The Region of Epirus
The region of Epirus is situated in north-western Greece and boasts a unique natural beauty and cultural identity. It is the most mountainous region in Greece, with the Pindos mountain range as a natural north-eastern border, and dozens of other mountains, large and small, scattered throughout the area, separated only by a few valleys.
Of great ecological value are the Vikos - Aoos National Gorge and the "Valia Calda" National Park, which contain a variety of ecosystems. There is a variety of flora in the region, mainly in the mountainous areas, including many species indigenous to Epirus or even to a single mountain.
In the mountains and forests of Epirus many animal species such as bear (ursus arctos), lynx (about twice the size of a house cat), wild boar (sus scrofa) and wolf (canis lupus), survive today. Wild goats (rupicapra rupicapra) and deer (cervus elaphus) still browse on precipitous mountain tops, where eagles and vultures nest while otters (lutra lutra) laze around the Epirus rivers.
To the west, unexplored beaches sparkle under the hot Mediterranean sun along the Ionian coastline.
The city of Ioannina is built around Lake Pamvotis. It is the capital of the region of Epirus. The city was once surrounded by the castle walls (552 AD) which still stand today. Narrow streets in the old marketplace lead to the lake front where fishing boats leave every 20 minutes for the Island of Ioannina. Just outside the city are the famous Perama cave and the "Pavlos Vrellis" Wax Museum. Not far, the traditional village of Metsovo known for its embroidery and its dairy products.
Above the breathtaking Vikos gorge, the 46 picturesque Zagori villages are built in traditional architectural style with small stone houses and cobbled stone streets.
Arta is the second largest city in the region of Epirus and is especially known for its fabled bridge and Byzantine monuments still intact today.
The town of Preveza serves as the gateway to the Amvrakikos Gulf, a wetland protected by the international Ramsar Treaty. Near the town of Preveza the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Nikopolis (built in 31 BC by the Emperor Augustus).
The seaside town of Parga is a well-developed tourist resort. Finally, the port of Igoumenitsa connects the region by sea with the Ionian islands (Corfu and Paxi) and Italy.