A town of 20,000
inhabitants, 200 kilometres from Thessaloniki
Kastoria, the capital of the
prefecture of Thessalia, is a place for nature
lovers and explorers of its wonderful wildlife.
Built in the valley of Thessaly, it is excellently
protected and decorated by the surrounding
mountains. Its main produce is cotton, with a large
amount of production and export.
Kastoria has been inhabited since
prehistoric times, its oldest town being Arni, and
it prospered greatly in c 4th BC. It was liberated
from the Turks in 1881 and in 1941 was the first
Greek town to be liberated from the Germans.
Today it prospers as a commercial and cultural
centre. A point of reference is Pavsilipo, the
beautiful huge park in the town centre.
It is a modern city with all the
comforts, full of life. The appealing architecture
of the Ancient remains of the Public Market of
Kastorias, which claimed national distinction from
Brussels in 1992, enchant the visitor.
The Metropolitan church of St. Constantine and the
Church of Zoodochou Pygis with its wonderful carved
wooden temple deserve at least one visit, whilst the
tradition and history of the area is lodged in the
excellent Folklore Museum, with the portrayal of the
"Karagounikon" family. Two festivals, the Pan
Hellenic Theatre Festival and the Popular Music
festival define the cultural life of Kastoria.
The excursions from Kastoria to the little
traditional villages are superb. Pezoula is
especially pretty. You can enjoy a wonderful journey
through the sycamores, fir trees and chestnut trees
in order to see the view of the famous Lake Plastyra,
built on the banks of the Great River. Even a visit
to the man-made lake of Tavropos is enchanting due
to its crystal torrents and lush vegetation.
The waters of Pezoula will satisfy kayak lovers to
the utmost, while those who love mountain-biking,
horse riding, archery and all mountain sports will
enjoy the surrounding areas.
Before you leave you should buy some of the tasty
local cheeses, tsipouro and sausages, as well as the
best honey and local wine.
The unquestionable beauty of
Kastoria, the exquisite capital of the plain of
Thessalia, the hospitality of its inhabitants and
way of life, will remain alive in the mind forever.