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Set on the western shore of the lovely Lake Pamvotis, Ioannina is one of northern Greece's most atmospheric cities, and one of its more cultured and wealthy, as it was famous throughout the Ottoman Empire for its silver artisans. The walls of its old fortified city, the Kastro, enclose a tranquil quarter, spiked with minarets, and an island in the lake is a quiet, car-free escape. At sunset the lake turns silver and the impressive mountains behind turn lilac. Ioannina is a beautiful place in every season, and worth at least a couple of days in a larger tour of Epiros; many Athenians visit as a romantic long weekend away. If you come by car, or don't mind hiring a taxi, you can also visit the impressive ancient site of Dodoni, a short drive southwest of town.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ioannina.


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