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Kastoria

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.


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