Portaria is one of the most beautiful tourist resorts in Greece. Portaria offers the excellent combination of mountain and sea. The visitor may enjoy ski in the winter, or may swim in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea or the Pagasetic Gulf in the summer.
At a distance of just 13km from Volos, 12km from the ski resort of “Agriolefkes” and 2km from Makrinitsa. It is located at an altitude of 650m and enjoys a breathtaking panoramic view of the Pagasitic Gulf, Mount Othrys and the peaks of South Pindus. In the winter the village dresses in white and the smell of wood burning in the fireplace travels the visitor to times long gone. In the summer under the ample shade of plane trees, next to the blossomed hydrangeas and the running waters, the visitor may enjoy all of nature’s scents drinking tsipouro, for which the area is renowned.
In Portaria the visitor may walk on trails and cobbled roads, visit Byzantine churches and old monasteries, such as the Monastery of John the Forerunner (Ioannis o Prodromos), first built in the 13th century by master Ioannis Melissinos; or the metropolitan church of St. Nikolas (Agios Nikolaos) with the notable stone-reliefs which adorn the exterior niche of the Holy Bema and the church of the Holy Unmercenaries (Agioi Anargyroi).
There are many restored mansions in Portaria, living historical landmarks and authentic examples of Pelian architecture. Zoulia Mansion (which operated as a Girl’s Vocational School), Athanasakeon nursery school (one of the first in Greece), and Tsopoteo School are some of the most important monuments. At rural location Karavos, just a few minutes from the center of the village square, water forms a small waterfall, while the spring itself may be reached after a 10 minute walk. A few meters above the village we find Our Lady Portarea (Panagia Portarea), a small chapel, adorned with hagiographies dating from 1581, which, it is said, has given the village its name.
HAPPENINGS AT PORTARIA
Many festivals are held during the summer in Portaria, such as the “International Dance Day” in May and the “International Children’s Dance Festival” in July.
In August on the first Sunday after the Assumption of the Mother of God (15th of August) the “International Dance Festival” is held, which climaxes with the traditional happening of the representation of the local “Pelian Wedding”.