Nestled at the foot of Mount Pelion, 200 miles north of Athens in Thessaly (central Greece), the port city of Volos attracts travelers from around the world for its history, mythological past, natural beauty and laid back feel.
Volos is a city with many faces: cruise port, college town, tourist destination on its own merit, busy transit location for Mount Pelion and the Sporades islands, home to incredible outdoor recreation opportunities and a great place to raise a family.
With a history that stretches back for millennia, Volos boasts for its archaeological and mythological past. The city itself has more than 5,000 years of history and just a few miles to the west, lies the oldest known village in Europe, a Neolithic settlement from 9,000 years ago. Volos was Jason’s homeland and the port from which the Argonauts sailed off in quest of the golden fleece. The Argo, is the official logo of the city of Volos and a wooden replica of the ship adorns every summer the harbor, bringing the story of Jason and his legendary sea expedition to life. Once the cosmopolitan capital of the rich Macedonian kings (3rd - 2nd century BC) under the name of Demetrias, Volos’s past was always connected to the sea.
Today, locals and visitors love to stroll along the two-mile-long marina where dozens of sailing boats and yachts are docked. A number of them are charter boats taking visitors on day-cruises in the Pagasitikos Bay and the nearby Sporades Islands.
Volos`s laid-back and friendly vibe makes it perfect for family travel. From strolling or renting a bike along the promenade, to visiting the Brick and Tile Museum or the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum, there is a lot of ground to cover in this vibrant city.
The Historic District of Volos, also referred to as Palia (old), is a lively and culturally interesting neighborhood. It’s the oldest part of the city with 5,000 years of continuous occupation! At night, it bursts with life with cozy restaurants, taverns with live Greek music and trendy bars.
Volos is a city extremely easy to navigate. The buildings display a variety of architectural styles, ranging from Neoclassical and traditional to contemporary structures. The most emblematic icon is the Papastratos building, a former tobacco factory that speaks to the history of Volos as a major industrial city. Today, it houses the headquarters of the University of Thessaly.
Volos is also known for its gastronomic tradition related to tsipouro (an alcoholic drink similar to Italian grappa) served in the city’s more than 300 tsipouradika restaurants. For the locals, tsipouro drinking is a social activity, an excuse to meet with friends and colleagues and have fun. Mixed with ice or a small dose of water and paired with mezedes (generous tapa dishes) of fresh seafood, tsipouro drinking is Volos’ most famous cultural tradition.
Staying in Volos means you are close to great outdoor activities all year round. The Pelion Ski Resort is less than an hour away from the city and so are several spectacular beaches of the Pelion peninsula. Skiing and snowboarding, sailing, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and horseback riding are only some of the options outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy very close to the city.