Whoever dives deeply into the region of Epirus will surely soon find that he is on a new … continent – he will discover a new world.
Epirus’ longtime isolation, due to historically difficult access, left its nature intact and the signs of history alive. For those in the know, Epirus is a precious secret, to which they remain faithful, and for those who do not know, it is an unexpected surprise.
Epirus, one of the thirteen regions of Greece, is located in the northwest corner of the country, and is an ideal year-round destination. It is now easily accessible, having two modern roadways, the Egnatia and Ionia highways, one international port at Igoumenitsa, and two international airports, at Ioannina and at Aktio. You can also come to Epirus through the international airport of the nearby island of Corfu.
Epirus has the diversity of a country, containing, in a relatively small area, beautiful mountains, lakes, and rivers, and land filled with forests and olive groves, beautiful cities, rare archeological sites, and fantastic beaches.
EPIRUS: Untouched Beauty, Full of Energy
The network of mountains caused the region’s isolation but its rich history and the love of the people of Epirus for nature are powerful incentives for preserving an incomparable environment, untouched and unchanged.
Visitors come to enjoy animals, rare birds and fish, and a dazzling array of flora through organized activities or simple contact with nature that calm the soul.
Vikos-Aoos Geopark is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a refuge for a large number of plants, herbs, and animals that attract the interest of scientists worldwide.
Epiros means high mountains, deep gorges, rushing rivers, rare flora, mountain lakes, and forested slopes! From Vikos Gorge, listed as the world's "deepest relative to its width" by the Guinness Book of Records, to the magnificent Valia Calda National Park, Epirus is the ultimate destination for nature lovers every season.
Epirus, with its rivers, its unchanging natural environs of forests, mountains, and seas, is an ideal place for adventure lovers. It is charmed and blessed place for those who passionately seek alternative tourism, that is, tourism that brings man into the embrace of nature, introduces him to its secrets and hidden lures, entertains him, relaxes him, fascinates him, stimulates him, and liberates him.
A great attraction is hiking on beautiful trails, such as the Epirus Trail of 400 km built by the Epirus Regional Government which will be the largest hiking route designed in Greece.
Epirus is a ‘complete destination’, with all the weight and variety that the phrase implies. Epirus enchants the visitor, in every part of it, every season of the year.
Winter: All roads lead to the snow slopes of Anilio, Metsovo, and Vasilitsa for skiing and snowboarding!
Spring: The perfect season for trekking in Mavrovouni in Metsovo with great natural beauty and an impressive mountain route from Theodoriana in Tzoumerka to the double waterfalls of Souda!
The 47 villages of Tzoumerka are located between the regional units of Ioannina and Arta. Here there is unchanged nature with magical landscapes, caves, monasteries, and picturesque villages untouched by ill-conceived human intervention.
Enjoy the sunrise on the shores of Alpine Dragonlake, and rafting in the Voidomatis and Arachthos rivers.
Summer: Sailing the beautiful shores, partaking of water sports on the enchanting beaches of Thesprotia and Preveza, diving in the spectacular underwater sites or river trekking along the legendary Acheron – it is your choice!
Autumn: The season with gorgeous colors! Enjoy a bike ride around Aoos springs lake or taking photos of rare birds in the Amvrakikos Gulf! Visit Zagori, one of the most beautiful areas of Greece that consists of 46 mountainous stone villages to the north of Ioannina, between the Mitsikeli and Tymfi mountains, against the backdrop of the imposing Vikos Gorge
EPIRUS: A JOURNEY TO BIG BLUE
The Epiros coastline is undoubtedly one of these magnificent places, offering amazing beaches, crystal clear waters, and secret coves. Here the beaches are truly unique, since they cover 100 kilometers of crystal clear blue sea. This huge coastline extends from Preveza to the borders of Thesprotia.
You must visit the colorful town of Parga with its lacy clear-blue shores and picturesque narrow alleys, and cosmopolitan Syvota with its stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and quiet bays! Enjoy the sea, the sun, swimming and water sports on the longest sandy beach of the European Union, Monolithi.
