EPIRUS IS AN OPEN MUSEUM
We visit Epirus/ Vikos Gorge/ Ioannina/ Dodoni as travelers, not as tourists
Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina.
A rugged and mountainous region, Epirus was the north-west area of ancient Greece. It was inhabited by the Greek tribes of the Chaonians, Molossians, and Thesprotians, and home to the sanctuary of Dodoni, the oldest ancient Greek oracle dedicated to Zeus, and the most prestigious one after Delphi. Unified into a single state in 370 BC by the Aeacidae dynasty, Epirus achieved fame during the reign of Pyrrous of Epirus, whose campaigns against Rome are the origin of the term "Pyrric victory". Epirus subsequently became part of the Roman Empire along with the rest of Greece in 146 BC, which was followed by the Byzantine Empire.
Following the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, Ioannina at Epirus became the center of the Despotate of Epirus, one of the successor states to the Byzantine Empire. Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Ioannina /Epirus became semi-independent during the rule of Ali Pasha in the early 19th century, but the Ottomans re-asserted their control in 1821. Following the Balkan Wars and World War I, southern Epirus became part of Greece, while northern Epirus became part of the newly created state of Albania.
EPIRUS TOUR - IOANNINA LAKE
The small inhabited Ioannina Island, where Ali Pasha was hiding during the last days of his reign, is situated near the northern shore.
IOANNINA. The city's foundation has traditionally been ascribed to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, but modern archaeological research has uncovered evidence of Hellenistic settlements. Ioannina flourished in the late Byzantine period (13th–15th centuries). It became part of the Despotate of Epirus following the Fourth Crusade. Many wealthy Byzantine families fled there following the sack of Constantinople, and the city experienced great prosperity and considerable autonomy, despite the political turmoils. It surrendered to the Ottomans in 1430. Between 1430 and 1868 the city was the administrative center of the Pashalik of Ioannina/ Yanina. In the period between the 18th and 19th centuries, the city was a major center of the modern Greek Enlightenment. Ioannina was ceded to Greece in 1913 following the Balkan Wars. The city's emblem consists of the portrait of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian crowned by a stylized depiction of the nearby ancient theater of Dodoni.
Lake Pamvotis is the largest lake of Epirus, located in the central part of the Ioannina regional unit in northern Greece. The regional capital Ioannina to the west and the town of Perama to the north are urban settlements fringing the lake while the remaining of its periphery is composed of farmland. The lake features small fishing ports and a boating port. There is a regular boat service to the Ioannina Island.
DODONI in Epirus in northwestern Greece was the oldest Hellenic oracle, possibly dating to the second millennium BC according to Herodotus. The earliest accounts in Homer describe Dodoni as an oracle of Zeus. Situated in a remote region away from the main Greek poleis/ cities states, it was considered second only to the oracle of Delphi in prestige.
Aristotle considered the region around Dodona to have been part of Hellas and the region where the Hellenes/ Graikoi originated.
Zeus was worshipped at Dodona as "Zeus Naios" and as "Zeus Bouleus" According to Plutarch, the worship of Jupiter (Zeus) at Dodona was set up by Deucalion and Pyrrha.
EPIRUS TOUR - DODONI ORACLE
Though it never eclipsed the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, DodonI gained a reputation far beyond Greece. In the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, a retelling of an older story of Jason and the Argonauts, Jason's ship, the "Argo", had the gift of prophecy, because it contained an oak timber spirited from DodonI.
METSOVO: Five reasons to visit this mountain village: Proud, distinguished, with a rich folk tradition, this charming town of Epirus provides plenty of reasons for visiting it again & again
Built at an altitude of 1200m right at the heart of Pindos and surrounded by dense forests, it is the starting point of unforgettable scenic views into nature.
THE DISTINGUISHED PAST AND PRESENT
The inhabitants of Metsovo are known for their industriousness and patriotism. In previous centuries, many merchants made their fortunes abroad and made generous charitable donations to the whole of Greece. Today the visitors can admire the mansions made of stone, the old churches, monasteries with the wood-carved iconostases and about 25 traditional water fountains. One can also visit the Averoff Art Gallery, a true ark of modern Greek ART with more than 200 works by the most significant Greek painters and sculptors.
THE LIVING FOLK TRADITION
situatted at the point where Epirus meets Thessaly and Macedonia, it is endowed with a very distinct folk tradition. Even today, we see elders in the streets proudly wearing local outfits and hear them speak the Old Vlach language. The folk craftsmen of Metsovo are famous for their wood carvings and hand woven textiles that can purchased from the town's shops. The Folklore museum of Tositsa, is also of great interest.
THE CHEESES AND WINES
The Metsovo region produces some of Greece's tastoets cheeses, including the metsovela, the batzisio and the most famous of them all, the metsovone. The latter matur for at least 3 months and has a very characterisitic salty and spicy flavour, which seems to capture all the aromas of Pindos. It is simply irresistible!. They also have a long tradition in wine making. The regions wine is produced in one of the most mountainous vineyards in Europe.
THE LOCAL GASTRONOMY
In the minds of many Greek people, the word Metsovo is synonymous with good hearty food. In the towns taverns, one can enjoy the local dishes like lamb, Metsovo sausage, kontosouvli, kokoretsi, boiled goat, wild boar, trachanas and a large variety of pies.
It is the Pride of EPIRUS
a regionof rare natural beauty protected by UNSECO