Places of Cultural Interest

Places of Cultural Interest



Vassiliko is located at an altitude of 800m and is the birthplace of Patriarch Athenagoras. The village is built amphitheatrically beneath a bare hillock, where traces of an acropolis were found. It has stone built houses and several buildings with important elements of folk architecture. The monastery of St. Constantine and Helen (1779) stands out, built in a dense forest with oaks. The monastery is a single-naved basilica with a dome and has a woodcut gilded iconostasis. Remarkable is also the church of Christ in the Temple (Ypapanti tou Sotiros) (1779), where since the years of the Turkish occupation, a traditional celebration takes place, with a common table, in the village school. The oldest church in the village is the one of Agios Athanasios, dated around 1300 and located in the north. Visit the home of the Patriarch Athenagoras, which has been transformed into a museum, with personal belongings of the Patriarch and walk in the nearby forest of chestnut trees. From Vassiliko, pathways lead to Roupsia in 1 hour and 30', to Pogoniskos in 3 hours and to Bourazani 2 hours and 30' approximately. In Vasiliko there is a community hostel.

Kefalovrisso constituted the seat of the administrative division of the Kapodistrias law, seat of the municipality of Ano Pogoni and headquarters many administrative and office services. It is situated at an altitude of 650m and built on the southern slopes of Mount Nemertsika. Kefalovrisso is the economic center of the region, as it features machining factory, known as "Metallurgical Industry" and many livestock farms. From Kefalovriso, the hiking trails lead to Mount Nemertsika, passing by Bitsikopoulo (old deserted village, summer resort of Ali Pasha) and ending at the top in about four hours.

Kato Merope is located at an altitude of 750 m and is 64 km away from Ioannina. In the area of Kato Merope there is an archaeological site in the Glavas position, where cist graves are saved. Notable examples of rural constructions can be seen in the village, such as threshing floors, stone huts and dilapidated mansions. Visit the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos or Monastery or Frastana (1614). The monastery is located south on a hill with spectacular views, surrounded by a forest of perennial oaks and is 2 km away from the village. In the monastery, on August 29th, the annual festival is held. The katholikon of the monastery, a cross-in-square church with a dome, consists of the vestibule, the nave and sanctuary, all decorated with beautiful frescoes.

Worth seeing are also the church of Agios Athanasios (1586), the rebuilt church of the Assumption (1413) and many country chapels, such as of Agia Varvara, of Agios Nikolaos, of Metamorphosis, of Profitis Elias and of Taxiarches. The old building of the primary school houses the folkloric collection, which includes a total of 80 exhibits, tools, objects of agricultural as well as local garments. In the village there is a guesthouse of the brotherhood, where you can stay overnight. From Kato Merope, paths lead to Bitsikopoulo after a 2-hour course and to Vissani, through the old path, in about 4 hours.

Palaiopyrgos, at an altitude of 800 m. Visit the archaeological sites at positions Plasi and Paliouria, where two settlements of the early Iron Age were discovered, the Church of the Assumption (1862), as well as the bridge of Gretsi and the watermills located within 40' of hiking from the settlement.

Dolo (alt. 800 m.), built on the foot of Koutsokrano, above the ravine of Kouvaras. The village also has interesting examples of folk architecture and is a traditional preserved settlement. Visit Agios Nikolaos (1814) in the village square, the country chapels of Agios Ioannis, Agios Nikolaos and Profitis Elias as well as the mill and bridge of Nonoulos and the bridge of Kouvaras. From Dolo, the paths lead to Pogoniani in 1 hour and 30', through the Kouvaras ravine and to Agios Christoforos in 1 hour and 50', where after the mass, on May 9, the day of Agios Christoforos, the villagers accompanied by instruments go to the village church and a feast follows. In the village there is the proper infrastructure for night stay and eating.

