Volos Travel Guide
Volosí vibrant air is boosted considerably by the large student population that attend the University of Thessaly, the faculties of which are based in abandoned industrial and neoclassical buildings. This helps contribute to the preservation of the cityís architectural character and the University actively encourages creative interaction as a means of maintaining the vitality of the local culture. Of course the students also helps to maintain the exciting nightlife throughout the year.
The city has its fair share of excellent museums and art galleries the most important being the Archaeological Museum, which exhibits many finds from the Bronze Age, pottery from the 8th and 5th centuries BC and a unique collection of painted Hellenistic grave stelae from Dimitrias. Its gallery holds a fine collection of well preserved paintings considered by many to be one of the most important exhibitions of Greek art anywhere in the world.
Now owned by the University, the Kitsos Makris Folk Art Museum was once a private collection of the folk historian after whom the museum was named. Amongst the exhibits are 25 paintings by Theophilus Hatzimichael and some beautiful paper icons from Mt Athos, printed from copper plate engravings.
Jason is said to have set off from Volos on his legendary quest for the Golden Fleece and the slope of Mt Pelion are believed to have once been the home of the Centaurs, strange half man half horse creatures who preyed on virgins and were regarded as great philosophers. As befits an area so rich in mythology, the villages of Pelion are a delight to behold each exuding a mysterious charm of their own. Pelionís most famous archaeological site is Dimitrias where youíll find the ruins of a temple, palace and theatre with incredible acoustics. Also of interest are the nearby settlements of Dimini, site of oldest acropolis in Greece (6000BC).
Watersports are also well catered for, the most popular being, waterskiing and windsurfing. The beaches around Volos are fantastic and clean and the water crystal clear and warm. Mountain climbing and trekking have obvious appeal, the countryside around the mountain slopes holding myriad treasures both man made and natural. Near Hania on Mt Pelion is the ski resort of Agrolefkes a relatively modern facitlity that really does offer some excellent skiing. The views from Hania are nothing short of breathtaking overlooking as they do the city and the Pagastic Gulf beyond.
Volos is the ouzerie capital of Greece and has over 170 throughout the city. The tradtition dates back to 1923 when thousands of Greeks and Turks were forced to swap their homelands. Most of the refugees were seafarers who gathered on the harbour at lunchtime to drink tsipouro (a drink similar to ouzo only stronger) and eat medzedes (tasty seafood and pastry snacks). The practice flourished, new varieties of medzedes were invented and soon establishments were spread all over the city.
The nightlife is also renowned, with the street of La Hana lined with disco bars blasting out heavy metal music during most of the winter months. During the outdoor discos on the beaches at nearby Alikos come to the fore attracting thousands of young beautiful people hell bent on drinking and dancing till dawn. Around the waterfront is a modern coastal avenue where youíll find a bustling shopping area and some fine restaurants specialising in delicious fresh fish and seafood dishes.
Although it may not seem like a typical Greek holiday destination, Volos has much to recommend it. For those touring the country it is an ideal place to stop off for a couple of days. The friendliness and freshness of the city make it a great place to experience the very best of both modern and traditional Greece.
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