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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in volos
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Volos, unlike other towns in Thessalian plain, enjoys a mild merranean climate with can-be-hot-but-bearable summers (though a little bit humid) and mild winters. Spring and Autumn are the best to visit the city itself, Winter is the time to be on the Pelion mountain villages, and Summer definitely dedicated to the numerous beaches of the region on Pagasetic gulf and the Aegean Sea.
Being priviledged to be situated on the foothills of Pelion, the mythical mountain of the centaurs, and bounded by Goritsa Hill to the Southeast, Volos sports a nice weather all year long, with the sea and mountain breezes dominant in all city areas.
Volos was one of the 4 cities in Greece, other than Athens, where Olympic venues where constructed for the olympic football tournament. Apart from the flashy 22,000 seats "Panthessaliko Stadium" that was built in the district of Nea Ionia, there have been constructed some new roads (like a ring road to the city, making access to Pelion easier for travellers coming from E75 Athens or Thessaloniki) plus a facelift of the waterfront and the city inner districts.
Volos airport (VOL) is situated in Nea Anchialos, about 30 km SW from the city, and currently operates only weekly charter flights during the summer, directly from Amsterdam and the UK. There are expansion projects of the airport underway, as well as a rail connection from Volos city to the airport, so as to be able to start some commercial routes as well. Usually there are buses that meet scheduled charter flights in VOL airport to transfer them to the city or Pelion.
Another way to arrive in Volos from abroad by plane is to land to the nearby island of Skiathos (offering domestic and international flights, charter and commercial ones) and then take the ferry (about 3 hours) or the hydrofoil (about 1 hour) to Volos
By regional coach
Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) (KTEL (http://www.ktel.org/)) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Liossion Station to Volos about 15 times a day (cost is about ?20), as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Volos about 10 times a day (about ? 12). Volos is also connected with daily direct routes to Patras, Ioannina, Larissa, Trikala, Karditsa and to many more places in continental Greece via Larissa. Interurban Bus Terminal is opposite to "Volos info center" near the City Hall, the Railway Station and the Port, on a major hub.
Trains (OSE (http://www.ose.gr/)) connect Volos to other cities in Greece via Larissa. Travelling with ordinary trains can be cheaper, although a little bit slower, whereas choosing a fancy faster Intercity train will cost the same amount of money, or even more than a KTEL bus.
There is an efficient public transport system with 11 bus lines going around the city (ticket price about 1), detailed info in the regional bus terminal (called "Astiko KTEL"), directly adjacent to the Interurban Bus Terminal ("Yperastiko KTEL").
Taxi in Volos, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than ? 3 if you hail a cab (silver colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city. Note that taxi meters have two rates - rate 1 applies from 5am till midnight, and rate 2, the double rate, from midnight to 5am. Taxi fare fraud is not widespread but it still happens, so make sure the rate is correct. If you feel you have been overcharged, ask for a receipt (they are obliged to give one) and take the plate number, then phone the tourist police to report the driver on 171. Expect to pay ? 1 or ? 2 extra if you take a taxi from the bus station, the train station or the port, and a surcharge if you call for a taxi service on demand.
Volos hasn't been lucky to preserve the large number of neoclassical buildings that could be spotted almost everywhere, as a sign of its industrial boom in the early twentieth century. Unfortunately, a devastating series of earthquakes in 1955 destroyed many parts of the old town. Modern city isn't really interesting architecturally, apart from "Achilleion" cinema on the promenade, Volos railway station (officially described as one of the most beautiful in Greece from Hellenic Railways, once a departure point for the nowadays touristic "Pelion train") and the churches of Aghios Nikolaos (cathedral) and Aghios Konstantinos (basilica, on the promenade). The University of Thessaly, has preserved a series of old industrial warehouses and other buildings in various places in the city, to use them as academic faculties today. "Papastratos building" on the promenade, originally a greek tobacco company warehouse is the administration building of the university and could be thought as the trademark of Volos.