

The most withstanding hotels of Portaria, according with our Shiny Greece standards, are:

History Whispering

Portaria Village in Pelion beckons travelers with its idyllic charm, historical significance, and architectural wonders. From its Slavic roots to the prosperous days of the 18th century, and from the struggles of the Thessalian revolution to the comforts of modernity, Portaria encapsulates a kaleidoscope of captivating experiences. With its fusion of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and accessibility, this designated place of special natural beauty and traditional settlement continues to be a magnet for those seeking a unique escape. Whether it's a traditional wedding in the village square or a leisurely beach day, Portaria stands as a testament to the timeless allure of Pelion, a destination for all seasons, where history whispers through the winds, and nature's embrace captivates the soul.


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Apr 20
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Excellent food in Kritsa in the central square!!!


Apr 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wonderful and scenic village on Pelion mountain! Very difficult to find parking space, though.... but at the end so great experience!!


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