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Above - The Panthessaliko Stadium in Volos (© Alamy)

FSA Cymru Guide to Volos (Greece)

The Wales women’s team travel to Volos for their penultimate World Cup qualifier on Friday 2nd September (KO 6pm CET) against Greece. If the team can take four points from their final two qualifiers they’ll secure a 2023 World Cup play-off spot. In order to help support travelling fans, FSA Cymru have produced their first ever guide for supporters of the women’s team. By fans, for fans…

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About Greece

Greece is in south eastern Europe and includes thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it’s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains many world famous landmarks, including the fifth century BC Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.

Most visitors to Greece experience no difficulties. Serious crime against foreigners is rare but, like anywhere, crimes do occur. You should be alert to the possibility of street crime and petty theft, and that foreigners may appear to be easy targets. Keep valuables and cash out of sight, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots where pickpockets and bag snatchers operate.

There is a higher risk of robbery at main rail stations and on all train services, especially overnight sleeper trains. You are most at risk while boarding and leaving trains. Don’t leave drinks or food unattended and beware of accepting drinks from strangers. There have been a small number of reports of drinks being spiked and visitors having their valuables stolen. Check your bill carefully when buying drinks in bars and nightclubs. There have been some reports of overcharging and large amounts of money being charged to debit or credit cards.

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About Volos

“Volos at night” – Nikolaos Vergos (CC license)

The Panthessaliko Stadium is located at Volos, a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 330km (205 miles) north of Athens and 220km (137 miles) south of Thessaloniki. It is the sixth most populous city of Greece. It is also the only outlet to the sea from Thessaly, the country’s largest agricultural region.

With a population of 144,449 (circa 2011), Volos is the newest of the Greek port cities. The stadium was the site of football matches during the 2004 Summer Olympics. It was officially opened on July 30, 2004 and has a capacity of 22,700 seats, though only 21,100 seats were made publicly available for the Olympic matches. The Panthessaliko Stadium is the home stadium of the Volos FC who play in the Super League Greece. It also hosted the 2017 and 2020 Greek Football Cup finals.

If you are driving from Athens to Volos it should take you about 3hrs 40mins (331km / 205 miles) via the E75 toll road.

The easiest way to get to Volos is via Volos airport with many direct flights from the UK, however, these are not always convenient and tend to be infrequent. Far more flights are available to Thessaloniki. From there you can get a train to Volos which takes 2hr 40mins and costs between £7-£20. Alternatively there is a bus which will take 2hrs 50mins and cost in the region of £16-£20.

Driving is a 195km (121 mile) trip and this will take around two hours.  A typical hire car cost for three days averages £150-£180.

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Public Transport in Volos

There are 12 bus lines going around the city (tickets cost €1.20 for inner city routes, whilst using inner city buses for close destinations outside Volos costs €1.60) and detailed information is available in the regional bus terminal (called “Astiko KTEL”), directly adjacent to the Interurban Bus Terminal.

Taxis in Volos, as everywhere in Greece, are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than €7 if you hail a cab (silver colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city.

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Stadium info

Panthessaliko Stadium is situated on the outskirts of town approximately 2.5km north of Nea Ionia’s central area. Taxis from the city centre are the best option and they are quite cheap. Match tickets are free. Cymru fans will be accommodated in sector G27 (layout below).

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Emergency info

The emergency number for all the three services – police, fire and ambulance – is 112. It is important that you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance and remember that Covid has not gone away. Restrictions are no longer mandatory but you may feel more comfortable wearing a face covering and some airlines insist on you wearing them, so our advice is to carry one with you.

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British Embassy and lost passports

Lost passports can cause concern, and will add extra expense to your trip, so please do all you can to keep it safe.

Top-tip: Keep a copy of your passport and a list of important phone numbers in a place that can be easily accessed if needed. A good idea would be to scan your passport and email it to yourself or save it to your phone so it’s accessible offline. This can help you buy an emergency travel document to get home, in the unfortunate event your passport is lost or stolen.

If you lose your passport while you’re abroad, or you are unlucky enough to have it stolen, there are a couple of things you should do straight away:

  • Cancel your passport and report your missing passport to the Home Office immediately to reduce the risk of someone using your passport or identity.
  • If you think your passport has been stolen, you should report it to the local police as soon as possible. You may need a crime reference number to give to the local British Embassy or Consulate and make a claim on your travel insurance.

You can apply for an emergency travel document if all the following apply:

  • You’re a British national.
  • You’re outside the UK.
  • Your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
  • You do not have time to renew or replace your passport  before you travel.
  • You can provide proof of your travel plans, for example booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you cannot book ahead).

What an emergency travel document lets you do:

  • You can use an emergency travel document to travel to your destination through a maximum of five countries. You can also normally use it to return to the country you’re applying from if you live there.
  • Your travel plans (countries and dates) will be printed on your emergency travel document. If you change your travel plans once you have your emergency travel document, you’ll need to apply for a new one.
  • You may need a visa to leave the country you’re in or to travel through other countries with your emergency travel document. Check with the embassy or consulate of each country.
  • If your final destination is the UK, border staff will keep your emergency travel document when you arrive. Border staff at a different final destination might also keep the document.

Applications

It costs £100 to apply for an emergency travel document. The fee is not refundable. You can pay online as part of your application. If you do not, you’ll be asked to pay over the phone.

You might need to attend an appointment at your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate after you apply online. You’ll be told after you’ve submitted your application whether you need an appointment. You’ll need to give a contact telephone number and email address as part of your application and its most likely a replacement passport would need to be collected in Athens.

Your emergency travel document will normally be ready two working days after you apply. It may take longer because of coronavirus.

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Thanks to Nikolaos Vergos for Volos at night used under CC license.

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