Damouchari village, the fish village of Pelion with a strange story to tell.

Athina Ioannidou
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Damouchari is not an ordinary village, its story begins at the dawn of the twentieth century. Most if not all residents and hoteliers of the village are decendants of one man Mr. Apostolos Vainopoulos (their grandfather or great grantfather), who was the only resident of Damouchari back in the begginings of the century. Mr. Vainopoulos was settled in the place because of the natural harbor shaped in the gulf of Damouchari, from there he was able to conduct his business that was no other than importing and exporting goods from and to Pelion with his ship.

Vainopoulos traveled allot back in the days trading products around Eastern Pelion and in most European countries. One day in Bucharest he fell in love. Her name was Cleopatra, was rich and beautiful and Vainopoulos wanted to marry her and bring her back to Damouchari, to live there happily.

So it happened, Cleopatra, who Vainopoulos cried affectionately Miramare, settled in Damouchari for her sake the captain builds a luxury mansion to house their love. Somewhere here ends the delightful piece of the story. The years go by and Miramare is depressed away from her family and her beloved captian who is always travelling abroad. She gets pregnant but after childbirth complications, she dies, and leaves Vainopoulos only child alone. The child is a boy and lives happily until his 10 years when challenged by a disease dies as well.

Vainopoulos is inconsolable, Miramare and his son no longer exist. The only one left to stands for him is poor Victoria, the nanny of the lost son, thus the two come even closer. Eventually Victoria becomes the Mrs and gives birth to five children, Electra, Cleopatra, the Nicias, Jason and Clearchus.

Those five children and their descendants are the owners of most houses, hotels and restaurants to be found currently in Damouchari.

German travellers rediscovered the small village in the 60s and were enchanted by it. Specifically, Ekart Lau, a German folk art dealer bought The traditional hostel "Germaniko" and did Damouhari famous in the high society cultural circles of Germany. In the years that followed Romy Schneider (Princess Sissi) also visited the village with her son and loads of working staff following her and her wishes, the conservative community still has memories of her are walking around the village dressed in muslin and enjoying her sunbath at Damouchari beach topless.

After this small journey into time we arrive at recent history, that Damouhari once again put a pin in the history of pelion by becoming the setting for the movie "Mama Mia".

When you arrive at this unique village rest assured that the descendants of Apostolos Vainopoulou circulate among you, ask them for more, they have to tell you a lot! We spoke with Ms. Victoria, owner of Victoria Guesthouse, who is the daughter of Klearchos, Vainopoulos fifth child. You will find her at the wonderful balcony of Victoria Guesthouse spinning like a bee serving friends and customers.


About the Author

Athina Ioannidou

Hey i am Athena and this is my slogan “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag. I am the creator of Alternatrips.gr, a Greece Travel Guide made by locals. Together with nearly 100 local-ambassadors we are trying to make up a guide with the best places you can visit in Greece. Follow us and enjoy!

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