City break: the new face of Ioannina

Ioannina, a lively, pulsating city, is a good idea for a trip to the region of Epirus. Its trademark is the historic and still inhabited castle, and, of course, the wonderful lake Pamvotis with its islet, which can be reached by boat. The past remains alive in every corner of Ioannina, but at the same time, a large new network of pedestrian zones is changing the city, making it friendlier and easier to access. We taste traditional food from Epirus at “Piperitsa” in Parga square, with traditional pies featuring prominently in the region’s cuisine. We also try the famous “tyroriganakia” - delicious buns with feta cheese, olive oil, oregano, tomatoes, and peppers – made by the “Porikis” bakery, which you’ll find opposite the Clock Tower, the most famous meeting point in the city. A walk in the old part of the city of Ioannina shall reveal numerous jewelers’ shops with traditional silverware while every alley has surprises in store that wait to be discovered: listed buildings, shopping arcades and a maze of alleys with many small, charming shops. “Velogiannis” at 133, Anexartisias Street, has an 110-year-long history and makes exquisite Turkish delights. When it gets dark, the pedestrian zones of the city center hand the keys to fun, with the number of bars housed in listed buildings and historic arcades rising exponentially. Once you find yourselves inside the Castle, be sure to take a walk of archeological interest in the palace of Ali Pasha and have a cup of coffee in the new guesthouse “Its Kale”. The new hotels of the city also include the modern and energy efficient “Essence Contemporary Living” near the airport and “Arktos Mountain Hotel” in the village of Ligiades, with lake and city views.