Exploration

Ioannina, a city pervaded by the grandeur of centuries passed through a deep cultural tradition, is a place filled with secrets waiting to be unraveled

boat on Ioannina lake

Built on the most commercial route in history, the Egnatia Odos, it is a place where cultures and religions coexist for years, their traditions passed down for generations through stories and legends. Let Ioannina lead you down a road of unprecedented exploration and whisper to you stories where fantasy and reality go hand in hand, offering you an experience like you have never felt before.

jeep on pindos mountain

Ioannina Walks: The historic center of Ioannina

A walk in the historic center, which extends in the "front" of the city to the lake, is worth only if you desire to wander and get lost. A good starting point for the walk is the Clock Square (1905), opposite the Town Hall.

Go down the main road, where you will find jewelery and shops with folk art and souvenirs, and let your instinct guide you. Right and left of the main street, every little street, every alley is a surprise.

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Α time travel in 10 minutes

It is only a 10-minute boat trip from Molos, Ioannina to the No Name Island in the middle of Pamvotida Lake but it is a lifetime experience.

You enter the boat and suddenly everything changes as the small trip begins. First you notice the ever-changing views of the surrounding mountains that come closer and closer as they are mirrored in the lake. The horizon grows, water and sky are a single, deep blue. The lake marks the passage into another magical time and fills us with nostalgia.

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Ioannina Walks: The Island of Ioannina

The boats that tie in Molo, lead you to the Island, a place that never got another name. Just Island. It is the house of Ali Pasha there and also a set of ecclesiastical monuments: Filanthropinon Monastery (1291), Monastery Stratigopoulou (13th cent.), Monastery of Panagia Eleousa (16th c.).

The residents of the island are always ready to tell you stories, traditions and legends. A very good walk is around the island that will relax you and open the appetite to taste local specialties such as frog legs, eels, crayfish etc.

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Two Days full of Ioannina

The major advantage of Ioannina is that you can see every corner of the city in a walk. You leave your car in a parking lot or you get off a bus and then everything is in front of you! Great sights, tastes, smells, images, the history of the place, parks, scenic spots, food, drink and fun. Lots of fun!

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The theater by the oracle

Imagine a sold-out drama (-tic) performance 2300 years ago in a theatre seating 18.000 spectators! 

What kind of cultural life do you think they had back then? What kind of economy could afford the biggest theatre of its time? You may ponder on these questions on the way from Ioannina to Dodoni (22km) and one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece. When there, you’ll go “aw”.

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A gorgeous gorge

Welcome to a canyon that holds a World Guinness Record! The 24km length Vikos Gorge is one of the largest, deepest and most spectacular gorges in the world. You will be astonished of the great variety and alternation of different ecosystems, a feast of flora and fauna. The Gorge is one of the few remaining wildlife refuges in Europe in almost pristine condition, hosting 133 species of birds and 24 mammals. Yes, you may see a baby bear climbing the rocks next to you!

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A holy adventure

Kipinas Monastery is one of the most impressive monasteries in Greece. For sure the small church made of wood and stone, built inside a rock will leave you speechless.

The monastery was built about 1212 AD. The road reaches the base of the cliff and then, if you want to go to the monastery, you must follow a path carved into the rock and a wooden bridge.

During Ottoman Empire, the monks raised the wooden bridge to be protected from the raids.

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Cycling Tour #1: Ioannina, Metsovo, Dodoni and the Ionian Sea

Easy cycling between mountains, city action and beach.

An awesome cycle trip to some of the most picturesque mountainous settlements of Greece, garnished by a visit to the cultural capital of Epirus, the lively town Ioannina. After some days in the lively capital Ioannina you visit the mountain village Metsovo, town of the bears, the wine, the famous cheese Metsovone and center of outdoor-activities. One of the most important archaeological sites is waiting in Dodoni, before you go along the mythical River Acheron to the sandy and blue flagged beaches of the Ionian Sea.

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Cycling Tour #2: Pindos Mountains

Easy-moderate Cycle tour in an unique mountain region.

The northern part of Epirus is mostly unknown and undiscovered, but spectacular and of unique beauty. The whole region of Konitsa and Zagori is full of ottoman stone bridges, awesome mountain villages built in a traditional architecture and an impressive scenery of mountain ranges. The region is part of the Pindos Mountain Range and one of the most picturesque regions in Greece. This cycle tour leads to the most important sights of Konitsa and Zagori – so of course also Vikos Gorge, the deepest gorge of the world.

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Cycling Tour #4: The flood plain of Kalamas River

Delvinaki, Zitsa and the Ionian Sea.

The tour takes you through a slight mountain area in the North-West of Greece. On the fourth day you go by transfer to the highest point of the tour in an attitude of 1.060 m. The tour encounters mostly slight and only a few short and strong ascents and descents on quite side roads. The finishing circle at the coast of the Ioanina Sea is very easy cycling in the salt-breeze combined with beach fun and relaxing.

Some Highlights of the tour:

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Ioannina Walks: Epirus Highlands

There are not a few options you have to escape from Ioannina. One of the most popular destinations is Zagori. Dozens of traditional, stone villages that maintain their cultural identity. They are divided by rivers, stone bridges, geological shapes, the Vikos Gorge. Hiking in the innumerable paths of Zagoria, climbing on Smolikas and Drakolimni but also activities such as parapente, and excursions for wild mushrooms. Of course rafting on rivers not only in Zagoria but also north of Konitsa and Tzoumerka.

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Ioannina Walks: Out of Town

Fifteen kilometers from Ioannina, the ancient site of Dodoni is located, a place that is surrounded in awe. In recent years, the restoration of the ancient theater and other monuments is attempted hoping that someday the voices of great actors will be heard again. Near the town, in Bizani, there is the Wax Museum, unique in its kind in the country. Before leaving the city, do not forget to visit the cave of Perama for a trip to the underground rocks. In Perama you can make a stop to enjoy traditional dishes and tsipouro.

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Ioannina Walks: The Castle

Whatever gate you walk through to enter the castle, it does not matter. By entering the Kastrini state, the bustle of the city is left outside. A traditional settlement where Ottoman buildings are scattered throughout, such as Soufari Serai and Aslan Pasha mosque, which houses the municipal museum and the Jewish synagogue.

A crossroad of cultures and religions. And high above, the Its Kale, the acropolis: a cultural small park with museums and collections. In summer, the area is the cultural heart of the city, with concerts and other events which take place.

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Ionian summer stories

    

Greece without the sea and the sun is not Greece. Ioannina combines sea and sun with other experiences that are not found in the rest of the country, that's why Ioannina is a unique destination.

Just one hour away from Ioannina, through the brand new Egnatia Odos Highway, there is one of the best coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, a coast that offers numerous leisure and relaxation options, the Ionian Coast.

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Made of stone

In Zagorohoria you’ll find more than 60 traditional, picturesque bridges made of stone. More than anywhere else in Greece. Imagine than in the 19th century they were 150-200!

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Strange forms of nature

Just some minutes drive away from Ioannina (4km), is the village of Perama, where you will visit one of the most spectacular caves in Europe, living an unforgettable, adventurous experience.

The 1,5-million-year-old Perama Cave is so beautiful that many visitors, full of awe, consider that this beauty can not occur without human intervention.

There are thousands of stalagmites and stalactites, in different varieties, types and formations. No one can compete nature in originality!

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