There are not a few options you have to escape from Ioannina. One of the most popular destinations is Zagori. Dozens of traditional, stone villages that maintain their cultural identity. They are divided by rivers, stone bridges, geological shapes, the Vikos Gorge. Hiking in the innumerable paths of Zagoria, climbing on Smolikas and Drakolimni but also activities such as parapente, and excursions for wild mushrooms. Of course rafting on rivers not only in Zagoria but also north of Konitsa and Tzoumerka.
A four season destination
Ioannina is that place. The city owes its uniqueness to its natural beauty, with the triple combination of lake, mountains and sea.
During the winter months, you can indulge with a hot coffee in the Castle or a Greek meze in a tavern by the lake, overlooking the mountains. You can take a tour of the snowy mountain of Mitsikeli, or one of the countless villages on Tzoumerka Mountains. You can try some extreme sports like snowmobiling or you can go skiing in one of the three ski resorts in the area of Metsovo and Vasilitsa.
In spring everything blooms. The trademark beauty of the natural environment of Ioannina reaches its peak. The flowers and blossoming trees make the city look like a real life painting. The melted snow fills the rivers making walks through the paths of the Vikos-Aoos National Park priceless. Combine those walks with passes over the traditional stone bridges and you will make an unforgettable memory. Nature celebrates with a feast of colors, smells and sounds. It is the best time of year to hike the Vikos Canyon!
Summer is Magic
After the vibrant smells and colors of spring, comes summer. In Ioannina the summer takes on two different forms. You can choose the traditional Greek summer down the Ionian coasts at Sivota and Parga, or, if you are the adventurous type, you can find a secluded beach and camp out, where you can have the sun, sand, and the sea all to yourself! The second type of summer is a cool one in the city of Ioannina and the surrounding mountains. You can walk around and tour the sights, go for a boat ride in the lake, visit the island, or if you feel bold go for a swim in the rivers of Aoos, Voidomatis, Arahthos and Kalamas. Not for the faint of heart, you should know that the water temperature is around 4 degrees Celsius all year around! And of course dozens of local traditional "panigiria", feasts during the summer months offer a once in a life time opportunity to have fun and dance the night away under the stars, especially if you are lucky enough to be there on August's Full Moon.
If there is a season that fits Ioannina the best, it's fall because that is when the city's mystery reaches its full glory. The rain and fog around the lake is combined with a rug of fallen leaves and make the city resemble something out of another era. The dominant colors are orange and purple and if you think the city is colorful, you should see the mountains! Spend an autumn night in a motel in the Big or Small Papigo and you will never forget it!
No matter which season you find yourself in Ioannina, the only thing that's certain is that it will capture your heart and enchant you...
Greece without the sea and the sun is not Greece. Ioannina combines sea and sun with other experiences that are not found in the rest of the country, that's why Ioannina is a unique destination.
Just one hour away from Ioannina, through the brand new Egnatia Odos Highway, there is one of the best coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, a coast that offers numerous leisure and relaxation options, the Ionian Coast.
In the carnival period there are many happenings and events in Ioannina. One of the must see is the Tzamala. This is a big fire in the center of every neighbourhood of Ioannina. Every neighbourhood is trying to make bigger fire than the others while everyone is dancing around it!
The vast mountains surrounding Ioannina are filled with surprises. One of the most beautiful is "the villages behind the mountains”. There you can find 46 villages of incomparable beauty, drowned in vegetation. Stone is everywhere too, either as a part of the scenery or by human creation. You can barely tell one from the other!