Preveza is a lovely low-key port featuring cobble stone paths and alleys with flourishing balconies and a unique atmosphere. The city’s neoclassical buildings provide the perfect backdrop for idyllic walks.
Also impressive and a point of attraction for young and old are the beaches of Vrachos, Loutsa, and Ammoudia with crystal waters and fine sand. Few places in Greece and in the world have such shores, so ideal for swimming and water sports, so unchanged by human intervention.
EPIRUS: A COMPLETE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
When you find such a rich cultural heritage in one place, you can’t escape a visit. In Epirus there are traces of the Paleolithic era and substantial remains of Greek antiquity, the Roman and Byzantine periods, the Ottoman and Venetian occupations, and important elements of the history of modern Greece.
The archaeological sites, especially the ancient theaters of Epirus, will take you on a journey back in time. You can admire great architecture and to feel the pulse, energy, and culture of people who lived centuries ago!
The Ancient Theatre of Dodona is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. Ancient Nicopolis is today the largest surviving ancient city of Greece, and the Necromancy of Acheron is the most famous temple of necromancy of the ancient Greek world. Furthermore, ancient Kassopi, ancient Amvrakia, ancient Gitana complete the cultural route of Epirus!
Τhe Byzantine castle of Ioannina and Byzantine churches and monasteries, traditional villages, and stone bridges throughout the region are all of immense cultural interest.
ΕPIRUS: A JOURNEY TO RELIGION
The monasteries of Epirus evoke awe and religious devotion in the visitor. The religious feeling of the people of Epirus is intense and led to the creation of some of the most remarkable monasteries and churches in Greece, which they preserved over the centuries. The visitor will feel awe and be moved before the Byzantine chapels and monasteries
The city of Arta is famous for its Byzantine richness. Our Lady of Arta – ‘Panagia Parigoritissa’ as it is known to the locals, is renowned for its architecture and rich sculptured decoration. The Monastery of Kipina, near the village Kalarrytes in Tzoumerka, is one of the most impressive monasteries in Epirus! The Monastery of Philanthropenoi is the most important monastery on the island in the lake of Ioannina. What is of particular interest is the representation of the ancient Greek philosophers, who are painted on the wall of the southern paranarthex.
One of the most beautiful men’s monasteries, built in the 14th century, is the Monastery of Giromeri in Thesprotia –and don't forget to visit the Monastery of St. Nikolas in Metsovo, surviving and standing in an admirable state.
In recent years, a network of modern tourist infrastructure has been built in the service of the warm ‘homely’ Epirote hospitality and its traditional flavors. The tourism sector has managed to put a spotlight on the delicious local
cuisine, a gastronomic experience based on the excellent, top-quality local produce: lamb, goat, sheep, beef, wild boar, chicken cooked on the spit or in the traditional ‘gastra’ or clay pots, concealed in pies or soups, and combined with local wild greens, herbs and dairy
products. All are transformed into exceptional gastronomic experiences, particularly when paired with locally distilled spirits – tsipouro and ouzo – or wine. There are also fresh pies of all kinds to sample, spoon sweets, a variety of excellent cheeses, the famous Amvrakikos ‘avgotaraho’ grey mullet, fish roe (also known as bottarga), ‘sardela’ (sardines), and a rich variety of seafood.
The best thing visitors can do is to surrender to the local
culinary options and be initiated into the secrets of the rich and distinctive cuisine of Epirus!
Apart from its incomparable natural beauty, Epirus is the cradle of the Greek tradition, which remains unadulterated and alive in music, in dances, in the daily life of people. Epirus is the people, people who give real meaning to the word ‘hospitality’… though the hospitality of Epirus!
We invite and challenge you to discover this charismatic, blessed, and hospitable place that is called Epirus.
Visit us at www.epirusforallseasons.gr.
Epirus is here and is waiting for you…!
Ioulia Markoula is the Director of Tourism for the Epiros Regional Government