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Ioannina prefecture lies off the north-eastern part of Epirus. It covers an area of 5,000 square km approximately and has a population of about 160,000 residents. Endowed by nature with many beauties the region is characterized by densely forested areas, smooth verdant hills, imposing gorges and quaint lakes. This pristine nature has become a shelter for rare species of fauna and flora and it is particularly offered for exploration and sports. The region has a deep-rooted history and a rich cultural heritage that is witnessed by its archeologically sites; its various monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman era; from the tradition which still lives in the picturesque villages. An amalgam of past and present, Ioannina prefecture welcome its visitors each year providing a well-organized tourist industry and offering them all the options for dreamy holidays.
The homonymous town, Ioannina is the capital of the Prefecture and of Epirus Periphery as well. Built on the shores of the Pamvotida (Pamvotis) lake and embraced by scenery of outstanding beauty, the town is both modern and picturesque. Long alleys ideal for walking, narrow streets and quaint squares, charming neighbourhoods with houses of traditional architecture and cosy shops in almost every corner, compose the enchanting picture of the capital.
The area of the 5th-century Byzantine Castle with its impressive citadels; its admirable acropolis, called Its Kale, in which the Byzantine Museum and the tomb of Ali Pasha are found; the 19th century Town Hall; the Church of Agias Marinas are some of the historical sights of the capital.
The Archaeological Museum with finds from all historical eras; the Byzantine Museum; the Municipal Gallery with interesting exhibitions of Greek artists, the National Resistance Museum and the Paul Vrellis Greek History Wax Museum give the chance to visitors to initiate themselves in the history of this place.
, is situated 20 km approximately southwest to the capital. Its archaeological site, one of the oldest in Greece- is surrounded by a scenery of unique beauty and it is famed for its admirable ancient theatre with a capacity of 18,000 seats; the imposing stadium; the Oracle, one of the oldest and most respected in the ancient world and the Sanctuary of Zeus (The Sacred House as it was called).
lies off some 60 km northeast to the capital and it is a major tourist attraction of the prefecture, both for its quaintness and its ski resort. Built amphitheatrically on the slopes of Pindos (Pindus) range, Metsovo has succeeded to combine the well-organized tourist amenities and the intense traditional colour.
Well-preserved stone houses, idyllic nature, delightful squares and cosy shops compose the charming character of this village.
is located some 65 km north to the capital. It is a picturesque large village built amphitheatrically of the slopes of Pindos range and surrounded by smooth valleys. Its idyllic scenery is complemented by traditional stone houses, quaint squares, charming chapels , with that of St. George to be the most famed-, mosques and churches.
Today, it serves as a major administrative and trading centre and also as the most suitable starting point for those who wish to explore Ioannina prefecture,
The Gorge and the old stone bridge of Aoos river and the Vikos National Park, which embraces lakes and rivers, forests and impressive caves, are places of unparallel beauty that one should definitely visit.
how to get there
Ioannina has it own airport that receives flights from Athens and Thessaloniki.
It is also linked via regular bus itineraries with Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, Arta, Agrinio and Igoumenitsa.