About 80% of the territory of Greece is mountainous, therefore, in addition to wonderful beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters, it can offer tourists fresh mountain air, with breathtaking views. This is exactly what we found, heading in the summer to one of the most popular winter resorts – Metsovo!
Where is located and how to get there
Metsovo is located on the southern slopes of Mount Pindus in Northern Greece, Epirus region, and is literally next to the highway (A2), right in its highest part. Only 50 km away is Ioannina, Thessaloniki is about 217 km away and Kalambaka is 60 km away. We used it as a stopover point between our return from Lefkada and our visit to Meteora.
The road from the highway to town is nice but steep! And the streets around Metsovo are very narrow and the passage become quite difficult… Parking spaces are also scarce, so we decided to look for a hotel with parking. The variety is huge and so are the price variations. We settled on a relatively cheap option near the central part and with underground parking – Hotel Adonis. A bit dated domestic setting, but for one night it’s fine. Breakfast is served in the courtyard with a pleasant view.
See more places to stay in Metsovo
More about Metsovo
The town impresses with its well-preserved authentic appearance and narrow cobbled streets. Most of the houses typical of the area are from the time of the Turkish rule, when Metsovo flourished due to its strategic commercial location and low taxes that the locals paid. Two of them, which once belonged to rich local families, are now open for visitors. The Tositsa house has been turned into an ethnographic museum with a rich collection of typical objects of this region, and the Averof Gallery exhibits works of modern Greek art (19th-20th centuries), as well as preserved photographs from the past.
Due to its surroundings, Metsovo is a starting point for numerous hiking trails in summer and to the ski slopes in winter. Our short stay didn’t allow us to explore the area in detail, but we managed to escape the hustle and bustle of the coast and enjoy the natural scenery! Elevated above the center, the park is an ideal place to relax and offers a wonderful view of the valley, the forested peaks and the hillside houses…
The labyrinth of steep streets is dotted with charming taverns and numerous shops offering traditional for Metsovo products. The local cheeses Metsovone and Metsovella are world famous and are an ideal choice for a gift. Wines are another distinctive product of the area. Other souvenirs are closely related to the cultural heritage over the years, such as the beautifully processed wooden objects, embroideries, silverware and others.
Dinner with a view – To Arxontiko
For dinner, we chose a place a little further from the center – To Arxontiko, which has another stunning view! The menu has mostly traditional dishes, but we decided on Tsopeleki – a casserole with pork, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, which are covered with aromatic local cheese! Animal husbandry in the Epirus region is among the main industries, which adds game meat as a main ingredient of the local cuisine. You could say it’s a meat lover’s paradise here! Everything was very tasty and the table by the window added to the pleasant experience…
Land of nomads
The current population of Metsovo numbers a little over 3,000 people, the main community of which are the Vlachs. Although we associate them with the region of Wallachia in Romania, they are considered descendants of Roman legionnaires. The locals speak their own dialect, which intertwines the Wallachian language, which is closely related to Latin, and modern Greek. In the past, this ethnic group was known as shepherds, wandering around different territories to provide their flocks with the best possible pastures. Today, this nomadic way of life seems unthinkable and distant, but there are still small groups in the area who continue to adhere to it. The other main community is the Karakachans, who are also famous as nomads, making a living by raising sheep…
There is nothing more invigorating than a morning walk around Metsovo, in which you soak up the silence and its calm rhythm and inhale with full force the fresh air! A pleasant aroma was wafting from the bakeries, and the locals were slowly starting their day…