Ioanniton Μια πόλη κόσμημα!

Guide to Ioannina

Ioannina is reflected in the waters of Lake Pamvotis, steeped in the legends of Kyra-Frosini and Ali Pasha. A city ‘First in arms, money and letters’, as the folk musician tells us.

The old town and the castle, where Byzantine, Muslim and Jewish elements coexist side by side, is a living museum. Wander through the cobbled streets, admire its traditional buildings, the Aslan mosque (Municipal Museum) and the area of Its-Kale where the Byzantine Museum, the Fethiye mosque and the tomb of Ali Pasha are located.Try the local ‘Ioanniotiko’ cuisine at the tavernas along the lakeside road. In the town centre, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina, the clock tower and the Municipal Art Gallery.

Present-day Ioannina (or Yiannena) is the most important financial and cultural centre in northwestern Greece, with an active cultural life, a university, conference centres and a vibrant nightlife. It is also renowned for its silversmiths, who carry on a centuries-old tradition. Handcrafted Ioanniotiko silverware, well-known for its unique style, can be admired at the Ioannina Traditional Craft Centre and at the silversmiths in the town.

In late Byzantine times, a substantial monastic community was established on the beautiful islet in the centre of the lake. The picturesque village is an ideal place for a pleasant walk. You can visit the Philantropenoi Monastery, with its frescoes of ancient philosophers, a unique sight for Greece, as well as the Museum of the Pre-Revolutionary Period, which is housed in the rooms where Ali Pasha was assassinated.

Take a guided tour of the Cave of Perama, which is among the best caves in the world and is richly adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. It also houses rare fossils of an extinct cave bear. In Bizani, a unique journey through modern Greek history awaits, recreated by the wax figures that stand proudly in the famous Pavlos Vrellis Greek History Museum.

The lake is ideal for rowing and water-skiing and the lakeside roads are perfect for cycling.

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Epirus manages to be a one-of-a-kind destination: an enviable combination of cultures and traditions, with a natural environment unique in Greece, and it never fails to surprise and delight its visitors. Epirus is located in the north-west corner of Greece and is an ideal travel destination all year round.

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Epirus manages to be a one-of-a-kind destination: an enviable combination of cultures and traditions, with a natural environment unique in Greece, and it never fails to surprise and delight its visitors. Epirus is located in the north-west corner of Greece and is an ideal travel destination all year round.

Archaelogical Museum of Ioannina

It is located in a prominent position on the hill called Litharitsia, in the center of the city of Ioannina. The collections of the Archaeological Museum are displayed in seven halls, the central aisle and three atria, covering a total area of 1,200 square meters. Exhibits cover a wide time span, from the first appearance of humans in Epirus during the Lower Palaeolithic, 250,000 years ago, to late antiquity in late Roman times (3rd century AD).

Byzantine Museum of Ioannina - Its Kale

Within the fortress of Ioannina, situated at the southeastern part of the city on a small rocky peninsula extending out into Lake Pamvotis, two natural heights had already been created in the Byzantine period to serve as acropolises. The southeastern one is known as Its Kale (the inner acropolis), whose modern-day form dates to the Late Ottoman period.

Municipal Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina (Aslan mosque)

The Municipal Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina is situated in the building of the mosque of Aslan Pasha in the northwestern citadel of the Ioannina castle. The Aslan mosque was built in 1618 on the relics of the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (= Saint John the Baptist) to commemorate the success of Aslan Pasha in quelling the rebellion of Bishop Dionysios the Philosopher.

Museum of Greek History - Wax Effigies - Pavlos Vrellis

The Pavlos Vrellis Greek History Museum , is a privately owned wax museum in Ioannina regional unit, Greece. It was set up by the sculptor Pavlos Vrellis in February 1983, and is the best known wax museum in Greece. The museum hosts 150 wax models in 37 themes, inspired by various events from Greek history.

Ali Pasha Museum (Pre-revolutionary Period Museum)

It is located in the island of Ioannina and is housed in a cell of Panteleimonas monastery where Ali Passa was murdered. Its collection includes exhibits from the period of the Ottoman occupation, Ali Passa’s personal items (documents, Kira-Vassiliki outfit etc). In another cell of the monastery you can see the archives of the island’s monasteries.

Monastery of Tsouka

The monastery, dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos, is built on the top of a hill near the village of Elliniko, at a relatively short distance from the city of Ioannina. It is an active monastery well known in the area as it is an important pilgrimage with significant social contribution. According to the tradition, the monastery was founded in 1190 by Emperor Isaac II Angelos; however, the katholikon in its current form was built probably in the late 17th century and the wall paintings inside the church in the mid 18th century.

Monastery of Philanthropenoi on the Island of Ioannina

It is the most important monastery of all on the island in the lake of Ioannina. It was named after the noble family of the Philantropenoi who settled in Ioannina from Constantinople, after its seize in 1204.

Monastery of Sosino

Dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos, the monastery dates back to the 16th century. It is built near the settlement of Parakalamos at an altitude of approximately 750m, at the top of a green hill rising above the valley of Kalamas, with a stunning view over the surrounding area.

