Ioannina, the city of legends and traditions wishes to introduce her visitors into its picturesque alleys and into its pure beauties all year long. Pamvotida Lake and the island with its inhabitants is the main elements that shape the city’s character.
Ioannina, known as the city of silversmiths as well as inhabitants have particularly developed this particular craft, and the city constitutes the cultural and financial center of Epirus. It is a modern city that though difficult to reach, it worths the visit and to get to know its secrets. Those getting to Ioannina from the village of Driskos (national road Thessaloniki – Ioannina) are lucky enough to enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
With an area of 4,990 Sq.kms, Ioanina is the largest prefecture in Epirus . Monasteries, charming mountain villages, spectacular nature make this area ideal for outdoor activities such as rafting skiing and mountain climbing, or just wandering and exploring the countryside.
Situated on the shores of Lake Parrivotis , the town was founded in the 6 th century AD and has developed into a thriving commercial centre, but still retaining its character from the past. With narrow streets lined with old houses, where many of the town’s craftsmen, woodcarvers, jewellers etc; ply their trade. The Archaeological Museum contains exhibits from the regions past. The Municipal Museum and the Folk Art Museum have many fine examples of local crafts and costumes. On Lake Parrivotis , where one can take a boat trip to the islet of Nissaki, situated in the centre of the lake. On the islet stands the Philanthropinon Monastery, with its Byzantine frescoes and the Pre-Revolution Museum . To the north of the town (4km) is the Perama Cave , on of the finest horizontal caves in the region.
On the foothills of Mount Tomaras south of the town, are the ruins of old Dodoni. This site is conceivably one of the oldest in Greece , with the impressive theatre, one of the best preserved, where even today modern dramas are enacted.
This rural community 28km. northwest from the town, bordered by vineyards is renowned for it delicious white wine.
Metsovo is a delight for hikers, skiers and others who enjoy the outdoor life. This small town is utterly charming situated in the mountains of the Pindus. The residents of this town keep alive the age old customs of weaving and carving, many of women still wear the vibrantly coloured costumes of the region. Whilst here one must savour the cheeses and the full-bodied red wine which are among the best in the country. At the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, are some fine 17 th century frescoes and at the church of Agia Paraskevi , there are some mosaics and a carved icon screen that are worth seeing.
This market town on the slopes of Mt. Tapetezitsa , with its natural scenery is a mixture of traditional and modern dwellings. At the chapel of Agia Varvara, one is rewarded with striking views over the mountains, nearby is a single span stone bridge which is one of the longest in the region. At Kavassilia, Pixaria and Amarandos there are thermal springs alleged to have therapeutic properties. The town is makes a good base for those wishing to discover the mountains of the region.
Zagorohoria – The National Forest of Vikos-Aoos
The Zagorohoria ( hamlets of Zagoria) are 46 traditional hamlets, bordered by the Mountains of Mitsikeli and Gamila and the River Aoos. The hamlets are spread around the Zargori district. At Giftokambos in central Zargori, the Sarakatsan nomadic herdsmen who keep alive traditions carried down from the distant past, assemble once a year in August for their long-established get together. There are many beautiful hamlets in the district, each with their own style and where you can be sure to receive a warm welcome. The district is rich in flora and fauna. On tours into the countryside, please do not disturb the wildlife or pick the flowers, and keep it clean.
The mole at Giannena
A stroll to the lakeside and the picturesque, paved with slabs roads of the fort-city can be one of the most beautiful experiences one might have here, while the possibilities one has for alternative activities in the numerous villages nearby are countless. The season that suits most the city of Ioannina is of course winter with its melancholic mantle covering the city, so, dress up well and lets explore the city together.
Area code: 26510
LONG DISTANCE BUS (KTEL)
- KTEL of Ioannina: 30 26510 26286
- KTEL of Athens: 30 210 5129363
- ΚΤΕL of Thessaloniki: 30 2310 512444
- ΚΤΕL of Patra: 30 2610 623886/7
- KTEL of Preveza: 30 26820 22213
- Online Taxi: 30 26510 46777
- Ioannina Airport: 30 26510 83600/83602
- Οlympic Airways Athens: 30 210 9616161
- Οlympic Airways Thessaloniki: 30 2310 260121-9
- Aegean Airlines: 30 26610 27100, 801 11 20000
- AirSea Lines: 30 210 940 2880
- Tourist Police: 30 26510 65922