Ghermanikon Guesthouse and Romy Schneider at Damouchari, Pelion

Athina Ioannidou
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“Why do they call it "Ghermanikon" i wondered...”. What does, a traditional inn in Damouchari at the East side of mount Pelion, have to do with Germany?

My questions were answered one by one just when I arrived in the imposing, two-story stone building of the Guesthouse. The Pelion stone and wood makes it so cool that when it gets dark and you want to lay on the bed you need a blanket even if it is June!

The house belonged to the family Vainopoulos, namely his daughter Electra ( for the history of Apostolos Vainopoulos read here), but later passed into foreign hands. For some time, it was tavern for the fishermen of Damouchari, where they drank endless litres of wine, they yelled and cast their nets. Around 1969 the building was purchased by a German folk art dealer Ekhart Lau and his associates Ulrich Staigklenter. From here begins the story of the name "Ghermanikon".

The Guesthouse "Ghermanikon" is one of the oldest buildings in the area with heavy wooden windows and thick stone walls, traditional wooden beds and antique wardrobes, arty and colorful fireplaces in every room and hand-woven lace on every window. It's like a doll house.

In these rooms once stayed Romy Schneider, the famous Princess Sissi and a lot of foreign guests of Ekhart and Ulrich, who made Damouhari well known in Germany those years.This was the reason that tourism started in this beautiful little bay of Pelion. Famous Germans came in Damouchari with donkeys from the stone paths of Pelion, to live carefree moments in this place, isolated from the rest of the world.

Today the story continues with the new owners Victoria Vainopoulos and Paschalis Olka, who kept the identity of “Ghermanikon” as it was and welcomed us with love and care. All the curtains and cushions, of the hostel, were hand sewn by Victoria. Her hobby is to process old clothes and fabrics and create very fancy new things that adorn the rooms of the guesthouse.

The most excellent time to visit Damouchari and the Guesthouse "Ghermanikon" is June, as nature is at it's best and the weather is ideal for swimming and touring in the neighboring villages.


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, 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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