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Volos

Country
Greece
State
Thessaly
City
Volos
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Volos is a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 326 km north of Athens and 215 km south of Thessaloniki. It is the capital of the Magnesia peripheral unit.Volos is the newest of the Greek port cities, with a remarkably large proportion of modern buildings, erected following the catastrophic earthquakes of 1955.It includes the municipalities of Volos,Nea Ionia and Iolkos, as well as smaller suburban communities.The economy of the city is based on manufacturing, trade, services and tourism, and with its improved infrastructure the city is becoming more dynamic. Home to the University of Thessaly, one of the most important in the country, the city also offers a wide range of facilities for the organisation of conferences, exhibitions and major cultural and scientific events, together with international-standard sporting amenities.

Volos participated in the Olympic Games, and as an Olympic City it helped to present a new face of contemporary Greece to a world audience.The city has also since played host to a succession of athletic events, such as the European Athletic Championships.It will not host the 2013 Mediterranean Games.Due to current economic trouble, Greece lost the right to host the games (as of January 23, 2011).

Built at the innermost point of the Pagasetic Gulf and at the foot of Mount Pilio or Pelion (the land of the Centaurs), Volos is the only outlet towards the sea from Thessaly, the country's largest agricultural region.With a population of 141.675 (2001) and a prefecture of around 200.000, it is an important industrial centre, while its port provides a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.Volos is the third of Greece's major commercial ports, but also gains significant traffic because of its connections by ferry and hydrofoil to the nearby Sporades Islands, which include Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos.There are also connections to Limnos, Lesvos, Chios and Skyros.

The development of the city was closely bound up with the establishment of its industrial estate, the upgrading of the port, and the growth of tourism, due to the city's location near the scenic Mt. Pelion, the home of Chiron the Centaur and the beautiful beaches of the Magnesia Prefecture, particularly those of the Northern Sporades.The city has been linked with a number of significant social movements in the past, such as the early teaching of Dimotiki, by Delmouzos in the early 20th century (when Katharevousa was the officially sanctioned version).Volos is also well known for its assortment of mezedes and a clear, alcoholic beverage known as tsipouro.



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How to Reach

By Air

The city of Volos, along with the rest of Central Greece, is linked to the rest of Greece and Europe by the Nea Anchialos National Airport.The airport represents the biggest air lane in Greece after Eleftherios Venizelos, with a capacity of 800 passengers per hour and facilities for almost 10 aircraft.Volos is the first city in Europe to feature Seaplane Services through Argo Airways, which is based in Volos.The seaplanes connect Volos with Skiathos, Skopelos, Allonisos, Athens and Thessaloniki.

By Train

Volos' railway station building was designed by Evaristo De Chirico soon after the liberation of Central Greece.Today, the city is served by direct lines to the rest of Greece, and the railway complex houses facilities for train maintenance. Volos is directly linked with Athens once per day, with Thessaloniki twice per day, and with Larissa 15 times a day. In the past Volos was served by railway lines of three different gauges, the metre gauge line of Thessaly Railways to Kalampaka, the standard gauge line to Larissa and the 600 mm line to Pelion. Remnants of triple gauge lines still exist near the station.

By Car

Volos is linked through Greece's E75 Highway Axis (most often known as PATHE) with Northern and Southern Greece.Beyond this, the Axis E65 will be the gateway to Western Greece and the port of Igoumenitsa, through the plains of inner Thessaly; this part of the E65 motorway will be completed by 2012.

Key places to visit
Archaeological Museum of Volos, Alykes Municipal Beach, St.Nikolaos Square, Makrynitsa, Helikodromio


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Places to Visit

Archaeological Museum of Volos

Also known as Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos, is a museum located in Volos, Greece, that houses many exquisite finds from early 20th century and modern archaeological excavations in Thessaly. Exhibits on display include jewelry, household utensils and agricultural tools, originating from the Neolithic settlements of Dimini and Sesklo, as well as clay statuettes and a wide variety of items from the Geometric period, a time of great heroic events, such as the Argonaut Expedition and the Trojan War. There are also statues and uncommon jointed statuettes from the classical period, rare steles with relief work from the Hellenistic period whereby the color are well-preserved, as well as reliefs from the early Christian and Byzantine periods.

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 during late at night, where you can enjoy your cocktail and take a swim as well.The municipal beach in Alykes has an entrance fee of € 1 during the day, offering 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.

St.Nikolaos Square

At first glance, Volos City Center doesn't seem particularly interesting for the traveller, 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 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 clearwater to the swimmer during the summer (and winter for the brave).

Makrynitsa

If you visit Volos you'll most definitely take the opportunity to visit the close mountain villages of Portaria and Makrynitsa, offering you a splendid specimen of the renowned traditional architecture of the Pelion mansions.The city view from Makrynitsa is magnificent.

Helikodromio

In case you wander a little bit to the inner districts of the city, you will see Nea Ionia on the Northwest of the center, once a refugee camp after the disposal of the Greeks in Asia Minor after 1922, but nowadays a bustling developing city part, still offering an enormous park called Helikodromio with an open theatre inside.It can be reached with blue buses 1 and 2.

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