We just lately returned to Athens after touring round northern Greece and when our servers, guides, and drivers requested us the place we arrived from, they had been delighted and shocked to listen to that we had been touring round Epirus. Everybody mentioned that we had been the first individuals who had visited this hidden gem of Greece. One bartender instructed us she was so impressed with us going to Epirus Greece as she continued to supply us free and scrumptious pictures of Mastika to sip on.
Most vacationers head to Santorini or Mykonos when touring to Greece. We agree, that these islands are extremely lovely, however there are different locations in Greece that may actually take your breath away, removed from the crowds of the well-trodden locations. Epirus, Greece is one among them.
About Epirus, Greece
Once we first obtained the invitation to Epirus, we needed to look it up. Had been there seashores? Examine. What about monasteries or historical ruins? Examine. How about out of doors actions? One other test! Epirus has all of it. And we’re going to share an itinerary to journey by means of this secret nook of Greece, to create your individual journey of a lifetime.
The place is Epirus, Greece?
Epirus is situated within the northwest nook of Greece, bordered by Macedonia and the Ionian Sea. It’s a 1h 15min flight to the capital of Epirus, Ioannina (pronounced, Yo-ah-nah-nah) from Athens or you’ll be able to hire a automobile. It is just a 4h 30min drive from Athens to Ioannina and attending to see the Greek countryside is an actual deal with. We all know, we’ve achieved it!
Getting Round Epirus
Renting a automobile is one among our favourite methods to get round in Greece, particularly when you get out of Athens. We flew into Ioannina (on this journey to Greece) and had a driver take us round on a jam-packed itinerary. Since we had been visitors of the Epirus vacationer board, we had the privilege of getting a non-public driver, however we do counsel renting a automobile from the airport in Athens and hitting the highway.
Nonetheless, in case your funds permits, hiring a non-public driver is a tremendous option to journey and Prime Switch Companies excursions is an outstanding firm owned by our pal Vasili who can get you round from place to position in security and luxury. Go to his web site to guide day excursions and transfers round Epirus, Greece. For our different day excursions and adventures in Epirus, we used Alpine Zone which is the chief in journey tourism round Epirus. Take a look at Alpine Zone to guide your individual Epirus, Adventures.
Rental automobiles are fairly affordable in Greece in comparison with different European nations and Epirus points of interest are unfold out. Plus, you can also make a detour to Meteora, one other of our favourite locations in Greece alongside the best way! You’ll wish to as a result of like Meteora, Ioannina has some of the essential Monastic settlements in Greece. It’s one among solely three with the others being in Ioannina and the opposite in Halkidiki. See RentalsCars.com for value comparisons.
So, are you able to see why it’s best to journey to Epirus? Let’s go!
Locations to Go to in Epirus, Greece
Ioannina is the capital metropolis of the Epirus area and it’s value spending two to 3 days on this bustline college city. We made a base on the Resort du Lac Congress Centre and visited all of its high points of interest and ended every day with the everyday three-hour dinners that make Greek hospitality so well-known. Be ready for lengthy days, loads of meals, and numerous sightseeing as a result of there are numerous issues to see and do in Ioannina! Ioannina is a fortified city the place the citadel partitions nonetheless stand and residents dwell among the many historic complicated with Its Kale (interior fortress) making for the proper place to benefit from the sundown over the lake.
In your first day in Ioannina, catch a brief 10-minute ferry to the Island of Lake Pamvotida. That is the island with no title, however it packs a giant punch. It’s right here you can go to the seven Byzantine monasteries that date again to the thirteenth century. The island itself is a stunning go to with purchasing stands lining the streets from the boat dock and loads of eating places and cafes shaded by large airplane bushes.
Whereas on the island, you’ll want to cease within the Ali Pasha Museum to see the paintings and jewels, and weapons together with the gold-plated rifle of Ali Pasha and the silk gown of Ali Pasha’s spouse, Kyra-Vassiliki. Be certain that to try the caves that acted as a shelter in opposition to Italian air raids throughout World Conflict II.
