"Damouchari" is a small traditional fishermen's settlement, on the northeast coast of Pelion, in the Aegean Sea. It is, in fact, the seaport of a larger mountain village called "Mouresi". There are two havens, a picturesque harbor to the north and a beach "Old Damouhari" with its characteristic white pebbles to the south, on a lush hillside of Eastern Pelion with rich wild vegetation. Between them stands a small hill with ruins of walls of a medieval Venetian castle.
Set amidst olive groves and coastal woods, only 20-30 old and newly built traditional houses are built amphitheatrically, most of which are only inhabited during the summer months. Our two guesthouses are located in the center of the village below at the sea level and right in front of the little port. In Damouhari during the touristic season, there are 3 tavernas with classic greek cuisine, a cafeteria, an alternative café-canteen with light homemade meals, a small grocery store and a shop with clothes and greek handmade products.
Relaxing vacation in nature
All this combined with its important historical role and the connection of the settlement with all main Pelion trails make the small fishing village an ideal destination for those who wish to relax on their holidays, enjoy nature and escape from everyday life. From "Old Damouchari" begins and ends the spectacular centuries-old long cobblestone path leading to Tsagarada, a headland of old times and Fakistra, a very special secluded beach with clear blue waters.
The history of Damouchari
Damouhari's story goes back to the Middle Ages, when Venice ruled all over the Mediterranean. The Venetian sailors chose its strategic location to build a fortress there (with ruins visible to this day) that would serve as a supply and safety station from the pirates of the Aegean Sea. It is said that at the time of the pirate attack the Venetians were getting ready behind the walls and praying to the Virgin Mary seeking protection, stomping: Dami (latin) Grace (greek), meaning "Give me Grace”.
The couple in love
At the beginning of the 20th century, Apostolos Vainopoulos, the grandfather of our family, captain of english merchant ships, returns to his homeland and decides to organize an import and export business in Damouchari to and from East Pelion. At that time all trade in the area was taking place through the sea from the only natural harbor, Damouhari, with its characteristic customhouse on the bay and its large warehouses around it. After a trip to Northern Europe, he falls in love with a greek-romanian lady from an aristocratic family of Bucharest Cleopatra, whom he is calling Miramare, marries her and they come to live together in the secluded and deserted Damouchari. Apostolos dedicates the village to her and builds for her a mansion, which unfortunately is not preserved. Cleopatra feels isolated with her partner often missing in voyages and suffers from depression, dying eventually at the birth of their only child. The baby boy is saved, but he dies after few years.
A new family start
After the death of his son, Apostolos gets married for the second time, the housekeeper and the nanny of the lost son Victoria, our granddaughter. A creative time for the ex-captain begins. With his new wife they make five children, all with ancient Greek names, Cleopatra, Electra, Jason, Nicaeas and Clearchos. At the same time, his business is doing well and serves as Mayor of the local community, just 45 years old with energy and great plans for the region and Damouhari. He dies suddenly, however, within a week due to a hyperthermia caused by a mountain fire. Victoria is left alone with her children, inherits a big fortune, but at the first signs of World War II she is forced to waste it and sell a large part of it, until she remarries Stergio Bastouni, a man about 15 years younger than her with whom they have a daughter Barbara.
The boom of tourism
After the '40s and the expansion of the road network, Damouchari completely lost its commercial role and became a fishermen's lot until the tourist development of the area from the 1960s and onwards. The first foreign travelers are mainly of german origin, who discover the village by accident and wish to maintain a more stable relation with it, converting one of the oldest buildings of the settlement into a Guesthouse and later buying property and building their own cottages.