Information about trips
1st day: Mount Pelion forms a hook-like peninsula between the Pagasitic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. Almost entirely enclosed by land, the Pagasitic Gulf remains warm enough to swim in year-round. With a ski resort at the summit (at Chania) the locals boast that you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon.
The mountains are entirely forested, with beech, oak, maple and chestnut trees. Pelion is a tourist attraction throughout the year: the mountain includes trails and sidewalks for walking within small and large beaches with sand or pebbles. Modern Pelio has twenty-four villages built with traditional Pelian architecture.
Pelion Mountain is located in central Greece, in the province of Magnesia, and it offers both winter and summer holiday activities with a ski resort in Hania, and numerous beach resorts on the east coast.
In ancient times it was the home of the legendary Centaurs; the beasts who were half men, half horses. In more recent history, it has been the refuge of Greeks who found shelter from invaders – especially the Turks, in its inaccessible terrain. The mountain villages flourished under the auspices of rich merchants who traded the products of the land (citrus, olives, grapes) and the considerable industry of silk, leather, and textiles.
Today it is a favorite destination both in winter and summer.
Skiers favor the ski resort of Hania, while others prefer the quiet surroundings of Makrinitsa and Portaria during the snowy winter.
In the spring and fall, hiking the countless mountain paths of Pelion is a favorite activity, and as summer approaches the beach resorts of eastern Pelion fill with summer vacationers who enjoy both the sea and the mountain.
The position of this mountain village allows it to act as a gateway to the mountain as the road north of Volos passes through it. The village has very few original homes remaining – most being demolished in the past by earthquakes and abandonment. Many have been rebuilt in the original Pelion style and so the village is quaint and inviting. Most travelers to Pelion will make one stop in Portaria on their way to the ski resort of Hania, or to the beach resorts of the eastern coast.
One of the most beautiful villages of Greece, Makrinitsa is perched on a steep slope to the north of Volos. The views of Pagasitikos Gulf from the stone-paved village square are unforgettable, and the three-storey stone homes that cling to the steep slope are a beautiful site. The village itself is the main attraction here, punctuated by the main square and its large platanos (plane tree) and the old water spouts.
In Byzantine times, Makrinitsa was the feudal center of power of Konstantinos Melissinos who founded the monastery of the Virgin Mary there. The community and the village developed around the affluent monastery, and later during the Ottoman occupation its population grew to 4000 inhabitants who worked in the leather and textile industries.
The village revolted against the Turks in 1821 along with many other Greek towns, and was decimated soon after by Dramalis, and later in 1878 by Iskeder Pasha.
The small Folk museum of Makrinitsa exhibits everyday artifacts and other historical objects.
2nd day: Athanasakio Archaeological Museum of Volos http://www.tap.gr/tapadb/index.php/en/component/jshopping/product/view/60/1705
The Museum of Volos City http://www.vmoc.gr/
University of Thessaly http://www.uth.gr/en/index.php
Little Train of Pelion "Moutzouris" http://www.limanakirooms.gr/en/activities-sights/train-pelion.html
Milies village is located at the western slopes of Mt. Pelion. It took its name from the main tree that was cultivated in its soil, the apple trees (Apple trees = Milies in Greek). In the spring when the apple trees bloom the entire area acquires a beautiful hue, and in the summer the hanging fruits testify to the fertility of its soil.
In 1894 Evaristo De Chirico, an Italian engineer began building the railroad that connected the towns of Thessaly, and Volos with Milies (completed in 1903) through some very difficult terrain. While he was busy with this modern engineering feat, his young son, Georgio De Cirico was busy becoming one of the major figures of modern art with his surreal paintings of landscapes (and railroads). The paintings of Giorgio De Cirico decorate major museums of art, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
An old steam train is still in operation as a tourist attraction today. It departs from Ano Lehonia and travels about twenty miles through beautiful terrain before it arrives at Milies.
The mythical route of Pelion's little train...
15.30 pm. at the Ano Lehonia Railway Station. The little train’s whistle signals the beginning of an unforgettable trip. The ascent on the beautiful slopes of Mt. Pelion has started!
This 60cm gauge line, one of the narrowest in the world, hosts the loco and the 4 cars of "Moutzouris", a nickname which is used in Greek for someone who turns things black , an obvious choice in the days of steam. The terrain between Ano Lehonia and Milies is mountainous, filled with dense vegetation, mainly made up of plane trees, olives and pine trees. The altitude gained allows for a spectacular view over Pagasitikos bay. Add to this the fact that the little train’s maximum speed is a mere 20km/h and one can see why spectacular vistas over gorges, magnificent old bridges and tight tunnels are the order of the day, thus putting together all the jigsaw bits of this scenic route. The train’s only intermediate stop is at the Ano Gatzea station from which it toils on to Milies and towards the completion of this 15km run in a total of about 90 minutes.
The church of Agioi Taxiarches in Milies, Pelion: The historical church of Agioi Taxiarches is found in the central square of Milies. It is easy to access and very close to the train station of Milies. It is unknown when exactly this church was built, but a sign at the entrance informs visitors that it was renovated in 1741. The church is dedicated to Saint Taxiarches and to Agioi Pantes (All Saints). There is no bell tower or windows and the interior is quite cozy and impresses visitors with the wall paintings that depict scenes from the Bible and Hell. There is also the Zodiac Cycle at the entrance. This church is an important historical monument for Pelion as on May 17th, 1821, the scholar Anthimos Gazis raised the Greek flag of Revolution there. This flag is housed today in the Library of Milies. The acoustics is also great and in fact, in 2000, a choral festival with ecclesiastical songs of Johann Bach took place in the interior of this church.
Agria (coffee stop) http://livelikelocal.gr/experience/agria/
3rd day: Meteorahttp://guidemeteora.gr/meteora/
4th day: Skiathoshttp://www.skiathos.gr/en/
5th day: http://dimosvolos.gr/?p=2824&lang=en
6th day: Acropolis Museum http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en
Information about the learning activities
For the learning activities at our school, you can prepare your students by teaching them the following:
- Presentation of educational systems/ partners’ schools
Students can practice presenting their school and their town to an audience of foreign students and teachers (an interactive board with laptop will be available)
- : Interactive Quiz “Are you a true European?”
Students must be able to identify cultural landmarks, music, traditional dishes, typical faces, customs, gestures, artifacts, costumes, buildings and the language of each partner country.
- Quiz based on the Odyssey: Ody in the role of a modern Odysseus
Students must be able to identify all characters appearing in Homer’s the Odyssey, discover the moral values which are still relevant in the modern world and how they could be of use to Ody in his own journey and finally be able to compare the characters and locations of the Odyssey to characters and locations in the modern world.
- Outdoor Geography and Citizenship game: help Ody find his way to Sweden
Students must be able to identify flags, landmarks, cities, seas, rivers, lakes, mountains, climate and human geography (the study of people and their communities and cultures) - citizenship issues related to refugees eg. Rights to work, asylum and logistics
- Videoquiz “ Understanding the refugee crisis”
Students will answer questions based on a video with embedded questions created by us on Educaplay. For example, what started the war in Syria, what it is like to be a refugee, what escape route refugees follow, life in refugee camps, what their reaction to the video is and what they think can be done to help the refugees arriving in their country.