METSOVO | MAINLAND GREECE | EPIRUS
You’ll find a revival of tradition, beautifully restored buildings, a ski centre and superlative scenery.
In Metsovo you’ll find a revival of tradition, beautifully restored buildings, a ski centre and superlative scenery. It was no accident that this was the first village in the interior of Greece to develop in the post-war era, while most of the others wasted away or were abandoned. Metsovo is interesting enough to merit a few days’ stay, but it is also a good stop-over on the way to other worthwhile excursions in the region.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN METSOVO
Perched in the Pindos mountains at an altitude of 1,160 m, surrounded by forests of beech, fir and pine, Metsovo with its 6,000 inhabitants, is the birthplace of the Tossitsa family, noted for their philanthropic works locally and nationally. Occupying the only viable route between Epirus and Thessaly, it was most probably founded by the Romans to control the pass. In 1659, the Sultan Ahmet IV awarded the town exceptional privileges, which enabled it to become the centre of trade and culture in the area, with schools, churches and other institutions. In 1854 the Turks burnt it, while in 1912, guerrillas operating with the Greek Army liberated it from the Ottomans for good. The town contains some fine examples of Macedonian mountain architecture — ground floor of thick stone walls, upper floor with wooden-frame, glassed-in projecting balconies. The newer buildings are in the same style as the traditional prototypes.
THE TOSSITSA MANSION
Tel. 00302656041084, 00302656041205
Summer 9 am-1:30 pm and 4-6 pm, winter 9 am-1:30 pm and 3-5 pm, closed on Thursdays
A magnificent 18th c. building. The folklore museum housed within contains weapons, weavings, looms, agricultural and household tools and utensils and local costumes, among other exhibits.
The town’s main church with its beautiful carved icon screen and the only example in Greece of a wall mosaic from Ravenna.
EVANGELOS AVEROFF ART GALLERY
Tel. 00302656041684, 00302656041210
Summer 10 am-7 pm, winter 10 am-4:30 pm, closed on Tuesdays
Paintings by well-known Greek artists of the 19th and 20th c.
AGIOS NIKOLAOS MONASTERY
Outside town. See the frescoes painted in 1700 by a certain Efstathios.
THE ANILIO SKI CENTRE
Tel.: 0030 6980760850 | http://www.anilio-ski.gr
Located in the Pindos, north-west of Metsovo, at Karakoli at 2 km and at Politses-Prophitis Ilias at 5 km.
METSOVO CHEESE DAIRY
Worth a visit to see how cheese is made.
WALKS – HIKES IN AND AROUND METSOVO
In the village lanes and the environs.
METSOVO TIPS & INFORMATION
HOW TO GET TO METSOVO
There’s no question that you’ll enjoy this excursion more if you have your own car or motorcycle.
But if you don’t want to drive all the way, you can always fly to Ioannina and rent a car when you get there.
By air from Athens, El. Venizelos airport, with Aegean Airlines.
From Thessaloniki, Makedonia airport, with Aegean Airlines.
By intercity bus (KTEL), 100 Kifissou Ave., Athens, tel. 0030 210 5129365.
By intercity bus (KTEL) from Thessaloniki, tel. 0030 2310 595442.
HOW TO GET AROUND
In town, on foot because of the parking problem.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT METSOVO
All year round.
WHAT TO BUY IN METSOVO
Traditional embroideries and weavings, wood carvings and wooden utensils.
LOCAL FOOD & PRODUCTS OF METSOVO
The Tositsa Foundation produces delicious cheeses. Other good things include the meat and kokoretsi (skewered innards), home-baked bread, savoury pies with home-made phyllo pastry, mountain honey and the excellent local wine.
METSOVO USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Metsovo Town Hall 00302656041207
Metsovo Police 00302656041233
Metsovo Health Centre 00302656041071
Metsovo Taxis 003026560 41393