If you're in the mood for quiet, clean mountain air, forests of unique flora, mountain climbing, skiing, river fishing, then surely this is the place for you. For Grevena's extraordinary natural beauty not only astounds but captivates the visitor, though one should not expect luxurious accommodation or nightlife.

The capital of the prefecture is Grevena, built 543 metres above sea level on the banks of the Grevenitis river, a tributary of the Aliakmon.

The town has restaurants, tavernas, rotisseries, a cinema and an open-air theatre. Every summer the theatre hosts concerts, plays performed by the State Theatre of Northern Greece, and performances by Greek and foreign folklore ensembles.

One can visit the villages in the district by bus, or if you have your own car, proceed with caution.

One of these villages in Ziakas, 23 kilometres from Grevena, set at an altitude of 900 metres.

There are two caves worth visiting, one at Mt. Orliakas and the other near the village named Spileo (cave), which stands on a cliff. At Paliouria (47 km.), don't miss the Byzantine monastery of the Virgin Evangelistria and the monastery of Hossios Nikanor founded in 1534 not far from the Aliakmon river. The frescoes decorating its main church resemble those in the Varlaam monastery at Meteora and are most probably the work of the same painter, the famous Frangos Katelanos.

One place of exceptional beauty and a good place to spend a summer holiday, is the village of Perivoli (45 km. from Grevena).

Samarina, another charming village, is build on the slopes of Mt. Smolikas, 1450 metres above sea level. Here the lush greenery and spectacular scenery can not fail to please.

Other villages that deserve a stop - all of them overlooking forests of frs, pines and willows - are Kipourio, Krania, Deskati, Avdela, Polinei, Smixi and Alatopetra, to mention only a few.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Mountain climbing and skiing on Pindos

At Vassilitsa (7 km. from Smixi, alt. 1800 m.),.there are two refuges sleeping 40 and 10 persons, respectively. They are equipped with spring water, a fireplace heaters, and electricity generator.

The ski slopes are located at 2249 m.; there are lifts from the refuges. Tel.: (0462) 22.726 and 28.602. Fishing: in the Grevenitis, Aliakmon and Venetikos rivers.

Shopping: Hand-woven fabrics, cheese, butter.

w to get there:

By bus: Athens-Grevena, EL bus terminal, Athens, tel.: 210-512.6833.

Thessaloniki-Grevena, KTEL bus terminal, Thessaloniki, tel.: (2310) 517.065.

KTEL Grevena, tel.: (24620) 22.242.

 

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