Drymades (alt. 1040 m.), spread out on the western edges of Nemertsika, 7km away from Pogoniani and 77 km from Ioannina. Within a short distance from the village is the border customs station of Drymades. Visit Agios Nikolaos (1773) in the village square, where on July 20, a traditional festival takes place, which continues the following day. Of interest are the watermill at the lower part of the village and the country chapels of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Athanasios, Panagia and Profitis Elias. From the village, paths lead to Bitsikopoulo and Nemertsika peak, in about 4 hours and to Stavroskiadi and Pogoniani in about 3 hours. The route Drymades - Pogoniani, lush in oak vegetation, is ideal for cycling, due to the gentle slopes it features.

Stavroskiadi (alt. 920m). The village is built amphitheatrically on a low hill opposite the massif of Nemertsika, with an open view to the Gormos valley and the mountains of Tymfi. Visit the church of the Theotokos (1814), the system of the threshing floors, the building of the old elementary school and the country chapels of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Demetrios, Panagia and Agia Paraskevi, where the annual festival of the village takes place.

Pogoniani is located at an altitude of 740 m and is 67 km away from Ioannina. It is the seat of the extended community of Pogoniani and is an important residential center. It hosts the child care center, the elementary school, the high school, the student corner and the technical colleges "John Latsis". Of special interest are the old market, located in the center of the village, the church of Agios Nikolaos (1875), a three-aisled basilica with 15 small domes, which are supported on the external walls and on twelve columns, as well as the Seraglio of the Bey, the temple of Agia Paraskevi, the Panagia Karterousa, the Theotokos, the Ai-Lias and Agios Athanasios. Visit the Folklore Museum of Pogoniani, housed in the old military outpost. Its collections include exhibits representative of everyday life, agricultural tools, embroidery, costumes and wood carvings of the 19th century. From Pogoniani, paths lead to Dolo in 1 hour and 30', through the Theotokos and to Pontikates in 2 hours and 30' approximately.

Delvinaki (alt. 700 m.), which is a historical and cultural center of Pogoni and the seat of the municipality of Delvinaki, that houses several public services. Old stone houses adorn Delvinaki, such as the boys 'school, the girls' school, the primary school, the clock and the wells. Of interest are the two monasteries located in the settlement. The monastery of Agios Athanasios, founded in the 13th century and since 1790 is the parish church of Delvinaki and the monastery of Profitis Elias, situated on the top of the hill with the same name and now only its katholikon is saved. Remarkable is the church of the Assumption (1620). Inside the church there are remarkable frescoes and portable icons dating from 1620 as well as gospels and holy vessels of the wider region. Also of significant interest are the churches of Agioi Theodoroi, of St. Ioannis and of the Archangels, dating from the 17th century. On the hill of Agios Ioannis there are ruins of an ancient acropolis. Visit the municipal gallery, which features 20 paintings by Georgios Dourdoufis and photos of benefactors and donors. In the first ten days of August, in the municipality of Delvinaki, a presentation of polyphonic groups from various countries with tradition in polyphonic singing takes place. From Delvinaki, impervious paths lead to Dolos, after a 3 hour course, to the neighboring gorge in 1 hour and to Paleopirgos in 4 hours. In Delvinaki there is the appropriate infrastructure to stay overnight and enjoy good food. After leaving Delvinaki follow the road that leads to the historic khan of Delvinaki. Pass from Lake Zaravina, a true oasis surrounded by reeds and home to numerous birds and head towards the settlement of Limni, located at an altitude of 580 m, and 41 km far from Ioannina. Near the bridge of Gormos, in the area of Agioi, are the old hermitages on the rocky slopes of the river. Within a dense forest of oaks and maples and within 2 km from Limni is the monastery of Alexandros is or Zaravinas. The monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and was established in the 13th century. The name "Alexandros" according to tradition is in the name of an older abbot of the monastery. In the old monastery, the katholikon, a well and the ruins of its cells on the south side, are preserved. In the katholikon, there are remarkable but not well preserved icons. 

