Ioannina - Epirus (Greece)
Ioannina: Ioannina is one of the four major regions of Epirus and has a capital city of the same name. The prefecture of Ioannina is borders Albania in the north, the departments of Arta and Preveza in the south, the departments of Kastoria (Macedonia), Kozani (Macedonia), Grevena (Macedonia) and Trikala (Thessaly) in the east, and Epirotische in the department Thesprotia in the east.
Ioannina is a very mountainous area with high peaks, great caves, wooded green slopes, wild rivers, beautiful valleys and gorges and some important lakes especially on the high plain of Ioannina.
Zagoria is a beautiful mountainous area in the prefecture of Ioannina. It lies about 30 kilometers (19 mi) north of the city of Ioannina and includes 46 traditional villages, 44 of which are inhabited. The houses are in a typical Zagori-style built with stones. The famous Vikos Gorge in Zagoria and the lake 'Drakolimni' (Dragon lake) on the mountains Tymfi and Smolikas are found in this area.The Zagoria area is a popular hiking area.
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Sights and tips Ioannina
- Ioannina City: The beautiful capital at the perched on the edge of lake Ioannina.
- The very famous village Zitsa, beautifully located along a mountainside, known for its production of stellar wines. Zitsa is located 24 kilometers (15 mi) northwest of Ioannina. Visit the monastery of Agios Ilias located here and take in the magnificent view over the valley of Kalamas.
- Metsovo, an important trade center in the past because of its optimal location (triangle Epirus, Thessaly and Makedonia). Metsovo (60 km/37 mi northeast of Ioannina) lies at 1,160 meters (3,805 ft) above sea level and is known for its beautiful architecture.
- Dodoni: 22 kilometers (14 mi) south of Ioannina city at 1,600 meters (5,249 ft) altitude is "DODONI," Greece's oldest oracle. It is said that the "Greeks" arose here because many Greek legends took place here. The mountain villages around here are gorgeous, and the nature is magnificent.
- Kalarites: Traditional village built at 1,100 meters (3,608 ft) altitude with characteristic stone mansions and cobblestone alleys.
- Konitsa (60 km/37 mi from Ioannina city): Traditional village (4,000 inhabitants) built on the slopes of Mount Timfi. Here, you can visit the Ethnologic museum, the Mausoleum, and the home of the mother of Ali Pasha. A wild life park with deer, wild boar, wild sheep and other animals is also located here.
- The gorge of Aoos near Konitsa and its famous bridge which can be seen here.
- The ski center Vasilitsa north of Konitsa (at 1,300m/4,265 ft)
- The hot springs of Kavasila at 1,300 meters (4,265 ft) altitude.
- The Zagorochoria (Zagoria), which are 46 traditional villages around the mountain Timfi and their typical architectural style.
Text: Jorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Text edited by Katrina Butzer
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