When the autumn leafs start falling, you know it’s time to indulge in a different type of activity altogether. The Danes call it ‘hygge’, the Norwegians ‘koselig’, while the Scots refer to that as Còsagach. In Greece people carry on as they did. Only this time they gather around the family table inside, prefereably with a fire and loads of hearty food. There’s no word for it, but people instinctively know that they’re enjoying a transcendent time with friends and family.
There’s one place in Greece that comes very close to fulfilling that elusive snug feeling. It’s called Volos, and at just a couple hours from Athens, it should be on your bucket list of destinations. There’s a fair few reasons for visiting Volos.
Particularly in autumn. Volos is a seaside town, replete with the obligatory pretty harbor, promenade filled cafes and bars, and in close proximity to Mt. Pelion and its many charming mountain villages. Volos also happens to be a town where a very particular and almost unorthodox way of drinking and eating. The famous ‘tsipouradika’ of Volos are an institution upon themselves. Go into anyone of the 400 still remaining and order tsipouro, and with every carafe, the owners bust out a few awesome plates of mezes. For free. That’s right. And not the itsy bitsy Spanish style tapas, either. We’re talking meal sized mezes that can keep you drinking longer than it takes a Greek to find his tax form. No wonder BA has started direct flights to Volos from the UK this summer.
If you can find a better way of spending a gray, foggy and wet autumn evening in Greece, we’d like to know.
The charm doesn’t stop there. Venture up Mt. Pelion and you’re transported to a different time. One that seems to have stopped a hundred years ago. Mt. Pelion is filled with bucolic villages, all perched on top of sublime mountain vistas. Stone houses and cobbled streets make up a wonderful setting for what is arguably one of the snuggest destinations around. It is the finest purveyor of ‘hygge-y-ness’. The Danes would be proud.
The autumn activities in Volos gravitate towards Mt. Pelion. Hiking opportunities are ample, and if lucky one can even try out the ski center in Makrinitsa. If weather permits, one can even mosey on down to Chorefto on the other side of the mountain and maybe take a dip. Chorefto is one of the top beaches in Greece, and comes with free camping opportunities as well as scuba diving and sea kayaking.
Autumn in Volos is where it’s all at. The best of everything is here.