Vissani (alt. 750 m.) is located 54 km from Ioannina. Vissani, during the years of the Ottoman rule, was the cultural capital of the region of Pogoni. Notable examples of folk architecture survive in the village, such as girls' school built in 1873, the boys' school, the work of architect Kazamias (1890), the library which was founded in 1899, the ten stone wells and Agios Nikolaos (1791). To the right of the road leading to Agios Kosmas, on a hill overgrown with oaks, lies the old and ruined monastery Giourchan, on the ruins of which the church of Panagia is built (1736). Two hundred meters above Panagia isi the Abbey Abel, dedicated to the Assumption (1770). Today the katholikon of the monastery is preserved, a basilica with a dome, with great frescoes. From 14 to 16 August, a traditional festival is held in the village square. From Vissani, paths lead to Delvinaki, after two hours of travel and, from the position "Agioi" a rough path leads to the ravine of Gormos. In Vissani there is the appropriate infrastructure for staying overnight and enjoying great food.

Oraiokastro (alt. 550 m.), built over the springs of Gormos. On the hill opposite the village, are the ruins of an ancient acropolis. Visit the bridge and the watermill of the village as well as the waterfall at the position "Desi". From Oraiokastro a trail leads to Vissani, after about 3 hours. The trail is ideal for biking.

Xirovalto (alt. 760 m.) and Orino (840 m.), two historic villages, linked to the plain of Xirovaltos, the old 'Derveni', the han and the passage to Albania from the Skipi outpost. A separate hiking trail begins from Orino, passes to Xirovaltos, to Pontikates and end at Pogoniani in about 5 hours. From Orino, a trail leads to Bourato (alt. 1488 m.), on the edge of the border with Albania, in approximately 1 hour and 30'.

Teriachi (alt. 650 m.), that also has interesting examples of folk architecture and has been declared a traditional settlement. At the top of a wooded hill (alt. 778 m.), east of the village and only 30' away from the road, on a wide path that passes through ash trees, maple trees and hornbeams, is the monastery of Profitis Elias Teriachiou (1798). From the old monastery today are preserved only the katholikon with interesting portable icons and ornate gilded gospel as well as the ruins of a cell, southeast of the church. The monastery celebrates on July 20 and the feast continues with traditional dishes in the courtyard of the church of the Archangels. An interesting hiking trail leads from Teriachi to Pontikates, through the forest of Bunas in two hours.

Stavrodromi (alt. 800 m.) in the central square of which lies one of the oldest monasteries in Epirus, the monastery of St. John the Baptist or Vomplou. The monastery was founded in 1280 and apparently was repaired in the later times, perhaps in1677. Today from the monastery survive only the katholikon a cross-roofed basilica with few icons and its old well. The monastery is surrounded by high walls and old oak trees, where each year on June 24 a traditional dinner is held followed by a feast in the central square. The route Mavropoulo - Teriachi - Stavrodromi - Stoicheiodentra is ideal for cycling.

Zavrocho (alt. 500 m.). In the village there is a folklore collection, housed in the former elementary school and includes 160 exhibits, such as tools, objects for farming use, local costumes as well as artifacts related to the Balkan Wars and the Greco-Italian War. Of interest are the church of Agios Georgios where a traditional festival takes place on the second day of Easter as well as the churches of Agia Marina, Sotiros and Agia Anastasia, where structural remains and finds from the Roman times have been identified. From Zavrocho, a path leads to Stavrodromi in approximately 1 hour. After Zavrocho towards Ktismata, you will find the waterfalls of Rogozi and the Theogefyro.

Ktismata (alt. 420 m.), expands on a unique location above the river Drin, near the customs office of Kakavia, which is the main gate way to Albania. At position "Magoula" there have been discovered ancient tombs of unknown chronology. Within this area, according to Hammond, was the ancient city of Antitaneia. At the north end of the village, behind the elementary school, there are traces of foundations. In the church of Agios Nikolaos there is a fortified acropolis, where on its northern side the foundations of a large Hellenistic edifice were discovered.

