Portaria is a very beautiful, traditional mountainous settlement at a distance of just 13 km from Volos. It is built at an altitude of 650 m, near “Panagias tis Portareas” monastery dating back in the 13th century. The monastery gave its name to the area.
The breath-taking scenery, the refreshing fountains and the stately homes make Portaria an attractive destination to those who love peace, quiet and natural beauty. The evidence of human presence blends harmoniously with the splendour of the natural surroundings covered with dense forests. You will discover the charm of the place if you take your time to ramble in the cobbled narrow lanes of the village filled with the fragrance of the thick vegetation. This together with the plentiful water of the area offer a fantastic diversity of natural materials and a palette of colours and history.
Portaria is the village nearest to Volos and that is why it has taken up the role of the “welcoming hostess” to visitors. It used to be the most important trade center among the Pelion villages, while, after 1900, its hotel “Theoxenia” was a fine example of the terrific financial boom that took place, since it was considered the largest and most luxurious hotel in the Balkans. Unfortunately it was destroyed during the German Occupation. Its remnants on the village square are evidence of the importance and the splendour that characterized Portaria in those years.
The area is ideal for both winter and summer holidays as it offers a great variety of alternative sports. In the winter you can visit the winter sports center of Pelion, 12km from Portaria. It attracts many visitors every year who, besides skiing and snowboarding, enjoy the snow covered Pelion scenery and the panoramic view to Pagassitikos Bay. A lot of cultural events are held during the summer: in May the ”World Dance Day”, in July the “World Children Dance Festival” and in August the “World Dance Festival”. During the last week of August the festivities reach their peak with the revival of the traditional Pelion wedding. It is worth buying some home made sweet preserves, some local wine and tsipouro, fresh fruit and folk art handicrafts. The Women Agrotourism Co-operative was established and operates in Portaria. It offers traditional food, homemade sweets, etc.
Portaria is beautiful, picturesque and calm at all times of the year and is awaiting to take you to a trip in history and tradition.