A panoramic view of high cliffs over a green valley. In the foreground there is a traditional stone monastery.

Thessaly

Enjoy Thessaly, a region of sheer beauty with mountains, rivers, beaches, the popular Plastira Lake, Tempi valley, and last but not least the unique Meteora, the most photogenic spiritual site in Greece. Archeological areas, Byzantine monasteries and churches, traditional settlements and ski resorts complete the fascinating natural beauty of Thessaly and make it a popular holiday destination. Soaring like a sleepless guardian above the city of Volos, Mt Pelion is gorgeous throughout the year. Set against an idyllic backdrop of olive groves that shimmer in the sunlight, dense forests and lush fruit orchards, these 24 stone-built villages are the true gems of Pelion.

Take the legendary “Mountzouris”, the traditional train of Pelion that connects Milies with Ano Lechona. It’s the perfect way to see part of the mountain and some other traditional villages. Visit Volos, the city of the Argonauts, where you will definitely pass by a tsipouro taverna as they are dispersed in every nook and cranny: almost 600 (!) of them bear the gastronomic stamp of the city and provide people with a favourite meeting point; that is the unrivalled landmark of Volos. Just a few kilometers to the West, lie the archaeological sites of Sesklo (the most ancient settlement of Europe, dating back to 6.000 BC) and Dimini, the most important prehistoric settlement in Greece and one of the most important ones of the New Stone Age worldwide.

CENTAURS' LAND
TRAILS
DISTINCTIVE ARCHITECTURE
Either you visit Mt. Olympus, the mountain of the ancient Greek gods; the large cities of Larisa, Volos, Trikala and Karditsa or the Northern Sporades Islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos), Thessaly region will capture your heart and soul!
Follow the tour around the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, the biggest one in Europe. Head to the twenty nine Natura 2000 protected areas. Visit the mesmerising valley of Tempi, the rivers, the caves, the artificial lake Plastira as well as the lovely beaches (received 19 blue flags in 2018) found on Sporades Islands, Magnesia and Larisa.
Experience spiritual elevation on Meteora (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the towering stone pillars on which 24 byzantine monasteries lie. Discover Mount Pelion, where the Centaurs roamed and the ancient Greek gods spent their summers. Explore ancient theatres (in Larisa, Dimitriada, Phthiotidai Thebes, Ferai); Yeni Mosque -the only one in Larisa; traditional villages (e.g. Tempi, Metaxochori, Ampelakia, Ellinopyrgos); and wonderful stone bridges (e.g. Pyli, Palaiokarya, Katafylli, Elassona).

Culture

Discover traditional performing acts that originate in the ancient Greek cult of god Dionysus (e.g. Bourani in Tyrnavos, Carnival Bouloukia in Larisa). Enjoy Greek folk music in country festivals and tavernas, where ancient rituals, Byzantine music and rebetiko songs (inscribed in 2017 on the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) blend to create a feast you’ll remember.
Visit archaeological, folk art and thematic museums such as the Rooftile and Brickworks Museum and the Railway Museum in Volos; Tsitsanis Museum in Trikala; and the Museum of National Resistance in Larisa. See also buildings with a cultural, educational and entertaining character such as the Mill of Pappas in Larisa. Feel the festivals’ vibes (e.g. Pineios Festival in Larisa, the Musical Village in Agios Lavrentios, the Diamantis Paleologos Dance Festival on Skopelos Island) or tour famous landscapes and seascapes seen in famous (2008) Mamma Mia film (Skiathos, Skopelos, Pelion).

Gastronomy

Savour unique local wines (Protected Designation of Origin) such as PDO Rapsani [Larisa], PDO Anchialos [Magnesia] and PDO Messenikola [Karditsa]. Taste the regional remarkable PDO produce (e.g. the Pelion firiki miniature apple variety, and Zagora red apples), and take a sip of local tsipouro (Tyrnavos Tsipouro) in the renowned tsipouradika in Volos town. Make a point of tasting some delicious halva from Farsala town, the flavourful handmade spoon sweets, the traditional pies and a scrumptious local Mt. Pelion dish called spetsofai (a spicy preparation made with feta cheese, sausages, peppers and tomato sauce).

Activities

Explore the plains of Thessaly, gaze down the view from the tall mountains of the gods or enjoy serene moments by the shores of the Aegean Sea. Every single season in Thessaly is charming and locals will welcome you to their land, which is rich in culture and has an invigorating natural environment.
If you love sports then Thessaly can surely feed your appetite with quite a few outdoor activities. Enjoy rafting and kayaking on Pineios River; pedalo or mountain biking on or around Lake Plastira; horse riding in Pertouli; mountaineering in Athamania, Drosochori and Kalogiroi; climbing in Neraidochori and Pertouli; archery in Neochori; skiing on Mt. Olympus, Pertouli, Mt. Pelion and Mt. Agrafa; water sports such as swimming, jet skiing and diving in the Sporades Islands area and by Volos town.