Kastani (alt. 480 m.), which lies 68 km away from Ioannina. The village is situated on a verdant ridge, full of oaks on the border area with Albania. Visit the main church of Agia Triada, where in mid-August the feeast with traditional dishes takes place as well as the churches of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Athanasios, Panagia and Panagopoula. Of special interest is the Museum of Natural History. The museum exhibits stuffed birds, reptiles and various mammals, such as foxes, wolves, badgers and otters.

Agia Marina (alt. 650 m.) and Kato Lavdani (alt. 470 m.). The two villages are built over the stream Kousovitiko. Between the two villages, at an altitude of 1100 m, at the foot of the eastern slope of Mourgana, is the Makralexi monastery. The monastery is dedicated to the Assumption and was built in 1585 in place of an older monastery of 1068. Today one can see the katholikon of the monastery, consisting of the exonarthex, the narthex, the nave and the sanctuary, it has an octagonal dome and is full of valuable but destroyed icons dating back to 1599. Two icons of the monastery, bearing the date of 1593, are located in the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina. On its northeast corner a part of cells is preserved. The monastery celebrates on August 15, in the courtyard of which a revelry accompanied with music is held. The monastery can be reached via a dirt road from Kato Lavdani as well as via trails from Agia Marina in 1 hour and from Kato Lavdani after a 1 hour and 30' course. A unique work of folk architecture is the double bridge in Kato Lavdani.

Lavdani (alt. 700 m.), which is the seat of the enlarged community of Lavdani and is 44 km away from Ioannina. Visit the stone building of the cultural center and the church of Agios Dimitrios, where on August 24th (nameday of Kosmas Aitolos) a feast takes place with traditional food, cooked by the villagers in large cauldrons. The "path of oil" passes through Lavdani, where traders from Filiates brought oil for sale to the villages, passing from Lavdani to Kasidiaris and ended up in Parakalamos, after 2 days.

Peristeri (alt. 570 m). In the southwestern edge of the village is the Mengoulis monastery dedicated to the Presentation of Virgin Mary. The monastery was built in 1588, as stated by the inscription on the wall on the north side of the church. From the monastery we have today its katholikon, an inscribed cross-in-square church with a dome supported on four columns and built in three stages. In the narthex of the church there is an integrated belfry, built in 1831. From Peristeri, a trail leads to the pits of Zefliaka and Mountzoura and from there to Ktismata, after a course of about two hours.

Kerasovo (alt 740 m), which is 55 km away from Ioannina. Of interest are the church of the Assumption, where the annual festival of the village takes place as well as the country chapel of Agios Athanasios. From Peristeri a trail leads to the peak Tourla (alt. 1129 m) and to Kryoneri, after a course of about 1 hour. The return to Ioannina is done from the Delvinaki han.

NATURA 2000 Regions

The region around of Oraiokastro, lake Zarabina, Meropi forest and Gormos valley has been included in the Network Natura 2000. The particular area (GR2130003), is found in the northern department of the prefecture of Ioannina. It includes a hilly extent, that is covered with oak forests (including Meropi, Oraiokastro and Delvinaki villages), small ravines, sources and streams, a part of mount Douskos (south-western side), the small lake Zarabina and river Gormos. Gormos springs from Douskos and flows in the region between Oraiokastro up to Parakalamos. Delvinaki region has a forest constituted by Quercus frainetto, Quercus cerris, Quercus pubescens and Quercus trojana, as well as from certain characteristic types of the combination Ostryo-Carpinion, Carpinus orientalis, Ostrya carpinifolia, Fraxinus ornus and Acer sp. Jupinerus communi sssp.alpine,  shapes thickets in the area of mount Douskos. Types of eco places: Eutrofic natural lakes with vegetation of typw Magnopotamion  or Hydrocharition. Steep mountainous rocks of central Greece, forests of beech of the plant family Luzulo-Fagetum, Greek forests of beech with Abies borisii-regis, forests with Quercus frainetto, forests –covered walks with Salix alba and Populus alba, Eastern buttonwood forests (Platanion orientalis) and wooded plant societies with Jupinerus foetidissima. 



Logo Polysong 1


sitemap polysong


NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand