P. Merakos

Arts and entertainment in Kozani town

Located in the town centre, Nikis square is dominated by the Town Clock, which first struck the hours on New Year's Day, 1940. The town nightlife unfolds in and around the square, on nearby streets and sidewalks, where the majority of the town restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars are to be found.

Big screen fans will find two cinemas in Kozani; the Olympion, which has been in business since the early 1950s, and the Kozani Cinema Club. The Municipal and Regional Theatre of Kozani, founded in 1997, is an important local cultural institution. It stages plays from the classical and modern repertoire at its two venues, the Central and the Alternative Stage. It has also put on performances in other cities in Greece.

You will find several beautiful towns near Kozani that are absolutely worth visiting. Ptolemaida is one of them, built on a fertile plateau, on a 600-metre elevation, and it appears to have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its old name was Kailar, which means mud, probably because of the former swamps in the area, which are now dried up. The town grew bigger after the exchange of populations took place, at the end of the Greek - Turkish War in 1922, and it experienced a real boom after the discovery of lignite deposits in the 1950s and the building of power plants, where the majority of the locals work, to this day. Ptolemaida offers a variety of  options for going out: you’ll find restaurants, tsipouro tavernas, cafes and bars, most of which are located around the main square. This location is also the starting point for excursions to Mt. Vermio and Mt. Askio, as well as to the lakes of Amyntaio.

Siatista retains the vestiges of its former wealth, accumulated during the previous centuries, as attested by the town’s old grand houses and churches. Built on a 900-metre elevation, on the mountainside of Mt. Askio, Siatista was made up of two districts, Geraneia and Chora, which are now almost united. The inhabitants are mostly in the business of breeding fur-bearing animals, as well as processing and trading of their furs; they are also engaged in viticulture, and in animal husbandry, to a smaller degree. Visitors enjoy the tranquillity and the beautiful scenery of the area, as well as the delicious grilled meats and local dishes in the restaurants.

Servia and Velventos are both built by the shores of the man-made Polyfytou lake. You’re invited to discover their long history and natural beauty, as well as to sample the local cuisine in their restaurants.

Before you leave, make sure you take back home some cheese products from Aiani, Lefkara and Voio; with some luck, you might also find a rare local cheese called Manouri Aeros Vlastis, made from goat milk. Your shopping list should also include the following: a couple of the bottled wine labels produced in the Siatista and Velventos wineries; syrupy sweets like crunchy kourkoumpinia and touloumpes from Velventos; legumes from Voio and beans from Sisani; when in season, chestnuts from the chestnut-producing villages in the Voio area; apples and cherries from Eordea; peaches from Velventos; and, last but not least, a packet of Kozani red saffron, a top quality Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, which will take your culinary creations back home to new heights of deliciousness!