Cave of Perema
Talking of caves, one place that isn’t to be missed in Ioannina is the Cave of Perema. Positioned just some km from the centre of city, the Cave of Perema is the second largest collapse all of Greece. It was additionally used throughout WWII by locals to cover from the Nazis.
This lovely cave is huge at 161,000 sq. toes (15,000 sq. meters) and homes and homes hundreds of pristine stalactites and stalagmites the place it’s thought-about one of many best-preserved caves on the planet. Guides take you on a 45-minute journey by means of the system to view its waterfalls and its most well-known stalagmite, The Cross. Go to their web site for opening hours and price.
The tour completed excessive above the town the place you emerge to see a few of the greatest views of Ioannina and Lake Pamvotida.
The place to Keep in Ioannina
Resort du Lac is without doubt one of the greatest locations to remain in Ioannina situated strolling distance (20 minutes) to Previous City. Its buffet breakfast was a spotlight for us with the eating space straight by the tranquil pool. Examine charges and availability on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
The Lake Resort can also be a well-liked convention heart with a gorgeous pool overlooking Lake Pamvotida.Positioned close to the airport, this can be a excellent spot to remain in your first or remaining day in Ioannina. Examine charges and availability on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
Eating places in Ioanna
After exploring for a few days, you will have numerous eating places to select from lining the waterfront. Get pleasure from an Aperol Spritz earlier than dinner and with every drink, they are going to deliver you a snack. For a restaurant with a view make your manner as much as Frontzuou Politia Resort or for some fashionable Greek fusion, get pleasure from a multi-course meal full with wine pairing at Thamon (our favorite meal in Ioannina) within the Previous City and Seirios for his or her glorious tree-covered patio.
Zagori is simply an hour and a half from Ioannina and you probably have a automobile, you are able to do day journeys from the town to discover the journey capital of Epirus, however we recommend making a base on the town to essentially profit from it Alpine Zone is the corporate for all of your journey and adrenaline actions right here and there may be loads of issues to see and do in Zagori. They will arrange an itinerary for you, however listed here are just a few highlights that you just can’t miss when highway tripping by means of Zagori, Greece.
Everybody in Epirus instructed us that Vikos Gorge is listed within the Guinness Guide of World Data because the deepest gorge on the planet however I’ll admit I used to be skeptical. There are such a lot of gorges that attempt to maintain that declare, I can suppose of some off the highest of my head which can be most likely deeper. However upon additional investigation, we realized that it’s the deepest gorge on the planet in proportion to its width and that’s spectacular sufficient.
This gorge is spectacular and there are some lovely pull-offs the place you’ll be able to exit to view its wonderful magnificence from safe lookout factors. There are many mountaineering alternatives round Vikos Gorge and we noticed many individuals doing a little lengthy multi-day treks by means of the area.
One of the crucial well-liked issues to do within the Vikos Gorge is to go whitewater rafting alongside the Voidomatis River. Who would have thought that whitewater rafting was a factor in Greece, however it’s! We donned our wetsuits and set off on a enjoyable journey downriver by means of one of many world’s deepest canyons.
The surroundings was beautiful however be ready, that water is simply 6 levels Celsius, (43F). Our journey took is a mere 16km from the Albanian border and it was a enjoyable option to actually take within the energy of one of many world’s deepest canyons.
One of the crucial stunning locations to go to in Epirus was Mount Tymfi. Alpine Zone took us up a steep and slender bumpy path by way of 4×4 to view the snow of Mount Tymfi. It was 30 levels (86 fahrenheit) beneath, however up right here we had been strolling on snow! They mentioned the snow can final nicely into August.
Stone Arch Bridges of Zagori
However the true points of interest of Vikos are its gorgeous arched bridges spanning the Voidomatis River. The historic stone bridges of Kokkori and Tritoxo are actual standouts.
