General Information on Larissa
Larissa, main town of Thessaly and an agricultural market town, is situated next to a bend of Pinios River in the Thessaly plains, south of Mt. Olympus. The region has unique natural beauty, with wooded mountains, large fertile plains crossed by Pinios River, and various beaches.
The town of Larissa, which is the capital of the prefecture, is a modern, cosmopolitan town with interesting sights. The traditional houses at Tabakika and the fortress, the acropolis, the ancient theatre, the monument museum of Hippokrates, the park of Alcazar, the Picture Gallery, the Archaeological Museum, and the Cultural-Historical Museum are definitely worth seeing. However, the capital is not the main attraction of the prefecture. There are many beautiful and interesting settlements all over the region which are also worth seeing. The hamlet Agia, built on the slopes of Mt. Ossa, the tourist resort of Agiokambos with its long sandy beach, the historical village of Ambelakia and the region of Tempi, one of the most picturesque sites of the country, are some of them.
History of Larissa
According to archaeological evidence, the capital of Thessaly, Larissa, lies atop a site that has been inhabited since the 10th millennium B.C. Historical traces of paleolithic human settlements have been found in the area, but this site was peripheral to areas of advanced culture.
In the second millennium B.C. Larissa was founded by Pelasgians. They were followed by Achaeans and later by Dorians, who established a number of principalities, including Aleuadai at Larissa. This powerful family possessed the privilege of furnishing the Tagus, or generalissimo, of the combined Thessalian Forces for many generations. Among those attracted to Aleuadai’s court was the physician Hippokrates of Kos, who died here in 370 B.C. The inhabitants of Larissa sided with Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and during the Roman invasion their city was of considerable importance. The city was annexed in the 4th century B.C. by Philip II of Macedon and in 196 B.C. became an ally of Rome.
It was taken from the Byzantine Empire by Bulgaria and was later held by Serbia, by which it passed, in the 15th century, under the rule of the Ottoman Turks. During the Greek War of Independence, Larissa was the headquarters of Ali Pasha. Its long subjection to Ottoman rule has left little trace of antiquity. It was formerly a Turkish military centre and most of the people were of Turkish origin. In the 19th century, there was a small village in the outskirts, inhabited by Africans from Sudan, a curious remnant of the forces collected by Ali Pasha. During the Greek-Turkish War of 1897, Turkish troops entered the city once again. After a treaty for peace was signed, they withdrew and Larissa remained a part of the Greek State.
Beaches in Larissa
The Prefecture of Larissa has many good beaches ideal for swimming, water sports and partying. Most of them are situated close to town Melivia, east of the capital and only few kilometres north of Agia. Because the municipality is mainly next to the Aegean, the area has many beautiful beaches.
The most beautiful and popular one is Agiokampos Beach; not only because it’s an amazing beach, but also because it is the starting point of one of the most beautiful drives in Greece. The road leads to numerous beaches, catering for all tastes. Some are sandy, others rocky, crowded or quiet. Just take a pick!
How to Reach Larissa
Coach: Several KTEL coaches connect Larissa to other destinations daily, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Lamia, and Volos.
Train: Larissa is well connected by train and is also on the route of the Thessaloniki suburban train (Proastiakos).
Top 10 Destinations in Larissa
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Map of Larissa