Epirus (Epiros) is considered to be one of the most important regions of the Greek world not only because of the geographical frontier position it holds as the north-western boundary of the country with Albania, but above all for its rich history which begins in the depths of the ages, especially the reign of King Pyrrhus, one of the greatest leaders of the first Hellenistic period and one of the most brilliant in world-wide military history. Epirus played a significant part in the Second World War with crucial action on its territory, such as the curbing of the Italian army by the Greek army during the war.
The most typical images of Epiros are the lake of Ioannina, the stone bridge of Arta and the picturesque villages in the Agrapha and Tzoumerka mountains. Epirus is covered by massive mountains with towering summits and great rivers with gurgling waters. The flora and fauna of Epiros form a total of wild beauty, a true treasure for Greece. It is made up of four districts: Arta, Thesprotia, Ioannina and Preveza.
The largest mountain range of Epiros is the Pindos which forms the southernmost extension of the Alps. Its highest peak reaches 2,600 metres. Grammos, Smolikas,Tymphi, the Athamanika Mountain range and the mountains Tsamanta Philiates, Paramythia, Soulio form branches of the Pindos range. However, apart from mountains of astonishing beauty, Epiros also has extensive sandy beaches, wonderful seas and shores, and also wetlands. One important wetland with many protected species is the Amvrakikos Gulf. It is an exceptionally beautiful area which lies on the delta of the rivers Arachthos and Louros.
A great advantage Epirus has, which will make an impression on every visitor, is the easy access from mountain to sea and vice versa. That is to say that in half an hour to an hour from the crystal clear waters and the sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea, the visitor can be standing on the high Tzoumerka or the Agrapha mountains. The traditional villages and little towns, the Byzantine churches and the monasteries, the famous stone bridges are only a few of the sights which one will enjoy in Epirus.
Nature in the region is regarded as untouched by man, since the majority of the population is involved in stock-raising and agriculture. The chief products which come from Epirus are cereals, citrus fruit, tobacco, cotton and olives. The subsoil of the area yields large quantities of marble. Pictures of herds of animals, such as sheep, goats and cows – unusual these days – and also images brought to life from the past will touch the visitors, as they will probably come upon people using horses or donkeys for transport and old ladies carrying wood on their backs.
Epiros is thought to be one of the best destinations for anyone who wants to go on difficult, long walks, to take part in mountain sports, such as Paragliding and Rafting, but at the same time to combine these options with swimming in the sea.
The region of Epirus , covering an area of 9,203 Sq.kms. lies in the northwest area of Greece . The region is divided into four prefectures; Ioannina, Preveza, Thesprotia and Arta. The region of Epirus is Greece ’s most mountainous, to the northeast is the Pinder mountain range, other mountains of varying heights, with small fertile valleys between them, are scattered throughout the region. In the mountains and forests that make up the region, is a rich variety of wildlife, wolves, mountain lions, wild boars, and eagles. Along the coastline of the Ionian Sea , there are many resorts offering a wide range of activities to the visitors. The first inhabitants came to the region in 40,000 BC and have been coming ever since. Throughout the ages, wars and peace have formed Epirus into a region of unique charm. Carnivals and festivities celebrating Saints days are held all around the prefecture. Easter like the rest of Greece is the main and most important festival.