Ioannina Travel Guide

Ioannina in Greece

Ioannina (Greek Ιωάννινα) is a city in the northwest of Greece and capital of the prefecture of Epirus. The city of Ioannina is built at the western shore of Lake Pamvotis (or Pamvotida). The city of Ioannina, which is built at an elevation of approximately 500 metres above sea level, is home to 70,203 inhabitants as of 2001.

There are literally dozens of things you can see and do at Ioánnina and the region around it. One of the top attractions in the region is of course the islet, called Nisaki (Greek: Νησάκι=islet), which is found at the north-eastern shore of the lake, near the village of Amphithea. The island is tiny —only 500 metres maximum width and 800 metres maximum length— but approximately 350 people live there all year long. In around 15 minutes, a small motorboat will take you from Ioánnina to the Islet, where you can find several attractions to visit. One of these attractions is the Island Museum, where you can admire paintings and find information about the region and its history. The Island Museum has its own history though. Before been converted to what it is nowadays, it was the Monastery of Saint Panteleimon and later the place where Ali Pasha spent the last years of his life, hiding and waiting for a pardon from the Sultan. The Islet also features several taverns, traditional bakeries and gift shops.

The Cave of Perama, situated in the north of Ioánnina, is a monument of natural beauty featuring a remarkable arrangement of stalagmites and stalactites. It extends five kilometres below the ground, but only one kilometre has been fully explored until today. The cave was discovered by locals in their attempt to find a safe place to protect themselves, when the region was bombarded during World War II.

The Museum Pavlos Vrellis  of wax figures associated with the Greek history is a must-see attraction. The wax figures are outstanding.

Ioánnina is very well-known for its traditional bakeries and baklava sweets. One of the best and most well-known feta cheeses is made in a factory near Ioánnina. People in Ioánnina have traditionally been silversmiths, making handmade silverware, such as jewellery, cutlery and ornaments. If you visit Ioánnina and particularly the Islet, you should not forget to visit these silver shops.

Places to visit

  • the Lake Pamvotida
  • the islet on Lake Pamvotida
  • the picturesque villages Zagorochoria (also see Papingo)

Monuments and Museums to visit

  • the Castle of Ioannina, the Museum Athanasios Vrellis with wax figures at the entrance of the Castle of Ioannina
  • the region of Ancient Dodoni
  • the Municipal Ethnographic Museum housed in the Aslan Pasha Ottoman Mosque
  • the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina
  • the Folklore Museum Kostas Frontzos
  • the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina
  • the Museum of National Defence
  • the Museum Pavlos Vrellis of wax figures inspired by the Greek history
  • the Cave of Perama
  • the Island Museum housed in the old Monastery of Aghios Panteleimon on the islet of Lake Pamvotida

Food and Drinks to taste

  • the famous baklava sweets of Ioannina
  • the traditional bakery products
  • feta cheese
  • traditional home-made pies
  • fried frog legs

Map of Ioannina with accommodations

The blue markers shows the location of various accommodations in Ioannina. The letter in the marker describes the accommodation types: H for Hotel, A for Apartment, R for Resort, B for Bed & Breakfast and O for Other (e.g. pension, villa). Click on the blue marker for more information on the accommodation.

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