Volos is a commercial and industrial city, and Greece's third-largest port. Much of it has been rebuilt after a severe earthquake in 1955. Volos' location in the gulf of the same name and proximity to scenic Mount Pelion highlights this town's attractive setting. Interesting sites in the surrounding areas include imposing monasteries perched atop craggy mountains, and a fine Archaeological Museum.
Volos was founded in the 14th century in an area that man has occupied since the Neolithic Era. A short distance from Volos, the second millennium saw the establishment of Iolkos. This Mycenaean city was the seat of King Pelias and home of his nephew, Jason, who sailed from here with the Argonauts. Remains of Mycenaean buildings have been discovered near the river, where a palace once stood around 1400 B.C. Excursions to the monasteries of Meteora are highly-popular with visitors; their lofty position atop gigantic pinnacles makes them the area's foremost attraction.
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Volos Passenger Pier. The town centre can be reached on-foot in approximately five minutes. Taxis are generally available at the pier.
Stores of interest can be found some 300 yards (274 metres) from the pier. Best buys include local handcrafted items. Most shops are open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 8.30 pm. The local currency is the euro.
Greek cuisine makes significant use of olive oil, garlic and herbs. Fruits and vegetables are prominently featured on most menus. Vegetables such as artichokes, courgettes and peppers are often served stuffed or sautéed in oil. Lamb, fish and seafood are mainstays in Greek cuisine. Try moussaka, a nice Greek wine and baklava for dessert.
Some of the churches may be of interest, such as Aghios Nikolaos and Aghios Kontantinos. Note the Town Hall built in the traditional Pelion-style architecture. The main attraction is the Archaeological Museum. Situated west of Volos, the museum is highlighted by a unique collection of more than 300 funerary stelae dating from the 3rd century B.C.
Sights Around Volos, Sesklo and Dimini
Between the towns of Volos and Larissa lie Sesklo and Dimini, believed to be two of the oldest centres of civilisation in Greece. They date back to the Neolithic Age, and attract guests with a special interest in the prehistoric and early historical periods. The sites are located about 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Volos.