[[Pelio|Mount Pelion]] is close to Volos. It can easily be reached by bus or car.
[[Pelio|Mount Pelion]] is close to Volos. It can easily be reached by bus or car.
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[[Sporades Islands]] are famous during summer. Ferries and hydrofoils
connects Volos Port with the islands. |+|
[[Sporades Islands]] are famous during summer. Ferries and hydrofoils Volos with the islands.
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Revision as of 19:02, 7 July 2012
Panoramic view of Volos waterfront area
Volos (Greek: Βόλος) (Population: 123,815 (2001)) 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.
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 civilisation.
During 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.
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.
Volos was one of the 4 cities in Greece, other than Athens, where Olympic venues where constructed for the olympic football tournament. Apart from the flashy 22,000 seats "Panthessaliko Stadium" that was built in the district of Nea Ionia, there have been constructed some new roads (like a ring road to the city, making access to Pelion easier for travellers coming from E75 Athens or Thessaloniki) plus a facelift of the waterfront and the city inner districts.
Other athletic events
Approximately 2 years after the Olympic Games, Volos is the first Greek city to host a major sport event on an international level; The Men&Women, Juniors and Seniors Artistic Gymnastics European Championship 2006. The Games took place at Nea Ionia Sport Complex, and particularly at the Indoor Swimming Hall, which was specially transformed for this cause. There was a major works' scheme in the city, with renovation and enlargement of hotels etc, in order to be able to host the Games.
The Artistic Gymnastics Games took place between the end of April and the beginning of May 2006.
Volos view from Makrynitsa, Pelion
Volos airport  (VOL) is situated in Nea Anchialos, about 30 km SW from the city.
Air Berlin  operates every Monday and every Friday from May to October (Flights to/from Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Vienna).
Ryanair  operates flights from April to October to/from Hahn. (Frankfurt), Bergamo (Milan), Rome and Charleroi (Brussels) airport.
Lauda Air  operate to/from Vienna.
Transavia  operate to/from Amsterdam.
Sky Express  operates to/from Heraklion and Mykonos.
It also operates weekly charter flights during the summer, directly from Amsterdam, the UK and Germany.
There are expansion projects of the airport underway, as well as a rail connection from Volos city to the airport. The new airport building is in use since November 2010.
There is a bus connecting airport and Volos bus station (). Buses are waiting to pick up travelers after a plane lands, the cost form the airport to Volos Bus station is 5 €. Travellers of charter flights are transfered to their accommodation by their travelling agency.
If you have a car, the airport parking area charge 8 €p/d 47€ p/w.
By international coach
There are buses starting from Volos, and also buses that starts from Athens and stops on the highway close to Volos (at Velestino exit). FPtravel  (Serbia, Hungary).
By regional coach
Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) (KTEL Volou (site in Greek)) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Liossion Station to Volos about 15 times a day (cost is about €20), as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Volos about 10 times a day (about € 12). Volos is also connected with daily direct routes to Patras, Ioannina, Larissa, Trikala, Karditsa and to many more places in continental Greece via Larissa. Interurban Bus Terminal is opposite to "Volos info center" near the City Hall, the Railway Station and the Port, on a major hub.
Trains (OSE) connect Volos to other cities in Greece via Larisa. Travelling with ordinary trains can be cheaper, although a little bit slower, whereas choosing a fancy faster Intercity train will cost the same amount of money, or even more than a KTEL bus.
There are ferry services to Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonissos.
There is an efficient public transport system with 12 bus lines going around the city (ticket price about €1.10), detailed info in the regional bus terminal (called "Astiko KTEL"), directly adjacent to the Interurban Bus Terminal ("Yperastiko KTEL").
