Kastoria
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Kastoria

Kastoria is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities of Western Macedonia, surrounded by mountains. It is a city of old neighbourhoods, narrow streets, stately mansions and Byzantine churches.

Also Kastoria is an important religious centre for the Greek Orthodox Church and is the seat of a metropolitan bishop. It originally had 72 Byzantine and medieval churches, of which 54 have survived. It has incredible natural beauties, which make it the perfect travel destination all year round. The impressive byzantine monuments and the imposing mansions make Kastoria one of the most traditional and picturesque cities of Greece. Since that time, the people of Kastoria have dedicated themselves to working with furs and embroidery. 

Today, the city boasts a large number of very profitable fur and textile shops and factories. Kastoria has a beautiful lake Orestiada, the most precious treasure of the town. It is a jewel that both the visitors and the inhabitants can enjoy, as a place of recreation and as a stimulus for romanticism and reminiscence. At the lakeshore there are enough squares and parks. In these specially formulated spaces, the visitor has the possibility to walk on the stone pavements and to admire the unique natural beauty of the lake at all seasons. Lake Orestiada of Kastoria is considered morphologically the most beautiful lake of Greece and has been announced a "Monument of Natural Beauty " by the Ministry of Culture.

The natural basin of the lake, which is enclosed by mountains of excellent geomorphology, constitutes a unique hydrobiotope. It is a hydrotope of great importance for the aquatic but also for the birds of prey and uses as an area of reproduction, nourishment and hibernation. It maintains a rich bird fauna, which includes rare and menaced species. More specifically: Pygmy Cormorant, White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Great White Erget, Glossy Ibis, Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Whiskered Tern, etc. In the lake there are great quantities of various fish species, such as, carps, butterfly fishes, Italian bleak, northern pike, etc.

The Cave of the Dragon is located on the northern part of Kastoria, close to the lake and the monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa. Its characteristic is the large number and variety of stalactites and stalagmites and has 7 underground lakes, 10 halls and 5 passages. The big hall covers an area of 45x17 square metres and the temperature of the cave is 18 degrees Celsius all year round, regardless of the outside weather. The humidity of the cave is 90%. Dragon’s Cave the only cave in Greece with fresh-water lakes.

The Cave of the Dragon is one of the most impressive of Greece and great source of knowledge since scientists have found traces of human presence and a fossil of the cave bear which are 10.000 years old. There was always the myth in the region about a dragon living inside the cave and there are many local stories about the dragon and the things he has done throughout the years. We look forward to a wonderful season and invite you to experience the warmth and beauty of Kastoria.

Duration: around 7 hours.

Inclusions: Transportation, Professional guide.

Exclusions: Entrance fees, food and drinks. Price: 55 €

 

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