Portaria is a mountainous traditional village, located half-way between Volos and the Pelion Ski Resort. Built at an altitude of 650 m. on a green slope with abundant running waters, offers panoramic views of the Pagasetic Gulf. Portaria flourished in the 18th century as an important commercial and craft center of the region. During that period, became famous for its silk products such as handkerchiefs, sashes or silk thread. Hotel "Theoxenia" was the largest and most luxurious hotel in the Balkans, however, it was destroyed by the Germans during World War II.
Named after the 13th century monastery dedicated to Panagia Portarea whose chapel survives to this day, Portaria is an authentic Greek village with old mansions, winding cobbled streets, ornate stone-built fountains, Byzantine churches and monasteries. Most of the mansions have now been turned into guest houses and boutique hotels. The village has three beautiful squares, the central square “Melina Merkouri”, Adamenas square and Taxiarches square with its stone chapel. The central square is surrounded by traditional taverns and rustic cafes where you can taste delicious local dishes like “spetzofai” and grilled sausages. Apart from traditional taverns, you can find shops selling folk art products such as textiles as well as local products such as honey, sweets, marmalades, pastas and mountain herbs. Near the square is a stone-built fountain known as "Mana" (Mother) and a bit further the Karavos waterfalls.
The picturesque village has been a popular tourist destination since the early 20th century, attracting thousands of visitors all four seasons of the year. Although a small village, Portaria offers peace, good food, amazing views and stunning natural beauty. It is also the starting point for the Centaurs Trail”, the most famous hiking path on Mount Pelion.