- Νο 1 Anavros - N. Ionia (Αναυρος-Ν.Ιωνία)
- Νο 2 Ampelokipi (Αμπελόκηποι)
- Νο 3 Anavros - N. Dimitriada - N. Ionia (Αναυρος-Ν.Δημητριάδα-Ν.Ιωνία (ΜΕΤΚΑ))
- Νο 4 Ano Volos (Ανω Βόλος)
- Νο 4 Katichori, Stagiates, Ag. Onoufrios (Κατηχώρι, Σταγιάτες, Αγ.Ονούφριος)
- Νο 5 Agria, Lechonia, Platanidia (Αγριά, Λεχώνια, Πλατανίδια)
- Νο 6 Alykes, Agios Stefanos (Αλυκές, Άγιος Στέφανος)
- Νο 7 Ali Meria (Άλλη Μεριά)
- Νο 8 Dimini (Διμήνι)
- Νο 9 Chiliadou (Χιλιαδού)
- Νο 10 Melissatika (Μελισσάτικα)
- Νο 11 Cemetery (Κοιμητήριο)
- No 15 Anavros - G. Dimou - Palia (Άναυρος - Γ. Δήμου - Παλιά)
Taxis in Volos, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than € 7 if you hail a cab (silver colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city. Note that taxi meters have two rates - rate 1 applies from 5am till midnight, and rate 2, the double rate, from midnight to 5am. 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. Expect to pay € 1 or € 2 extra if you take a taxi from the bus station, the train station or the port, and a surcharge if you call for a taxi service on demand. Note, also that the minimum charge is 3.39 euros.
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. Generaly, 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 use them.
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.
Volos tourist office
Volos tourist office has plenty of useful information about Volos, plus a free town map, a free Volos travel guide and many more. Volos tourist office is located opposite the bus station in Palea district.
- The Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos 1 Athanasaki Str., Τ.Κ. 38001, Volos telephone: +30 24210 25285 fax: +30 24210 28563 email: [email protected], open Tuesday - Sunday: 08:30 - 15:00, admission full: €2, reduced: €1; for free admission days see web site [], 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 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).
- 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 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.
- El. Venizelou str., commonly known as "Iolkou" street among the locals, as well as "K.Kartali str." are vertical to the promenade and Ermou street heading north. A ten minute walk from the port through the center will bring you to Plateia Eleftherias, ie "Freedom Square", sporting some cafes. There are plans of renovating the massive Matsaggos building and arcade on Iolkou street, formerly a tobacco industry, to use it as a new landmark for the industrial past of the city, on "Plateia Panepistimiou" or "University Square" which is under construction.
- 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.
- 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.
Volos hasn't been lucky to preserve the large number of neoclassical buildings that could be spotted almost everywhere, as a sign of its industrial boom in the early twentieth century. Unfortunately, a devastating series of earthquakes in 1955 destroyed many parts of the old town.
The architectural and urban-planning character of Volos is achieved by the layouts of streets and squares. The current urban plan of Volos was fundamentally formed in 1882, shortly after the liberation of the city and was much influenced by concepts of neoclassical town planning.
Modern city isn't really interesting architecturally, apart from "Achilleion" cinema on the promenade, Volos railway station (officially described as one of the most beautiful in Greece from Hellenic Railways, once a departure point for the nowadays touristic "Pelion train") and the churches of Aghios Nikolaos (cathedral) and Aghios Konstantinos (basilica, on the promenade). Former brick factory "Tsalapatas" renovated in a museum and leisure area with taverns, bars etc. The University of Thessaly, has preserved a series of old industrial warehouses and other buildings in various places in the city, to use them as academic faculties today, "Papastratos building" on the promenade, originally a greek tobacco company warehouse is the administration building of the university and could be thought as the trademark of Volos.
Some typical examples of Neoclassical buildings are:
The 3-storeyed Hotel de France, with its impressive decorative murals (1894, Iasonos and K. Kartali streets),
The National Bank, formerly the Epirothessalian Bank(1895),
The Athens Bank (1903, today the library of University of Thessaly),
The Achilllopouleion Hospital (1901),
The Archaeological Museum of Volos, Athanasakeio (1909),
The Agricultural Bank (1909, formerly the Kosmadopoulos Bank),
The Cinetheater Achillion, (1925),
The Aegli Hotel, (1927), designed by Kassiopoulos,
The Building of the Air-force High officials Club near Agios Konstantinos Park, believed that it was designed by Le Corbusier,
The Bank of Greece (1935),
The Averofeian courts of Justice,
The well preserved Regas house and its singular decorative murals, today the Lyceum of Greek women.
