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Kastoria

Travel guide of Kastoria Regional Unit

The capital of this regional unit of West Macedonia is Kastoria. The so called “Lordess of Macedonia” is a small city that has retained much of its traditional character and Byzantine architecture. It is built amphitheatrically, on a narrow peninsula of Lake Orestiada. Despite its size, the city as well as the wider regional unit are suitable for multi-day holidays all year round.

Λίμνη Ορεστιάδα © Ιωάννης Ιωαννίδης

Lake Oerstiada | Kastoria © Ioannis Ioannidis

Equally important destination is the traditional village Nestorio. It is only 28km away from Kastoria, and the travellers prefer it for its mountainous landscapes and the alternative activities it offers. It is also famous in Greece from the famous River Party where it is organised every summer on the banks of the river Aliakmonas.

The absolute trademark of the area is the Lake Orestiada. Every season can captivate you with its colors and its atmosphere, even in the winter which is usually frozen. The lake is one of the most beautiful in the Balkans and is part of the “Natura 2000” network.

Άρρενες © ioannis ioannidis

Lake Arrenes | Grammos © ioannis ioannidis

General information

The regional unit of Kastoria is located at the western end of West Macedonia. It borders with the other three units of the region, Florina, Grevena, Kozani but also with the one of Ioannina, as well as with Albania, on the west side. According to the latest census, the population of the regional unit amounts to 53,483 inhabitants, while the city of Kastoria has 20,636 inhabitants.

Παναγιά Μαυριώτισσα

Panagia Mavriotissa | Kastoria

Worth visiting beyond the lake Orestiada

  • The Doltso (Old town of Kastoria)
  • The Aquarium of Kastoria
  • The Neolithic Lake Settlement in Dispilio
  • The Dragon cave
  • The Byzantine & Post Byzantine churches of Kastoria
  • The Village Nestorio
  • The waterfall of Agia Anna
  • The museums of Kastoria
  • The “brick villages” Korestia
  • The fossil forest in Nostimo
Αρχοντικό Τσιατσιαπα

Manor House in old city of Kastoria

Gastronomy

Kastoria is famous for its local products and cuisine. Typical products are legumes, chestnuts, mushrooms, apples (Protected Geographical Indication – PGI), as well as Kastoria feta (PDO).

The dishes of Kastoria cuisine that you should try are:

  • the sarmades with sauerkraut (armia),
  • the meatballs with makalo (sauce with flour, tomato and garlic),
  • the armiopita (pie with sauerkraut)
Ενυδρείο Καστοριάς

Kastoria Aquarium

Transportation

Kastoria is 575 km from Athens (via Kozani) and 219 km from Thessaloniki. Kastoria is connected:

  1. by air with Athens, through the international airport “Aristotelis”, which is located in Argos Orestiko.
  2. Access by road is now more easy and comfortable via the Egnatia Motorway.
Νεολιθικός Οικισμός

Neolithic Lake Settlement | Dispilio

Activities / Experiences

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • 4×4 routes
  • Canoe on Lake Orestiada
  • Swimming in Aliakmonas
  • Skiing at the small ski resort of Vitsi
Χιονοδρομικό Βιτσίου © ioannis ioannidis

Ski center | Vitsi © Ioannis Ioannidis

Nearby excursions

Kastoria is an ideal starting point for two nearby popular destinations.

1 Nymphaio [nimfeo]

At a distance of around 40 minutes is located the stone-built traditional settlement of Nymphaio. Next to the village you can visit the Bear Shelter of Arcturos as well as the Wolf Shelter in Agrapidies.

2 National Park of Prespes

The journey from the city of Kastoria to Prespes takes about 50 minutes. The area is surrounded by mountains and is important  due to its biodiversity and endemic species of flora and fauna.

Around the lakes there is a cross-border park shared between three countries, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia. It is worth visiting the small island of Agios Achilleios and the village of Psarades.

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