General Information & Reviews

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The incredible beauty of this place is due to the combination of mountains and sea. Everything is beautiful in Pelion: mountains are of an amazing greenness with high trees and dense vegetation, and the sandy beaches look like paintings, with wonderful deep blue waters.

The peninsula of Pelion Greece is also the land of the Centaurs who were mythical creatures with a body half human and half horse. The most famous Centaur was Chiron, teacher of the great Greek hero Achilles and of others such as Jason and Hercules.

Traditional villages built with the grey stone of the region, stone bridges, Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, and monasteries contribute to the unique beauty of Pelion and fascinate everyone who is lucky to see them.

Holidays in Pelion are interesting and beautiful every time of the year. It offers many summer and winter sports. During summer, the picturesque beaches and the superb green mountains welcome the visitor, making him enjoy the most wonderful holidays of his life.

In winter, the beautiful mountains of the peninsula dresses in white and the snowy slopes offer to the visitor the possibility to enjoy the well-organized pistes of the ski center in Chania or to walk in the snowy paths and rest in the warm and welcoming traditional villages of Pelion.


20 Reviews
  • georgia78 04 Feb 2012
    Perfect all year round
    Pelion is only 4 hours from Athens, a very short trip and not tiring at all if you travel with your family. Don't expect luxurious accommodation and cosmopolitan vacation. Pelion is just fascinating by all means but it offers quiet and relaxing vacation, considering the times I have been there during the winter months.

    People are particularly warm and friendly with any traveler and they keep their villages beautiful. In villages like Tsagarada, Vizitsa and Pinakates, which I continuously visit every year, you will taste the traditional spirit and the nice panoramic roads. The first time I stayed there I was left speechless by the old picturesque houses, stone bridges and the snowy mountains rising above us. Since then, after I moved back to Greece, Pelion has become the place where we get together with family and friends. Take a brief journey to the picturesque village of Milies, it is really nice in summer. The nature will impress you and above all you will enjoy delicious food. It is definitely a pleasure to walk around the village, the traditional pathways, the old churches.

    There is always something new for you to see in Pelion. In summer, all beaches are great, though personally I prefer the beaches of the Aegean side with the exotic blue water. If you are family with kids, be wise because these beaches have strong waves and deep water.
  • jekla88 06 Aug 2011
    Ideal for every season
    A couple of friends in Athens suggested we take a short trip to Pelion. Pelion is known as the garden of Greece surrounded by many beautiful forests and waterfalls which find their way to small coves. The lovely route to Pelion took us about 4 hours and it was not tiring at all, although the road after Volos was winding and upgoing. The highlight of Pelion is the well-preserved village of Makrinitsa, a special visit if you want to see the traditional aspect of the area. A short tour in Pelion led us beyond Portaria, to a road with twists and turns all the way to the east coast. Our base was in Tsagarada, a great village in central Pelion. Driving all the way north of Tsagarada, we found ourselves in the coastal towns of Horefto, Agios Ioannis and Damouhari. We took a swim to the beautiful beaches there and the next day continued to Milies, a village known for the apple trees growing in the area. There is an old stream train still in operation. Pelion is one of the few place in Greece that is a perfect gateway for all the four seasons. There are many old stone paths and interesting trails for hiking activities.
  • lolatur 06 Oct 2010
    Amazing water in secluded coves
    We drove from Athens through Volos and reached Pelion after a long drive up a narrow twisty mountain road where good brakes seemed as important as a quick horn. The peninsula was one of the greenest I have ever seen in Greece, and everywhere I turned there were apple trees and olive groves and the natural beauty of the place was outstanding. At every corner I turned, there was water cascading down the mountains. We booked into a nice room at Tsaragada, one of the most picturesque villages in Pelion set on a hillside at an altitude of 450 meters. It was a pleasure to walk around the village taking in the lovely picture of arched bridges, spring water fountains and the chapel of Virgin Mary, which has been built into a cave. At sunset, the square was getting filled with people coming for dinner in the small taverns and the atmosphere was really festive! A few miles downhill from Tsagarada, there is the sandy beach of Milopotamos and another beautiful beach, Fakistra, with amazing water and green surroundings.
  • ceriw 10 Jan 2010
    Try delicious spoon sweets
    Last summer, after a week in Skiathos, we rented a car from Volos and toured for a couple of days the villages of Pelion. We went to Makrinitsa, Portaria and Hania, the villages closer to Volos. My favourite was Makrinitsa. It had beautiful stone houses on the slopes of the hills that overlooked the green mountainside but the top was the square: truly like a balcony of Volos! You have the most gorgeous view of Volos and its port, and the view is equally beautiful in day and night with all those small lights beneath.