Films shown in original language with Greek subtitles. Cartoons are often translated to Greek.
- Village cinemas , Gianitson (Γιαννιτσών) 29, Tel: 8011009191, 2108108080. Has 4 halls, so you can choose between 4 films.
- Lido , K. Kartali (Κ. Καρτάλη), Tel: 2421024311. Has 2 halls, so you can choose between 2 films.
- Metaksourgio (Greek: Μεταξουργείο) , every Friday at 21:30, 2.00€. Art movies.
- Achillion (Greek: Αχίλλειον) on Iasonos street.
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. Beer from 5€ to 12€, Spirits 7€. 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 sometime played there, along with worldwide famous blues and jazz artists. Beer: 5.0€, Spirits:7.0€-10.0€.
- PocoPico, Koumoundourou (Κουμουνδούρου). Tiny budget choice. Beer 3.0€, Spirits 5-6€.
- Smoky, Koumoundourou (Κουμουνδούρου). Tiny budget choice. Beer 3.0€, Spirits 4-5€.
- Posh, Papakyriazi (Παπακυριαζή) 38, Palea district. Electronic music. Beer 5€, Spirits 7€.
- Balthassar, , center. Huge variety of beers. Beer from 4€ to 12€, Spirits 7€. Has also 7 options for eating like pizza etc
- Brazil. Close to Agios Konstantinos church. Spacious, nice sea and Volos view. Beer 4€, Spirits 7€.
- Mystique, in Valis Resort, . excellent summer choice which gathers many people from Volos. Summer hotspot.
- Spitaki, Ogl (Όγλ), center. Rock music. Beer 5€, Spirits 7€.
- Vox music stage. Friday & Saturday (22:00 - 06:00). Live rock music every Friday and Saturday
Downtown choices are:
Other choices are:
- Anemos (Άνεμος). in Soutrali, Agria 5km from Volos. Small venue, on a jetty with lovely view of Volos. Beer 3€, Spirits 6€.
- Layal. in Soutrali, Agria 5km from Volos. Beer 5€, Spirits 7.5€-8.5€.
- 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. Beer 4€, Spirits 7€.
There many shops along Ermou street.
English books can be bought at main bookstores:
- Public, Ogl. Ground floor has computers, cameras, phones etc, books are on the basement. The biggest bookstore in Volos
- Papasotiriou (Παπασωτηρίου), Dimitriados.
For washing your clothes:
- Easywash - SelfService, Glavani 90, ☎ +306979019281. 8:00 - 24:00. Self service Laundry
Volos specializes in "Tsipouradika" (Greek Τσιπουράδικα) (also called "Ouzeri" (Greek Ουζερί)) where ("Tsipouro") (local Greek spirit) is served with a huge variety of tidbits. There are plenty of "tsipouradika" along the waterfront near the port. Cheaper choices can be found in Nea Ionia area.
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 eats 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)
- 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).
- Sogno di San (Italian restaurant), Ferron str (Φερρών), Palea district, ☎ +30 2421032690. Italian style pitsas and pasta. (Evening only)
- 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 price may vary from 3€ - 3,5€ per 25cl, usually it's the same price in every tsipouradiko. 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, bottled is 0,5€ more expensive but the standard quality may be worth it.
- Naftilia (Ναυτιλία) (Tsipouradiko), Argonafton str (Αργοναυτών). Seafood. At the waterfront. 25cl tsipouro with meze 3.5€, 25cl bottled tsipouro with tidbit 4,0€, serves 1 meze per 25cl of tsipouro.
