Ioannina (Ιωάννινα) (population: 112,486 (2011)) is a beautiful small town in Northern Greece whose old town is surrounded by tall defensive walls.
Set atop a 100-metre cliff overlooking the Lake Pamvotida, the capital of Epirus is an old town with an intriguing history. The city gained prominence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as the seat of an almost independent state ruled by Ali Pasha of Tepeleni, who successfully rebelled against the central government of the Ottoman Empire, and kept fighting until the end, but was killed by Ottoman soldiers during the siege of his fortress in January 1822, and his head cut off to be sent to Sultan Mahmud II. His grave still stands into the ancient citadel (the Kastro) and has became a popular tourist attraction.
Ioannina was also a significant trade center, hosting a Greek-speaking Jewish community observing their own tradition and religious rituals. They were neither Ashkenazi, nor Sephardic, but rather indigenous Jews of Greece who have lived on Greek soil for over 2,300 years. At the beginning of the 20th century these Hellenized Jews, known as "Romaniotes" immigrated to the US, mostly to the Lower East Side of New York City, where their little synagogue in Broome St. has remained unchanged from 1927. In March 1944, the Jewish Community of Ioannina was rounded up and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today the community numbers fewer than 50 members, most of them elderly.
- From Athens by air (45 min), by bus (6 hr, 430 km), by car (4.5 hr).
- From Thessaloniki by bus (3.5 hr) or by car (2.5 hr).
- From Albania via Kakavia, it takes about an hour from the border crossing.
- From Gjirokastër by bus (4h).
The city is small enough to travel through via foot.
- 1 Castle (Greek: Kastro). The old town surrounded by tall defensive walls overhanging the lake Pamvotida.
- 2 Archaeological Museum, 6, "25 Martiou" Square. It presents many of the findings from the excavations at Dodona area
- 3 Municipal Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina, 8, Noutsou Str. Housed in the Mosque of Ali Pasha. The museum collections include craft of local silversmiths, guns, Epirote costumes, rugs and tapestries. The mosque dates from 1618 and still retains its decoration as well as a tall mihrab pointing towards Mecca
- 4 Byzantine Museum. Collections of sculptures, icons and other artifacts retrieved from ruined churches and monasteries in Epirus countryside and housed in the inner fortress (Turkish: İçkale), where Ali Pasha built his palace.
- 5 Fethiye Mosque. The graves of Ali Pasha and his first wife are located inside the mosque.
- 6 Islet of Ioannina (Nissi). It is the only inhabited islet in the lake Pamvotida , with around 200 inhabitants. Green and peaceful, dotted with Byzantine monasteries, the islet can be reached by a 20-minute boat ride from Ioannina 2 Fishers Wharf. Its main attraction is the 16th-century Pandelimonos Monastery, now the Ali Pasha Museum, where the pasha was killed on January 17, 1822.
- 7 Perama Cave. A show cave just 4 km from Ioannina.
- 8 Dodona (25 min away by car). One of the oldest and most important Hellenic oracle sites in Greece with an amphitheater of exceptional acoustics. The well preserved theater is a must-see and hosts theatrical performances. It was built in the 3rd century B.C., during the reign of Pyrrhus, and was destroyed by the Roman consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, in 167 B.C. Under Roman rule, it was restored and turned into an arena.
- 9 Panagia Tsoukas. Remarkable, historical, well-preserved monastery. Fantastic views!
At the bus station there are lockers where you can leave your luggage (€1).
The lake and castle are 10 minutes away from the station.
Ioannina is well known for its production of hand-made silver crafts. There are about 90 workshops in the city. Prices are quite high but can drop considerably as vendors expect a bit of bargaining.
- 1 Toros Steakhouse.
- 2 Stoa Louli, 78, Anexartisias St., ☏ .
- 3 Mystagogia, 44, Koundouriotou St., ☏ , (mobile), (mobile).
- 4 Nousia, 1, "Konstantinou Karamanli" Str.
- 5 Fysa roufa (Φύσα ρούφα), Averof, Ioannina 454 44, Greece, ☏ . Mo-Su 7AM-11:30PM. From €9 per person.