    The nature in Pelionis so green and I was surprised that water would run so fresh and so free from springs and waterfalls!! A traditional house under the square of Makrinitsa works as a museum and some kind ladies showed us the house that had inside all the nice wooden furniture and old clothes. The ground floor had a large living room where they received guests. A wooden stairs led to the top floor, which had two bedrooms, a kitchen and another room that worked as olive oil and wine press. I was surprised that the bathroom was not in the house, but I was told that people used to build the bathroom outside the house for hygiene reasons.

    Portoria and Hania were also nice, but spent less time there than in Makrinitsa. Everywhere on the roads, we could find small open shops that sold spoon sweets and driks. We bought a jar with green apple spoon sweet and finished it in a single afternoon. Delicious!
  • paul.labbett 02 Nov 2009
    The summer home of gods
    Pelion, according to mythology, was the mythical country of the Centaurs and the summer residence of the 12 Gods of Olympus. Pelioncombines both mountain and sea, although it is pretty famous for its mountain, especially during autumn and winter, when for many, it is the perfect time to visit. Pelion has bushy green forests with pines and trees. Inside the forests, you will probably be able to fin small foot or bridle paths, for those who love walking, bicycling or horse riding.

    While there, you get the feeling of the fresh, clear wind. Pelion has many small villages and settlements, all with traditional, lordly architecture. Houses made of stone, with wooden details and a fireplace at almost all the places, hotel rooms, even tavernas. Tavernas there are very cozy, warm, with traditional greek recipes and good food and wine. Pelion is also famous for its apples.

    In one of these villages, Hania, there is a ski center. Impressing view from there too. At the ski center there is a warm and nice cafe and a traditional winter lodge.
  • bbenjimen 26 Jul 2009
    A precious part of Greece
    Pelion is an area for serious Greek Lovers, with its mountains with the scent of herbs, walnut and chesnut trees bearing their succulent nuts in late autumn as they fall from the trees, Fruit trees abound on the mountain and ripen at various levels on the mountains.
    The beautiful spring water which is ever present gushing through delightful
    villages as you pass by, so to refresh the walkers of this world.
    Wild animals abound and it is not uncommon to find a tortoise joinging you on your walk.
    Little churches all over the mountains for one to visit which are highly ornate in their interior.Then down to the coast with its many beaches and fishing villages which are unspoilt by mass tourism.
    The food at the Kritsa hotel Portaria was the best Greek food that I have been privileged to eat.
    Now is the time to visit Pelionbecause when tourism finds its way into this area a precious part of Greece will be lost.
  • marc.stuypens 10 Jul 2009
    Impressions from Pelion
    I spent 2 weeks on Pelion and my eyes couldn't get enough of it. It is so marvelous, green, charming with a lot of flowers, old typical villages, charming fish villages, extraordinary beaches,... The views you get everywhere on the Pagasatic Gulf are incredible. You can compare it with the views on Santorini! So if you are a Greeklover, you can imagine the beauty of it! I stayed one week in Milina to explore the south. Aghia Kyriaki is a must to see and the way (one hour) to this place is a 4 star rating trip. The second week we stayed at Afissos, a little more touristic in june (but very touristic in july and august!), to explore the historical hill villages and some beaches on the Aegean Coast.

    The beaches on the Aegean Coast or at the South of Pelion(near Platanias) are the most beautiful ones. The beaches on the Pagasatic Gulf are very little and mostly crowded on the week-ends. The hill villages of Vizitza, Pinakates, Makrinitza are very special with their specific architecture: the Archontika (typical houses of Central Pelion). You can nearly imagine in the summer that you find a lot of snow on those places in the winter!
  • carollew 02 Dec 2008
    Quite diverse and beautiful region
    Pelion is an interesting region to visit as the mountain and coastal regions are quite diverse, yet the distances travelled to get to either are relatively short. Mountain villages such as Lafkos and Vizitsa, have wonderful traditional mansions, many of which have been restored and are now hotels. Many of the coastal villages give a sense of "real" Greece. I partcularly liked the villages around the peninsula at Trikeri and Afissos.

