Damouchari (pronounced ‘hari’ not ‘chari’) is a small, picturesque coastal hamlet located in the eastern part of the Pelion Peninsula in Greece. In mythology, this is where the Centaurs roamed, and the area is renowned for its unique blend of natural beauty, combining lush green mountains with the clear, blue waters of the Aegean Sea. This guide covers Damouchari Beach and village and will help you enjoy a magical stay in one of the best kept secrets in Greece.

Damouchari is located in the Pelion region of Greece, which is part of the larger Thessaly region. The Pelion peninsula is known for its lush landscapes, combining mountainous terrain with beautiful coastlines along both the Aegean Sea and the Pagasetic Gulf. It’s also known for its picturesque villages, pristine beaches, and rich mythology, being traditionally considered the home of the Centaurs and the summer residence of the gods of Olympus.

The Peninsula is dominated by Mt. Pelion which is home to a number of ski resorts in Winter. The forestry is so green and lush many visitors compare it to Austria or Switzerland, and are very surprised to see this side of Greece.

The Sporades Islands are located to the east of the Pelion and consist of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros, all beautiful and worth a visit. Combining a visit to Volos and the Pelion with a week or two in the Sporades is the perfect Greek vacation!


Distance from Major Cities:

  • Damouchari From Athens: Damouchari is approximately 350 kilometers (about 217 miles) north of Athens. The journey by car can take around 4.5 to 5.5 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken, typically via the National Road Athens – Thessaloniki (E75) and then eastward towards Volos before heading towards the Pelion peninsula.
  • From Thessaloniki: Damouchari is about 320 kilometers (about 199 miles) south of Thessaloniki. The drive usually takes around 4 to 5 hours, going via the National Road Thessaloniki – Athens (E75) towards Larissa, then heading east towards Volos, and continuing to the Pelion peninsula.

How to get to Damouchari

Athens to Volos

Nea Anchialos Airport is located 40 kilometers from Volos and it takes around 20 minutes to drive from there into the center of town. There are not usually flights from Athens but rather from international destinations like London, Munich and Dusseldorf. There are often seasonal connections between Crete with Sky Express too.

From Athens, the main options are either by road or rail.

Drive time from Athens is 3-4 hours depending on any stops – we highly recommend the Thermopylae Battle site and the nearby hot springs. It’s an easy drive on modern highways, with some tolls.

Buses to Volos leave several times a day from Liosia Station on the corner of Sekeri and Zachou Streets. The journey takes about 4 hours.

Volos to Damouchari

There is a bus service that does daily trips out around the Pelion from Volos. The bus goes to Agios Ioannis and/or Tsagkarada, both about 10 minutes from Damouchari. You can get a taxi the rest of the way but they are scarce so best to organize to be picked up by your hotel/host.

If you can hire a car we very much recommend it. This way you can get right to your accommodation but also explore other wonders of the area as well.

From Volos head up the mountain to the pretty town of Portaria ( worth a stop) and then it’s roughly another hour over Mt.Pelion and down to the coast and the village. It is a very scenic drive with lots of places to stop for photos and also coffee or a meal.

You could also hire a taxi from Volos airport but this will cost over 100 euro.

Parking in Damouchari

Hopefully, your accommodation will have car parking. If not you will need to park in the public carpark at the top of the village before the road becomes a one-way ring road only used for service purposes. Do not drive to the bottom unless to drop off.

damouchari beach

The History of Damouchari & the Pelion

The Pelion region is steeped in Greek mythology. It is known as the Land of the Centaurs, mythical creatures that were half human and half horse. The most famous was Chiron the Centaur, who was known for his wisdom and tutored many ancient Greek heroes.

During the Byzantine period numerous monasteries and churches were constructed in the area. Some of these historic structures may still be found in the vicinity of Damouchari, reflecting the area’s religious and cultural importance during the time.

Like much of Greece, the Pelion region came under Ottoman rule from the mid-15th century until the early 19th century. This period left a significant mark on the local culture, architecture, and demographics. Still today the architectural style of the Pelion villages, including Damouchari, often reflects this blend of local Greek and Ottoman influences.

Due to its coastal location, Damouchari, like many other seaside villages in Greece, was affected by the ebb and flow of maritime trade and that includes piracy over the centuries. The natural,small port of Damouchari was a strategic point for shipping and likely experienced pirate raids.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as Greece underwent national revolts and the subsequent War of Independence, the Pelion region played its part in these historical events.

In recent years, Damouchari, like many other picturesque locales in Greece, has seen a shift towards tourism. Its natural beauty and the fame it gained as a filming location for the movie “Mamma Mia!” have drawn visitors from around the world, adding a new chapter to its history.

Things to do in Damouchari

One of the most popular things to do in Damouchari is, absolutely nothing. This is the sort of place where you come for a week, maybe more, and just relax by the sea, reading, enjoying the local food, and relaxing.

There are, however, a few things to do, so it can still be a great spot even for active holidaymakers.


The area is known for its lovely beaches, which are often pebbled rather than sandy. These beaches are less crowded than those in more popular Greek destinations, offering a more serene beach experience.

Damouchari Beach is a small beach, surrounded by the lush greenery typical of the Pelion peninsula. It is a pebble beach which means the water is well filtered and very clear. It also gives the beach a unique charm and is often preferred by those who like a more natural, unspoiled seaside environment.

There is one very good taverna on the beach, sometimes two depending on the season.

As Damouchari is out of the way and not quick to get to Damouchari Beach is often less crowded than many more well-known beaches in Greece, providing a sense of tranquility and seclusion.

