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Larissa Mini Guide
Tell me About Larissa?
Larissa is the third largest city in Greece and a major industrial and commercial city. It’s also a major hub for transport in the east of the country. It’s one of the oldest cities in Greece with its history traceable back as far as 10,000BC. Larissa is known as the last resting place of Hippocrates and the birthplace of the Greek hero Achilles. There are some important archaeological sites here but most people only visit the area whilst staying nearer the coast.
How do I get to Larissa?
The city used to have its own airport but that has been closed for upgrades for two years with a date of late 2013 for reopening. For now it is only used by the Greek military. Travellers wishing to get to Larissa must travel to Volos
, forty miles away and catch an AKEL bus to the city taking around an hour. Alternatively you can take the more expensive train from Volos railway station. Buses connect the airport with the station just over a mile away.
What is There to see in Larissa?
Apart from the archaeological sites there’s not much as the city is modern, busy and industrialised. The old theatre, completed around the 3rd century BC is worth visiting. Often dramas or music concerts are staged there. There’s also the old market place, the Agora which, whilst in ruins, still gives an idea of the scale and importance of the place. Finally in the city, visit the museum for an interesting, well documented and illustrated picture of the development of the city and the importance of Achilles and Hippocrates to it. Outside the city, Mount Ossa is good for walks in the pine scented air and in winter the locals ski there.
What can I buy in Larissa?
Most of what can be bought there are goods from other parts of Greece or items manufactured in the city. You’ll struggle to find anything of local interest and may have to rely on retsina, ouzo and Greek ceramics for souvenirs.
What About Eating out?
As a big city, Larissa has a wide range of eating establishments with a variety of international influences. For more traditional fare you’ll have to head for the outskirts of the city or the villages that surround it. There you’ll find much meat based dishes including roasts and piquant casseroles using locally caught game.
And for an Evening out?
Larissa is unique in having bars that change their marketing strategies between winter and summer. In the summer they’ll do cocktails, bright lights and partying whilst in winter when any tourists, Greek or otherwise, go home they’ll refit as a traditional taverna with roaring fires, ouzo, brandy, retsina or tsipouro with small plates of food to accompany them.
- Larissa is the location of one of Greece's biggest wine festivals. Not only is it a chance to celebrate vintage years but it is where the big international buyers check out the wine for the following year's sales. Hundreds of producers across the country are represented and if you're in Larissa as August turns into September, take a look and try samples of what will prove to be excellent wine.