Amaliapolis, or Amaliapoli, is a beautiful seaside village about 60km south of Volos, on the western side of the Pagasetic Gulf in Greece. It sits in its own bay with a small island off-shore and has a gently sloping sandy beach (good for kids) and several tavernas and bars, some of which stay open all year. It is also popular as a holiday destination in August for Athenians. However outside August it is a great spot to get 'away from it all' and there are hardly any foreign tourists. Prices are also very reasonable as the Greek visitors won't put up with over-charging! Another bonus of the lack of foreign visitors is that the old. Greek concept of 'filoxenia' is alive and well and the locals are really friendly and welcoming.
Amaliapolis is situated approximately fifteen minutes drive from the E75, the main Athens to Thessalonica highway. Take the exit for Sourpi, pass through the village and follow the signs.
The nearest airport is Volos Nea Anxalaios, but there are very few flights. Far better served are the airports in Athens and Thessaloniki, each of which are approximately 2-3 hrs drive away.
The village is sufficiently small that you can easily walk everywhere by foot.
There are a couple of Greek Orthodox churches in the village.
The best way to relax is to spend a day at the beach. The beach is clean, shallow and family friendly, with various beach cafes, umbrellas and sun loungers (free when you buy drinks), and changing cubicles. As with most beaches in Greece, be warned that the are sea urchins on the rocks. The best way to avoid them is to try and wade into deeper water on the route the Greeks take from the sand to the deeper water - forging your own path to the sandier, deeper water may well lead to you getting spines in your feet. The beach is on the eastern end of the waterfront. There is another good beach in Nies.
Hire a motorboat and visit the island out in the bay.
There are a couple of small, family run supermarkets on the northern end of the waterfront. However, they are small and not particularly well stocked, and more like British corner shops. For a big family shop in a large supermarket, you'll need to head to either Almyros or Volos. The supermarket opposite the post office has a good butcher inside and to the right as you enter, who sells good quality, locally sourced meat. Every evening, there is a pick up truck parked 100m away from the supermarkets selling locally grown fruit, whilst there is a fruit and veg shop a few blocks back from the waterfront.
There are two bakeries in the village, one on the square just off the waterfront, and one on Basilieious Giorgos B (the road to the left of the steps at the back of the square.)
There is a post office on the Waterfront, in front of which, most evenings in the summer there is a tiny market selling books and crafts.
|Note: There are no ATMs in Amaliapolis, so bring plenty of cash. The nearest ATM is in Almyros.|
The tavernas are particularly well-known for the fresh fish they serve and have many customers at week-ends with day-trippers from Volos.
- 1 Nikos Repakis Psarotaverna, Waterfront. Nice family owned Greek restaurant on the waterfront. Food is tasty, sea food the speciality. Go for the tsipouro + meze option (one 50ml bottle of tsipouro for each person), where they will bring a random three meze dishes (likely to be seafood) for every two bottles of tsipouro. Great way to eat! Make sure you get a table on the jetty in the evening. €3 for tsipouro and meze, €6 for a Greek salad and c. €8 for a dish off menu.
- 2 Souvlaki place, Waterfront (Opposite the post office, under the white plastic roofing). Reasonable, if limited, souvlaki restaurant. No kalamaki available, but both chicken and pork gyros. Good size, reasonable quality. Go in the early evening, get take out (one pitta gyro per person should suffice) and a nice cool beer, and sit and eat it on the jetty with your feet dangling over the side towards the water. €2 per pitta gyro.
- 3 O Kouloubardos, Waterfront (Walk up the waterfront beyond the post office). Restaurant serving reasonable, if slightly touristy, food. Nice location looking over the bay from a slightly elevated position above the harbour. Approx. €12 per person.
There is a cluster of beach side bars with nice shaded seating.
- 1 Glezos Cafe Bar, Waterfront (Keep on walking beyond the post office). Ice cream place, bar and coffee shop. Nice view over the bay from a slightly elevated position on the waterfront. Nice place for a candle lit pre-dinner drink. Approx. €3 for a drink..
- Giorgos Tiganopoulos Cafe Bar. One of the cafe bars nestled behind the beach. Nice, shaded seating under the trees, and free sun loungers on the beach for customers. Standard quality drinks and service. €2.50 for a coffee.
- 1 Villa Christina, Epar.Od. Sourpis-Amaliapolis, Σούρπη 370 08, ☏ +30 695 767 3334, firstname.lastname@example.org. Villa divided into four self-catering apartments each for four people on edge of Amaliapolis, within walking distance of sandy beach and village centre. Ten minutes walk from the beach. No pool, but nice balconies and reasonable facilities.
- 2 Hotel Amalia, Waterfront, ☏ +30 2422091264. Hotel situated right on waterfront.
- 3 Nancy Hotel, ☏ +30 2422 091227. Hotel situated right on the waterfront.
|Note: As lovely as Amaliapolis is, there are two airborne annoyances. First, the local bays mean there are a lot of mosquitoes - pack your anti mosquito spray and antihistamine tablets. Second, the local airport at Nea Anchalaios serves as an airbase and there is a lot of noise when the local F16s take off and land. They tend to only fly in the mornings during week days, but do make a lot of noise.|
There are other nice beaches within easy reach of Amaliapolis - for example, Nies and near Pigadi.
Makrinitsa and Portaria make nice day trips into the Pelion mountain range. Further afield, a two hour drive will take you to the ruins of Delphi, a one hour drive to the location of the battle of Thermopylae, and a three-hour drive to the monasteries of Meteora.