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Volos is a port city in Thessaly (central-western Greece) located approx 326 km (203 mi) north of Athens (Piraeus) and 215 km (134 mi) south of Thessaloniki. Volos is capital of Magnesia regional unit and Thessaly's only seaport serving country's largest agricultural region.

The city has population around 145,000 and is also a major industrial centre. The port serves regular shipping traffic between Europe and the Middle East (Asia). Volos is Greece's newest port city, with numerous contemporary buildings constructed after the devastating earthquakes in 1955. The municipality includes Nea Ionia, Iolkos and Volos, plus smaller suburban communities. City's economy is based on shipping trade, manufacturing, tourism and services. In downtown are located the University of Thessaly and numerous event venues serving sporting, cultural, scientific and conference meetings.

In addition to its ancient history and legends, Volos was an important Greek Christianity center during Byzantine Empire (330-1453 AD). Atop Meteora's cliffs, like fortresses were built 24 monasteries to protect monks from the Ottoman invaders. These structures can be reached only by the use of ropes lowered by the monks. Close to the city are the ancient cities Demetrias and Pagasae.

Volos - the cruise port to Meteora's monasteries

Meteora (translated as lofty, elevated) is a rock formation that hosts one of the largest of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Meteora is the second most important place for the Orthodox religion - after Athos. The six monasteries (originally 24) were built on huge natural stone pillars that dominate the mountain area. The monastery complex is located near Kalabaka and Pineios River.

The current 6 monasteries are named Great Meteoron (the largest, mid-14th century), Varlaam (second-largest, mid-16th century), Rousanou/St Barbara (mid-16th century), St Nicholas Anapausas (16th century, has a church), St Stephen (mid-16th century, has a church, in 1961 given over to nuns) and Holy Trinity (mid-15th century).

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