The Castle of Ioannina is built on the west bank of the lake on a small rocky peninsula, on the two hills of which an equal number of citadels are formed.
TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS
Eating out is one of the great pleasures of life and one of the greatest joys of travel. Ioannina is a unique place for food fans with an appetite for genuine Mediterranean cuisine and traditional home cooking. Talented chefs, superb local products, great value are the ingredients of Ioannina Gastronomy, one of the tastiest food scenes in Greece.
Ioannina stands as one of the best offbeat escapes in Europe because of its view-a-licious lake.
Whether it’s strolling hand in hand on its banks, birdwatching, riding a bike in the lightly used rural roads or enjoying your wine and good spirits by the serene waters in the sunset, the turquoise lake (a National Park and Pamvotis by name - a riddle for the literature aficionados) will offer the perfect backdrop for romance, family holidays, congresses and city breaks.
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.
In the valley that nests under the slopes of Mount Olytsika, Tmaros or Tomaros according to the ancient written sources, 22km south of Ioannina in the Municipality of Dodoni, are located the ruins of the religious centre and Oracle of Zeus and Dione, a site which also functioned as the administrative seat of the various in time coalitions of ancient Epirotes.
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!
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.
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!
On the northwestern edge of Pamvotida Lake, just 5 km away from Ioannina, in the settlement of Perama (19, Spilaiou street), rises the limestone hill Goritsa (peak height 555 m). In its bowels about two million years ago, a labyrinthine cave was formed through complex natural processes. In its chambers and corridors, various stalagmite and stalactite cave themes develop. Bones and teeth from archaic cave bear species indicate that such large, extinct mammals found shelter there 200,000 years ago.
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.