Volos (Greece)

Mythical homeland of Jason and the Argonauts as well as a modern-day port city that never stops, Volos promises a feast for the senses.

Big on character and crammed with little gems – Volos is Greece’s undiscovered playground.

Tucked in below Mt Pelion – land of the mythical centaurs – Volos embraces the Pagasetic Gulf to one side and the dramatic, mountainous Pelion Peninsula to the other. Step off your Volos cruise, and you’re greeted by a thriving university city whose energetic pace will whisk you up into its whirlwind of activity, both at the port and in the tsipouradika - traditional tavernas - and set you on course to uncover some real architectural gems, both ancient and neoclassical.

Wander around and you’ll find grand urban mansions sitting beside nods to the city’s long-lasting industrial heritage. And following the hum of activity will see you in Volos’ favorite local hangout, Kontaratou, which is brimming with countless cafes and eateries of all kind.

Do as the locals do and stroll along the seafront Argonauts Avenue to take you to some of the best tsipouradika tavernas – a Volos institution. These relaxed eateries serve up some of the city’s most delicious food accompanied by a tsipouro, or pomace brandy. There may well be impromptu singing and table sharing, but with just under 600 tsipouradika in Volos, they’re a gastronomic destination in their own right. Heading out of the city and into foothills of Mt Pelion, there is a potpourri of traditional villages sprinkled down forested hillsides, where you can hike in the summer or even ski in the winter when the hills are veiled in snow.

Be sure to check out the pretty 19th century railway station, designed by Italian engineer Evaristo de Chirico, one of the few buildings to survive the devastating 1955 earthquake. Moreover, a visit to the Athanasiko Archaeological Museum, one of Greece’s oldest museums, will bring you up close to Neolithic finds and rare grave stelae.

Located in the heart of western Thessaly, the UNESCO-listed monastery complex of Meteora is a popular trip from Volos. These stone giants rise from the land without warning and form the foundations for some of the largest and most precipitously built Eastern Orthodox monasteries. They date back to the 11th century, and can be reached by staircases cut into the rocks. With heart-stirring vistas over the mountains beyond, the climb is worth every step.

Amazing excursions carefully curated by Celestyal Cruises’s experts