The Pelion Peninsula lies to the east and south of Volos. It’s formed by a dramatic mountain range, where the highest peak is Mt Pliassidi (1651m). The largely inaccessible eastern flank consists of high cliffs that plunge into the sea. The gentler western flank coils around the Pagasitikos Gulf. The interior is a green wonderland where trees heavy with fruit vie with wild olive groves and forests of horse chestnut, oak, walnut, eucalyptus and beech to reach the light of day. The villages tucked away in this profuse foliage are characterised by whitewashed, half-timbered houses with overhanging balconies, grey slate roofs and old winding footpaths. Many lodgings in the Pelion are traditional arhontika (stone mansions), tastefully converted into reasonably priced pensions. The peninsula has an enduring tradition of regional cooking, often flavoured with mountain herbs. Local specialities include fasoladha (bean soup), kouneli stifadho (rabbit stew), spetzofaï (stewed pork sausages and peppers) and tyropsomo (cheese bread).