Friday, June 27, 2008

Agiokampos, Larissa

This time, I'm taking you away from Crete, as we're going further up north, in the region of Thessaly. Seeing that my boyfriend had some work to do in his homecity, I followed him and we took the opportunity to go swimming in some of the nearby beaches.

OK, not so "nearby", actually; Larissa is in the middle of the Thessalian plain, and the only access it has to the sea is through the beachside localities of Agiokampos, Velika etc. Further to the north, there are some other popular beaches and resorts, such as Neoi Poroi, Platamonas, Agios Panteleimonas and Skotina.

Agiokampos is basically a vast beachside resort, crammed between the sea and the mountain, and extending from the former royal hunting grounds of Polydendri all the way to cape Dermatas of Velika. Being about an hour's worth of driving away from Larissa, it gathers lots of people, although it's nowhere as bad as Neoi Poroi (pronounced Néi Pori) and Platamonas. It couldn't be, actually, since the entire beachside area that encompasses Agiokampos, Velika and Sotiritsa has a length of 14 km (8.75 miles), so there's room for everyone. There are plenty of beach bars, taverns and restaurants there to cater to your wishes and you'll even find quiet corners on the beach, if you don't feel like mingling with the noisy crowds. The beach is practically huge, although it doesn't look like it while you're driving by. It's got a mixture of sand and pebble, so you'll have to decide where you'll lay your beach towel down. The waters are usually clear and clean - thankfully, it's a long way from the muck of the Thermaikos Bay and the water doesn't stay shallow for too long. After walking for about five meters into the water, you're actually swimming instead of walking. Compare that to Agia Marina or Neoi Poroi, where you walk for about 100 meters in knee-deep waters with a soft sandy seabed that becomes murky and filthy-looking as you keep walking and avoiding a huge crowd of people splashing in the now-muddy waters.

Photograph taken from

Thus, Agiokampos is worthy of being recommended. Clear waters, a huge beach with room for everyone... OK, can you don a thong there? Sure you can. Swim and tan topless? Yep. Go micro? Certainly, as long as it's not one of the "straps-only" designs. Go nude? I don't think so, as the whole area is inhabited.


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