Kokkori is situated between two excessive cliffs and has grow to be the image of Epirus. Water fluctuates all year long with it operating dry whereas we had been in Epirus, however at occasions it runs so excessive that there are holes minimize into its excessive single stone arch to permit for water to move by means of.
Trixoto is one other spectacular three-arch stone bridge that stands 55 meters excessive. It was inbuilt 1814 and it’s a stunner. Be certain that to stroll throughout these buildings and take within the views down the valley.
Kores Boutique Resort and Spa
Our favourite place to remain in all of Epirus was Kores Boutique Resort and Spa If you’re exploring the extra rural areas of Epirus, make a base right here to your out of doors actions. The house owners are pleasant and the facilities are divine. Evaluate charges and critiques on TripAdvisor
Tzoumerka is situated simply an hour from Ioannina and is without doubt one of the hottest locations to go to in Epirus because of its attractive village, out of doors adventures, stone arched bridge and well-known monastery.
It’s then on to some of the spectacular monasteries you’ll ever see exterior Meteora. The Kipina Monastery jogged my memory of the Casas Cosgodas in Spain with the construction clinging to the facet of a excessive cliff wall. Positioned simply exterior the village of Kalarrites in Tzoumerka, Epirus, this thirteenth century monastery will be reached by strolling a steep path to its entrance that crosses a small picket bridge dangling over the abyss.
The picket construction blends into the rocks and the monastery had been used not solely by the monks but additionally by villagers to cover from their Turkish occupiers. There’s a cave that continues behind the monastery deep into the rock. The monastery is free to enter and inside you’ll see spiritual work and altars, monks’ quarters and the cave. It’s actually a powerful location and one among our favourite locations to go to in Epirus. We aren’t spiritual, however we at all times are fascinated by the human spirit and dedication.
Plaka Arch Bridge
Tzoumerka not solely homes some of the extraordinary monasteries in Greece, it additionally boasts the most important stone arch bridge in the entire Balkins. Spanning the Arachthos River the Plaka Arch Bridge is a single arch that rises 50 meters into the air. Trixoto could also be increased, however it took three arches to achieve that top within the heart, that is one single arch that’s completely breathtaking.
But it surely was our hike by means of nature that we loved essentially the most. A beautiful hike simply exterior Kalarrites took us alongside an historical path resulting in the dual waterfalls. This can be a lovely hike that may take you all the best way to and from the village of Kalarrites.
It’s now time to make your option to the coast the place you get a style of the Greek Islands. We had spent days exploring the mountains and gorges of Epirus and had been shocked to see how lovely the villages alongside the Ionian Coast had been. Our first cease was the fishing city of Preveza.
Fishing Village Waterfront
We actually felt as if we may dwell right here. The strolling streets had been stuffed with cafes full of locals. Eating places line the waterfront and there are outlets a lot all through its outdated city.
Seashore life isn’t removed from Preveza with the pristine Monolithi Seashore only a stone’s throw away. We had all of it to ourselves as we walked alongside a portion of the 22 km lengthy lovely stretch of sandy seaside. Monolithi Seashore is the longest seaside in Europe!
Seashore umbrellas line the sand with loads of watersport and sea enjoyable available within the clear waters. We may have spent days stress-free on this quiet seaside. It isn’t practically as crowded because the seashores of Santorini or Mykonos with solely (principally) locals understanding of its magnificence.
Be certain that to finish your day at one of many eating places at Preveza’s waterfront. We tried the native shrimp at Alati eating places. We had been instructed that this shrimp is so good that Roger Moore’s James Bond solely eats Preveza prawns.
The place to Keep in Preveza
We completely beloved DALIZ Boutique Resort in Preveza. It has a stunning swimming pool, glorious breakfast and stylish fashionable rooms.
