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Larissa: Amazing Holiday Destination in Central Greece

The main city of Thessaly, Larissa is a entertainment-loving university city in Greece. With 8,000 years of history the city rests under an acropolis that has layers of ancient, Byzantine and Ottoman remains.

Come here before a whirlwind tour through the ages in the city centre, via an Ottoman covered marketplace, a Byzantine basilica and a Hellenistic theatre from the 3rd century BC in almost perfect condition.

On this page we will discover Larissa in Greece. Large, flat and fertile, a mosaic of earth tons, Thessaly has always been a breadbasket and you might expect its capital to be sleepy but you’ll find it just the opposite. Larissa welcomes you with pedestrian streets, cafes and bars, restaurants and ouzeris, shops, attractions and historical monuments. Just outside town you’ll join a long line of visitors stunned by the beauty of the Vale of Tempi, the narrow pass between two mountains, Ossa and Olympus. On the hillside above you’ll encounter a mix of tradition, the authenticity of Thessaly and the native genius at Ambelakia.

Where is Larissa Greece

Larissa, has a population of 162.591 people (2011). It is the 4th largest city in Greece, and is in Thessaly, between Athens (355 km) and Thessaloniki (152 km).

How to get to Larissa Greece

What is the fastest way to get from Athens to Larissa?

The quickest way to get from Athens to Larissa is to train which costs 15€ – 40€ and takes 2h 59m. Athens to Larissa train services, operated by Greek Railways (OSE), depart from Athens station.

Ways to travel to Larissa by car

In order to reach Larissa from Athens by car, you need to drive through the National Greek Road Athens – Thessaloniki and follow the route to Lamia and Larisa. The distance between Athens and Larissa is about 355 km and the distance between Thessaloniki and Larissa is about 152 km.

Ways to travel to Larissa by bus from Athens

There is a direct bus departing from Athens and arriving at Larissa. Services depart every four hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 4h. Athens to Larissa bus services, operated by KTEL Larisas, depart from Athens station. You can get more specific information on click here. The cheapest way to get from Athens to Larissa is to bus which costs 13€ – 17€ and takes 4h.

Train or bus from Athens to Larissa?

The best way to get from Athens to Larissa is to train which takes 2h 59m and costs 15€ – 40€. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs 13€ – 17€ and takes 4h.

Ways to travel to Larissa by bus from Thessaloniki

There is a direct bus departing from Thessaloniki and arriving at Larissa. Services depart hourly, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 2h 15m. The cheapest way to get from Thessaloniki to Larissa is to bus which costs 9€ – 12€ and takes 2h 15m. Thessaloniki to Larissa bus services, operated by KTEL Larisas, depart from Thessaloniki station.

What is the fastest way to get from Thessaloniki to Larissa?

The quickest way to get from Thessaloniki to Larissa is to train which costs 8€ – 23€ and takes 1h 34m.

Train or bus from Thessaloniki to Larissa?

The best way to get from Thessaloniki to Larissa is to train which takes 1h 34m and costs 8€ – 23€. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs 9€ – 12€ and takes 2h 15m.

Ways to travel to Larissa by flight

There is no airport in Larissa. The closest one is Thessaloniki Airport. This airport serves a few low-cost flights from abroad. If you want to travel by plane, then you should better reach Athens or Thessaloniki in the first place, as Eleftherios Venizelos and Makedonia Airport receive flights all year round. Afterwards, you can reach Larissa by car or by KTEL bus, as mentioned above. For more info click here.

What to do in Larissa

Monument of Hippocrates

Hippocrates, the creator of medicine spent the last decade of his life in ancient Larissa, and there’s a small monument at the place where his tomb was rediscovered in the 19th century.

Diachronic Museum

In 2015 the many thousands of objects unearthed at Larissa’s ancient sites were put on show at the excellent Diachronic Museum.

The nymph of the Pineios

What’s the story behind the name of the city on the banks of the Pineios River which has always been the epicentre of Thessaly? Legend says that the name derives from the nymph Larissa who drowned in the river while playing with her ball. Actually Larissa means ‘citadel’ in the language of the first inhabitants, the pre-hellenic Pelasgians who made it their capital when they came to dominate Thessaly. Your journey has just begun!

Larissa’s little treasures

Sights and attractions worth seeing in Larissa: the acropolis on Agios Achillios hill, the great 15th-century covered market, the two ancient theatres from the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD respectively, the monument-museum to Hippocrates opposite the Alkazar, and much more.