    Restaurants and tavernas provided fairly typical Greek fare. We didn't experience any real quality food on Pelion but I'm sure there must be some, especially around Volos.

    A hire car is essential to really appreciate the area, although a short stay in one of the pretty beach resorts would be relaxing. The roads are reasonable but great care needs to be taken as there are many hairpin bends with no safety barriers! The mountain villages are ideal bases for walkers and I saw many "walking trails" signposted off the main roads.
  • derek 10 May 2008
    My first ever visit to Pelion.
    The following is an account of my first ever visit to Pelion. This area is very special to me and I have returned a number of times since.

    Three and a half hours out of Manchester saw the Air 2000 A321 preparing to descend on to the island of Skiathos. The island and its very short runway were now clearly visible below us. We hit the runway with a jolt, taxied a short distance then full on brakes. Passengers for Skiathos were directed to passport control while those remaining moved to the departure lounge to await the final leg of the journey to Volos in the Pelion region.
    After a very short time we were airborne again and soon landing at Volos. The airfield there is massive and we were met at the runway by a luxury transport vehicle for the journey to the terminal building. A number of fine looking buildings were visible from the runway but not the terminal building. After travelling some considerable distance we arrived to this magnificently appointed building which houses passport control and all other facilities of Volos International Airport. It is difficult to find words that could adequately describe the splendour of the arrivals lounge and baggage reclaim.
    From the airport we made good time along a section of motorway towards the city of Volos passing through large areas of flat lands growing vegetables and other crops. Turning east now from Volos the road quickly began winding and climbing steeply. At various points we could look back to magnificent views over Volos and beyond.
    As the road wound ever higher we passed through an area where snow still lay 3mts thick to both sides of the road and this was 9th May.We passed though the village of Hania and then on past the entrance for the winter ski resort. Above us the snow on the mountain peaks glinted in the sunshine and soon we were descending on the eastern slopes of Mt. Pelion. We were winding down now through acres of apple orchards all in blossom, a wonderful site. Could this be Greece's secret orchard? Finally we were arriving to the resort of Agios Ioannis and our base for two weeks the hotel Eleanna.
    Agios Ioannis lies below the steep wooded eastern slopes of Mt. Pelion. Along the edge of the sand and shingle beach lie a number of Tavernas, several bakeries and small shops including an excellent fruit shop. The harbour lies on the north side and beyond that is Plaka beach. To the south side separated by the river lies the famous Papa Nera beach. This is a long crescent mainly of sand having two Tavernas and a backcloth of mature trees.
    The next day was given over to checking out Agios Ioannis and to lying on Papa Nera beach. The following day Sunday we decided to walk to the nearby village of Agios Dimitrios. I say nearby but the roads out of Agios Ioannis all wind relentlessly upward. There are mule tracks used also by walkers that cut off the corners as the road zigzags upwards. These are shorter but steeper than walking the roadway. We decided to walk the roadway and after what seemed like an eternity finally collapsed into a chair at a cafι at Agios Dimitrios. It was at about this time that we decided that to continue on upwards towards the snow line might not be such a good idea. The ice cream and lemonade was most welcome as was the shade from the hot sun. As we sat there another group of English tourists staggered in having come by the same route. After a tour of the village we returned to Agios Ioannis for lunch and an afternoon on the beach.
    The following morning we set off on foot for the coastal village of Damouhari. This can be reached by roadway, mule track or a combination of both. We set off up the mule track from the rocks at the southern end of Papa Nera beach. At the point where the mule track meets the road we decided to continue along the roadway. A short walk brought us to the sleepy little hamlet of Damouhari with its quaint little harbour small shingle beach with another shingle and stone beach just around the bay. It had a number of Tavernas and most important the ice cream for a relaxing day. On the south side a small river runs from a ravine into the sea and is crossed by a footbridge to where a steep mule track continues along the coast. Looking up the ravine from the bridge a waterfall cascades from the left. Tread carefully as you cross the bridge as some of its boards are a little delicate. Damouhari beach
    Tuesday was to be a day of rest spent on Plaka beach and might have been so but for the intervention of a passing snake. I was lying on my side on the beach reading when I felt something touch the back of my neck. I put my hand there first before looking up and just in time to see the snake disappearing into the shrubbery at the edge of the beach.
    I had by this time decided to hire a car as the best way to see more of Pelion. I obtained a quote from the first company of 265 euros for three days with a class 'A' car. The second company gave a printed sheet indicating that a class 'A' car was available for five days for 171 euros. When I returned later to book it out came the calculator and I was told that with taxes etc. the charge was 220 euros. When I protested that I had been quoted 171 euros and got up to leave I was quickly called back and advised that I could have 20% discount. Out came the calculator again and I was advised that the figure was now 162 euros a price I quickly accepted. This is apparently some strange form of Greek mathematics.The car was a Renault Twingo , a small car not available on the British market and one I found very comfortable with very good handling on the winding roads. My only complaint was the reflections of the bulkhead onto the windscreen for which I shall blame the French.
    On Wednesday, the first day with the car we set off for the village of Tsangarada to see the giant 1000 year old Plane tree in the village square.
    From there we moved on to the coastal village of Milopotamos. As we arrived we were greeted by a spectacular view of aqua blue waters and white beach from the car park perched on the cliff high above it. The steps down are easy with good views and there is a bar at the bottom.

