Stand in front of the Argo with your back turned to the replica of the legendary ship that rests at the port of Volos, and you will be able to see the village of Makrinitsa pegged on the steep slope of Mount Pelion. It is a spectacular view and so is the view from the village to the port. Undoubtedly, the most visited village of Pelion, Makrinitsa welcomes hundreds of visitors every day. A windy cobble stone street leads the visitors from the entrance of the village to the main square. Along its way, newly constructed wooden benches offer the perfect spot for taking pictures with a view to the bay. The sunset behind the port, the sound of running spring waters, the shade of the plane trees, or the smell of burning wood will awaken your senses.
Like most of the other villages on the Mountain of the Centaurs, Makrinitsa developed around a monastery. It was the Monastery of the Virgin Mary the Makrinitissa from which only a few parts survive to this day. The restored church of the Virgin Mary the Makrinitissa is an imposing structure standing northeast of the main square.
At the village square, the stone-built Church of Saint John the Baptist (1806) is a true gem, decorated with marble reliefs with apotropaic symbols, floral and Christian motifs by the artist Theodosios from Agrafa. The imposing fountain next to the church marking the north end of the square, used to be the meeting place for the women of the village. In total, 50 fountains are spread throughout this small village most of which date to the 18th century.
Behind the church, a small kafeneion preserves a dramatic wall painting by Theofilos. The painter’s favorite hero Katsantonis is depicted along with his comrades feasting, dancing and playing music while at the same time being ready for war.
Makrinitsa, however, is more than its main square or the “balcony of Pelion” as the locals call it. Leave the square behind and walk on the kalderimia (the cobble stone streets) that take you to the less touristy parts of the village. Can you find the 50 fountains? Can you smell the Greek lunch being cooked behind the open windows? If you like hiking, step carefully on the pasoumaki, the thin vertically placed stones that defined each step in the kalderimi, and walk all the way down to the last houses of the village at an altitude of 300 m, or go north to the houses up high at 850 m. Isn’t it impressive to have an altitude difference of 550 m in a single village?