Monastery of the Assumption of the Theotokos Molivdoskepasti

It is located near the village of Molyvdoskepastos, at a short distance from the Greek-Albanian border. Its name stems from the sheets of lead that covered the roof in the past. According to the tradition, the monastery was built in the 7th century by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV Pogonatos. It was renovated in the 14th century by Andronikos Komnenos Doukas Palaiologos.

Monastery of Kipina

Dedicated to the Assumption of the Theotokos, it is located near the village of Kalarrytes, built on a rocky stiff cliff, over Kalarrytikos river. The name “Kipina» was given, according to one version, because of the gardens (kipoi in Greek) cultivated by the monks. Access to the monastery, which is open to visitors, is provided via a small path, carved into the rock and continues with a wooden bridge, which leads to the outbuildings of the monastery.

Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi of Anthohori, Metsovo

The locals call it Panagia of Kiatra Rosa, which in the Vlach means Panagia on the red rock, because of the red rocks to the east of the Monastery which in the past were used as hermitages. It is located on the northern slopes of Peristeri mountain, close to the village of Anthohori, among the oaks and rocks and celebrates on the day of Zoodochos Pigi (Life Giving Spring).

Avel Monastery

It is located near the settlement of Vissani, in a wooded area called “Monastiria” (Monasteries). The name, according to the prevailing view, comes from Averi, a local landowner, who funded its renovation just before 1770. However, tradition has it that the monastery was founded by the monks of the Giourhan monastery which was at a close distance and was abandoned because of the raids.

Lake Pamvotis - Island of Ioannina

This well known lake was in ancient times known as “Pamvotis” (the great provider). Situated right next to the city of Ioannina, this uncommonly beautiful lake is a true gem of the Ioannina Basin region. With a fascinating history full of legends and traditions that go back centuries, the lake of Kyra Frosyni * has become famous beyond the borders of Greece.

Cave of Perama

It is one of the most significant caves in the world, and it is situated in 4 km from the center of Ioannina. The cave is part of an underground river, 1.500.000 years old. In the cave were found bones of a cave bears that lived here 600.000 years before. The temperature is 18oC and the water of the lakes of 14oC.

Valia Kalda

Valia Calda is the core of the National Park of Pindos. Since 1987 it is included in the list of the most sensitive areas of the International Union for the Protection of Nature. A river called ""Arkoudorema"" (meaning Bear's Stream) run through Valia Calda and on a spot that's called ""Smixomata"" the river is united with the waters of Aoos river.

Vikos gorge

In the heart of the National Forest of Vikos-Aoos, it is located the gorge of Vikos, one of the biggest in-depth – it reaches the 1200 m. – and more narrow in width gorges in the world, according to the Guinness World Records (2005 edition). Τhe gorge of Vikos is part of the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO.

Drakolimni of Tymfi

Drakolimni (""Dragon Lake"") is the name of several alpine or sub-alpine lakes in northwestern Greece Epirus region: the ones in mountain Tymfi and Smolikas are the most widely known. According to local folktales the lakes used to be inhabited by dragons who fought each other by throwing pines and rocks and thus created the peculiar landscape and gave their names to the lakes. Drakolimni of Tymfi :

Zitsa's wineries

The vineyard of Zitsa is about 25 kilometres northwest from the city of Ioannina. It mainly extends on the plateau of Zitsa. The plateua of Zitsa has an average altitude of 650 meters and extends to the slopes of the surrounding hills and mountains, at elevations up to 800 meters. At its west side the plateau reaches for river Thyamis (also known as Kalamas), with altitudes up to 500 meters.

Rafting at Voidomatis river

A relaxing rafting descent in the crystal clear waters of Voidomatis river, starting from the bridge of Aristi up to Kleidonia, in the heart of the National Forest of Vikos – Aoos. On our way to the bridge of Aristi we will visit the monastery of Ano Pedina and the convent of Spiliotissa.The descent of Voidomatis river is an easy ride, ideal even for beginners. The scenery is very interesting with the deep vegetation and the turquoise waters that are among the clearest in Europe.

Hiking at the Vikos-Aoos National Park

The Víkos Gorge cuts right through the limestone uplands of Mount Gamíla for 20km, separating the villages of western and central Zagóri. With walls almost 1000m high in places, it’s quite equal to the famous Samarian gorge in Crete, and a hike through or around it is probably the highlight of a visit to the Zagóri.

Anilio Ski Resort

The new Anilio Ski Resort is located at an altitude of 1680-1850 meters, 50 km from Ioannina and 215km from Thessaloniki. It features ski trails of all difficulty levels for skiers/snowboarders. It provides a two-seater chairlift 800 meters long, two brand new sliding lifts of 280 and 300 meters, and two baby lifts. The Anilio ski center is set up 7 km from the village. It is located at ""Giuzel Tepe"" (which means “Beautiful ridge”).

Archaeological site of Dodona

The origins of the sanctuary of Dodona, which is known for its nationwide radiation, date back to the Bronze Age (2600-1200 BC).Originally, it was outdoors and it was there that the Great Goddess, goddess of fertility, was worshiped; later, it was replaced by the worship of Dodona Zeus (Zeus Naios) and his wife Dioni.


Epirus manages to be a one-of-a-kind destination: an enviable combination of cultures and traditions, with a natural environment unique in Greece, and it never fails to surprise and delight its visitors. Epirus is located in the north-west corner of Greece and is an ideal travel destination all year round.

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