Almost a year has passed since we spent Christmas in Greece. We had reached a natural stopping point after heading south to find some winter sunshine and decided we would stay in a villa for Christmas and experience more luxury than we were used to in our camper van. The area of Greece we stayed in was the Pelion region; an arm of mountainous land stretching out from the city of Volos.
We had found the villa online, it belonged to an Englishman who had bought the place with his wife and done a lot of work to the property and its land. Reaching the villa was an adventure in itself and involved driving through an in-use railway tunnel. This was the only way to reach the building. The railway line’s original purpose was to move olives from one end to the other but it is now used for scenic railway trips for tourists.
We decided to have a very un-English Christmas day and opted for sea bass cooked on a BBQ. The weather was decent and the sun was present making it warm enough to eat outside comfortably.
After Christmas day, we decided to explore the area. A lot of the small towns nearby, such as Kala Nera, were mainly shut due to the time of year but we manged to find a few cafes to stop at and we walked along a few beaches. We explored Volos, which due to its size, was still very active and seemingly not affected by the time of year.
The weather soon changed. The snow came and the roads became mayhem. We went out for the day and struggled to get back to our villa. I made a snowman on the beach (a first).
We asked a local about where to go for New Year’s Eve and he wisely advised us to stay in due to the weather. Driving down the mountain into Volos or a nearby village would have been too risky. We therefore welcomed New Year in at the nearby cafe run by a local couple. We spent the evening with Richard, the owner of the villa, and Heather’s Mum and Dad.
After a succesful Christmas and New Year, we decided to go on a day trip to Meteora, one of the most visited and most impressive sights in all of Greece. It took us a few hours to get there, but it was well worth it, the scenery is amazing; huge stone pillars with old monasteries and churches perched on top. Just driving around the area is spectacular but we decided to get out and brave the cold by walking to some of the buildings.
The next day, Heather’s parents set off to fly back to the UK and we, having almost exhausted our funds, began an epic drive back to the UK.