Volos combines modern sophistication with tradition. The sea front is lined with restaurants and cafes and is positively zinging until the wee hours. There is a ritzy shopping quarter, Superbowl, internet cafes, a theatre and several cinemas (all outdoors in summer). There is a great archaeological museum – possibly the only one in Europe that gives onto a sandy beach.
Explore the back streets of Volos and you will stumble across crumbling mansions and tiny specialist shops selling everything from sword sharpeners to incense.
Wine merchants pump pungent, resinated dry white wine into large barrels and slop a fair quantity onto the pavements. Luthiers craft bouzoukis, the traditional Greek folk instrument; stone masons carve marble balconies by hand, and saddlers make designer fashion wear for mules.
Transport links: train, coach to Athens and Thessaloniki, and ferries/ hydrofoils to the Sporades. A regular bus goes to Volos from the village.