    A high cliff divides two separate beaches here with a connecting archway between. The beaches here are very popular with swimmers and visited by many tour coaches, a place not to be missed.
    On Thursday we headed around to the south side of the mountain and the village of Millies. It seemed touristier than I had expected but a very nice church in the village square is well worth a visit. It is decorated with frescoes including one entitled 'The Judgment' that takes up an entire wall. From the square we walked the mule tracks down to the railway station below the village but the trains were not running at this time.

    Continuing on from Millies we headed down toward the Pagasitikos Gulf and the coastal resort of Kala Nera. A long crescent of sand and shingle is separated from the road and Tavernas by a line of Popular trees, Plane trees and Eucalyptus trees. A very popular resort for walkers due to the easier and less steep access onto the western slopes of Mt. Pelion when compared to the steep access from the east. We returned by the way we had come stopping at one point to allow passage to a herd of goats. We called in on the way to the beach at Lambinou but it was 6.0pm by now and the beach was in shade. Seemed a pleasant little cove all the same.

    On Friday morning we drove up the mountain road through the village of Hania and on to the village of Makrinitsa clinging to the mountainside above Volos. There are fantastic views from the village square over Volos and a nice square with a little church and hollow tree. We stocked up on the Origano etc. from the many stalls lining the road from the square to the car park.
    We headed back toward Hania and up towards the winter ski centre. We parked the car on one of the many large car parks that are empty at this time of year and started to walk up to the ski centre. It was a strange feeling wearing shorts and tee shirt to be plodding uphill through deep snow. A loading shovel had started to move the snow at the lower end from the car park and a Land Rover was struggling without much success to climb the hill to the base station.
    The temperature at the base station was showing 20deg when suddenly I spotted 1 euro and 5 cents lying in the snow, my lucky day. Picking this up gave a reminder of just how cold it was under foot.
    We headed now back to the car and down the east side of the mountain towards Zagora. As we passed through the apple orchards we noted that the blossoms we had seen just a week ago were now gone. At Zagora we took pictures of the church and on the main street I picked up bananas from outside a general store and stepped inside to pay. I stepped through the doorway into total darkness and as I did so I felt the floor just inside the door sink down under my weight. Had I been eating too much delicious Greek food or was the floor perhaps overdue for repair? As my eyes slowly became accustomed to the dark I spotted first a pair of eyes and then I could just make out the owner sitting in a corner. I paid for the bananas and headed back to the car. Zagora is the centre for the apple and fruit industry which was apparent from the number of pick-ups and trucks lining the village streets. From here it was on to the beach at Horefto for the afternoons sunbathing.
    It was more pleasant today as for the first time in a week a good breeze was coming in off the sea and the waves were breaking on the beach.
    On Saturday we made a return trip to Damaourhari then on to the lovely little mountain village of Kissos.
    As we were peering through a window of the locked church we were spotted by the preacher who opened up for us.
    After the rustic exterior of the church we were quite taken aback by the splendor of the interior. Beautiful painted ceilings, gold carved screens, and it is really well worth a visit.

