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Volos, Greece

Volos (Greek: Βόλος) is the 5th biggest city (and 3d largest port) in Greece, situated in Thessaly, almost in the middle of the distance between Athens (326 km) and Thessaloniki (219 km). Volos is an industrial city, with a large port - but there are a few hidden gems here that you might find as you pass through to islands or

Pelion

.

History

Modern Volos is built on the area of the ancient cities of Demetrias, Pagasae, and Iolkos. Iolkos was the homeland of ancient Greek hero Jason who boarded the ship Argo accompanied by the Argonauts and sailed in the quest for the Golden Fleece to Colchis. Demetrias was established by Demetrius Poliorcetes, King of Macedonia,... Read more

Volos, Greece

Destination:
Volos (Greek: Βόλος) is the 5th biggest city (and 3d largest port) in Greece, situated in Thessaly, almost in the middle of the distance between Athens (326 km) and Thessaloniki (219 km). Volos is an industrial city, with a large port - but there are a few hidden gems here that you might find as you pass through to islands or

Pelion

.

History

Modern Volos is built on the area of the ancient cities of Demetrias, Pagasae, and Iolkos. Iolkos was the homeland of ancient Greek hero Jason who boarded the ship Argo accompanied by the Argonauts and sailed in the quest for the Golden Fleece to Colchis. Demetrias was established by Demetrius Poliorcetes, King of Macedonia, in 293/92 BC. In 197 BC Romans annexed Demetrias.

To the west of Volos there are the Neolithic settlements of Dimini with a ruined acropolis, walls and two beehive tombs dated between 4000-1200 BC and Sesklo with the remains of the oldest acropolis in Greece (6000 BC), as well as the foundations of a palace and mansions, among the most typical examples of Neolithic civilization.

During the Byzantine empire, emperor Justinian I in 551 fortified Palea hill. In 1423 Ottomans annexed Volos. Volos during the Ottoman empire was a hamlet, build on the hill in Palea district. The hill was fortified with walls. Today just a few parts of the walls can be seen near the Tsalapata building.

After its annexation to Greece from the Ottoman Empire in 1881, it had a population of only 4,900 but rapidly grew within the next 4 decades. Houses were built outside the walls and the main area of Volos by the sea was built up. Merchants, businessmen, craftsmen, and sailors moved to Volos from the surrounding area. In the 1920s there was a large influx of refugees in Volos, especially from Ionia, but also from Pontus, Cappadocia, and Eastern Thrace. In the 1920 census, Volos had 30,046 inhabitants but according to the 1928 census, its population had grown to 47,892.

Climate

Volos, unlike other towns of the Thessalian plain, enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with can-be-hot-but-bearable summers (though a little bit humid) and mild winters. Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit the city itself, Winter is the time to be on the Pelion mountain villages, and Summer should definitely be dedicated to the numerous beaches of the region on the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea.

Being privileged to be situated on the foothills of Mount Pelion, the mythical mountain of the centaurs, and bounded by Goritsa Hill to the Southeast, Volos sports nice weather all year long, with the sea and mountain breezes dominant in all city areas.

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Volos, Greece: Port Information


Cruise ships dock at the Port of Volos in the industrial zone. You can use shuttle buses or taxis to get to the city.

Get around Volos, Greece


By bicycle
Most of Volos is quite flat, that makes it very easy for cycling, and a lot of locals do cycle. Especially the waterfront is the best area for cycling. Generally, cycling is a recommended way to move around. Volos recently has developed a network of bicycle lanes, however, the lines are often blocked with parked cars and hardly anybody uses them.

On foot
Several streets at the center of the town have been recently pedestrianized, mainly around Ermou Street and St. Nicolas church. Along the pedestrianized streets there are a lot of cafe places. The waterfront is also an excellent area for walking. When the weather is good it's packed with people walking around and enjoying the sun.

By bus
There are twelve bus lines going around the city, detailed info in the regional bus terminal (called "Astiko KTEL"), directly adjacent to the Interurban Bus Terminal ("Yperastiko KTEL").

By taxi
Taxis in Volos, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. Taxi fare fraud is rather rare but it could still happen, so make sure the rate is correct. If you feel you have been overcharged, ask for a receipt (they are obliged to give one) and take the plate number, then phone the tourist police to report the driver on 171. Groups of three or four could consider using a taxi to go sightseeing around Volos, Pelion for example. It's more expensive but more comfortable, and in some cases quite cost-effective.