Tempi, celebrated in poetry for thousands of years

Like visitors from across the centuries, you too will be awed by the incredible sight of the Vale of Tempi. And like them, you’ll feel obliged to stop and take a closer look. Vertical grey rocks hem in the lush and narrow valley the Pineios uses to escape to the sea. Enter the natural cave of the church of Agia Paraskevi (1910) to sip some of the holy water gushing from the rocks. This site in Thessaly has been sacred since the goddess Aphrodite was worshipped here. At the pier below the restaurant a small boat waits to take you on a ride down the Pineios to Rapsani bridge, for an unforgettable experience.

Ambelakia, where history meets tradition

Red-tiled roofs over stone houses that clutch the mountainside over Tempi, Ambelakia will make you feel that you’ve arrived at the source of tradition. You’ll see it in the beautiful square where plane trees shade tavernas. You’ll feel it as you walk through the neighbourhoods of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Athanasios, among the Macedonian-style houses and the historic church of Agios Georgios and Agios Athanasios. You’ll admire it from the impressive Svarts mansion, one of the most interesting buildings in all Macedonia and you’ll experience it in the attractive hostels and the luxurious local hotel.

Things to do in Larissa

The Svarts (Schwartz) mansion

Whatever you may have thought about the era’s grand houses is surpassed by the imposing three-storey house of Georgios Mavros (Schwartz). The foundations were laid in 1787 and the building was finished in 1798. In other words, it took eight years of construction and three years of painting and decoration work to complete. It’s a mix of the local and Baroque styles with influences from Morocco and Asia Minor, quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Hasan Baba’s opium den

Visit the village of Tempi. Here you’ll find Hasan Baba’s opium den, which included a mosque with a minaret, hostel and kitchen. It was the headquarters for an order of Dervishes led by Hasan who was revered as a holy man and healer.

The castle of Orias

Located above Ambelakia village, the castle offers panoramic views of the whole of Tempi. Legend has it that the beautiful Queen Oraia jumped into the chasm created by the vertical rocks of the Orias Pit to escape the Turks. A pomegranate tree sprung up at the point at which she fell and, each year, produced three hollow pomegranates. The truth is that the so-called Castle of Oria – one of the most beautiful sights in the area – is a ruined castle built on near-vertical rocks, 270m above the narrowest point of the Vale of Tempi. The watchtower is of strategic significance as nothing can escape your attention from here.

Map of Larissa Greece

Explore the best 15 things to do in Larissa

  1. Diachronic Museum
  2. Ancient Theatre “A”
  3. St Achilles Basilica
  4. Monument to Hippocrates
  5. Alcazar Park
  6. Bezesteni
  7. Folklore Historical Museum
  8. Ancient Theatre “B”
  9. Municipal Art Gallery
  10. Byzantine Baths
  11. Pappas Mill
  12. Ottoman Baths
  13. Votive Stele to Poseidon
  14. Yeni Mosque
  15. Local Cuisine (tavernas and meze restaurants)

Villages of Larissa

Agia, Agiokampos, Anо Pοlidеndri, Elаssоnа, Fаrsаlа, Kаritsа, Kеrаmidi, Kоkkinο Nеrо, Kоkkinοpilоs, Nea Mesangala, Rapsаni, Skiti, Sоtiritsа, Stomi, Velika are the most visited villages of Larissa in Greece.

Beaches near Larissa

The coastline of beaches Larissa reaches 50 kilometers starting from the beach of Mylos Glymeni the boundaries with the prefecture of Magnesia and rising to Messagala and Kastri Loutro limits of Pieria.

At about 50 kilometers these there are over 20 beautiful beaches and small coves in shadow of Maurovounio, Kissavos and Olympus. Many of the beaches are organized with tourist facilities, others less or not at all-let in the hands of Mother Nature.

Specific tourism development have beaches Agiokampos – Sotiritsa – Velika (a continuous beach over 10 km), Koutsoupia, Kokkino Nero, Stomio, Messagala and Kastri Loutro.

List of all beaches of Larissa

Starting from the south to the north beaches in Larissa: Mylos , Rakopotamos, Papakosta, Polydendri, Agiokampos, Kato Sotiritsa, Velika, Vrachakia (Velika), Paliouria, Koutsoupia, Kokkino Nero, Tsiligiorgos, Platia Ammos, Kalivi, Pigadi , Psarolakas, Panagias, Stomio, Alexandrini-Strintzos, Kouloura, Messagala and finally Kastri Loutro.

Where to stay in Larissa

We will advise you the best hotels in Larissa Greece: Divani Palace Larissa, Achillion Hotel Larisa, and Hotel Park are some of the most popular hotels for travelers looking to stay near Larissa Ancient Ruins. Other hotels in Larissa that we advise you below:

Conclusion

On your way to Thessaloniki, Meteora or Halkidiki, stop in Larissa to discover an impressive eco-friendly town with excellent places to eat, drink and enjoy coffee.

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