This charming furrier city, whose beauty will most certainly seduce you, is built amphitheatrically on a narrow peninsula, mirrored in Orestiada Lake and nestled in between Gramo and Vitsi Mountains. The Byzantine spirit can be found in every corner and stone walls, along the 60+ byzantine and post byzantine Chapels.
The town is known for its many Byzantine churches, Byzantine, Ottoman-era and domestic architecture, fur clothing industry.
The name "Kastoria" first appeared in 550 AD, but believed to have ancient origins. According to the scripts, inhabitants of the city surrendered to Sulpitius during the Roman Wars against Philip of Macedon in 200 BC, father of Alexander the Great. The city's history passes through the Antiquity and the Roman period, the Middle ages and the glorious Byzantine era, the Ottoman occupation until the begining of the 20th century where the City became part of the Macedonian struggle, the Second World War and the Civil War that followed.
The best way to explore the city today, it's history and beauties, is taking a little tour around the lake starting from the southernmost side up to the northernmost. Take a stroll on the narrow pathway along the lake’s coast; you will be overwhelmed by its idyllic beauty and tranquility. The promenade shaded by beech and plane trees as well as the neighbouring forests exude a mystical atmosphere and make an excellent shelter for all kinds of bird species.
“Dolcho” and “Apozari” neighbourhoods, the two unique historical neighborhoods of Kastoria, with the unique architecture and atmosphere, are threatened by modern development in the city, as well as structural degradation from poor levels of conservation. These sites are included on the "7 Most Endangered list" of Europe’s most at-risk monuments and sites, since 2014.
Orestiada lake is home to a 200 different species, among them, some rare and some endangered. Local fishermen find themselves in competition with waterfowls for the lake’s fish. During your walk don’t forget to make a stop by the Dragon’s Cave, where you’ll get to see seven underground lakes and rooms with astonishing stalactites.
If you want to admire the city from above, follow the lush and green path towards Profitis Ilias Church and continue even higher up to Agios Athanasios viewpoint.
Visit the Folk art Museum of Kastoria at Aivazis Mansion and the Byzantine Museum. For detailed information about the life in the lake, visit the Aquarium.
Vitsi Lodge – Villa & Loft
Tel.: +30 6947618630
Tel.: +30 6947618630