Pinakates, one of the most authentic villages of Pelion, is built 580 meters high with a stunning view over the Pagasetic gulf. It is located between busy Vizitsa and Aghios Georghios Nileias, and it is 25 kilometers away from Volos. Pinakates is less known compared to nearby villages, like Milies or Vizitsa, without, however, lacking in beauty. In fact, one could say that precisely this is the village's leverage; fewer visitors turn it into a real retreat for those who seek relaxation and wish to enjoy the peacefulness of Pelion’s landscape.
A version regarding the origin of the village's name is that it was the name of one of the first inhabitants, whose name was Pinakas, because he manufactured dishes made of wood or clay, called in the local dialect “pinakia”. The suffix -ates signifies a place-name formation of the language Arvanitika. The exact date of the village’s foundation is not known. However, as early as 1791 it counted about 100 houses. During the Ottoman Period it was a district (“mahalas”) of Aghios Georghios Nileias, like the neighboring Vizitsa. Until 1860 the population growth was great, as in Pinakates resided 160 families, about 800 people.
The main occupation of the people was livestock farming. Later they began cultivating olive trees and grapevines, making wine, and producing silk. To this day, Pinakates is considered a profoundly agricultural village; olive orchards and vineyards spread out on the slope reaching the Pagesetic Gulf, and apple and chestnut trees ornamenting the mountain.
Pinakates is a village as if from another time. It owes its authenticity partly to its scanty connection to the surrounding areas. It was 1973 when power supply reached it, and connection to Volos by bus happened a few years later. Until recently the only road that reached the village went through Aghios Georghios Nileias. Even though it is located only five kilometers away from the well-known and popular Vizitsa, the connecting road is only a few years old, and it was inaugurated in 1999. The isolation provided by the naturally remote location on the mountain, on one hand preserved its traditional “color”, but is also responsible for the reduction of the population.
The settlement of Pinakates has been declared a conservation area since 1979, thus the interventions are really limited. You will be enamored with the village’s unique esthetic from the first moment. The cobblestone streets will bring you to the village’s stone-built squares, to big and small country churches, to old homes and manors worth admiring. At the big square of the village with the enormous plane trees, looms an old-plane tree, which is 500 years old. There is Saint Dimitrios’ basilica church and a neoclassical marbled fountain with lion heads, made in 1894, which has been refreshing visitors with water from Dokana spring ever since. Not so long ago, easy access to Pinakates led to touristic growth of the area and to revival of the village. Dilapidated manors and buildings have been renovated. Some of them turned into beautiful guest houses and others into restaurants and cafés. Furthermore, the bakery went back into business as well as two small grocery stores.
Today, Pinakates is a getaway suggestion for the weekends throughout the year. Depending on the season, activities in the area vary. From casual strolls around the cobblestone streets of the village to hiking around the waymarked trails leading to nearby villages; swimming at Kala Nera, which is the closest beach; gastronomic delights and traditional dishes, but also local wine and tsipouro (spirit) are some of the reasons why Pinakates satisfies every visitor’s desires. Moreover, distance from the surrounding villages is very short, and therefore you can easily visit Aghios Gheorgios Nileias, 4 kilometers away, or Vizitsa (3 kilometers), or Milies (5 kilometers) going the opposite direction. It is also ideal as a starting point for day trips by car all around Pelion.
If you are in Pinakates, go to Aghia Kiriaki, located on the hill across offering a panoramic view, overlooking the village on one side and Pelion and the Pagasetic Gulf on the other. A walk to the old threshing floor, a little further up from Aghios Athanasios settlement, the beech tree forest with the fountains, the train station where the little train of Pelion stops in Pinakates at Oglas settlement, are some of the things worth visiting. Lastly, keep in mind the festival of Saint Dimitrios, on August, 20th taking place at the village’s central square, and the festival of Saint Athanasios on May 2nd at the church.