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Volos is one of the largest cities in Greece, and its importance as a port to the nation is well documented. Although long an historic stalwart of Greek trade routes, this gorgeous port has gradually been transformed into a modern metropolis over the decades and now has a booming cosmopolitan cityscape to complement its historical clout, filled with joyous locals, fantastic sights and thrilling nightlife.
The backdrop of this marvellous city is one which has inspired myths and legends for hundreds of years. The area is the setting for hallmarks of Greek Mythology, including the Argonaut expedition, the birth of the Centaurs, and the story of Achilles. Visiting the paradise coast surrounding Volos, cruisers will find it easy to see why.
Situated alongside the azure turquoise of the Pagasetic Gulf, the scenery which surrounds the city is a sight to behold. A huge expanse of dark green hills, dotted with villages and settlements all the way to their peaks, form a sweeping landscape of foliage that complements the urban splendour of the town.
From the picturesque waterfronts and quaint, colourful houses set upon the shores, cruisers can get a panoramic view of the vivid blue of the sea as it stretches across the Pagasetic gulf, as well as a grand vision of the towering trees, rocky outcrops and flora and fauna that populate the inlets and atolls offshore.
Kitsos Makris Folk Art Centre
Housing an amazing collection of late folk art historian, this stunningly intimate museum is a fascinating chance to explore the history of Greek painting without being crowded. The museum is still maintained by the University of Thessaly, and also contains 4000 books, archives of 2,500 transparencies and countless photographs of Greek folk tradition.
The Folk Art Collection itself consists of 560 items, dating back to the 18th and 19th Century, including some truly unique pieces. Cruisers can get an up close and personal look at a large wall painting by Pagonis, as well as post-byzantine icons, copperplate engravings created by travelling monks from the Holy Mountain of Athos, and church artifacts.
This amazing building adorned with pure white Greek pillars, a red tilled roof and bright yellow facades, is home to some of the most exquisite finds from nearby archaeological sites in Thessaly. Highlights include a huge variety of items that stem from the Geometric period, considered a time of great heroic events in Greek history. From the Argonaut expedition to the Trojan War, items like statuettes and clay sculpture hark back to this mythic age, along with exquisitely well preserved tombs, human skeletons and ancient weaponry.
For a truly delicious local staple, head to Ekonomou O Papous, a charming authentic shop which sells the finest all-natural confection, Loukoumia to be found on the island. As well as the local boutiques, which sell everything from souvenirs to high fashion, take a visit to Magnesia, which offers designer labels, fantastic jewellery, and unbelievable antiques.
For a cosy atmosphere and excellent seafood, head to Sarris Taverna, a family run eatery serving delicious staples such as sautéed red peppers and freshly grilled calamari. For a meal with a vibrant atmosphere head to O Kyklos Tsipouradiko, where gorgeous flagstone floors and varnished beams provide a backdrop to delicious Greek staples and potato dishes cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven.
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