Metsovo, Epirus: A Destination for All Seasons

In the wilds of Eprius, deep in the heart of the Pindus Mountains, nature, tradition and history coexist in the beautiful Vlach village of Metsovo.


The wild vegetation, the beautiful stone cobbled roads, the local women in traditional embroidered clothing, the hanging wood sculptures, the sounds from the church bells, and the stone houses make Metsovo a village of wonders. In winter, the fireplaces burn all day and the smoke from the chimney stacks add to the thick fog that blankets the region. In spring and summer, Metsovo basks in the sun at an elevation of 1,160m. Cypress trees, fir trees, oak trees and horse chestnut trees keep Metsovo cool, while sycamores tower over the village’s main square and the Church of Aghia Paraskevi.

Metsovo flourished thanks to the families of local benefactors, such as the Averoff-Tositsa family, who left behind significant inheritances that were invested into the arts, culture and sciences. A folklore museum that is a window to the region’s rich history, a significant art gallery, two libraries, a wide range of handcraft products, textiles and a significant primary production – wine, distillates and cheese products – give residents of Metsovo many reasons not to leave their native land.

 

The rich traditions and authentic character of Metsovo have contributed to the development of the village’s tourist image. Boasting accommodation to suit all tastes, simple, authentic gastronomy, and activities for all ages – from religious tourism to foraging in the forests of Mount Pindos and skiing in the winter – Metsovo intrigues its visitors who never tire of visiting it time and time again.

Metsovo in winter

A cozy, charming chalet with a view of the pistes operates at the Anilio Ski Center, just 25 minutes from Metsovo. For those who love to ski, the pistes have one two-person lift, two drag lifts, and one baby lift. However, if you do not want to ski, the Center also rents sleds and snowmobiles (Tel. (+30) 26512.005.20).

At Politsies Point, there is a small ski center where you can rent equipment and take lessons, or simply go for a walk along its pistes. Finally, you can find the oldest ski lift in Greece at Karakoli Point, which has been operating since 1968. Although it is not always open, if you find yourself in the area in winter it is worth visiting – after you have confirmed it is open (Tel. (+30) 26560.413.45) – as its aerial ski lift offers an incredible view of the surrounding region.

Life as it was

At the Metsovo Folk Art Museum, through a virtual tour, you will travel through time and feel how a host came up from the lower ground floor to welcome his guests in the main room, decorated with traditional textiles and embroideries. Byzantine icons, books, wood sculpted objects, tools – everything well maintained – create the atmosphere of an old Metsovian house (Tel. (+30) 26560.410.84).

A garden – forest

The Averofeios Garden is just a five-minute walk from the main square of Metsovo. Here, the flora of Mount Pindos grow in an area of 10 hectares. Pine trees, beech trees, fir trees, hawthorn trees and a plethora of plants and flowers that grow in the region create a unique ecosystem inside Metsovo. In the garden you will also find the Church of Aghios Georgios, a beautiful church with wood sculpted iconostasis and icons that date back to the early 18th century.

Immerse yourself in neo-Hellenic art

Representative works of important Greek artists relate the history of neo-Hellenic art from the early 19th century to present day, attracting visitors from every corner of Greece. Evangelos Averoff housed his private collection of works of Greek artists (paintings, sculptures, engravings) in Metsovo, creating an important museum that serves as a point of reference for all those who love art (Tel. (+30) 26560.412.10).

An unforgettable wine tourism experience

The tour of the Katogi Averoff winery lasts about 40 minutes. It includes a live narration in the winery’s dark halls and cellars with the use of multimedia and concludes at the bar with its famed red wall. Filled with a new knowledge of wines, you will have the opportunity to try some of the winery’s carefully made Inima and Katogi varieties. The last tour starts at 15:00, while all tours must be booked in advance (Tel. (+30) 26560.425.05).

Outdoor activities

 

If you love nature walks and exploring the outdoors, the Ursa Trail in Metsovo – which is certified by the European Rambler’s Association – is ideal. The Trail also hosts a cross-country marathon, which usually takes place in May. Outdoor activities, adapted to the individual needs of each person, are organized by Lefteris Fafalis, a veteran skier and cross-country runner with four Olympic participations, through his company Go Active. Walking tours, rides around Lake Aoos with electric bicycles, stand up paddling or canoeing and canyoning are just some of the activities that are available. Lastly, it is worth driving to the village of Anthochori, which is just 12km from Metsovo, and visiting the Open-Air Water Power Museum that is located in the village. Traditional watermills and fulling mills have been restored after years of being out of service. A coffeeshop-taverna, the Mantani, also operates inside the Museum (Tel. (+30) 694.867.0997).

* Metsovo is 50km from Ioannina



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