98 km from Litochoro
35 km from Elassona
Full of life and energy, Larisa, one of the largest cities in Greece and capital of the Thessalian plain, is a modern and full of history metropolis composing an interesting mosaic for the visitor. The most impressive testimony of Larisa’s 3000 years of history is the First Ancient Theatre, located in the heart of the city. This splendid monument, which was dedicated to god Dionysus, dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Nearby, there is the Second Ancient Theatre, dating back to the Roman times. Further to the north, at Fortress Hill, there are the remains of the basilica of Agios Achilleios (6th century A.D.) and Bezesteni, the most significant Ottoman monument surviving in Larisa since the 15th century. For almost 100 years, Alkazar Park, with its amazing greenspace running alongside Pineios river, is an oasis during hot summer temperatures. The park consists of a cafeteria, mini-golf, open-air theatre, a bike-lane, an artificial lake, footbridges and park benches, altogether creating an environment ideal for relaxation, activities and well-being.
At the right side of the park, there is an extremely important place: this is where the tomb of Hippocrates was discovered. On this exact spot, a monument has been raised to commemorate the father of medicine and hosts a Museum of Medicine on its grounds. East from the city-center, two landmark monuments are located, namely the Geni Mosque and the Mill of Pasha. The most up-to-date milling industry in Thessaly at the time, it operated from 1893 up until 1983. Today, the city’s most important industrial heritage has turned into a cultural center hosting a variety of events and activities. The Diachronic Museum of Larisa, situated in the south and built within 54 acres, is the city’s new cultural gem narrating the past of Thessaly.
Larisa is a city that favors good life. With over 1.500 coffee-shops, restaurants, tsipouro-taverns and bars, it definitely offers excitement! In the strong gastronomic tradition of the region, barbequed meat and cheese varieties are prominent dishes. The Post-office and Fortress Squares, with the latter being the coolest spot of the city, are popular among visitors during summertime. If you are a tsipouro-lover, you may visit Tyrnavos just 20 minutes away, and enjoy some of the finest kinds of tsipouro in Greece. The shopping center of Larisa with its wide pedestrian area will make your shopping experience enjoyable. Larisa, which is 40km away from Elassona, is close to beautiful organized beaches like Agiokampos, Sotiritsa, Velika, Koutsoupia, Kokkino Nero, Stomio, Mesagala and Kastri Loutro. Christmas is one of the best seasons to visit Larisa. The “Park of Wishes” within the grounds of Alkazar promises great entertainment for children of all ages!
The first ancient theatre in Larissa was built at the end of the 4th century BC and is preserved in excellent condition. It is located in the city centre and is considered the most important monument in Thessaly. It has a capacity of 10,000 seats, which were built out of white marble. The theatre, a structural masterpiece, was in use until the second half of the 1stt century. In Roman years it was used as an arena. The 1st ancient theatre was brought to light during the excavations of 1910.
The bezesteni in Larissa is a rectangular 30x20m building, built on the highest point of the hill. It has no roof and its interior is temporarily used as a warehouse by the 7th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, until the Museum is completed.
The bezesteni was the impressive closed and covered market, which could only be found in large commercial cities during the period of the Ottoman empire (15th – 17th century). Bezesteni comes from the Persian word bez (which means cotton or linen fabric) and the word bezzaz (which means trader in fabrics). Thus, bezesteni was initially the name of the market for fabrics. Later on, the bezesteni acquired a more integrated form: it was used to safeguard metals, silver, gold, precious stones, jewellery, savings, important documents, citizens’ inheritances.
Next to Pinios is the Alkazar park, with a football field, mini golf course, an open-air theatre for 2,500 people, a café and various walking paths. Right behind it is a beautiful grove, acting as a recreation area and the lung of the city. Everyday, the people of Larissa combine an outing for coffee with some exercise, beside the life-giving river of Pinios.