In June 2006 we found ourselves quite by chance in Pilion. And what a lucky chance it turned out to be! It was not our first encounter with Greece, for we had been visiting the country for years. However, we were particularly struck by the beauty of Pilion: the variation of landscapes, the coastline and its beautiful bays, the scenic villages and the small scale of tourist activities. And all this just a short distance from Volos, a city where you can find almost anything and where there is a market twice a week with fresh produce.
Both of us love walking, and over the years we have walked a lot in different countries within and outside Europe. That first summer in Pilion our holiday was perfected once we discovered that we could make beautiful walks there. Pilion has many different kinds of walks to offer: from short simple walks along the coast to longer and strenuous hikes in the mountains. And because the sea is never far away, you can always begin your walking day with a plunge in the waves, and end it with a beautiful sunset across the water.
While hiking we started to realize how nice it would be if the area were made more easily accessible for tourists who, while on holiday, don’t have the time to set out walking routes for themselves. Many paths we discovered couldn’t be found on the available maps. Only a small number of tracks have been marked. And so the idea was born to return in 2007 and see if we could map out walks ourselves. In 2008 we took this a step further. This website is the result.
And we haven’t finished yet! We have plans for new walks, that will be added to the site. However, mapping out walks and describing them is only half the story. To be able to walk along paths means they have to be kept accessible. Many cobbled paths are at present very neglected and small tracks easily become overgrown during the course of the year. Pilion is an area with a lot of potential for hiking tourism and an influx of hikers would benefit the local tourist industry, which at present is concentrated around the summer months. We hope to be able, also via this site, to contribute to the restoration of the beautiful old stone paths and bridges in the area.
Ruud Schreuder and Caroline Pluvier
Special thanks to: Aleid Pluvier, Hans de Sain, Stavroula Mitsopoulou, Hanneke and Jetze Dubbelman, Rickie de Winter, Jacquie Waller, Werner Wenzel (www.linguardor.com), Peter and Kathy Youngman, Elizabeth and Panos Avramides, Kanteklik Webdesign (www.kanteklik.nl), Chris and Kathryn Wicks, Kyriakos Stathakis, Reinhard Auer (www.rein-hard.com), Marianne Roskam Abbing