Located in south Pelion is the famous Argalasti, a traditional mountainous village that has deservedly gotten the title for being the capital of south Pelion. A place literally drowned in rich vegetation, consisting mainly of olive grooves and wild forests that blend perfectly with the many sights and the tourism amenities that the village offers.

Regarding the name origin, two versions exist. The first claims that the name is derived from the words “arga (slow) + elauno (passing)” because according to the tradition, from here passed Jason’s Argo on their journey to Colchis. On the other hand, the second version claims that the name is from the paraphrase of the word “rast” which means forgiveness. Therefore you’ll need to ask the locals regarding the origin, and who knows, you might discover a new version. Regarding the foundation of the village, the first written report ages from 1653,nomad shepherds where the ones who formed the village, according to tradition during the Ottoman period. In past years the village experienced periods of great prosperity in areas such as trade, economy, crafts and literature.

The areas trademark that will impress you at first sight is the ornate bell tower of the three-aisled basilica church of Agioi Apostoloi (Holy Apostoltes) (1886). It is a very imposing landmark, 25m tall, build in 1914 with local marble and in reality is an exact copy of the bell tower of Agia Fotini in Smyrna, which collapsed in 1950.
Also, do not forget to visit the building where the school of Argalasti “Parthenagogeion” was housed and of which the locals are proud of. The building was a donation by Theodore D. Giorgatzi and in the early 20th century, the famous Greek scholar and poet Kostas Varnalis served as a director.
In the natural beauty that surrounds the area we also come across stone arch bridges such as the bridge of Katsilohori (at the village entrance), marble and stone fountains (some with inscriptions of historical importance) like the fountain Koeni, or the fountain of Agios Ioannis o Theologos (St John The Baptist) and also monasteries that wait to be discovered.

Take a walk to the monastery of Agios Nickolas (St. Nicholas) and from there enjoy the magnificent views towards the Pagasetic Gulf. It was built in 1732 it is walled and has some unique Byzantine murals. Located in the verdant location of Paou and specifically at Kefalari area, only 2km from Argalasti in an area full of olive trees, and springs.

Moreover the village has a beautiful cobbled square with huge plane trees where you can enjoy your meal with local wine and tsipouro. The traditional Pelion architecture is also apparent here, through a majority of new buildings, traditional houses, kalderimi paths and neoclassical mansions that are preserved. Also note that in some buildings remnants of ancient and Byzantine structures, exist.

During summer, the village fills with people for the fair celebrating the Apostles Petros and Pavlos  (Peter and Paul) on June 29, with lots of feasting and dancing.
If you visit the village during the summer, you will have the opportunity to swim in one of the beautiful nearby beaches. The village is passageway for both the beaches of the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. In the Pagasetic visit the picturesque seaside villages of Kalamos, Lefokastro and Chorto. From the Aegean side head for swimming in the magnificent Potistika, Paltsi and Melani.

text discoverpelio.com

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