Volos was home to Jason and the Argonauts who sailed from here to find the Golden Fleece. Steeped in history with several archaeological sites nearby, bareboat charter and flotilla visitors will today find a modern but attractive city. The sea front is a traffic free promenade lined with cafes, pastry shops, bars and restaurants. It’s the place to be seen in the evening, though the city also provides and excellent base for a range of excursions.
Volos lies at the foot of Mount Pelion and it’s a lovely area to explore, with charming villages such as Portaria and Makrynitsa. Buses serve the area or you can hire a car. There are also buses to the beaches south east of the city at Anavros. These don’t have the wow factor of beaches elsewhere in the Sporades but are quite serviceable.
Many buildings were flattened in an earthquake in 1955 but the city is still worth exploring. The church of Agios Konstantinos overlooks the sea front. There’s a large park adjacent to the church. To the west of the city in the district of Palea lies the ruins of Volos castle.
As you wander around, pay a visit to one of the many “Tsipouradika”. Here you can drink a Tsipouro, the local grape based spirit, which trying a range of seafood nibbles. There are also a number of museums, including the Thessaly railway museum near the city station, a folklore musem, an archaeological museum, and the brickworks and ceramics factory museum. There is also the Giorgio de Chirico Art Centre, named after the artist who hailed from Volos, though featuring a range of art.
Outside the city, a 12km bus ride takes you to Ano Lehonia Railway Station. From here you can ride a steam train around 25km up through the hills and villages to Milies. There’s only one departure a day so you’ll probably need to take a day off sailing. More details can be found here: www.trainose.gr/en/tourism-culture/train-and-recreation/the-pelion-train/.
For those interested in archaeology, about 5kmwest of the city are the ruins of the Neolithic settlements of Dimini, with the remains of the oldest acropolis in Greece.
For more on many of the above attractions, the city has its own website: www.volosinfo.gr.
If you’re looking for picture postcard villages, Volos is probably best left off your itinerary. However, for those wanting a change from pretty fishing harbours, Volos offers plenty of options.