Clean, bright, and quiet, the little village with an unusually large square and strange name stretches leisurely across a low ridge of South Pelion. If Lafkos were a Greek island, it would be Ikaria since here too the villagers love music, dancing, good food, and tranquility; living their lives without stress amidst friendly neighbors and visitors who get accustomed quickly in a place where time doesn’t really seem to matter.
The cobble stone streets are narrow and quiet. Cars are not allowed in the village. The sounds here are soft, natural, and often resemble a lullaby. The rustling of the leaves on the huge plane trees, the chirping of the birds, the cracking of the plates and cooking pots in the kitchens, and the joyful voices of the village kids fill the air with life.
A view of the Pagasitikos Bay peeps out here and there, behind Pelion style mansions, small local traditional houses, and Neoclassical buildings that adorn Lafkos’ neighborhoods. A few of them have been bought and restored by northern Europeans who await anxiously for the summer when they are able to visit their very own paradise.
The locals know, respect, and make the most of the village history. The first inhabitants gathered here in the 15th century, fleeing the Ottomans and pirates, who at the time were raiding the Aegean sea. Their hard work and a deep desire to succeed soon led to prosperity and affluence. Capable merchants, craftsmen, and sailors, the Lafkiotes traveled all around the Mediterranean and brought back home new ideas that can be seen in the village architecture.
Visitors can feel the love of the locals for their village’s past and the culture of Pelion. Indeed, Lafkos is a tiny village, yet boasts two museums (Radiophone Museum and Historical Museum) as well as the oldest known kafeneion in Greece, allegedly operating non-stop since 1785. To top everything off, the traditional bakery of the village is housed in a building designed by Evaristo De Chirico, which resembles a train station rather than a shop! As if all these were not enough to attract travelers’ attention, locals and alien residents alike offer year-round classes on bee-keeping, Pelion herbs, traditional cooking, and much more.
For these reasons, Lafkos is one of the true gems of the Pelion region and one that should not be missed on your travels.