Travel to Kastoria with your dog!

10-02-2018

In the western end of Macedonia lies one of the most beautiful towns of Greece. Kastoria, with its traditional mansions and its rich history, is one of the best destinations for endless walks with your dog.

The district of Doltso, with the splendid mansions of the 18th and 19th century, accumulates the rich architectural and artistic heritage of the town. It is located in the southern part of the town and you can easily get lost in its narrow paved streets, both literally and figuratively. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Folklore Museum of Kastoria, the Museum of Macedonian Fight, as well as the Byzantine Museum Kastoria that exhibits one of the richest collections of byzantine and post-byzantine icons in Greece. After you have discovered the secrets of the old city, make a stop at the square and enjoy a cup of coffee and delicious food. Traditional leek balls, trachanas soup, mushroom pies, exquisite meat, exceptional pasta and the local Batzio cheese are some of the flavors that the local cuisine offers.

The tour of the lake constitutes a classic walk for you and your dog. The first thing you will find on your way is the cavern of the Dragon.  According to the local tradition, the cave was a goldmine, which was guarded by a dragon. In the cave, there have been discovered prehistorical bones of bears that date back to 10,000 BC. Beside the cave and upon the rocks lies the quaint monastery of Saint Nicolas. If you continue along your way, you will reach in the abbey of Virgin Mary of Mayoriotissa, built in the years of Alexios I Komnenos from 1081 to 1118.

Another beautiful path is the one that leads to the shelter of Saint Athanasios. On the way, you will find the chapel of the prophet Elias. From its churchyard the view is unique. Somewhere in the middle of the way lies the "small theater", where many performances and concerts take place during the summer. If you go all the way up, you will reach the shelter of Saint Athanasios, where the municipality has manufactured a small lodge, where one can cook in the fireplace and set a table. From its small balcony, you can admire the city, the villages, the streets and their reflection in waters of the lake.

If you have time for a sortie, you could visit the lakeside village Dispilio, where you will find the representation of a Neolithic Settlement that was discovered on staked platforms, hardly 4 km away from the town of Kastoria.  Today the reconstructed settlement is the first ecomusuem of Greece. Another destination near Kastoria is Nestorio. The village is famous for its river party, which is organized there every August. It is a very beautiful village with great hostels and taverns. On the other hand, if you are a ski lover, the ski center of Vitsi is located only 23 km away from the town of Kastoria.

In the southern part of the prefecture of Kastoria, roughly 24 km from the capital, lies the village Nostimo, known for its petrified forest, aged more than 20 million years old. Visit the Fossil Museum and enjoy a walk through the petrified woods, where the researchers have discovered fossils of tropical and subtropical plants, but also marine fossils.

Last but not least, the historical village of Kleisoura. This village was once a rich and flourishing Vlach village. In its folklore museum, you will find out more about its history, while there is also a memorial monument from the World War II.