Damouchari Natural Pool

Just north of the village is a small, secluded bay with very clear water that is great for swimming and snorkeling too. It is an easy walk, less than 10 minutes from the harbour and is right behind Maistros Studios, but unsigned.

Nearby Beaches

Within 1 hour north or south of Damouchari, there are multiple beaches you can visit, all beautiful and some breathtaking.

Papa Nero is the next beach north from Damouchari. It is long and sandy with a few bars and cheap sunbeds to rent as well as volleyball and a few water activities. Great for families.

We also like Chorefto Beach which is just about 30 minutes drive north. It has a long sandy beach that stretches for 2.5 kilometers and again very clear water. It is well-quipped with sunbeds and umbrellas for rent as well as several tavernas and cafes along the beachfront and water sports too. It is often calm making it a great spot for families with young children.

damouchari beach

Chorefto Beach

Other outdoor activities

Sea Kayaks and SUPs

Right on the small harbor, you will find Shakayak who rent out sea kayaks and stand-up paddle boards as well as offering day and multi-day tours. This is a fantastic way to explore the coastline, even just for a few hours.

They are open from April through October.

Hiking on the Pelion

The Pelion is one of the best places in Greece to go hiking, with an extensive network of trails and tracks. The scenery is stunning, and you will pass by many waterfalls, creeks, wells, monuments, monasteries, and charming mountain villages.

In Damouchari itself, there is a short hike that takes you over a creek and up to a lookout at the south end end of the beach. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the lookout or you can continue, almost indefinitely.

Other popular routes include:

Damouchari to Agios Ioannis This is a popular trail that takes you from the quaint village of Damouchari to Agios Ioannis, a beautiful beach destination. The path offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and leads through olive groves and dense forests. It’s relatively easy, making it suitable for most fitness levels.

Damouchari to Tsagarada: For those seeking a bit more challenge, the hike from Damouchari to Tsagarada is perfect. Tsagarada is known for its traditional Pelion architecture and the thousand-year-old plane tree in its central square. This trail climbs through the mountainous terrain, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding area.

The Centaurs’ Path: According to Greek mythology, the Pelion was the homeland of the Centaurs, creatures that were half man and half horse. There are various trails known as the “Centaurs’ Paths” that meander through the dense forests and along streams, embodying the mythological spirit of the region. These paths connect several villages and offer a magical hiking experience.

Kalderimi Paths: The Pelion peninsula is crisscrossed with ancient stone paths known as “kalderimis,” which were the main routes connecting the villages before roads were built. Hiking these paths is like stepping back in time, with many routes offering stunning natural scenery and leading to secluded beaches or waterfalls.

Nearby Villages and Attractions

The Pelion is covered in charming and very authentic villages and there are several near Damouchari that you really should find time to visit.


Tsagkarada is located about 7 km north of Damouchari. It’s set amidst dense forests of chestnut and plane trees, offering a cool climate even in the heat of summer.

The village is known for its well-preserved mansions, traditional stone-built houses, and the famous thousand-year-old plane tree in the central square.

Agios Ioannis

4 km north of Damouchari, Agios Ioannis boasts a prime location on the Aegean Sea, making it a popular beach destination. Chances are you will drive here on your way to Damouchari and turn off just before the town.

The village is renowned for its beautiful beaches, such as Papa Nero and Plaka, which offer crystal clear waters and fine sand. Agios Ioannis is more vibrant compared to its neighbors, with a variety of taverns, cafes, and accommodations.


Mouresi is located about 3 km northwest of Damouchari, set on the mountainside with stunning views over the Aegean Sea.

This village is characterized by its traditional Pelion architecture, with stone houses and slate roofs, and its peaceful, natural surroundings. The central square, shaded by large trees, is a perfect spot to enjoy the local cuisine in one of the traditional taverns.

damouchari beach

Where to stay in Damouchari

There are about a dozen places to stay in Damouchari, mostly self-contained apartments and a couple of small hotels.

We had a wonderful stay at Cleopatra’s Miramare, a newly converted waterfront mansion that is now four luxurious suites. The rooms and stylish and well thought out and the bottom two have large terraces with shady trees and sunbeds. There is a large communal sitting around and garden that includes a hottub. The property is right on the small peninsula with one of the tavernas right next door. It is truly a magical place to stay.

At a lower price point are Ghermaniko and Victorias Guesthouses. These are where the cast and crew of Mama Mia stayed and they continue to have a very loyal following with cheap, comortable rooms and great views.

Groups and families might also be lucky enough to book Dama Mia, a converted warehouse and the only property right on the beach. It can sleep up to 7 with 2 bedrooms and a large open-air courtyard and hottub.

damouchari beach

Damma Mia Beach House

Where to eat in Damouchari

There are not a lot of places to drink and eat in Damouchari but what is there is very good.

There is one taverna at the beach called Old Damouchari where you can get a fantastic octopus salad and cold beer, overlooking the beach.

The two main tavernas on the bay are Uncle Stergios, which serve delicious home cooked specials such as Yemista and Pastitsio, and Kargatsi right next door who specialise more in seafood dishes. Both are very reasonably priced and have beautiful views.

You can get a good coffee with a stunning view at Victoria’s Guesthouse, which also has a small boutique. For drinks the old Damouchari Traditional Hotel have a bar open during summer and around their swimming pool.

You can also pick up ample supplies at the one shop in the village. It is surprisingly well stocked and has everything from wine to umbrellas and beach shoes.

damouchari beach
damouchari beach
damouchari beach

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