Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Ioannina
Ioannina View slideshowIoánnina, on the west side of Lake Ioánnina, is the chief town of Ípiros and has a university, established in 1965. It is noted for its silversmith's work. The old parts of the town have preserved something of the atmosphere of the Turkish period.Ioánnina grew up in the Middle Ages on the site of a monastery of St John. In 1085 it was fortified by the Normans, and in 1345 became the seat of Serbian princes. From 1430 to 1913 it was in Turkish hands. The town's heyday was between 1788 and 1822, when it was the residence of Ali Pasha (1741-1822), the "Lion of Ioánnina", an Albanian, who was nominally subject to the Sublime Porte but in fact enjoyed almost absolute independence.Air connections with Athens and Salonica. Bus connections with Athens and towns in the surrounding area.
The Citadel (Froúrion), with the Aslan Aga Mosque (1619), has some picturesque nooks and corners, and affords beautiful views of the lake and the Pindos mountains. In the east corner is the Ali Pasha Mausoleum. The Kyrá Frosyni taverna on the lakeside promenade is named after one of a number of Greek women whom Ali Pasha drowned in the lake.The municipal folk museum has fine collections of jewelry, textiles and traditional costumes.
Address: Anatoliki Akropoli, Greece
An interesting trip is to Monastery Island in the lake with its seven monasteries. In one of them, the monastery of St Panteleimon, Ali Pasha was killed by the Turks in 1822 (memorial room).The Philanthropinon Monastery is noteworthy for its frescoes, particularly that of the Seven Sages of antiquity.
Established in 1995, the Byzantine Museum in Ioannina contains early Christian and Byzantine sculptures, as well as items from the excavation site at Arta, pottery, literary items, post-Byzantine icons and silver items.
Ioánnina Archeological Museum (Closed Temporarily for Renovations)
The Archeological Museum, in the center of the town, displays finds from Dodona and the Nekromanteion of Ephyra.
Address: 6 25th March Square, Greece
Pramanta - Anemotrypa (Anemotripa Cave)
The Anemotripa Cave is worth visiting, with stalactities and stalagmites as well as lakes, all of which are quite colorful.
Sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona
30 km/19 mi west of Dodóna, to the north of the road to Igoumenítsa, lies Zitsa, with the commandingly situated monastery of the Profítis Ilías, celebrated by Byron in "Childe Harold".
A trip northward from Ioánnina in the direction of the Albanian frontier can be recommended for its magnificent scenery. In this area are the Zagokhoriá, the villages in the Zagória mountains which were semi-autonomous even in the Turkish period.
Ayia Paraskevi, Greece
16 km/10 mi from the Zagokhoriá, along the road to Kónitsa a side road branches off on the right to Vítsa and the high village of Monodéndri (37 km/23 mi from Ioánnina), with its weavers' workshops. From here a broad path leads to the little monastery of Ayía Paraskeví (1412), above the steep-sided Víkos gorge. The monastery is now abandoned, but the chapel is open to visitors.From here a rocky path, the last section of which is very narrow, leads to a hermit's cave, from which there is a fantastic view down into the Víkos gorge.
Vikos-Aoos National Park
The Vikos-Aoos National Park was established in 1973 in Zagoria, Epirus. It is 3,300 hectares/8,150 acres. Special features include the Khasmofytes gorge.
Address: 3-5 Ippokratous, Greece
Métsovo lies 2km/1.25mi below the Ioánnina-Kalambáka road.The mountain village of Métsovo, situated in a wooded region in the Pindos range below the Katára pass, is popular both with summer holiday visitors and winter sports enthusiasts (ski-lift). During the Turkish period well known families like the Averofs and Tositsas built themselves houses in this inaccessible spot. Features of interest are the Folk Museum in the Tositsa House, the church of Ayía Paraskeví and the monastery of Áyios Nikólaos at the lower end of the village. The nearby village of Mília is famed for its trout and its yogurt. The planned new section of the road from Igoumenítsa via Ioánnina and Kozáni to Salonica will pass just to the south of Métsovo (in a tunnel for part of the way).
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