Small but charming, Ioannina's history is closely linked to Ali Pasha, the ruthless and divisive provincial leader who made Ioannina into a center of Greek culture in the late 18th century, at great cost. Ioannina's castle, a lakeside Byzantine fortress with earlier elements, was made into a palace by Ali Pasha, with generous green spaces and historical monuments, mosques, and museums covering the town's cosmopolitan past. Ioannina's modern museums cover topics from its Christian, Islamic, and Jewish past, to Byzantine history and art, and the town's famed silversmiths. Lake Pamvotis is home to tiny Ioannina Island, which somehow manages to fit seven monasteries, forming Greece's third largest monastic community. Here, you'll also find the Museum of Ali Pasha, in the monastery where he was assassinated at the end of a failed rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.
Things to do in Ioannina
We recommend a city walking tour in order to soak up Ioannina's rich history. You'll traverse grandiose castle grounds as you hear tales of the infamous Ali Pasha. Ioannina is the capital of Epirus, which features some of Greece's most impressive scenery, including swiftly flowing rivers, soaking peaks, and breathtaking canyons. Epirus has also done a remarkable job of holding onto its unique history, folklore, and architecture, which you can explore with a visit to one of its many traditional villages. We especially recommend visiting Zagorochoria, a region of 46 villages connected by impressive arched stone bridges, and mule tracks. This area is a hiker's dream, with dramatic scenery, clear air, and one of the world's deepest canyons relative to its width, Vikos Gorge. Located on the way to the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora, the village of Metsovo is located in the "Greek Switzerland." Famed for its dairy, the town is home to several impressive museums and galleries, as well as a fantastic winery.
Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Ioannina
Spend some time in Ioannina on a tour that takes in other cities in Greece and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Ioannina and other destinations make traveling in Central & Eastern Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.