Today’s Volos was once ancient Iolkos, the city of the Argonauts. A welcoming and charming city at the foot of Mt Pelion, it embraces the Pagasitic Gulf. Its culinary traditions will be the star of the show, especially the flavours in the ‘tsipouradika’ (the restaurants serving the local firewater and meze). Old-fashioned neighbourhoods are juxtaposed against the youthful energy of students enjoying the pastry shops and cafes or just strolling around. The industrial buildings, museums, shops and exhibition spaces all add to the atmosphere but the standout attraction is the waterfront. Volos is a city by the sea, buzzing with beauty, freedom and life, day and night.
What to do in Volos
Raise a glass to life
Hospitable Volos welcomes you like a proper host with schnapps-like tsipouro and meze! Travellers on their way to Pelion, students, mariners sailing the Aegean, men and women on business… everyone in the vicinity stops here to visit a tsipouradiko. You’ll find them in every corner of the city, especially the waterfront.
At lunchtime, they fill up with people and you too can take part in the local ritual. Spetsofai (sausages with peppers), wild artichokes, cuttlefish with wild fennel… there are more than 40 traditional mini dishes that could make their way onto your table, accompanied by the local drink, which is served in individual 25ml bottles. It is a culinary institution that dates back to the 1930s.
The meeting point for locals and visitors is the waterfront. It is one of the most atmospheric strolls in Greece. Start from the sculpture of Argo, the symbol of the city, and continue until you reach the imposing Papastratou building and its own outdoor sculptures. Enjoy a leisurely coffee while watching the waves, take a bicycle ride, have a cocktail while admiring the neoclassical building of the National Bank of Greece and the Achilleon theatre. Walk along the Kordoni – the promenade – and become one with the sea.
On the cobblestone streets of Ermou, Kontaratou and Ogl, and at Agios Nikolaos Square, Volos is buzzing with life, day and night. Coffee, cocktails, food, loud and live music – all will get you into the rhythm.
The old industrial buildings of Volos (52 in total) have taken on a new identity. Ceramics and tobacco factories, blacksmith forges and flour mills, now all house multiplexes, cinemas and restaurants. Tsalapatos is one of the most outstanding examples of industrial architecture in Europe.
Hidden gems of Volos
Dimini and Sesklo
Discover these interesting prehistoric settlements, just a stone’s throw from Volos. They are the most interesting attractions in the area.
Evaristo de Chirico Station
This railway station is an architectural masterpiece, designed by Evaristo de Chirico, father of the famous painter (Giorgio de Chirico), who constructed the Moutzouris railroad line in Pelion.
A walk in the Pagasitic
Just a few kilometres outside Volos, the seaside resorts of the Pagasitic Gulf - like Agria, Kato Gatzea and Kala Nera – invite you for a coffee or a tsipouro.