Many come to Volos in pursuit of nature, to experience the incredible beaches of Pelion’s east coast, and its snowy mountain peaks. But before you are whisked away on a Pelion tour, it is worth exploring the city itself.
Although visitors typically head straight to the sea front, locals have been busy elsewhere, in the narrow streets around the Church of Agios Nikolaos. There is nothing more “Voliotique” than sitting and taking a couple of hours to sip a coffee on a sidewalk table, chat with friends and observe the passers-by.
The authentic, less-crowded tsipouradika are also hidden amongst the city’s narrow streets. Here, visitors even have a choice between tradition and novelty. Old-style tsipouradika on the back streets of Volos resemble a traditional kafeneion, with virtually no decoration or a distinctive look. Yet the variety and quality of the dishes created in their small kitchens will surprise you! On the other hand, new-style tsipouradika have been a big hit among the locals for the last couple of years. These newcomers on the Volos scene focus more on tsipouro quality, source their ingredients from small local producers and farmers, and create new meze dishes based in tradition, but influenced by the owners’ travels around the world.
If sea-food and tsipouro aren’t your thing, head to the western and oldest part of the city known to the locals as Palia or Kastro. Here, university students leisurely spend their evenings enjoying live Greek music (bouzouki) and grilled meat in taverns housed in recently refurbished 19th century buildings set among charming pedestrian alleys. The illuminated ruins of the Byzantine castle, the moat, and the ancient storage vessels left where the archaeologists discovered them are reminders of the long and complex history of this city that is so much more than a port.