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The beautiful village of Makrinitsa in Pelion
Kastraki village below Meteora rock formations
Thessaly is a geographical Greece mainland region between Macedonia and Sterea. The eastern coasts of Thessaly in the Aegean Sea form many lovely beaches and places for summer destinations. The largest towns of Thessaly are Larissa and Volos.
At first, Thessaly was known as Aeolia and it appears with this name in the Homeric poems. The region is closely connected to mythology. It is worth mentioning that the legendary Achilles had his kingdom in southern Thessaly, in ancient Fthia. Also, Mount Pelion was the land of Centaurs, mythological creatures half men half horse. The most famous Centaur was Chiron, the discipline of Jason, who later started the Argonautic expedition from the port of Ancient Iolkos, modern Volos.
The presence of Thessaly in the classical times was not very evident until it was conquered by Philip II, the king of Macedon and father of Alexander the Great. In the centuries that followed, Thessaly became part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and it was frequently attacked by Slavs and Serbs in the Medieval era.
The Ottoman occupation was very hard for the locals, as the cultivable valleys of central Thessaly, the largest valleys of Greece, were given to the Turkish rulers and the Greeks were hardly working their land and had no right on it. When Thessaly was set free in 1881, the Turks sold these lands to few Greek, who continued the same system. This led to a large revolution in March 1910 with the local peasants asking for a redistribution of land from the landowners. This happened many years later, after 1923, following the pressure of the Asia Minor refugees.
A large part of Thessaly consists of valleys and many inhabitants make their living from agriculture. For the watering of these valleys, a large artificial lake has been created, the Plastira Lake, taking its name from the politician Nikolaos Plastiras who suggested the creation of this lake.
An important geological formation in Thessaly is the Rocks of Meteora, impressive rocks in the middle of a valley on top of which Byzantine monasteries have been constructed. Apart from religious tourism, this region has also developed for rock climbing.
Mount Pelion is also a great region of Thessaly, ideal for tourism in every season. In winter, the central villages of Pelion attract visitors for their natural beauty and the ski center in Agriolefkes. In summer, the gorgeous beaches of the eastern side of Pelion impress with their exotic blue color and the wind nature.