The greek version of Halloween is Apokries but it’s really funny the way they celebrate Apokries in Ioannina. There are big fires in many squares of the city and the people (dressed in funny costumes) holding bottles of wine go from fire to fire and dance around! They start late in the afternoon and they go like this till the morning!...
Apokries is some kind of carnival that is celebrated every year 3 weeks before the orthodox easter. The word “apokries” means “abstinence from the meat” from that day until the Easter but the majority don’t follow that anymore. I think the latin word carnival means the same (carne – vale(passed)).
In Greece we don’t give the name to the baby on birth. We baptize it later and the ceremony is very important. I have been to many ceremonies before but it was the first time I noticed how serious the role of the godmother or the godfather is...
Any way, the baby is not a baby anymore...His name is Christos.
Now you are outside the Castle,next stop is the Lake, a walk by it would be refreshing. All this beauty will surely charm you. From this point you could go to the little Islet by taking the boat rides. There you will find many restaurants, with nice meals from which you should try the eel and the froglegs.
You can visit the "Litharitsia" park, a park with a beautiful view of the lake and the Islet.
Epirus occupies the north west corner of Greece and it is the most mountainous region. The skyline of the Pindus range forms the natural eastern boundary of the area, separating it but also linking it with other sections of the country.
Some of the largest and most beautiful forests in Greece are to be found in Epirus.The Black Pine (Pinus Negra) is predominant as well as dessiduous trees such as beech and oak, while the higher peaks are clad in the famous Rombola tree, a form of pine peculiar to the Balkan peninsula.
HOTELS IN EPIRUS - Vizantino, Arta Palladion, Ioannina Hotel Du Lac, Ioannina Epirus Palace, Ioannina Olympic, Metsovo Asteri, Metsovo Egnatia, Metsovo Victoria, Metsovo Faraggi, Konitsa Kougias, Konitsa Gefyri, Konitsa Dioni,
The variety of wild flowers which grow runs into thousands. Some are quite impressive in appearance, such as the Lillium Candidum or Wild Virgin Lilly, the Albanian Lilly the 'Poet's Narcissus', Ramonda Serbica and many others.
Well preserved traditional settlements in Epirus, in their unique local style, serve as live museums of the recent phases in the area's history, covering the years of the Ottoman rule and more recent times.
When the turks overan Epirus during the 15th century, certain mountainous districts managed to ensure for themselves a degree of self rule. This enabled both their economy and culture to flourish.
The outstanding feature of these traditional settlements is the local gray stone out of which they are built.
During the Ottoman years the arts and crafts flourished in all forms. Many of the villages such as Metsovo and the town of Ioannina grew into noteworthy artistic centres with brisk activity in the establishments of goldsmiths and silversmiths, in gold embroidery, woven fabricks, woodcarving, etc.
The town of Ioannina, the capital of the area, is the largest town in Epirus, built at an altitude of 500 metres above the sea level and at a distance of 436 km from Athens.
Metsovo is perched high up at an altitude of 1116 metres, while it 56 km from Ioannina and 89 km from Trikala. It is an attractive mountain village with several interesting things to show.
Konitsa town stands at 602 metres altitude and 63 km from Ioannina. It is built amphiteatrically along the slopes of Trapezitsa mountain and has excellent climate.
On the north part of Ioannina we meet the areas of East Zagori, Central Zagori and the most important West Zagori, where Mikro and Megalo Papingo are located only 61 km from Ioannina.
Typical traditional settlements are found here set among surroundings of beauty, at the mouth of Vikos gorge, which was formed by the river Aoos, and along the banks of Voidomatis river.
Only 21 km south west of Ioannina lies Dodoni one of the most important archaeological sites in Epirus. The ancient oracle is still there, founded originally by the Pelasgians as well as ruins of an early Christian basilica built over the foundations of the ancient temple of the Dodonian Zeus, a citadel and an ancient open air theatre, one of the largest in Greece.
The archaeological site of Dodoni lies 22 kilometers southeast of Ioannina. One of the most important and the OLDEST in Greece, it was settled by the first Greek tribes around 2500 B.C as indicated by finds dating to the Bronze Age (Early Helladic period). With the rise of the Molossian KING PYRROS, the temple to Zeus was built and a gigantic theatre, larger than the one at Epidaurus, was erected. (17.000 seats).
Today, the ancient theatre at Dodoni is used once again for DRAMA performances in summer, and the site is open to the public every day.