Kastoria Exploration: A Journey through History and Nature"

Northern Greek city of Kastoria presents new all-seasons tourism promotion logo

This charming town, whose beauty will most certainly seduce you, is built amphitheatrically on a narrow peninsula, mirrored in Orestiada Lake and nestled in between the mountains of Grammos and Vitsi. The best way to explore the city is by taking a little tour around the lake, starting from the southernmost side up to the northernmost.


Take a stroll on the narrow pathway along the lake’s coast; you will be overwhelmed by its idyllic beauty and tranquillity. The promenade is shaded by beech and plane trees, and the neighbouring forests exude a mystical atmosphere and make an excellent shelter for all kinds of bird species.

The Lake Orestiada Lake hosts around 200 different species, some of which are rare and endangered. Local fishermen find themselves in competition with waterfowl for the lake's fish. While strolling around, be sure to make a stop at Dragon's Cave, where you can explore seven underground lakes and rooms adorned with astonishing stalactites. For a breathtaking city view, follow the lush and green path leading to Profitis Ilias Church and continue to the Agios Athanasios viewpoint.

Tour the Neighborhoods Not far from the lake, you'll come across the charming old neighbourhood of Doltso, where buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries harken back to a time when the city's economy thrived due to fur treatment and trade. Many of these historic buildings have been transformed into museums, such as the Neratzi Aivazi mansion, which houses the Folk Art Museum, and the Emmanouil mansion, home to the Costume Museum. Another neighbourhood with an aristocratic allure is Apozari, the second oldest in Kastoria. Here, you'll fall in love with the Byzantine churches and the splendid mansions exemplifying Macedonian architecture.

Discover Byzantine Treasures Kastoria boasts over 60 Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, dating from the 9th to the 19th century. Almost all of them are of the Basilica type, except for Panagia Koumpelidiki, which earned its name from its distinctive dome (coupe). The Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa (1802), situated by the lake, showcases impressive murals depicting Byzantine Emperors. Don't miss the city's oldest monuments, including the Taxiarchon and Agion Anargyron churches in Doltso and Agiou Stefanou, Agiou Panteleimona, and Esodion Theotokou in Apozari. Make a stop at the Byzantine Art Museum (in Dexameni Square), which houses well-preserved Byzantine sculptures, murals, paintings, and icons from local temples.

Don't Miss Out On:

  • Enjoy the serene beauty of the lake and the panoramic view of the city by taking a tourist boat ride around the peninsula.
  • We are visiting the largest freshwater aquarium in the Balkans, providing shelter to common lake and river fish species, including those at risk of extinction.
  • Admire the renowned fur art at Kastoria's Fur Center (EDIKA) in the furriery workshops and showrooms.

Exploring Nearby Attractions

  • Just 7 km southeast, visit Dispilio, where you'll find an artificial island in Lake Orestiada that hosts a Middle Neolithic lake settlement with wooden structures dating back to 5600 to 5000 BCE. Nearby, an impressive park recreates the lifestyle of the Neolithic inhabitants.
  • During the summer, don't miss the traditional village of Nestorio (28 km southwest), where the famous "River Party" takes place on the banks of the Aliakmonas River.
  • Pass by the Village Nostimo (17 km southwest) and witness the 20 million-year-old petrified forest.
  • If you happen to visit during winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the Vitsi ski centre near the picturesque village of Polykeraso (22 km northeast).
  • Lastly, head south to the abandoned Villages of Koresteia and immerse yourself in the unique scenery of the mud brick houses, often called 'Houses of Mud.'

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