To our shock, there was an much more lovely area on the Ionian Coast of Epirus. Parga is a city that rivals the likes of Greece’s southern islands. However in reality, Parga reminded us of the cities of the Cinque Terre in Italy.
The principle attraction of Parga is Parga Fortress the place you’ll be able to hike up for lovely views of the colorful buildings lining the seaside. Parga Fortress was constructed by the Venetians, however all through the centuries it had been sacked by pirates, and dominated by the British, The Russians, and Ali Pasha earlier than lastly turning into part of Greece in 1913.
Parga is situated on the mainland, however it definitely looks like a Greek Isle, so even for those who don’t make it to close by Corfu, you’re going to get your fill of what a Greek Island trip looks like in Parga. There’s a stunning waterfront with eating places and a great secluded seaside that’s good for swimming and sunbathing.
Different close by seashores embrace Valtos Seashore which is usually named probably the greatest seashores in Greece and Sivota and Plataria have seashores as nicely. Be certain that to calm down at a seaside bar to benefit from the native seafood, this a part of Greece if well-known for its gastronomy, which says rather a lot since Greek meals, usually, is so superb! Learn Scrumptious Greek Meals – 29 Conventional Greek Dishes To Attempt Now
And at last, if you’re on the lookout for extra issues to do in Epirus, make your option to the city of Metsovo. Metsovo is a gorgeous area nestled within the mountains with conventional cities scattered all through the rolling hills. It’s a well-liked place for snowboarding in Greece within the winter and in the summertime it’s stuffed with journey sports activities. Once we visited, there was a mountain bike race occurring and the village was a flutter with individuals. We loved lunch at Apokentro with views of the deep valleys and mountains earlier than our eyes.
Museum of Hydrokenisis
One of many high locations to go to in Metsovo is the Museum of Hydrokenisis. This new attraction showcases the custom of washing carpets and harnessing the ability of water.
It’s a lovely setting with a restaurant and cafe the place you’ll be able to order scrumptious Greek Espresso. You’ll be able to take a tour of the normal water mill to see the ability of the water operating from the mountains. We even tried our hand at cleansing a carpet within the churning water. It’s rather a lot more durable than it appears to be like!
After a tour of the normal water mill, we made our option to downtown Metsovo to tour this energetic conventional village that’s well-liked for out of doors adventures. See extra particulars right here
Katogi Averoff Resort and Vineyard
Considered one of our favourite issues to do in Metsovo was to take a tour of the Katogi Averoff Resort and Vineyard. You’ll be able to keep at this resort as nicely, so for those who take pleasure in an excessive amount of wine, you’ll be able to stroll on to your roome. This vineyard is a pioneer of wine tourism in Greece and you’ll tour its conventional wine cellars and tasting room.
Positioned subsequent to Apokentro, the Averoff Gallery is a contemporary artwork museum that homes the gathering of Evangelos Averoff. His grandson runs the gallery. It’s a fascinating assortment of well-known Greek items depicting historic occasions and every day lives of Greek historical past. It’s an amazing escape from the outside to absorb some native tradition.
Ebiking with Bikewise
If you’re seeking to stretch your legs in spite of everything that meals and wine, a enjoyable exercise is to go e-biking. Bikewise supply biking round AOOS Lake. Driving on an ebike makes it really easy so you’ll be able to benefit from the surroundings and when you find yourself completed they’ve a stunning unfold of Greek meals and Tsipiro, the native liqueur. This firm is aware of the right way to create an journey itinerary. Enjoyable within the outside adopted by food and drinks. Sure! Examine them out to guide excursions to cycle Greece.
And there may be your tour of Epirus, Greece. Have we made you wish to add it to your listing? Whereas it isn’t as nicely often known as another locations in Greece, it quickly will likely be. So make your option to Epirus now earlier than the entire world finds out about the entire superb locations to go to on this quiet nook of the nation.
The place are you stepping into Greece subsequent?