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Epirus & Western Greece

On the Map

Epirus: when natural beauty meets tradition  

The bridge of ArtaThis is a destination which achieves the impossible, offering the visitor a complete experience of the outstanding natural beauty of the area, picturesque villages and traditional lifestyle, impressive towns and cosmopolitan beaches, Greek Epirus is associated with pure produce from the fertile land and simplicity intertwined with perfection. From the Pindus mountain range, the bridge of Arta, the lake of Ioannina and national parks, rushing rivers, waterfalls and lakes, the theatre of Dodona and ancient Nicopolis, Epirus combines the magic of nature with important culture.

 

 

Historic grandeur and archaeological wealthThe ancient theatre of Dodona

Among the many landmarks of historical and cultural significance of Epirus there are some of Greece’s most important archaeological sites. The ancient theatre of Dodona, ancient Nicopolis, the Oracle of Acheron, the Bridge of Arta, the castles of Ioannina and Parga are just some of the places to visit. It is important to bear in mind that this section of Greek territory played a defining role and was an important influence during the Byzantine period (during which most of the glorious churches were constructed) but also during the Turkish rule and the Greek Revolution, something which shaped its potential for future development.

Summer Getaways with an island feel

Ipirotika beachYou would be mistaken in thinking that Epirus is exclusively a winter destination. Its fabulous coastline with the blue water of the Ionian and the coastal villages can’t be ignored and make it a top destination for summer holidays. Beaches such as Valtos and Krioneri in Parga, Pisina and Bella Vraka in Syvota, Drepanos in Igoumenitsa, Keramidi and Strovili in Sagiada surpass many island beaches since the beauty of Epirus’s landscape can’t be found anywhere else in Greece. If you want to leave the mainland behind, the delightful Paxoi islands are accessible from Parga and Igoumenitsa via small boats which will take you there in a matter of minutes.

Mountainous EpirusZagorohoria

Mountainous Epirus is composed of villages which maintain their traditional architecture, stone buildings and narrow cobbled streets, hospitable accommodation and tavernas which offer you local food. Out of the 46 villages, Zagarohori, Monodendri, Megalo Papingo and Aristi are the most popular choices. Tsoumerka, Vougareli, Athamanio, Kataraktis and Melissourgi are villages with wild natural beauty and preserve tranquility and authenticity thanks to their geographical position far from the cosmopolitan influence of larger urban destinations. Equally tempting options for nature lovers are the mountain settlements Syrrako, Kalarytes and the Pogoni villages.

Extreme activitiesActivities

The available opportunities for extreme sports both in and out the water are extremely tempting and equally entertaining: try rafting at Voidomati, canoeing and kayaking, horse riding and cycling along the River Acheron, trekking in the Vikos Gorge, rowing on Lake Pamvotis, climbing in Tsoumerka. Test out your endurance and become one with nature!

 

 

Tastes of EpirusEpirus Gastronomy

Would you like to try Epirus cuisine? Prepare for a mixture of simple and complicated flavours, a delicious journey where tastiness and quality are combined. Would you dare to try frog’s legs or eel? Well they are a speciality on Lake Pamvotis. Do you love dairy products? Feta, galotyri, metsovone, xino mizithra and urda cheese are incomparably tasty. Do you covet syrupy deserts? Then don’t miss Ioanninan Kataifi, Klostari, Karidopita and Saragli. Do you prefer a savoury or sweet filling in the dozens of different traditional pies on offer?  Try a sweet pumpkin pie, a spicy mincemeat pie, a filling meat pie. And of course don’t forget to accompany your meal with a glass of local wine such as the aromatic white “Zitsa” typical of the region.

Epirus’s most popular attractions

  • The well-known ancient theatre of Dodona in the area’s archaeological site which was the home of the famous oracle and a sanctuary devoted to Zeus and Dionne.
  • The Bridge of Arta, a hallmark of folk tradition. Admire its unique architecture once you have heard the stories and legends surrounding it: “all day it was being built and at night it would collapse”
  • The rivers Voidomati and Acheron. In amongst the lush vegetation, two earthly paradises with crystal clear water, impressive paths and breathtaking views. On Voidomati you will meet some of the most imposing bridges in Epirus while those who are bold enough to try swimming in the pure water of Acheron will be surprised by the low temperatures!
  • The lake of Ioannina and the Island. This is the well-known Lake Pamvotis in Ioannina on the banks of which it is well worth taking an evening stroll.  From the edge of the lake small boats will take you to the island in the middle with its stone streets, shops with traditional hand made goods and the museum of Ali Pasha on a site where it is said that the Turkish leader met his tragic end.
  • The Vikos-Aoos National Park. This area starts from the Vikos canyon and ends in the gorge of Aoos including a section of the Tymphis mountain range. Its landscape resembles something from a fairytale featuring fascinating contrasts. Steep cliffs, imposing rocks, dense forests, wild vegetation, endangered species, gurgling rivers, bridges and traditional settlements all contribute towards one of the most beautiful ecosystems in Epirus.
  • The impressive churches in the region of Arta. Panagia Parigoritissa with the floating dome, St Theodora the patron saint of Arta and Panagia Rodon to Amaranton (the unwithering rose) in the village of Vigla stand out for their architecture and their well-preserved indoor frescoes.
  • The castle, the cave and the old town with traditional shops in the heart of Ioannina.
  • The Archaeological Museum of Ioannina and the Pavlo Vrelli Museum of Waxworks with famous historical Greek figures.
  • Drakolimni or Dragon Lakes of Tymphis and Smolika at a height of 2500 m. the scientific point of view considers them to be the result of melting glaciers while folklore has it that they were inhabited by dragons.
  • The twin seasonal waterfalls at a height of 150m which enchant all visitors to the village of Katarakti (Waterfall).
  • Ancient Nicopolis, one of Greece’s largest archaeological sites from which a section of the ancient theatre, the aqueduct and the Odeon survive, along with a considerable part of the fortifications.
  • The Ambracian Gulf. One of the most important wetlands of the Mediterranean, with rare species of birds like the threatened Dalmatian Pelican. A traditional method of fishing is used in this area with weirs which control the movement of fish.
  • Koronisia in the Ambracian Gulf, a village which is reached through a narrow strip of land which runs between the lagoons, Logaro and Tsoukalio.

Visit Epirus & Western Greeceview all vacation packages

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