- Papadis (Παπαδής) (Tsipouradiko), Solonos 1 (Σόλωνος 1), ☎ +30 2421 029360. Seafood. At the waterfront. 25cl tsipouro with meze 3.5€, 25cl bottled tsipouro with meze 4,0€, serves 3 meze per 4x25cl.
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.
- Ntinos (Ντίνος), Analipseos 136, ☎ +30 2421043840. The cheapest gyros in town, 1.70€
There are many hotels in Volos. Most are in center near the sea. Car parking could be hard to find in the center of Volos.
- Avra hotel (Αύρα), Solonos 5, ☎ +30 24210 25370.
- Galaxy hotel (Γαλαξίας), Ag. Nikolaou 3, ☎ +30 24210 20750, .
- Roussas hostel (Ρουσσάς Ξενώνας), Iatrou Tzanou 1, ☎ +30 24210 21732.
- Aegli hotel (Αίγλη), Argonafton 24, ☎ +30 24210 25691, .
- Kalloni hotel (Καλλονή), (N. Pagases), ☎ +30 24210 88240, .
- Park hotel (Παρκ), Deligiorgi str., ☎ +30 2421 036511, .
- Domotel Xenia Volou Hotel, 1, Plastira Street, 38221, Volos, ☎ +30 24210 92700 ([email protected]), . Enjoy your stay at one of the best hotels in Volos, Domotel Xenia 5 star hotel in Volos. Situated at the centre of the city of Volos, the hotel is the perfect starting point for short trips and excursions to Sporades islands or to the picturesque villages of Pelion. The rooms and suites of Domotel Xenia Volou have been created to serve functionality.
- Volos Palace, Xenofontos & Thrakon Streets (Behind city hall, near waterfront and train station), ☎ +30 24210 76501, . Very nice new hotel with breakfast buffet, bar and restaurant. Modern, comfortable rooms (half with sea view). Ballroom and conference rooms available for conventions, wedding receptions, special events. Helpful staff -- most speak English.
- Valis Resort, Pelion Street & Democratias Avenue (At the city end, on the waterfront, 5.5km from the city centre), ☎ +30 24280 97260 (fax: +30 24280 97260), . New luxurious hotel with three restaurants at the sea front, two bars and spa. Modern, comfortable rooms (half with sea view, half with pelion view). Ballroom and conference rooms available for conventions, wedding receptions, special events. Parking.
- Philippos Hotel (Hotel Philippos), 9, Solonos, 38333, Volos (At the city center. Detailed instructions in the official site www.philippos.gr), ☎ +30 24210 37607 ([email protected], fax: +30 24210 39550), . Hotel Philippos is a two-star city hotel right in the city center of Volos, close to the main commercial road of Ermou and just a block away from the Port road. It has well equipped rooms ideal for travellers, all with an air-conditioner, a private safe, a mini-fridge, a mini-safety box, a private WC with a Shower, an L.C.D. TV, a private balcony and Free highspeed WiFi internet access. (39.361959,22.943197)
Mount Pelion is close to Volos. It can easily be reached by bus or car.
Sporades Islands are famous during summer. Ferries and hydrofoils connect Volos with the islands.
There are nice, close(ish) beaches at
- Agria, approximately 20 mins bus journey from the centre (board a blue and white astiko bus on Iasonas street in the centre.)
- Kala Nera, approximately 45 mins bus journey from the centre (board a green iperastiko coach on Iasonas street in the centre.)
||WARNING: Iperastiko (intercity) coach stops are harder to spot than the Astiko (innercity) stops. Don't just wait at a bus shelter, instead look out for a blue sign saying KTEL Iperastiko at the top of the pole by the side of the road.
Volos is home to a few consulates:
- Consulate of Belgium.
- Consulate of Denmark.
- Consulate of France.
- Consulate of the Germany, Konstanta 154, ☎ +30 24210 35988. e-mail: [email protected], fax: +30 24210 35989
- Consulate of Italy, El. Venizelou 80, ☎ +30 24210 40452. Ms Maria Arfe, e-mail: [email protected]
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!