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Photography by
Kapetanakis Ilias

The entire Pelion region is one of the most verdant places on earth. The vegetation is luxuriant, dense, occasionally impenetrable, and totally captivating in its variety and richness in trees, plants, herbs and flowers, both wild and cultivated. The beech, oak, poplar, birch and fir reign in the high altitudes; the pine is content at lower elevations, while the plane tree, majestic in beauty and well revered for its age, legendary size and service to its human neighbors, will preside over meetings and feasts and festivals in the flag-stoned squares of the villages. All around there is an abundance of evergreen and red-berried holly trees that lend a festive atmosphere to the mountain.

The western slope and the entire south are a sea of olive trees while the north-eastern area is an ocean of chestnut and apple trees. Interspersed in the groves and orchards are groups of trees and bushes bearing such fruit as figs, various types of plum, pears, walnuts, sweet and sour cherries, quince, kiwi, persimmon, pomegranates, peaches, apricots, almonds, oranges, lemons, grapes, melons, watermelons, blackberries and red and black currants. In addition to this, there is an abundance of small nurseries cultivating flowers such as the pink and blue hydrangeas, red and white camellias, fragrant gardenias, roses and vivid azaleas. In other parts of Greece villages like Tsagarada, Mouresi, Makrirahi, and Kissos are known as the villages of the flowers.

Furthermore, nearly everyone has his own vegetable garden that will yield tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, courgettes, squash, pumpkins, green and red peppers, runner-beans, broad beans, carrots, leek, onion, garlic, beet, cauliflower, lettuce and others. Last but not least, Pelion has always been a paradise for the herbalist, the pharmacist and the doctor. This is attributed to the fact that over one thousand species of plants and herbs of pharmaceutical and medicinal value grow in great profusion. It is no wonder, therefore, that according to the legend, the science of medicine was first developed here. Witness to this fact is the legendary leader of the Argonautic expedition, whose original name was Diomidis but because he had excelled in the study of botany and the art of healing he was later in his life given the name Jason ["Iason" in Greek, from "iasis" meaning healing, and "Iaso" the goddess of healing].

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text: Kosmoglou Stefanos    

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