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Travel info for Ioannina
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Welcome to Ioannina!
ATTRACTIONS
 
Lake Pamvotida and the island: The big natural lake, which it’s considered the jewel of the city and of the entire Ioannina basin. It’s at a 510 meters altitude and it’s ideal for walking, biking, fishing or touring with small boats. You should definitely visit the island of the lake. Ioannina has many monasteries and monuments. The Monastery of Filanthropinon stands out for the famous hagiographies of the seven philosophers of the antiquity.
The castle of Ioannina: This is the most charming and traditional part of the city. Within the walls, visitors will get the chance to see the Acropolis with the Fetihe Mosque, the Aslan Pasha Mosque and many other monuments, attractions and museums.
The museums: Ioannina boasts a large number (double digit) of museums. The most important are: The Archaeological Museum in the Park Litharitsia, the Byzantine Museum in the Acropolis, the Folklore Museum on 42 Michael Angelou Street, the Museum of National Resistance in A. Papandreou Square, the Municipal Gallery on Korai Street (the oldest one in modern Greece) and of course the widely known Museum of Wax Figures on Karamanli Street.
The Perama Cave: This is one of the most important caves in Greece and it’s located just few kilometers out of the city, towards Arta, in the homonymous village-suburb.
 
ROUTES

Zagorohoria: Driving towards Konitsa there are signs to Zagorohoria. About 20 kilometers away from Ioannina, we stumble across the first of the 46 villages scattered around the steep cliffs of Mount Tymphi (2.497 m.). The villages are divided, based on their location, to central and western Zagori. The villages of the central Zagori are situated at the entrance of the famous Vikos Gorge and the villages of western Zagori are situated at its exit. Few of the biggest and most known Zagorohoria are Tsepelovo, Monodendri, Kipoi, Papigko, Pedina and Aristi. The location National Park has rich flora and fauna, an impressive mountainous landscape, many outstanding stone bridges, churches and mansions. The tourism infrastructure of the area is excellent.
 
Konitsa – Lakka Aoou River: This picturesque little town in the prefecture of Ioannina with the famous bridge, the distinctive architecture and the charming ambiance is about 60 kilometers from the city of Ioannina and is definitely worth a visit. 
From here, a very demanding drive starts (after the first few kilometers which are relatively easy) towards the slopes of Mount Smolikas, through the villages of Distrato, Armata, Pades, Palioseli and Elefthero. During the entire trip, you will have the unobstructed view of Lakka Aoou, the big vegetated gorge that separates Smolika from Tymphi, with massive steep cliffs. If there is snow or ice, the drive becomes extremely dangerous. However, weather permitted, it can be a great experience. 
 
Mastorohoria: North of Konitsa, through the central road towards the borders of Greece with Albania, there are many crossing streets (there are many signs) for the villages Vourbiani, Pyrsogianni, Kastania, Gorgopotame, Drosopigh etc. These are the unknown Mastorohoria. “Mastoras” in Greek means “Craftsman”. These villages got this name because they were the birthplace of the most famous stone craftsmen in Northern and Central Greece. Besides… Zagorohoria are indeed their masterpieces. These beautiful stone villages built among conifers, oaks and beeches are scarcely populated and with practically no tourism infrastructure. This is an option for the more adventurous travelers that are not afraid of the mountainous terrain and the deserted landscape.  
 
Syrrako – Kalarrytes: On the slopes of imposing Tzoumerka Mountain (2.429 m.), south of Ioannina, there are two beautiful and architecturally impeccable villages that have become very popular. Syrrako and Kalarrytes are like open museums. No cars are allowed there (they should be parked in the designated areas outside the villages). They are about 52 kilometers from Ioannina (difficult trip) and they both have luxurious guesthouses. 
 
Dodoni: Twenty-two kilometers south of Ioannina, visitors will enjoy the important archeological site of Dodoni, which is the oldest oracle in Greece. Here you will get the chance to tour the famous ancient theater, which has a capacity for 17.000 people, dated back to the 3rd century BC and the remnants of temples, walls, residences and other public buildings.
 
ROAD TIPS
      Parking is difficult, but traffic is not that heavy in Ioannina. The private parking lots in Pyrros Square and the municipal parking lot behind the building of the 8th Division are the best solutions. 
      You should be careful around the mazy and narrow streets of the castle. Large vehicles are not recommended. 
      You should be extra careful in the streets of Zagorohoria, Mastorohoria and in the last 10-15 kilometers of the route to Kalarrytes and Syrrako. Especially during the winter months, the roads are usually icy in the shady areas. You should also have a good, updated map of the areas you are planning to drive to.
      There is usually a lot of traffic in the highways Ioannina-Arta and Ioannina-Konitsa, especially with long vehicles. These roads do not have separators in between, thus any sort of overtaking is dangerous. Additionally, these streets are heavily watched by the police, since they are near the borders. 
     If you are planning on driving in Zagorohoria, fill your tank when you reach the village Aspraggeloi, because beyond this point there are no more gas stations. 


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