Just 17 km northwest of Larisa lies Týrnavos, the second most populated town of the district. It is built along the left banks of River Titarísios (Xirias) and connects Larissa’s flatland with Elassóna.
Boasting a deeply rooted tradition and history, the town reached its peak in the 18th century thanks to a booming manufacture of red dye for textiles as well as making silk fabrics and “alatzádes” (textiles used for making naval outfits). Týrnavos’ lovely “stampotá” i.e. stamped patterns on cloth as in couch coverings, curtains, bolsters, quilts, tablecloths, “pántes” (woven or embroidered wall decorative bands of cloth) - all of them pieces of fine craftsmanship – used to adorn every house, considering that until the ‘60s (included) they were functional in everyday life.
Týrnavos is today a dynamic, agrarian town, known throughout the country for its top quality wines and its very tasty “tsípouro” (an alcoholic drink). In early autumn, grape harvesting begins with all residents participating in the traditional process. During the subsequent fermentation period, an intoxicating, perfumed “cloud” hovers above the town as the must is fermented, “maturing” in the tanks. Everyone patiently awaits the distillation process to be completed. Locals and visitors alike blend in this particular ritual which also involves the offering of lots of “mezé” (variety of delicacies) and naturally, wine drinking!
There’s a lot to be said also for Týrnavos’ lovely sights to be visited all year round. Feast your eyes on the old traditional houses as well as the marvellous murals and relics to be found in the town’s historic churches. Visit the famous bridge on River Titarísios and the stone-built turkish hamam (bath-house), being the only remaining muslim building in the area. Go on a trip to the nearby lake “Máti Tyrnávou” (Eye of Tyrnavos), Thessaly’s single natural lake that is the centre of a habitat highly diverse in flora and fauna. Get your legs rested by “Vrýsi Tyrnávou” (Tyrnavos’ fountain), an artificial pond –a place of recreation for residents in the greater area– being also a significant marine habitat and a stopover area for migratory birds. Complete your tour by strolling through the lush coppice of Profítis Elias, where you will find a picturesque country chapel dedicated to Prophet Elias, as well as a small zoo.
It is on this spot that the famous “Bouraní” custom is revived every Clean Monday (Ash Monday) and lots of people watch – without inhibitions – this special fertility celebration.