Nature in Ioannina

The city of Ioannina unfolds around the lake, the great lady of Epirus, Lake Pamvotida, which is a natural monument. It is the second oldest lake in Europe, and it boasts two exceptional attractions. The peninsula, where Ioannina Castle stands, and the island in the centre of the lake, one of the few inhabited lake islands.

The lake comprises an exceptional ecosystem, and is part of the European Network of Protected Areas (NATURA 2000), due to the rare species of flora and fauna of great environmental importance that are to be found there.

Perama Cave is located four kilometers away from the city of Ioannina, next to the lake. It is a stunning underground spectacle of 19 types of stalactites and stalagmites in a succession of connecting halls. Silently wrought by nature, this rare phenomenon is a work in progress that took a million and a half years to create.

One of the most important mountains in the prefecture is Mount Mitsikeli, which stands 1,810 meters above sea level. The name is of Slavic origin, meaning ‘the bear’s lair’.

Hidden behind it are the famous ‘Zagorochoria’, a mosaic of 46 villages, which are scattered over the slopes at the foot of the Pindos mountain range. They extend over an area of 1000 square kilometers and are a popular tourist destination during the winter months.

Our recommendation: The Vikos – Aoos National Park, where many of the traditional Zagoria villages in Epirus are situated. Take the path that runs alongside Voidomatis River, starting at Klidonia Bridge and ending up at Aristi Bridge.

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