- 1 Limnopoula Camping, 10, "Konstantinou Kanari" Str, ☏ . Owned by Ioannina Nautical Club
- 2 Agapi Hotel, 6, Tsirigoti Str, ☏ . 1-star hotel
- 3 Paradissos Hotel, 15, "21st Fevrouariou" Str, ☏ , . 1-star hotel. 22 rooms
- 4 Hermes Hotel, 2, Sina & Tsirigoti Str, ☏ . 1-star hotel
- 5 El Greco Hotel, 8, Tsirigoti Str, ☏ . Old hotel built in 1979
- 6 Elpis Hotel, 10, Neoptolemou Str, ☏ , (Mobile). 1-star hotel
- 7 Dioni Hotel, 10, Tsirigoti Str, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. 2-star hotel built in 1999 and renovated in 2007
- 8 Tourist Hotel, 18, Koleti Str, ☏ , . 2-star hotel built in 1957 and renovated in 2001
- 9 Egnatia Hotel, 20, Aravantinou & Dagkli Str, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2-star hotel built in 1970 and renovated in 2005
- 10 Bretannia Hotel, 11A, Dimokratias Square, ☏ , , . 2-star hotel built in 1985 and renovated in 2006
- 11 Esperia Hotel, 3, Kaplani Str, ☏ , , fax: . 2-star hotel
- 12 Ke.Kop Hotel, 3, Acheronta Str, ☏ , . 2-star hotel
- 13 Alexios Hotel, 14, Poukevil & Karaiskaki Str, ☏ , , , ✉ email@example.com. 2-star hotel built in 1967 and renovated in 2003
- 14 Astoria Hotel, 2, Paraskevopoulou & Averof Str (Archaeological Museum), ☏ , , (Mobile), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2-star hotel. 16 A/C double, bath or shower.
- 15 Byzantio Hotel, Polytexneio Square, ☏ . €40 gets you a room with a balcony and a king size bed with breakfast for 2 people. It's approximately 25 min away from the city centre on foot. Free Wi-Fi. €40.
- 16 Filyra Hotel Apartments,, 18, Andronikou Paleologou Str, ☏ , (Mobile), ✉ email@example.com. 2-star hotel
- 17 Hagiati Traditional lodge, 11, Stratigopoulou Str, ☏ , (Mobile).
- 18 Kastro Hotel, 57, Andronikou Paleologou, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 19 Palladion Hotel, 1, Noti Botsari & 28th October Str, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star hotel, built in 1957, renovated in 2001
- 20 Siarava Hotel, 20, Garivaldi St, ☏ .
- 21 Du Lac Hotel & Congress Center, Akti Miaouli & Ikkou Str, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 5-star hotel built in 1998 and renovated in 2011
- 22 Epirus Palace & Congress Center, 7th km of Ioannina - Athens National Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 5-star hotel built in 1999 and renovated in 2008
- 23 Grand Serai Congress & SPA Hotel, 33, Dodonis Avenue, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 5-star hotel built in 2007
- 24 Politia Traditional Hotel, 109, Anexartisias Str, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 4-star hotel built in 1871, renovated 2000
- 25 [dead link] Archontariki Traditional Guesthouse, 50, Zalokosta St, ☏ , . 4-star
- 26 Kentrikon Hotel (firstname.lastname@example.org), 5A, Koletti Str (Near Town Hall), ☏ , (Mobile). 4-star hotel
- 27 Metropolis Hotel, 33, Averof Str, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 4-star hotel built in 1934, renovated in 2012
Many hotels and bars have wifi connections or you can use Instabridge application for finding available wifi connections.
- Zagori – Impressive landscape with high mountains, dense barely inhabited forests and impressive gorges and the wild beauty of the Zagoria mountain villages.
- Gjirokastër – A town and a UNESCO world heritage site in Southern Albania.
- Arta village
- Corfu island
|Routes through Ioannina|
|Igoumenitsa ←||W E||→ Metsovo → Meteora|