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MAGNISSIA

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Magnissia is a truly beautiful land, even by the high standards of a country as richly gifted by nature as Greece is. The magnificence of Mount Pelion, once the home of the legendary centaurs, holds no less charm today than it did in those past ages. As a beautiful woman changes her dress to keep attention to her undimmed, Magnissia quickly alternates her landscape from a mountainous haven to a coastal paradise. Volos, an important industrial and trade center as well as the most significant port of the central Greek mainland, is the administrative center of the prefecture of Magnissia. Neatly built, it comfortably houses 145000 people, a significant portion of the total of 200000 inhabitants of this region, yet it remains a friendly city, its picturesque coastline being the heart of its vivid lifestyle.    

 

HISTORY-CULTURE

Civilization was well developed in this land even as far back as the Neolithic age. Of some 40 identified Neolithic locations, the fortified settlements of Diminion and Sesklon stand out in evidence of this past, which gradually evolved into the more advanced and better known civilizations that followed. During the bronze age, the fabled city of Iolkos was the starting point of Jason and the Argonauts, the home of his uncle king Pileas, husband of the sea goddess Thetis and father of great Achilles. Mount Pelion was the home of the Centaurs, creatures of legend, wise men-horses who tutored many legendary heroes, including Achilles and Patroclus. Later on the city of Pherrai came into the spotlight, which was succeeded by Demetriada, founded in 293 BC by the Macedon king Demetrius, known as the Besieger. The region fell into decline which lasted well into the time of Turkish occupation, when the rough terrain provided shelter to Greeks, allowing the towns of Zagora and Makrynitsa to flourish as centers of commerce and intellect. Rigas Pherraios-Velestinlis, one of the most important figures during the time that preceded the Greek war for Independence, was raised in Velestino. This man composed a famous poem which inspired many Greeks into rebellion, and devoted his entire life to prepare the revolution, living up to his doctrine ?a single hour of freedom is preferable to a lifetime of slavery?. Magnissia was finally liberated, along with the rest of Thessaly, in 1881.        

 

SIGHTS

The archaeological sites of Magnissia depict the evolution of civilization from the Neolithic Age until today within an area of just over 2000 square km. Diminion and Sesklon are castle-palaces of the Neolithic period, while many more remains of this era are scattered all over the region. Unearthed Mycenean tombs may have been the resting places of legendary figures such as Pelias and Evmilos, while in the ruins of Iolkos just outside Volos, some may still feel the awe of the presence of the Argonauts, the expedition with the greatest roster of heroes ever to fight side by side. Ancient Pherrai, Alos, Amphanai, Pyrasos and Demetriada represent the archaic, the classical and the hellenistic period, while aura of the middle ages can be felt within the castles, churches and monasteries of the Byzantine and meta-Byzantine era. Early industrial buildings can be seen in Volos, while many buildings and homes built in the last three centuries can be seen in most towns and villages. Alas, Magnissia is not only a monument of the ages of man; it is also a monument of nature. Every last square meter of Mount Pelion seems to be intent on justifying the fame of this place of legends. Fir and pine trees form dense forests, through which countless streams flow as if to form the scenery of a fairy tale. In fact, this place has inspired nothing less than a series of myths, including those concerning the Centaurs. In winter, a gentle blanket of snow covers the mountain entirely, forming one of the most popular winter resorts in Greece. Eastern Pelion slides into the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea, ending in some places such as Agios Ioannis on golden sandy beaches, or on steep cliffs that provide a breathtaking view into the Aegean.               

 

ENTERTAINMENT-SPORTS-SHOPPING

There are few places where the location of water skiing is but a few km away from the place where skiers glide on the snow. There is no sport that could be sought on water or on land that cannot be found here. The natural environment provides opportunities for any sporting activity relevant to nature, while extensive athletic facilities are also available. These go as far as to include a yachting and an aviation club. Entertainment can be found in the myriads of restaurants and taverns, along with the multitudes of bars and clubs. One must not miss the chance to visit a ?Tsipouradiko?, a traditional type of tavern which specializes in delicacies which accompany Tsipouro, a strong Greek drink which locals produce with great care. Local dishes are delicious, focused on seafood along the coast, regressing to meat as one goes inland. In the picturesque villages of Pelion, grilled meats and soups are unforgettable, as is the scenery. Traditional textiles and ceramics can be found here along with traditional delicacies. Most traditional villages, both on the mountains and along the coastline, offer full accommodations and unforgettable images.   

 

ACCESS

Buses to Volos arrive directly from Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, and many other major cities. Trains arrive through Larissa, while ferries from Piraeus arrive to the port of the capital of Magnissia during the Summer. 

 

CONNECTIONS

Buses link Volos to virtually any destination, while ferries connect it with the islands of Skopelos, Skiathos and Allonissos, as well as with other islands of the Aegean Sea. The railway route is connected to the international network. 

 

MUSEUMS

The archaeological museum of Volos hosts a collection of significant findings from all across the prefecture. There is also a folk art collection, while more of these can be found in Nea Ionia, Agios Ioannis, Agios Georgios, Anakasia, Makrynitsa, Zagora, Portaria, Katohori, Vizitsa, Milies, and Horto, all containing items of significant cultural interest. Archaeological museums can also be seen in Almyros and in Nea Agchialos, while other significant collections can be found in the museum of agricultural tools in Velestino, the ecclesiastical museum in Agios Georgios, and the in the museum of the sea in Achilleon. The libraries of Zagora and Tsagarada hold rare tomes of great value.    

 

ALTERNATIVE TOURISM

Ecotourism, agrotourism, congress, cultural-historical, spiritual, rural, archaeology, sporting (windsurfing, water ski, jet ski, sailing, canoe, catamaran, trekking, ski, snowboard, mountain climbing, jeep safari, mountain bike).   

 

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

VOLOS AREA CODE:  24210-

POLICE STATION: 24210-39061, 76984

TOURIST POLICE: 24210-76987

TRAFFIC ;POLICE: 24210-76968

MUNICIPALITY: 24210-92100

PORT POLICE: 24210-38888, 28888

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 24210-95900

POST OFFICE: 24210-90600-2

TAXI STATION: 24210-27777

HOSPITAL: 24210-30154, 94200, 36870

BUS STATION: 24210-25527, 25532, 28632

RAILWAY STATION: 24210-24056

 

 

Photo Gallery
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
THESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIATHESSALY MAGNISSIA
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