What to see in Volos, Greece


  • Archeological site of Ancient Dimini, Dimini. Tues - Sun: 8.30 AM - 4.30 PM, Mon: closed. Ancient Dimini was a Neolithic village which has been excavated and uncovered. Of particular interest are the well preserved House N, where a pot was discovered beneath the floor with the burnt remains of a child (an ancient resident as opposed to a more recent one!) and the Tombi grave, similar to that at Mycenaea, which is buried deep into the ground near the fortified town, but with a caved in roof. Shade is spare, so make sure to visit early in the morning. Adjacent to these ruins, and to be opened soon (although how long this has been the case is not said!) are some Mycenaean ruins, which include a large palace. These ruins, whilst not open yet, can be viewed from behind a limit, and are expected to be part of the as-of-yet-undiscovered ancient city of Iolkos, the home of Jason (of Argonaut fame!) There is an interesting audio guide tour available for free in both Greek and English. Ticket includes free entry to the archaeological site at Sesklo.
  • Archeological site of Ancient Sesklo, Sesklo (Take the road to Sesklo, then look for the turn-off to the left that goes down the hill before the start of Sesklo (it is signposted, but keep an eye open for them.). Sesklo is a more impressive site in terms of its location but is less impressive in terms of the remains. It's far larger and is perched on top of a hill from where it can see all around the local area. It was either a local trading partner or the main rival to nearby Dimini. Archaeologists aren't sure. Worth a visit, but it's not as interesting as Dimini.
  • The Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos

    , 1 Athanasaki Str., Τ.Κ. 38001, Volos telephone: +30 24210 25285 fax: +30 24210 28563 email: protocol@igepka.culture.gr, open Tuesday - Sunday: 08:30 - 15:00; is one of the best smaller museums in Greece and should on no account be missed.
  • At first glance, Volos City Center doesn't seem particularly interesting for the traveler, but a walk in the town streets might change your first idea. Ermou street is a long paved road parallel to the promenade, Argonafton str, offering a wide variety of shops for any taste, plus a selection of "hidden" bars and cafes, especially around St. Nikolaos Square, the city cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of the sailors, St. Nicholas. There is a seaside park between the university "Papastratos building" and "Agios Konstantinos" church on the promenade. Anavros Park starts directly behind Agios Konstantinos and extends to the east all the way till Anavros beach, an open municipal strand, offering clear water to the swimmer during the summer (and winter for the brave).
  • For those that have a car, there is also Alykes municipal beach, a 5-minute-drive from the center to the southwest, in the more easygoing Alykes district of Volos, having cafes and bars offering sunbeds on the sand, where you can enjoy your cocktail and take a swim as well. The municipal beach offers a lifeguard, showering facilities, clothes-changing chambers, and a beach bar. You can easily go to Alykes with city bus (blue bus) number 6 from the city hall.

What to do in Volos, Greece


There are acceptable beaches towards the southern end of the city at Anavros. To get there, follow the coastal promenade south from Argonafton St or park in the roads behind the city hospital. Most locals, however, head to beaches the other side of the giant cement works on the outskirts of the city, to beaches at Agria (20 mins by bus) or further down the coast. Generally, the water is clearer and cleaner the further away from Volos' port. But, Anavros is acceptable and many many locals do swim there. But seriously, if you do have a car and you want to go to a beach, it is well worth getting out of the city limits and beyond - some of the best beaches on the Greek mainland can be found on Pelion.
There are several cinemas in Volos. Films are shown in original language with Greek subtitles, whereas cartoons are dubbed. In the summer make sure you get to one of the open air cinemas (Θερινό σινεμά).
  • Village cinemas, Gianitson (Γιαννιτσών) 29, Tel: 8011009191, 2108108080. Has 4 halls, so you can choose between 4 films.
  • Metaksourgio (Greek: Μεταξουργείο), every Friday at 21:30. Art movies.
  • Achillion (Greek: Αχίλλειον) on Iasonos street.

What to eat and drink in Volos, Greece


Eat

The choices for eating are Tsipouradika (Τσιπουράδικα or Ουζερί) where seafood is served, Taverns (Ταβέρνα) where mostly meat dishes are served, Restaurants (Εστιατόριο) where Greek dishes can be found (there are Italian and Chinese restaurants also), Psistaries (Ψησταριά) (Grill houses) where the main dish is grilled meat, Fast Food choices are local Souvlatzidika (Οβελιστήριο or Σουβλατζίδικο) where souvlaki is served, and typical fast food chains such as Goody's and Everest. Souvlatzidika is the cheapest option if you are on a budget.
People in Greece usually eat late in the evening (21:00 - 24:00), during the day most Taverns, Psistaries, and Restaurants are closed. However, Tsipouradika and Fast Food restaurants are open all day long.
Restaurants (Εστιατόριο) and Taverns (Ταβέρνα)

