Travel to Volos. Volos is a captivating and intriguing city that offers more than meets the eye. Located near the ancient site of Iolkos, the capital of Magnesia is a perfect destination for both a quick getaway and a longer stay. You can enjoy the best of both worlds here: the majestic mountain of the Centaurs and the azure sea that embraces the city. Volos is probably the most splendid blend of nature and urban life in Greece. Come and discover its charms…
Travel to Volos: The first acquaintance
The third largest commercial port in Greece is located 319 km from Athens and the journey time is about 4 hours. You can get there by bus and train via Larissa. Volos is a commercial city with a great industrial past and an important port. Half of its heart is located in the Pagasetic Gulf and the other half in mainland Greece. It has a charismatic beach with the urban part being rather a typical city landscape with its good and bad. And like Athens, Volos is not a city that is overall beautiful but it has its own charm.
The harbor with picturesque shops, among them the most famous tsipouradika in Greece, gives Volos many charm points. Apart from the bustling beach, the center of Volos is also defined by Argonafton Street, Iasonos and Dimitriados Avenues, Iolkou and Kartali Streets, and Ermou Streets.
The area of Nea Ionia, also known as the refugee neighborhood, has a long history and strong identity. It was first inhabited by the refugees of Smyrna in 1922. Nea Ionia is separated from Volos by Krafsidonas, the river that crosses part of the city.
Anavros is another well-known district of Volos that began to develop in the late 19th century. It is known for its beach but also for its seaside shops where one can enjoy fresh seafood. And there is Volonaki, next to the church of Agios Nikolaos, with main arteries and main piazzas on Koumoundourou and Kontaratou streets. Here beats the modern and most alternative heart of the city’s entertainment with cafes, bars, and restaurants being the busiest and most loved in Volos.
Travel to Volos: What to See and Do
A walk in the district of Palaia on the west side of the city.
You will get a smell of how beautiful Volos was until the earthquake of 1955 (which destroyed a large and beautiful part of the city) since beautiful neoclassical buildings still stand in their place. Here is also the medieval castle of Volos (60 acres), which was built in the middle of the 6th century AD. You will also admire the Roman baths and walk to the square of Agioi Theodoroi.
The view from the hill of Goritsa.
To the east of the city is the verdant hill of Goritsa, a naturally small hill of about 200 meters. It offers a beautiful slice of views of the city and the port. At its top is the church of Zoodochos Pigi.
Riga Fereou Square.
The largest of the city, it once formed the border between the castle and the new settlement. In 1882 it was converted into a square and became the central core of Volos. Today it is a nice park, with tree plantings, walkways, and sculptures.
Built according to plans of the Voliotis architect K. Argyri, which continues to operate today. The building is now considered a classic since it was inaugurated on November 15, 1925.
The neoclassical building of the Municipal Conservatory.
The 19th-century building was originally built to house the Bank of Epirus Thessaly (and later the National Bank of Greece). After the earthquakes of the 50s, its first floor was demolished. The building was restored in the 80s. Next to it is another… novelty building, the Giorgio De Chirico Art Center, which houses the Alekos K. Damtsa while its exhibition spaces also host temporary art exhibitions and a selection of works from the Municipal Collection.
Travel to Volos: The Past meets the Present
The silver domes of the tobacco warehouses of Papastratos.
They dominated postcards for years. Today the University of Thessaly is housed here.
The church of Agios Nikolaos with its park on the east side of the beach.
Built-in 1936 to the designs of the architect Aristotle Zachos, it became a reference point of the modern city. It is the first of the three churches designed by Aristotle Zachos in Volos and was completed in 1934. In the courtyard of the church is preserved the old bell tower, the work of the Italian sculptor Previsan.
Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos.
It is housed in a yellow neoclassical building built in the greenery. In fact, it is one of the oldest in Greece. It was built in 1909 with money from the cotton merchant Alexios Athanasakis (from Portaria, Pelion) with its most important exhibit being the written tombstones from the cemetery of ancient Dimitriada. In fact, the exhibits give a very good insight into the archaeological wealth of the whole of Thessaly, from the Paleolithic period to the Roman years.
Bike rides in Volos.
The bicycle plays a very important role in the movements of the locals and in this part, Volos gives the image of a city in central Europe. In fact, parts of the bicycle paths are located on the coastal front of the city, making this way the walk to the port, even more interesting.
Shopping from organic folk.
It is set up every Saturday morning, next to the fish market. Producers from all over Thessaly come to this popular market. Neat and … quiet (compared to the most… noisy Athenian) will load you with bags containing all the goodies – pomegranates of St. Lawrence, clementines, chestnuts, hot red peppers, apple cider vinegar, tsipouro, handmade jams with Pelion fruits and much more.
On the west side of the city, focusing on the “N. & S. Tsalapatas Rooftile and Brickworks Museum“. The Voliotes brothers Nikolaos (1874-1930) and Spyridon (1886-1967) Tsalapatas founded in 1920s a brick and tile factory. It operated for almost half a century and was identified with the industrialization of Volos. Today’s museum is housed in the old factory area, which in itself makes a visit to this place very special. Visitors get a closer look at the technology and work ethos of the time: from the wagons and the transportation of soil to the mill’s loft to the Hoffmann bakery, where the fire once passed. Tsalapata is also an excellent choice for a walk because here you will find very interesting restaurants and you will enjoy beer and food and wine.
The building of the Volos Railway Station.
Building with mustard façade, triangular roof, and many details. It was built in 1884 to designs by Evaristo De Chirico (Giorgio’s father) as part of the Thessalian Railway project that would connect the port of Volos with the plain of Thessaly and the city of Larissa. This picturesque station is almost unscathed and is one of the few buildings that survived the strong earthquakes that hit Volos in the 50s.
An elegant building with delicate neoclassical lines and wooden decorations, it is undoubtedly a real architectural jewel for the city. The exterior is decorated by the monumental statue of the goddess Athena, the work of the famous Italian sculptor I. Previsan. On the first floor of the building operates the “Thessaly Railway Museum“, with rich relics related to the history of railways such as old photographs, telegraphs, station clocks, period uniforms, and ticket offices.
The tsipouradika of Volos.
A big chapter in themselves and perhaps the most powerful part of Volos’ identity is the tsipouradika, the stores of the spirits and appetizers with a century of history.
Excursion to Pelion.
The other half of Volos’ identity, the mountain of the Centaurs, is the great breath and pride of this city. If you have days ahead of you, follow the trek to six beautiful villages of Pelion.
Tip for the trip to Volos: If you want to break the trip in two you can stop at Kamena Vourla to eat at the beautiful seaside taverns. You can also make a stop at Thermopylae and observe the paradox with the monument of Leonidas.
And a tip before you set off for this special city. Volos, although a city with everything, is “lazy” and has its own rhythms. You will see it yourself as soon as you see the clock showing 13.00 noon. While the people of Volos begin to flock to tsipouradika to honor their most favorite habit. Follow them!
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