Greece’s vast north is unmatched for geographical, cultural and even culinary diversity. Here, great stretches of mountains, lakes, forest and coastline remain to be discovered. With terrain stretching from the azure Ionian Sea across the rugged Epirus mountains to the Thracian plain, northern Greece is the place to be, especially for travelers hungry for variety. Today, let’s travel to the northwest of Greece to discover a little more about the hidden treasures of this small paradise.
The quaint town of Parga is the most popular summer destination in Epirus, in western Greece. Built amphitheatrically on the slopes of Pezovolos hill and surrounded by lavish greenery and beautiful blue sea, the town has a laid-back island feel to it.
Amongst Parga’s highlights, visitors can enjoy its charming and colorful waterfront houses and stone-paved squares, and visit the ruins of an old Venetian castle atop the hill. Nearby Valtos and Lichnos beaches, connected to the port of Parga by boat, are amongst Greece’s finest.
All you need is a motorboat to discover and enjoy the beauty of beaches hidden in the tiny bays between Parga and Syvota.
The castle of Parga
On the hill above Parga, the castle looks down on it all. Walking through its vaulted corridors, battlements and gun rooms you’ll hear its tumultuous history. This impressive attraction was built in the 14th century by the Normans, destroyed by the Ottomans, rebuilt in 1572 by the Venetians and restored by Ali Pasha in 1814. Open all day, it should be high on your list.
Northern Greece’s hidden gem, the photogenic city of Kastoria is built on a narrow strip of land amidst the still waters of beautiful Lake Orestiada, giving the impression of a floating island.
The city flourished during the 19th century as a fur trade and manufacturing center, and many of its traders’ luxurious mansions and traditional houses can be admired in the old quarters of Doltso and Apozari, along with 72 beautiful churches that are a testament to Kastoria’s rich Byzantine past.
The lovely promenade around the lake is perhaps one of Greece’s most scenic walks, offering spectacular views of Kastoria and its surrounding mountains.
Situated at an altitude of 1,200 meters in the very heart of the majestic mountain range of Pindos in Epirus, Metsovo is undoubtedly one of Greece’s more picturesque towns.
The city was home to some of the country’s most skilled stonemasons who used the region’s rich natural resources to build gorgeous mansions, monasteries, fountains, and cobbled streets and squares, most of which remain untouched by time. Nearby mountain peaks, slopes and pristine forests offer an arresting sight to visitors, who can enjoy scenic hikes in the surrounding area.
Despite the rapid increase in tourism in recent years, Metsovo still preserves its traditional character, perfectly combining the past with the present by offering a multitude of cultural and sport activities all year round.
Seaside towns, lakeside towns, mountain towns, which one would fit best to you? North Greece can offer any type of scenery and vacations you may desire. If you find it tempting, do not hesitate to contact our travel experts that will guide you on how to explore the beauty of Greece as few people know!