Welcome to Volos, one of the largest cities in Greece - a getaway perfect for both summer and winter breaks. The students of the University of Thessaly add to its vivid character, while its combination of sea and mountains renders it one of the Greeks’ favourite destinations within the country.
Volos is a coastal city in Thessaly which is also known as ‘the jewel of the Pagasetic Gulf’ due to its crystal clear waters and beautiful surrounding mountainous landscape.
It is close to the Sporades islands so if you’re visiting in summer time you can easily take a small trip to Alonisos, Skopelos or Skiathos which feature some of the most pristine beaches of Greece.
Apart from the port of Volos and a few beaches nearby beaches there are a number of more secluded beaches, such as Melopotamos, that can easily be reached by car on the way to Pelion.
Do try and hire a small boat that will take you to ‘hidden’ beaches and caves that can’t be reached by land.
If you’re the adventurous type keep an eye out for the numerous swimming and diving schools around the area.
If you’re the adventurous type keep an eye out for the numerous diving centres which are prominent in the area.
In the evening, when it’s not too hot, take a stroll along the paved Argonauts’ Avenue on the seafront. It’s lovely to gaze at the yachts and boats moored all around you, and equally impressive is to see a modern imitation of the mythical Argo ship which is located in the area.
Volos is beautiful during the winter too as it’s often covered with snow and being a large city there’s always a lot to do there. The areas around Iasonos, Dimitriados and Ermou streets are the busiest parts where you’ll find the shopping centre and nightlife of Volos. Many students from the University of Thessaly frequent these areas. You can also take a stroll in the park of Agios Konsantinos. Built in 1920, it is a large and beautiful part of the city.
If you have a car then driving to Pelion to visit the Ski Centre or to other picturesque towns such as Portaria, Melies and Agios Ioannis would make a wonderful day trip as you would drive through incredibly beautiful scenery and experience a more traditional side of Greek countryside. A ‘greener’ alternative may be to take advantage of the 10kms wide network of cycle lanes within Volos, and ride your bicycle around the town and beach areas.
The city has a long maritime and architectural tradition as many powerful European companies had factories in the area during the 19th century so it may be worth looking into the technical and architectural achievements of the locals of past generations. The numerous churches of Volos, for example, are very inspiring due to their architecture and Byzantine art. The churches of Agioi Konstantinos and Eleni, and Agia Triada are the most important ones.
In Palia you can visit the historically important Castle of Volos which used to be the town’s main shipbuilding centre.
The rail link, built in 1903, is also considered a historical monument and the route takes in all the important villages, beauty spots, and technical constructions of the 20th century (bridges, tunnels etc.). The train sets off from Volos and takes you as far as to Melies. Make this a ‘must’ on your list of things to see and do.
Also, if time allows, go and watch a film at the Achilleon cinema – it was built in 1925 and is considered a cult symbol of Volos.
Volos is filled with traditional little taverns called ‘tsipouradika’. The name is taken from the traditional drink ‘tsipouro’ which is served with Greek ‘mezes’ (you might call them Greek tapas). You are sure to enjoy local seafood as well as signature dishes such as ‘spetsofai’ (sausage in spicy red sauce) and ‘melachrini’ (traditional dessert). For something more modern and westernized, try Brother’s Pizza Bar, or La Marimba if you like Mexican food. Try dessert at Petite Fleur or Creperie Poquito.
If you’re travelling with kids and don’t want to venture far you should stay at Hotel Xenia Volos which is in the city centre, located right on the beach, and offers all kinds of services. If you’re looking for something quieter, especially if you want to explore a little, you can stay at a traditional renovated villa, Archontiko Tafilli, which was built in 1891. It is very picturesque and cosy and the owners will treat you like family.
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