7 Reasons To Visit Epirus
Epirus, one of the many gems of Greece, is a region that is bursting with natural treasures, from its dramatic mountain ranges, traditional villages, sandy beaches, to the string of ancient ruins that are dotted across the landscape. Epirus is an increasingly popular destination for visitors, in part due to its immense natural scenery, and the abundance of unique things to do. Here are seven reasons why you should visit Epirus:
1. Incredible Beaches
Epirus has numerous beaches across its 70km long coastline; some are very touristy, whilst others are completely unspoiled, and offer a tranquil paradise away from the hustle and bustle.
One of the best beaches to visit in Epirus is Parga; located in the town of Parga, which is on the Lonian coast, Parga Beach has crystal clear waters, and is sheltered by luscious green hills and lines with white sandy beaches, making it the perfect spot to soak up some sun.
Another fabulous spot for beaches in Epirus is Syvota; with rolling green islets, pale blue waters and hidden coves, the beaches in this fantastic Epirus town are unbeatable.
Finally, the north-western Epirus port-town of Preveza has some incredible beaches, many of which are sheltered by swopping, craggy hills, and are completely tranquil and heavenly; the perfect paradise for a summer getaway.
2. Archaeological Sites
Like many destinations in Greece, Epirus is no exception to historic archaeological sites, that provide a fascinating insight into the world of Ancient Greece; there are so many fantastic landmarks and ruins to discover.
One of which is the Dodoni archaeological site, which is one of the most ancient oracles in the whole of Greece. It was built in dedication to Zeus, and is an ancient theatre, that saw a string of different performances over its time. It is also today, one of the most well-preserved in the country, and is a popular tourist attraction.
Another fantastic archaeological site to visit in Epirus is Nikopolis; a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nikopolis is an ancient city, that was originally founded in 31 BC. It is a Roman city that has witnessed so many important events over the centuries, and remains a fascinating landmark to this day.
It is also worth checking out Nekromanteion when visiting Epirus; this ancient Greek temple was dedicated to Hades, the god of the Underworld, and the goddess Persephone, his consort. This is a really important temple within Greek mythology, and is a must-see site when visiting Epirus.
3. Food and Wine
One of the top reasons that Epirus is known, is for its exquisite food and wine; there are an abundance of raw materials in Epirus, and there are so many traditional dishes that offer simple, yet powerful flavours.
There is a huge selection of local cheeses to discover, thanks to the long tradition of cheese-making in the area; there are some gorgeous fetas, smoked metsovone, and anthotyros, which is an almost salt-free cheese, with a very unique flavour.
Another top gastronomical treat to sample in Epirus are the region’s pies; with both sweet and savoury versions, practically anything and everything can be transformed into a pie, and they are mouth-wateringly good. One of the top pies to try is the mushroom pie!
For a sweet treat, make sure to sample some of the local baklava; these pastries can be filled with an abundance of sweet fillings, including almonds, thick syrup, or walnuts, and are so yummy.
Finally, Epirus is also well known for its delicious wines; if you are a wine-enthusiast, make sure to sample the Zitsa white wines, as they are incredibly fresh and crisp.
4. Beautiful Towns
Epirus is home to some gorgeous towns and cities and are perfect for spending the day exploring.
Ioannina is the capital of Epirus, and is situated around the incredible Lake Pamvotida. The city has so many cultural traditions, and a strong artistic and literary identity. The town has a vast and expansive history, and there are so many reminders of its past dotted around; this is a great place to spend an afternoon strolling around.
Another beautiful town in Epirus is Preveza; this gorgeous port-town has a really vibrant atmosphere, and is situated at the tip of the Amvracian Gulf.
With its spectacular beaches and colourful buildings, Parga is another brilliant town to explore; there are so many fantastic places to eat and drink, and there is just an overall vibrant and lovely atmosphere.
Finally, make sure to spend some time exploring Metsovo, which is a famous and traditional town in Epirus. It is mostly well-known for the colourful hand-woven textiles produced by the inhabitants.
5. Picturesque Villages
In addition to the many beautiful towns of Epirus, there are also so many gorgeous villages that uphold traditions and culture in an amazing way.
One of these is Zagorohoria, which consists of a series of stone-built villages that are situated in a gorgeous and rugged mountain landscape. Some of the top villages to explore at Mikro and Megalo Papingo, as well as Aristi and Monodendri.
Situated in the Pindus mountains, Tzoumerka is home to some gorgeous villages that are well-worth exploring; they are authentic, traditional, and have a real charm that is enchanting to visitors.
6. Natural Scenery
If you thought that Epirus couldn’t get any more amazing, there is also so much incredible natural scenery to discover, from gorges, lakes, all the way to waterfalls, there is just so much to explore.
One of the natural highlights of Epirus is the Vikos Gorge, which is nestled in the Pindus Mountain range; this gorge is listed as the deepest gorge in the world in relation to its width, and it is absolutely awe-inspiring.
Another top spot to explore are the Dragon Lakes, or Drakolimnes as it is known locally. These enormous lakes have been left over from the Ice Age, and so amazing; they are situated at around two kilometres above sea level. Some of the best lakes to see are at Smolikas and Gamila.
Epirus is also home to some brilliant waterfalls, and one of the best to visit is the Tzoumerka Waterfall, which towers at a height of 125 meters.
7. Outdoor Activities
If you are a fan of outdoor recreational activities, Epirus is a fantastic place to visit, as there are so many diverse and exciting activities to do.
With an abundance of natural lanscapes of varying terrain, it is a brilliant place to go hiking, as there are so many natural wonders to explore along the way.
If you prefer something a little more thrilling, there are also a huge selection of Mountain Bike Tours, that guide you around the most exciting parts of Epirus.
If water-sports is more your thing, Epirus is also home to some rivers and lakes, and there are plenty of opportunities to go kayaking or rafting.
And finally, there are also lots of horse-riding tours and excursions available, which offers a more leisurely approach to exploring the area.
Epirus is just one of the many gems in the crown that is Greece; there are so many reasons to visit, and whatever your interests are, whether it be history, culture, food or recreational activities, there is something for everyone.
Written by : Chryssoula Manika