Epirus

Overview

Introduction

The Epirus region is one of the best areas of Greece because of its varied terrain and relatively few tourists. It is located roughly 250 mi/400 km northwest of Athens. Snow-covered mountains, the impressive Vikos Gorge (near Monodendri, known for its weaving), the Agia Paraskevi Monastery and the ruins of Dodona are the main draws to the region, which borders Albania. Its fishing villages are wonderfully picturesque.

For a romantic getaway, visit Papingo, a preserved and restored traditional village atop the Vikos Gorge. Be sure to visit the mountain town of Metsovon, home of a unique style of art and famous for its cheese.

The capital of Epirus is Ioannina, a beautiful town on the shore of a large lake. The town has romantic old quarters, a good bazaar, museums, a citadel and a number of good restaurants. Worth a visit is the small island in the lake with a fishing village. A short drive from Ioannina is the ancient oracle of Dodona. The god Zeus was said to have resided there when he was not lounging on Mount Olympus.

See the museum; the ancient ruins of the Oracle of Zeus, whose priests conjured up prophecies from the sounds of the streams and sacred oak trees; the remains of the theater, where there are sometimes performances in July and August as part of the Epirotika Festival; and the ruins of the Sanctuary of Zeus—a sacred oak has been planted there. Greek dramas are frequently performed at the third-century-BC Dodona Theatre.

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