Damouchari is a small seaside village with few permanent residents, located in East Pelion built around its natural port in the Aegean coast. It is the port village of Mouresi being just below it and also very close to the beaches of Agios Ioannis.
It is made of two small bays separated by a strip of land. In the northern bay is the small picturesque port village with boats and ships, where you can enjoy your food in the few taverns. Over the past years it was the only port in eastern Pelion, facing great periods of commercial growth as mountain villages were supplied with goods through it. The ramshackle stone building of the Turkish customs and some old warehouses remind us of the good old times.
In the south part of the village, you can enjoy a swim in the stunning beach, which Damouchari is famous for, around the world. The beach is called by the locals “Old Damouchari” and its characteristics are the crystal blue waters, its white round pebbles and the sea caves. On the peninsula that connects the two bays are the ruins of a medieval castle.
According to history, founders of the village were some Venetian sailors during the Venetian domination of the Mediterranean who used Damouchari as a refueling and resting station for long journeys. They were the ones that built the castle for protection against pirates and also named the village. The name derives from the phrase “give me grace” that the Venetians cried while being chased by the pirates and trying to reach the castle. (From the Latin word “dammi” which means “give me” and the word chari (grace)). Of course it is not the only version as some believe that the village name means “for the grace (chari) of love (amour)”
The village has not been developed at all, apart from a few new houses, a few taverns and guesthouses, that is why it exudes charm and a strong sense of nostalgia. Its wild beauty gives you the sense of being somewhere exotic. This beauty was the reason that attracted Hollywood producers to make scenes for the famous movie Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep. It was a special event for the few villagers as they saw their area being displayed around the world, met Hollywood stars and saw what it takes to make such a production. For the needs of the movie, the village was literally converted to look like an island.
The village has a small charming church, Agios Nicholas, which contains exquisite murals of Ioannis Pagonis and other unknown folk artists from 1800. Built in 1747 and wondrous is the handmade wooded temple.
Calmness, tranquility and being close to nature are what vacations in Damouchari is all about. If you are athletic and love hiking, you can go walking in the kalderimi paths and the cobbled streets. The Kalderimi were used till recent years for the transfer of goods with donkeys. One of these, also named “kagkiolia” starts from the small canyon at the end of the beach and leads to Tsagarada through a very scenic route, while another leads to the neighboring beach of Papa Nero.
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