• ACTIVITIES

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    Mix together your favorite hobby with your vacations. West Macedonia uses her landform gifts to provide you, through modern facilities and organized trips, with the ability to accomplish the activity of your choice. Even if you are fan of x-treme sports or a peaceful trekking walk is the ideal for you, either you are an amateur or experienced, find easily what activity each count of West Macedonia has to offer and which season. 

  • NATURE

     

    The biggest river in Greece Aliakmonas, the second tallest mountain Smolikas and one of the biggest lakes Vegoritida are included in West Macedonia. Also, is the hostess of two natural parks, the one of Valia Calda and the park of Prespes, and the famous Dragon Cave. Imagine how many natural sights there are for viewing. Take a walk over a canyon, visit an underground cave or take a boating ride to a lake so you can make your connection with nature. Learn more about the natural sights of West Macedonia and choose your trip.

  • CULTURE

     

    Visiting other places you can see and learn from a closer view about their culture and history. West Macedonia has a lot to display in this area too,even from the prehistoric era. Get to know each count from a visit to a museum or sight, attending a local custom event and tasting a traditional cooking recipe.Find useful informations about the cultural proceedures, the sights location and the dates of the custom events.

  • TOURISM

     

    The only sure thing is that you 're not gonna regret choosing West Macedonia as your destination place for your vacations whatever the type of tourist you are. West Macedonia provides you with a variety of accommodations regardless of you staying to a far tiny village or a big city. Easily, find hotels based your needs across the four countys.

  • INFORMATION

     

    Find useful informations, telephone numbers and driving ordes through the interactive map. Also, take a taste of West Macedonia from our photo albums and the videos we present for you.

Kastoria

Customs and cultural events

The cheer and spree of the carnival of Kastoria are well known to all. Ragoutsaria, as the carnival is called, take place from the 6th to the 8th of January and it is the climax of the twelve-day festival. All people participate in the events as they surge in the streets to celebrate with dance, songs, teasing and plenty of wine.

The events climax on the third day, the so-called pateritsa (crutch), with the large parade of carnival groups in the central road of the city. The name Ragoutsaria derives from the Latin word rogatores, meaning beggars, since all carnivals ask the householders to give them gifts in order to chase bad spirits away.

 

A three-day carnival is also held in January in Argos Orestiko, Mavrochori and Lithia. Kollienta, the traditional carols, are sung the night of the Christmas Eve, by groups that go from door to door, holding hand lanterns and “masialades”.

Some other carnival customs that are still revived are boubounes, chaskaris and paliapoules. Boubounes are fires lighted at the city squares on Sunday. All attendants jump over the lighted coals “to throw down the fleas and send away the evil”.

 

Paliapoules is a similar custom, taking place in Argos Orestiko. In the houses, after dinner, they play chaskaris. They try to grasp with their mouth a boiled egg hanging from a thread held by the eldest member of the family.

Rodani is a hand-made wooden swing, with two or four seats, that is hanged from Fig Sunday to Low Sunday. Singing, music, dancing and teasing also accompany this Easter custom.

In summers, on July 24th, we have the celebration of Klidonas that coincides with the celebration of Saint John. Reviving this custom, boys bring a prickly branch that they decorate with fruits, while girls bring the “silent water” from the lake. The festival to celebrate Prophet Elijah, the patron saint of the furriers, takes place in July.

 

The cultural events held, around the year, are “Orestia”, the interbalkan chorus festival in Argos Orestiko, the week of the emigrants from Kastoria, the Christopoulia and cultural August, while in the first weekend of August, we have the River Party, a music festival taking place at the banks of Aliakmonas river in Nestorio, which attracts numerous young people.

Among the most popular commercial events held in Kastoria are the fur exhibition in April and the trade fair in Argos Orestiko on the last weekend of September. In autumn, we have the tsipouro festival in Lithia, the bean festival in Lakkomata and the chestnut festival in Kastanofyto.