Budget
  • Gea (Γαία) (Traditional Greek cuisine), Argonafton 15 (Αργοναυτών 15) (at the seafront near the port), +30 2421034153. Cheap, traditional Greek restaurant. One of the best options if you want to try Greek cuisine. 
  • Tsardakas (Τσαρδακάς) (Tavern), Kiprou str (Κύπρου).
Mid range
  • Taverna Italiana (Italian restaurant), gatsou 66, +302421057755. Italian style service and pasta. (Evening only).
Splurge
  • La Marimba (Mexican restaurant), Nikotsara str (Νικοτσάρα), +30 2421071167. Romantic tone, has a wonderful courtyard with a lot of trees. One of the best Mexican restaurants in Greece. Delicious foods, great drinks (try their margaritas, or caipirinhas and mojitos). Have to book ahead during peak hours (21:00 - 23:00) (Evening only)- Closed on Monday.
Tsipouradika (Τσιπουράδικα or Ουζερί)
Most of tsiouradika have a fixed price for tsipouro with meze. The difference in price comes when ordering extra dishes. Meze vary from tsipouradiko to tsipouradiko also, some serve one meze per 25cl, while some in the center serve one meze per 50cl of tsipouro. Tsipouro is served in open bottles or closed bottles of 25cl.
  • Papadis (Παπαδής) (Tsipouradiko), Solonos 1 (Σόλωνος 1), +30 2421 029360. Seafood. At the waterfront.
Psistaries (Ψησταριά) (Grill houses)
Psistaries serve mostly meat, salads and french fries. The meat usually is ordered by weight, and the price is per kilo also. One portion is 330gr of grilled meat.
Souvlatzidika
  • Ntinos (Ντίνος), Analipseos 136, +30 2421043840. The cheapest gyros in town

Drink

Winter bars, pubs, and clubs, usually close down during summer. Most of them have a different facility for the summer, usually by the sea.
All year round
  • Αββαείο (Abbey), N. Votsi, +30 24210 33130. Huge variety of beers. Serves food, nice mostly German disches, food on the expensive side.
  • Cafe Santan, Tsalapatas district, +306980384693. Rock, Jazz, Blues Bar, one of the most famous bars in Greece. Has been around for almost 30 years and is known for its place in the Greek Rock History as most of the famous Greek rock singers have sometimes played there, along with worldwide famous blues and jazz artists.
  • PocoPico, Koumoundourou (Κουμουνδούρου). Tiny budget choice.
  • Posh, Papakyriazi (Παπακυριαζή) 38, Palea district. Electronic music.
  • Balthassar, , center. Huge variety of beers. Has also 7 options for eating like pizza etc.
  • Brazil. Close to Agios Konstantinos church. Spacious, nice sea and Volos view.
  • Mystique, in Valis Resort. excellent summer choice which gathers many people from Volos. Summer hotspot.
  • Perispomeni, Plastira 4 (Near Agios Constantinos church and not far from the archeological museum), 0030 24210 24133. open every day from 9.30am. Relaxed atmosphere and music, sea view, homemade snacks. Drinks, snacks, coffee, shisha, beer. 
Winter only
  • Spitaki, Ogl (Όγλ), center. Rock music.
  • Vox music stage. Friday & Saturday (22:00 - 06:00). Live rock music every Friday and Saturday.
Summer only
  • Anemos (Άνεμος). in Soutrali, Agria 5km from Volos. Small venue, on a jetty with a lovely view of Volos.
  • Layal. in Soutrali, Agria 5km from Volos.
  • Rivera. in Kato Gatzea 15km from Volos. A little far from Volos, but excellent summer choice which gathers many people from Volos. Open all day, by the sea, popular for swimming also. There is a dinner section.

Shopping in Volos, Greece


The main shopping district is along and around Ermou St.
English books can be bought at the main bookstores:
  • Public, Ogl 28 & I. Kontaratou 9. Ground floor has computers, cameras, phones etc, books are in the basement. The biggest bookstore in Volos.
  • Papasotiriou (Παπασωτηρίου), Dimitriados & Koumoundourou. 
There is a good food market every Friday.
For washing your clothes:
  • Easywash - SelfService, Glavani 90, +306979019281. 8:00 - 24:00. Self-service laundry.

Safety in Volos, Greece


Greece is generally a safe destination for the traveler: the vast majority of people you interact with will be honest and helpful.

Violent crime and theft rates are low; public disorder is rare, and public drunkenness is generally frowned upon. Visitors should rest assured that this is a safe and friendly destination, but it is always advisable for foreign tourists to exercise basic precautionary measures just as they would at home. There has been a spike in theft (or at least a perceived one), which some locals will not hesitate to blame on the influx of immigrants.

The greatest danger to travelers in Greece is probably in the simple process of crossing the street: traffic can be bad even in smaller towns and horrendous in Athens and other Greek cities, and accident rates are high. Caution should be exercised by pedestrians, even when crossing with a walk light. 

Sun and heat pose risks that summer visitors should take precautions for. Take a good, light sun hat and sunglasses, and drink plenty of water.

Language spoken in Volos, Greece


Greek is the official language. English is the main foreign language.

LOCAL TIME

4:42 pm
October 14, 2019
Europe/Athens

CURRENT WEATHER

24.2 °C / 75.56 °F
sky is clear
Tue

21.25 °C/70 °F
sky is clear
Wed

20.55 °C/69 °F
sky is clear
Thu

20.4 °C/69 °F
sky is clear
Fri

19.84 °C/68 °F
scattered clouds

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0 EUR
1 GBP = 0 EUR
1 AUD = 0 EUR
1 CAD = 0 EUR

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