Stone- built neoclassical tall "mansion" with local vernacular influence

Stone- built neoclassical tall "mansion" with local vernacular influence




Nov 2014

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3 Bedrooms
Sleeps 8
1 Bathrooms

About our home

Much-loved, renovated with all original features intact, re-roofed (in stone tiles, as is the local style), imposing 100+ year old 1/2 m thick stone-walled listed house in beautiful popular village, a conservation area, with 2.7m and 3.6m floor-to-ceiling heights at ground and 1st floor respectively. One of several impressive holiday homes built at that period by local wealthy migrants to Alexandria (Egypt) that combined the then fashionable European neoclassical grandiose style, with more local vernacular architectural character, of varying luxury. Painted in traditional yellow-ochre natural waterpaint with deep green window shutters.

Dining room (round table expands twice to sit 6-10) links through to cherry-wood cabinets, marble top kitchen (oven, microwave, new fridge, plenty of usual high quality equipment of all kind and english plugs also) downstairs, with second living room that can easily be also used as bedroom across wide hallway opposite (with 2 setees converting to 2 double beds), fireplace and library, plasma TV. New very large marble-topped bathroom to the rear of this room, with large window to side garden, huge bath tub and 2 types of shower; wall-fixed and flexible. Washing machine. Beautifully tiled.

Original ornate sculptured wooden staircase leads to very spacious well furnished sitting room (comprising the entire front half of the 1st floor of the house) with central ornate balcony, 4 large windows and incredibly long south open views of the sea, either side of the village's amphitheatre (being in its centre) and of distant mountains of the mainland and Evia island across the Pagasitikos bay. Second plasma TV. Amazing sunsets and sky views and colours (all reds and pinks!). Two bedrooms behind the living room, 1 with double bed (extra large) and 1 with handmade metal bunkbeds I had made from an antique single, with steps to top, so strong they can sleep any adult weights. Two wardrobes and chest of draws give ample clothe storage. The second bedroom also has a sitting area with low table and antique furniture. Two stereo music systems.

Second 2 storey smaller house ("paraspito" used by servants in the old days) at right angles (now used as storage including wood for fires; planning to also renovate, would make lovely cottage) encloses the large paved sitting out patio and garden infront of house. Two handmade long solid wooden tables stored in this cottage to be used for dinner parties on patio, huge sun umbrella (although trees give shade) plus all-weather table tennis table just bought last summer and other games, barbeque etc. Outside water hose and taps.

1,000 sq m treed and vegetable garden (cherries, apples, almonds, quinces, etc). Ample car parking and direct own access to the house behind the stone cottage.

Located right in the heart (central-south) of the amphitheatrical unique village of St George (Aghios Georghios Nilias or "Ai Yiorgi") just below the church and the main road through the village (far enough not to hear cars) which has a wealth of intact wonderful architecture (was a thriving rich large village with 2 schools etc), stone footpaths ancient churches, a functioning ancient monastery complex ("Taxiarches") nearby and a unique layout grid with buildings and mansions. Just 45 min drive from the attractive vibrant university port city of Volos from where boats go to very beautiful Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonisos islands (day excursions possible). Skiing at Chania at the very top of the mountain 45 min drive in winter. A house for all seasons with 2 fireplaces, a very powerful new Godin wood fire in the hallway that heats the whole house, and electric heaters also wall-mounted throughout in all rooms (including the bathroom). New kitchen and bathroom.

Second but one house downhill but in the very centre of the village's amphitheatrical layout, has the key advantage of completely open wide natural views in all directions and all the way to the sea, with plenty of open space around it and complete privacy, being extremely quiet , but also only a 4 min walk via footpath alongside the west side of house to the rear, via its garden and footpath through the church grounds (where kids playground exists) to the "main" road, "square" and restaurants/shops right behind it, being just below the imposing church. No issue with drinking and driving, therefore. Great local wines and spirits as well as wide choice of excellent food (more info on these will be given). Extremely quiet and private, but in the centre of it all.