    For our last day with the car we made the one and a half hour trip south to the resort of Milina and as soon as we arrived we knew that we would be returning to Pelion and this was to be our next base. The landscape had changed as we drove down from the lush and mountainous northeast to an area much flatter but equally lush and green with many wild flowers.
    Attractive beaches and waterfront, views of the distant hills, constant coming and going of the little boats and fishermen selling the catch from the roadside.
    We visited the nearby attractive little hamlet of Horto before returning once more to Agios Ioannis.

    The car was due for return now but we had one excursion remaining, a daytrip by coach to Meteora. It was to be a very long but memorable day to visit three monasteries at this unique site. It was a guided trip from 7am to 8.30pm with a really good lunch included.

    We had also the twice-weekly 'Greek Night' at the Taverna Akrogiali. These were nights not to be missed, nights we will always remember.

  • derek 28 Apr 2008
    Pelion Region
    If you were told of an area of extensive Chestnut forests alongside vast orchards of apple and pear trees, that the area was mountainous yet had splendid beaches and fishing villages, a landscape kept lush and green by an abundance of freshwater springs turning to vibrant reds and gold's as the deciduous forests change for autumn then perhaps you would be thinking of places far from Greece. Yet surprising though it may be the area we are describing is a narrow peninsular on the Greek mainland and the name of this area is Pelion.

    At the heart of the peninsular lies Mount Pelion, it's foothills reaching all the way to the coast and to some of the most charming coastal villages. On the eastern slopes, the forests and orchards extend down to the shoreline forming a dense backcloth to the unspoilt beaches below. By contrast the vegetation along the western coast is more typical of the Mediterranean with pinewoods and olive groves dominating the landscape. Between the two coastlines are many unspoilt villages unaffected by tourism where the apple and pear harvests are the main concern of a rural Greek life that seems to have changed little in decades.

  • tomebogd 23 Apr 2008
    Yet unexplored
    I discovered Pelion through internet search and I made an email reservation in the hotel we stayed at in Kato Gatzea. We had never been to the Pelion area before. Going south from Volos the landscape gets better and better. Kato Gatzea is a small village with many tavernas and our hotel was at its southern end, right by the beach. We found one of the best beaches there, along with those of Papa Nero and Milopotamos. Kato Gatzea is a perfect base camp for exploration of Pelion. The apartments were in perfect shape and the local beach is right there for everyday swim. We visited the villages of Milies, Tzagarada, Chorton, which were very picturesque and you shouldn't miss them. As for the prices, they were very reasonable in all the places we went to.
  • stamatis_k 27 Feb 2008
    Ideal for peaceful vacation
    A friend of mine had been to Pelion in the past and they suggested that we visit it again together with some friends and family. We went in July and stayed there for more than a month. Pelion is a place ideal for families with small children. It has a nice climate, the beaches are beautiful and the food fantastic. We saw beautiful landscapes full of green and visited picturesque villages. The prices were very reasonable in all the places we went to. One thing I didn’t like and I think the authorities should take care of is that we were in Agios Ioannis, a village not that small, but there was no doctor office. I’d like to come again someday and I surely recommend Pelion for a peaceful vacation.
  • Jane_T 23 Dec 2007
    The perched villages are lovely
    The perched villages are lovely, also the forests and orchards and coast. Still unspoilt with few tourists. We based ourselves at 2 places on east & west Pilion. Easy to drive everywhere from there. The nicest beaches we visited were Horefto and Kala Nera, though no doubt many more we didn't see. Our best activity: Sitting under the plane trees in viallges watching the world go by. In terms of food and restaurants, there was plenty of choice and variety. As there were few foreign tourists the food seemed more authentic with dishes from the region.
  • Melinda_C 22 Oct 2007
    Good for a relaxing holiday
    We decided to go to Pelion for some days in the summer as some friends had recommended it to us and we discovered more information on the internet. In a few words I can describe Pelion like that: Very nice landscapes, interesting beaches, nice little villages, friendly people, good food, moderate weather, little or no nightlife, quiet destination, good for a relaxing holiday. We stayed at a hotel in Agios Ioannis, the area was beautiful and the prices very good, too. The food at the tavernas we went to was of very good quality and there was a variety for all tastes. The service in most of them was perfect and the prices very reasonable. We made a sightseeing tour on the area by car; the roads were in very good condition and there were plenty of places where we could ask for information or help. We recommend that you visit the beaches of Mylopotamos, Plaka and Papa Nero. You shouldn’t miss the villages of Tsangarada, Kissos, and Mouresi, either. Some things I didn’t like are firstly that you can take the trip by train only week-ends and only from Ano Lehonia to Millies and not from Millies, and secondly that there is only one company that makes boat trips to Skiathos from Platania, and only one departure in the morning. If you want to see all the beauties and try all the trips (by train, by boat, by horse) plan this before going there, to be sure you meet their schedules. If you like green mountains, which lean to the beach, if you want a place that is not noisy, if you can go by car to be able to travel around, the eastern side of Pelion is a place you should see. I’d like to come again and I’ll surely recommend it to others! I’d rate the overall quality of services with an 8/10!
  • K_Ruiz 23 Apr 2007
    Quiet and just perfect

