Halfway between the seaside town of Agria and Chania -the highest settlement on Mount Pelion-, lies the village of Drakeia. Hidden behind large masses of mountainous steep terrain, remote and secluded, endowed with crystal clear crisp, cold water and tall trees, this little gem is perhaps the only one of the 24 Pelion villages not experiencing waves of summer tourists. Yet, its proximity to the city of Volos (17 km), its history, and the two plateias covered under the thick shade of old plane trees make Drakeia a must see destination.
For the locals it is known as the Martyred Village. On December 18, 1943 the male population of the village was executed by the German army that occupied Greece at that time. Today, a monument dedicated to the memory of the 116 people that lost their lives stands on this spot. It is located in the lower plateia on the main road of the village next to a magnificent plane tree and the family-run Metaxogenis tavern. On a recent visit, as we walked the streets of Drakeia we could feel the balance of hospitality and solemnity of its residents. Laconic, yet polite in their conversations, they are proud of the village and its history.
The road from Drakeia to Chania passes through forests of chestnut trees, ferns, oaks and plane trees. It is a challenging drive with many twists and turns, but also very rewarding with its crisp mountain smells and spectacular vistas to the Pagasitikos Bay.
Drakeia itself is easily approached from Volos within less than 45 minutes. This proximity to the city makes it an ideal destination for cruise passengers who usually have less than 12 hours to explore the region. A taxi ride from Volos would be around 35-40 euros but there are also KTEL buses with direct itineraries between Volos and Drakeia. Strolling around the stone cobbled streets of the village, paying your respects at the war memorial, and enjoying an authentic Greek meal at one of the local taverns would create a lasting, memorable experience and introduce you to a truly authentic almost pristine Greek village on the Mountain of the Centaurs.