Did you hear about Ioannina? You do not know this city in the north of Greece. Ioannina is not often seen by most visitors but someone told me this was going to change. Looking for something different from the crowds and tourist groups when traveling to Greece, Ioannina makes it a great site or starting point to explore the beautiful land of Epirus. (Continue for our full guide to Epirus)
Things to do in Ioannina
Before you leave for a trip in the mountains and on the shores of the Ionian Sea, check out all that has to do in Ioannina and spend a day or two exploring this beautiful city on the beaches. of Lake Pamvotida.
1. Visit the Island of the Lakes
Located on Lake Pamvotida, the Unnamed Island is one of the top tourist attractions in Ioannina and was the first place we visited in town. Take a 10 -minute boat ride to The Island to see the monasteries of this island. The monastery of Ioannina is one of the three most important monasteries with the monasteries of Meteora and Mount Athos.
It is easy to walk around the island following the cobbled streets and the path to see the seven Byzantine monasteries and enjoy the views of the city from the other side of the water. Please visit the museum to learn a little about its history and you can have lunch at one of the seafood restaurants on the marina before returning to the city center.
2. Monastery of Philanthropist
The most beautiful monastery of the seven monasteries on Lake Island is the Monastery of Philanthropist which dates back to 1204. Inside the chapel, there are beautiful paintings and mosaics. Images are not allowed inside, but you can go inside to see them and then continue to see outside of the other monasteries on the island.
3. Ali Pasha Museum
One of the highest things to do in Ioannina is on the Island without a name. The Ali Pasha Museum is home to relics from the Greek rebellion in the 19th century and a collection of artifacts from the reign of Ottoman leader Ali Pasha from 1788 to 1822. Another exhibition shows next to a fun story where women are thrown into a lake. died after they were thought to be spies. Black and white film is something else to see but interesting to learn.
4. Cave of Peram
One of the most amazing things to do in Ioannina is to visit the great cave of Peram. It was one of the most amazing caves we visited with huge caves full of beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Follow your guide as you search for courses. At the end of the tour, you come to one of Ioannina’s most beautiful views overlooking Lake Pamvotida and the city. Admission is only 7 Euros.
5. Castle of Ioannina
Ioannina University is different in the fact that it is always inhabited. Its walls run through the city’s historic district and are easy to find. From 528 AD, it is the oldest Byzantine fort in Greece. There are some interesting attractions within the castle walls including the Fethiye Mosque, The Byzantine Museum, The Kale Acropolis, and the Ancient Synagogue of Ioannina.
There is an interesting Jewish history in Ioannina with the Jewish community of Ioannina being the center of the Romaniote Jewish nation from the 9th century.
Kona Kale (Inner Castle)
His Kale is one of the best places for a sunset in Ioannina. Its Kale is a kind of indoor castle and is located on the top of a hill overlooking the lake. When you enter the main gate, you will be locked in its archeological site a tower, a store used to store weapons by Ali Pasha’s army, and a Byzantine fort. After taking the ideas and places back, head to the cafe for a Greek coffee and some delicious treats.
7. Where to eat in Ioannina
When it comes to things to do at Ioannina, food is one of the main features and food can last for hours. Here are some of the restaurants we ate at in Ioannina that stood out and we really appreciated.
This is one of the most outdoor restaurants we ate at in Ioannina with a gastronomical extravaganza of fresh Greek and Mediterranean cuisine combined with wine. The owner and staff pride themselves on preparing the best food experience in Ioannina.
Located at the Frontzuou Politia Hotel, this historic site is a beautiful, reserved dinner spot with beautiful views of the city. Just one km from the city, this challenge is as if you are back in time. Please sit outside the atrium with the best view of Ioannina from above.
No Ties is an excellent Italian restaurant in the old town with a relaxing atmosphere in a lively area of the old center. We sat outside on the street and enjoyed a family meal.
Seirios has a beautiful courtyard outside the lake. It has been running since 1997 and prides itself on combining traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist. It was fun and relaxing.
Residence at Ioannina
Hotel du Lac
Hotel du Lac is one of the best places to stay in Ioannina a short walk (20 minutes) to Old Town. His big breakfast was important to us with food on the side of the calm lake. Check prices and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Located close to the airport, this is a great place to spend your first or last day in Ioannina. The Lake Hotel is a popular conference center with a beautiful lake overlooking Lake Pamvotida. We sat on our backyard watching the paddlers walk on the calm waters as the sun came up over the lake and we thought we could stay forever.
Ioannina is a wonderful Greek city filled with Byzantine history, beautiful monasteries and cultural buildings, and nightlife. This city is a college town with a large number of students making it one of the busiest cities in the country. At sunset, we didn’t see a bar or restaurant with a full patio full of students drinking apperetivo and tapas while enjoying the hot summer sun. summer
If you are looking for an alternative to the Greek islands, please add Ioannina to your list.