    Nationality: Spanish
    Age: 30
    Countries visited: 15-30
    The trip: I arrived on the area by car. The trip was very good with beautiful scenery.
    Reasons for going to Pelion: I have read an article about Pelion in a magazine and I have explored the place on the Internet
    Any idea about Pelion before arriving: Internet sites provide sufficient information about Pelion.
    More: Pelion is excellent, extremly quiet and just perfect. Mount Pelion especially is great place for super relaxing holiday. My favorite beach in Pelion was Plaka beach
    Anything negative about the island or needs improvement: The roads on Pelion are very narrow it would be nice if they were a little wider.
    Recommendations: Just enjoy!!!!

  • aevagelos 09 Jul 2006
    Pelion ....beautiful beaches and wonderful scenery
    I visit pelion in papa nero for first time this year. The area is great with many beaches and very nice scenery. I had great relaxing time and i stayed to very nice small hotel which is called Agapitos ( they do have a great reastaurant there!) with super sea view. I wrote my second book there!

  • hexagon27 08 Nov 2005
    Pelion is not only about mountains
    I went to Pelion last summer with friends of mine and we had a great time! Before visiting this magical place everybody told me that Pelion was all about mountains, graphical places full of sightseeings, good food, friendly people and more. However, I realized that the beaches over there were also amazing, crystal waters, not very crowdy, with beautifull sunsets where anyone could enjoy just sitting on the beach.

    I strongly advise you to visit Pelion, it is a paradise.
  • kzar99 03 Oct 2005
    Best place of Greece !
    Everything in Pelion is so beautiful. Beautiful people, beautiful beaches, beautiful houses, etc?

    I visited some amazing villages such as Makrinitsa, Zagora (were I stayed), Tsagarada and Milies; all are built in the mountains and are composed by houses made with stone, wood and slate.

    I enjoyed long walks in the freshness of the woods and I bathed in clear, turquoise waters in beaches such as Chorefto, Agios Ioannis, Papa Nero, Mylopotamos and Damouchari (my favourite). I had such a wonderful time?

    For me Pelion is the best place of Greece and one of the best places ever.
  • kzar99 26 Sep 2005
    A perfect combination
    Pelion?what a beautiful place. With its azure waters, its verdant forests, its traditional stone houses with slated roofs, its excellent cuisine, its white and golden sands and its friendly inhabitants, it is one of the best places you can choose for your summer or winter holidays (it even has a small ski station).

    I went there once in 1997 and since there I go every summer.

    You have everything you need: mountains, vegetation and sea. Perfect combination for perfect holidays.
  • seo 30 Jun 2005
    Wonderful place
    Some friends of ours had told us so many good things about the peninsula of Pelion that we decided to go there during June 2003. We arrived in Athens, rented a car from there and drove all the way to Volos (about 4 hours); then we drove 30 minutes to the village of Makrinitsa which is a wonderful place in the mountains, with beautiful houses in stones and slates; it looks like a medieval place and the main square has a huge tree in its middle as well as a beautiful fountain. Then we drove an hour or two until the wonderful village called Tzagarada where we found a studio which was in a superb traditional house; everything was perfect and we had a magnificent view over the sea. The beaches from the village were about 20 minutes away (by car); they were sandy, with turquoise waters and shadowed by various trees. We found Pelion a wonderful place because it combines mountains and sea in a unique way.