Magnesia (Μαγνησία, Magnisía, maɣniˈsia), deriving from the tribe name Magnetes, is the name of the southeastern area of Thessaly in central Greece. The modern prefecture was created in 1947 out of the Larissa prefecture. About 70% of the population live in the Greater Volos area which is the second-largest city in Thessaly and the third busiest commercial port in Greece. Much of the population lives near the Pagasetic Gulf and in the eastern part.
The capital of Magnesia prefecture is the metropolitan city of Volos one of the most scenic and developed urban areas in Greece. Magnesia is located only half way between Athens and Thessaloniki. According to the most recent census carried out (2001), the population stands at 207,000. The capital of the prefecture is a metropolitan city consisting of three municipalities, the municipality of Volos with a population of around 95,000 (2001), the municipality of Nea Ionia with approximately 45,000 permanent and temporary citizens, and the municipality of Iolkos with around 3,500 citizens. Mount Pelion, the mountain of the Centaurs, generously offers natural beauty and spectacular views to its visitors. The peaks and the slopes of the mountain are decorated with small churches dedicated to saints and the Virgin Mary. In this quaint churches one can admire precious relics and post-Byzantine icons. The prefecture of Magnesia is as well proud of the Northern Sporades group of islands located at the East of mainland Magnesia. Skiathos island, famous tourist resort of the Mediterranean sea worldwide, along with the greenest island of the Mediterranean Skopelos, the ecological Alonissos with the national park of Mediterranean Monk Seals or Monachus monachus, and smaller islets comprises the summer paradise for over 2,000,000 million tourists every year.
Magnesia is represented in the Greek Parliament by five members.
The perfecture of Magnesia with its distinguished natural beauties and the infrequent morphological alterations and oppositions undoubtedly charms visitors. Wooded mountain slopes with interesting flora, running waters, cultivable land, lacy beaches and picturesque bays, compose the natural landscape of the region that combines uniquely holidays by the mountain and the sea. The area's main element is the relief of verdurous Pelion, which extends on the East area of the Prefecture, close to the Aegean Sea and is ideal for holidays all year round.
The main mountainous volume of Magnesia is Pelion, which is also considered to be the Southeast part of mountain Maurovounio; togehter, they occupy the Eastern section of the Magnesia/Pelion peninsula. Mountain Maurovouni (1054 metres) is the Northeast mountain of the prefectre of Magnesia and extends to the prefectre of Larissa, where its highest peak is found.
Pelion extends entirely in Magnesia and occupies the homonym peninsula, which actually is the East breakwater of Pagasetic Gulf. The mountains high peak is Pourianos Stavros or Xeforti, (altitude 1624 metres). On the edge of Magnesia peninsula mountain Tiseo is found, which is considered to be the Southeast edge of Pelion. Another important mountain of the region is Othris, with its highest peak called Gerakovouni (1726 metres) and is the boundary of the prefectures of Magnesia nand Phthiotis.
In its interior Magnesia has two plains. One found between Halkodonio and Othry is called Almyros plain, while the other between Halkodonio and Pelion is called the Volos-Velestino plain. The hydrological network of the prefecture is not particularly rich and is characterized by the absence of big rivers. The waters coming from Pelion shape the torrents of Anavros, Platanorema, Xirias.
On the North section of the prefecture Lake Karla was formerly found , which has drained, and today an effort for its partial reconstruction takes place.On the bight of Sourpi, next to Amaliapolis a remarkable coastal wetland is found, where various species of migratory birds are hosted.This wetland together with the aesthetic forest of Kouri - an infrequent lowland of Oak tree forest close to Almyros - is included in the list of the protected regions of the European Network Natura 2000.
It is bounded by Phthiotis region in the southwest, the Larissa in the west and north and the Aegean Sea in the east. The lagoon of Lake Voiviis or Karla is to the north and is surrounded with farmlands to the west and mountains to the east. It is one of the prefectures that is bounded with only two prefectures. It should also be noted that the chemical element, Magnesium, was named after the City of Magnesia by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808
In the area of Pelion the visitor can find the monasteries of Saint Yerasimos in Makrinitsa. The Holy Archangels in Agios (Saint) Georgios Nilias, Osios Lavredios in the homonym village, Saint John the Baptist in Siki and Saint Spiridon in Promiri. The most famous is the Monastery in Flamouri (top picture on the right), built in the 16th century by Osios Simeon, the so-called "barefoot and mono-cloth" in a fabulous location above Veneto.
In the Almiros area and on the mountain of Othris two other monasteries were built, one inhabited by monks in Ano Pagania (Virgin Mary) Xenia and one buy nuns in Kato Panagia Xenia, historical monuments of the area from the 12th century, full of wall paintings, treasuries and library. In Kato Panagia Xenia monastery, the icon of Virgin Mary, mostly honorable by all the people of the area, is kept. All the monasteries are of archeological, historical and artistic interest, they are accessible (the one in Flamouri only by men) and information is offered by the Holy Bishopric of Dimitriada at 24210 47501 and 24210 47593 phone numbers.
Every village, every valley, every slope in Pelion is crowned by its church. Beautiful basilicas with narthices, rich inside deco- ration, with unique temples gather the faithfull and the beauty hunters. In Zagora, every church is an artistic monument, with wood caved temples, with portable meta-Byzantine icons, with valuable holy articles. In Kissos the temple of Santa Marina (second and third picture on the right) is unique. In Milies the Holy Archangels church in the village centre possesses a valuable temple and 18th century icons, that have been restored lately. Famous temples can be found also in the Holy Cross church of Anemoutsa in Agria, in St. Demetrios church in Saint Lavredios village, in the Holy Archangels church in Tsagarada, in the Holy Trinity in Mouressi, in Saint Demetrios church in Makrinitsa, to Episkopi and to the Holy Trinity church in Ano Volos is worthy for somebody to remain ecstatic in front of the magnificent Byzantine sculptures of the ancient monastery of Acute Visitation, as well as to Santa Marina in Kissos and to Saint Demetrios in Neohori to enjoy the Pagonis wall paintings. Additionally one can visit the Virgin Mary chapel in Portaria, built in 1273.
All these sites provide opportunities for spiritual and psychical uplift, at the same time self-isolation and meditation, wonderful views and calmness.
|Municipality||YPES code||Seat (if different)||Postal code||Area code|
|Artemida||3707||Ano Lechonia||385 00||24280-|
|Nea Anchialos||3717||374 00||24280-|
|Nea Ionia||3718||383 & 384||24210|
|Community||YPES code||Seat (if different)||Postal code||Area code|