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LARISSA. THE HOST CITY

LARISSA. THE HOST CITY

Thessaly is to Greece what the Great Plains are to America. Large, flat and fertile, the region contains a mosaic of farmers’ fields that serves as the breadbasket of Greece. Yet its capital, Larissa, is far from the sleepy agrarian outpost you might expect. In fact, quite the opposite. Larissa welcomes you with pedestrianised streets, cafes and bars, restaurants and ouzeries, shops, attractions and historical monuments. Just outside town, you’ll join a long line of visitors gawping at the beauty of the Vale of Tempi, the narrow pass between two mountains, Ossa and Olympus. And on the hillside above, you’ll encounter a mix of tradition, authenticity and brilliant local ingenuity in the village of Ambelakia.

Larissa , the nymph of the Pinios

What is the story behind the name of this city, spread on the banks of the river Pinios river? Legend says that it took its name from the nymph Larissa, who drowned in the waters of the river, playing with her ball. In fact, the word “larissa” – meaning stone fortified city – was given to the city by its first permanent residents, the Pelasgians, who designated it as their capital when they ruled Thessaly. Your journey has just begun!