Pelion is where the 12 Greek Gods regularly spent their holidays from nearby taller mount Olympus so it had to be beautiful as the Gods had exquisite taste. The Queen of Pelion (early feminism here) was guarded by her army of Centaurs (fighting horses with human torsos) while Jason with his Argonauts set off from right here in search of the Golden Fleece. An exact historically correct replica of their boat "Argo" is moored at Volos sea front for all to see.

Very lush green with rare birds, flowers/plants, mushrooms, horses, goats/sheep and nature of all kind (hawks often fly above the balcony) makes up for a rarely found combination of mountain with wonderful sea and beaches that are just 15-20 min drive on a good, safe and wide, tarmaced and little traficed road, straight downhill. Lovely fishing port with tavernas by the waterfront there, in Kato Gatzea. Intact architecture varies from village to village and too many places to visit. I never get bored going back and always find something new. Very popular and stylish as well as cheap "Rivera" is a whole peninsula of a swimming, bar, restaurant and relaxation place belonging to friends, Dimitri and his English wife Tracy, with all sea sports and games for kids and adults too which conveniently awaits you at the bottom. Beautiful Afissos village with crystal clear beaches further to the side with many more resorts to choose from. Nearest 3 mountain villages are minutes away, Pinakates, Vyzitsa, Milies and then further onto the exceptional (largely Brit-colonized) Lafkos and Milina and Trikeri village and island to the south, or wonderful Tsagarada and Milopotamos facing the Aegean to the north.
The "Old Vigla" is a good restaurant set in beatiful nature 5 mins drive on the edge of the village great for kid-pony riding.

The "Little Train of Pelio", built by surrealist painter's Giorgio de Kiriko's (who was born in Volos) father Ernesto is an amazing narrow-gauge railway, with extraordinarily beautiful stone bridges and views, a rare treat for children and gown ups alike. Horse riding and excellent food nearby. A never-ending choice of beaches and excursions, water games, bars, tavernas etc on both sides of the Pelion peninsula, to me the most beautiful place in Greece (the Aegean sea to the east, the Pagasitikos bay to the south where you have the sun on you 'till sunset).


More about us

  1. I have lived in the UK and London since 16 until a year ago when I moved back to Athens. I have a 24 yr old son in London that I miss and so do I miss London; suddenly it occured to me that a swapping arrangement would be an answer of spending time there each year and visiting other countries too.! I could also rent my house in Pelion being a second home although I have never done this or swaped yet.

  2. Being a town planner/urban designer involved in major schemes in London and elsewhere, now semi-retired, I love architecture, art, music, people and nature and miss the English countryside. Before I left the UK I lived in Suffolk near Bury St Edmunds which I adored.

  3. I am very attached to the house and the area and plan to do up the smaller house too, soon, which is very pretty indeed. I want to swap/rent Pelio to the right people who would look after it and enjoy it. It is a special place with a special atmosphere and there are friends/handymen nearby who look after the house and would help my visitors on anything they may need, in all respects. Pelion (the mountain and whole peninsula is called Pelion) is beautiful in all seasons including winter when it usually snows and you can ski. The villages are busy with visitors at Christmas. Greeks go to Pelio mainly in the winter.

Swap availability

Open to offers
Not Available

Where is it?


Buzzy restaurants
Plenty in the village and nearby as well as Volos
Cool bars
Rivera, Agria, Volos
Cozy cafés
Plenty by the sea or mountain Milies, Kato Gatzea, Rivera Afissos, etc etc
Retail therapy
Volos ideal with pedestrianised slondg shopping street (and M&S) and long attractive cafe waterfront with moored boats
Bit of culture
Plenty. Local museums in Milies, ideal for architectural study wherever you find yourself, lovely archaeological and other museums in Volos as well as galleries (including the De Kiriko gallery), University exhibitions. Volos was one of the first urban cultural centres of Greece with regular passenger shiplines to Constantinople and Alexandria.
Walks in the park
Volos is perhaps the most gifted city in Greece with parks and open spaces for its size the entire waterfront is pedestrianised and links onto a very long green park.
Spot of exercise
Water skiing, football, basketball and more easily found. Table tennis at home.
Day tripping
Where do I begin? A cheap soft cover guide with excellent photos on Pelio (some 6 euro) is found throughout - a copy in the house as is a large book of all footpaths with maps.

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