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West Macedonia

 

Florina

An outstanding natural landscape dotted with six magnificent lakes (Vegorítida, Petrón Lake, Zázari, Ximarítida, Mikrí and Megáli Préspa), picture-perfect lakeside villages, stone-built villages and a beautiful capital traversed by a river. This is the prominent director’s Theo Angelopoulos favourite filmmaking spot, the place that inspired him deeply to praise beauty and life…

PRESPES LAKES

Only 45 km west of Flórina, on the borders with FYROM and Albania, lies one of the most important habitats in Greece and the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans. A large part of the Préspa National Park was also included in the NATURA 2000 network of protected areas. On the banks of Megáli Préspa you will encounter the traditional village of Psarádes. Indulge your palate in freshwater fish served by the lake-side tavernas. Rent a boat to take a cruise around the lake and admire the one of their kind “askitariá” (hermit cells) with their stunning 14th-15th century rock paintings. During the Ottoman Empire the natural beauty and isolation of the area attracted many monks who built their hermitages along the shore of the Lake. South of Psarádes, on Mykrí Préspa Lake, lies the islet of Áyios Acíllios, one of the most picturesque places in Northern Greece connected to the shore with a 650 m long floating bridge. It is of the inhabited islands on a lake in Greece, particularly renowned for its Byzantine monuments, among which stands out the three-aisled basilica of Áyios Ahíllios.

NYMFEO


The village of Nymfeo flourished significantly between the 17th and 19th century, when it was an important centre of gold and silver trade, while its inhabitants were prominent merchants abroad. For many years the settlement had been abandoned but thanks to a coordinated effort from local people and the state, it managed to regain its lost glory. Today it forms one of the most impressive officially proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism traditional settlements. Nymféo is particularly famous for the "Arcturos Environmental Centre” (at Aetos village), an institution founded for the preservation of the natural environment. "Arcturos" comprises a brown bear sanctuary for abused bears that can no longer survive on their own and a wolf sanctuary in Agratída. In the area of Nymféo you can pursue exhilarating activities such as mountain climbing, off road routes, bird watching at the lakes, hiking and mountain biking.


KASTORIA


Kastoriá, a city which boasts a long fur trade tradition! This winter set out on a journey to Kastoriá, Macedonia’s hidden treasure! The city that flourished during the 19th century due to fur trade is built on the shores of the beautiful lake Orestiáda, surrounded by imposing mountains. Wander around the old neighbourhoods of Doltsó and Apozári, and admire the 19th century grand mansions, owned by the rich fur traders of Kastoriá! Take a leisurely walk around the lake, watch the birds that inhabit this fantastic wetland, or board on the ferry to enjoy a romantic lake cruise! Climb to the top of the hill, and take in breathtaking views of the city.  Visit “Dragon Cave”, the only cave in Greece with fresh-water lakes. Winter sport fans should visit the Vitsi ski centre, and ski down beech-covered slopes.


Grevena


Grevenà is called "The land of the mushrooms" because in the area grow more that 1.300 mushroom species! Whether you are a mushroom lover or a gourmet specialist, in Grevená you will savour the most imaginative dishes, hot mushroom soups and tasty mushroom pies cooked with wild, cultivated, powdered or dried mushrooms, and sprinkled with mushroom liquor or mushroom sauces!