Pelion was known in Greek mythology as the summer residence of the Olympian gods and as the magical homeland of the Centaurs. Its incomparably unique natural beauty led Peleus and Nereid Thetis and Perithos and Hippodamea to their mythical weddings according to Homer, Pindarus and Euripides.
The district of Magnesia is related to the Magnets, descendants of the Greek god of the winds, Aiolos. Pelias kingdom was situated there Admetus and Alcestis, Achilles, Philoctetes, Eumelus and other leaders of Magnesian cities took part in the Trojan War. Near Pelion is also where the Argonauts under the leadership of Jason set off on board the “Argo” on their voyage to faraway Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece.
Chiron, the wisest of the Centaurs, lived in Pelion as well. According to the myth he was the son of Cronus (Saturn) and Phylira, daughter of the Ocean. He was a renowned doctor and a teacher to Achilles, Asclepius, Theseus, Jason and many other mythical heroes. He was wise, kind and an invaluable friend to the people, as they would turn to him to treat them and cure them using the great variety of herbs grown in the mountain.
Besides the myth, however, the history of Pelion through the centuries has been of great interest. A monk society was created in Pelion in the 12th century AD, due to the abundant monasteries built by monks from Agio Oros (Athos). It didn’t take long before the first settlements were founded. Soon they turned into very important economical and cultural cradles.
In the late 16th century Pelion and Zagora were the leaders in silk production. It was Horefto where they would set off on their voyages to transport the town products to all the great European ports crossing the Mediterranean, as well as to Constantinople and Smyrna. The old chapel of Agios Nicolas (Saint Nicolas) in Horefto, built in 1651 AD, was far too small to hold all the seamen and their families whenever they would come back home after several months in the sea to pay their duties to their guardian Saint for his valuable help in the sea.
Every time Zagora seamen would get back home dancing and singing, playing music and socializing created quite an atmosphere. This is how Horefto was given its name (Horos = dancing).
Zagora has had its own history in Pelion. Partly through “Ellinomousio” (Hellenomuseum) or the “School of Regas Fereos”, which was founded here around 1702 AD and became famous due to Regas Fereos, Anthimos Gazis, Gregorios Constantas, Philippos Ioannou and other enlightened people who studied there.
Partly through its public library with numerous (about 18,000) books, some of which are very rare and some are manuscripts. Also due to the great men who were born and lived here: Ecumenical Patriarch Callinicus the 3rd, Ioannis Pringos, a merchant in Amsterdam, the Lapatai brothers, lords in Moldovlachia, Cassavetes the founder of the first girls’ school in Pelion, Philippos Ioannou the Greek philosopher of the 19th century and Philippos Pandos the founder of “Pandios University” in Athens, and many more.
Today Zagora has the biggest apple cooperative in the Balkans. The famous “Zagorin” apples, the old mansions, the cobbled streets, the old bridges, the fountains and the 17th century churches still keep it there up against the time, a renowned living legend of Pelion.
In the near past the green and peaceful environment of Horefto, Pelion, inspired Greek poets G. Seferis and G. Drosinis to write some of their best poems watching the sun or the moon emerging from the Aegean Sea.
Combining rich historical and cultural tradition of thousands of years with 2km of beautiful beaches and clean seawater and a dreamlike Pelion landscape, Horefto is a unique experience among the other Pelion holiday resorts.
Due to its importance, Pelion is part of the EU “NATURA 2000” project, code GR 1430001.