Metsovo is a town in the mountains of Pindus in northern Greece, between Ioannina to the north and Meteora to the south. Many towns claim the title of the most picturesque settlement in Greece, but this title actually might belong to Metsovo. It is a mountainous city that captures the visitor with its spectacular colours and its unique images. It is built in 1200 m altitude in an impressive green landscape, exactly on the spot where North and South Pindos are separated. Despite the radical growth of tourism in the latest years, the area has not lost its traditional character. It harmoniously combines the past with the present and it is an ideal shelter not only in winter when you probably will see it in snow and enjoy winter sports, but in all seasons of the year.
Coordinates: 39°46′N 21°11′E (1) Ioannina (2) N. Tzoumerka (3) Dodona (4) Zagori (5) Zitsa (6) Konitsa (7) Metsovo (8) Pogoni
The town is famous for its local cheeses (Metsovone and Metsovela) and winemaking industries, including the Katogi vineyard of the Averoff family. Metsovo is also a popular winter vacation destination and a ski resort.
The Metsovo Ski Centre is situated not far from the centre of Metsovo.
Finally, there are several areas around Metsovo, each of which has something special to offer. You can visit Anthochori, which has an open air museum of water-driven movement, Chrisovitsa with Panagia Monastery and its famous potatoes, the villages Anilio and Votonosi, as well as the traditional settlement of Milia on the borders of National forest.
Activities in Metsovo
Kayaking: The descent in river Metsovitikos addresses people who love this sport and have perfect knowledge and experience. The route begins from the bridge on the way to Megalo Peristeri and finishes in the bridge on the way to Mikri Gotista. It is a route whose main characteristics are the great degree of difficulty, mainly in the beginning of the route where the river is narrow, and the great length of the descent, that is about 15 kilometers. In certain points the degree of difficulty reaches 5 while towards the end of the route, the river gets wider and the descent becomes relaxed. The duration of the route is about 3 hours and it can be done only with kayak or monoraft. Concluding, we should say that excellent fitness and perfect knowledge of all the techniques of descent are necessary, as well as proportional experience in rivers of difficulty 4th and 5th degree.
Snowmobile: The most appropriate route for you to enjoy a ride with a snowmobile is the plateau Politses, a few kilometers above Μetsovo on the highway to Τrikala, provided of course that the landscape is in snow. You will find companies there that will give you the right equipment, as well as the snowmobiles. A guide will come with you who will show you the way and save you from unpleasant adventures.
Mountainbiking: The most ideal route for you to enjoy a ride by your bike is perimetrically of the artificial lake of Aoos’ springs. It is a route that is longer than 30 km and it is right beside the lake. The road is not much-frequented as not many cars pass by, whereas the funs of the sport will surely go off the asphalt road
and do every kind of lunacy on the immense fields and hills.
Skiing: There are two ski centers operating in the region of Metsovo at the time being. The first one is in the barrow “Karakoli” right outside Metsovo. The old ski center operates there, which has two tracks of 1.000 and 1.200 meters length in 1.350 until 1.520 m altitudes respectively. It is open and waits for you in January and February. If you do not have your own uniforms and equipment, do not worry! You will find to rent there, as you will also find food or drinks, depending on what you want. The ski center is also reached via a double cable car of 800 m length.
The second ski center operates in the plateau “Politses”. It is a complete ski center with six tracks of descent of 700 until 1.000 meters length in 1.430 until 1.620 meters altitude. It also has a track of bumpy way of 7 km length for the most experienced and risky. It is open from December until March and it provides you not only with complete equipment and uniforms, but also with a school for ski if it is the first time that you attempt it. The ski center is served from three lifts and also provides you with exceptional food.
Finally, a third ski center is going to open very soon in the place
“Zigos” in Anilio. The tracks that will be at your disposal are in
1690 until 1.870 meters altitude.
Horseback riding: Those of you who want to make your trip to Ioannina unique should do nothing more than try a ride in the dense forests of Metsovo with a horse. The most ideal route for you to enjoy a ride with the horse is the plateau Politses and perimetrically of the artificial lake of Aoos’ springs. You will go through streams that all lead to the lake, go into dense forests, pass by bridges and end up to the dam of DΕI. The best seasons are summer and spring, as snow melts and there is plenty of water everywhere.
Hiking: The area around Metsovo offers several opportunities for trekking – hiking. The first route starts from the village Milia of Μetsovo and ends up in Flega. It is a route of 14 km, popular in Metsovo because of the fact that the landscapes you meet really capture you. You begin from Μilia in 1200 meters altitude and you follow north-west course until you reach the narrow passage between the tops Kakoplevri and Tria Sinora in 2200 meters altitude. Then you follow west course and you go up to Mavrovouni and finally on the top Flega in 2300 meters altitude. The length of the route is 14 km and those who will do it in a good mood will reach their destination in 4 hours. In this route you will meet dense forests and plenty of water, while the best season to do this hiking is from Μay until October. (read about other routes…)
Among the sights in the area of Metsovo we can mention the artificial lake of Aoos’ sources which is situated about 15 km from Metsovo in the plateau Politsies in a beautiful location. Also the Garden of Averof with its unique micrography of Pindos’s entire nature is worth visiting. It is a particularly well-looked-after park in which you will find all species of trees that exist in the wider region. In the city of Metsovo but also in the surrounding regions, you will have the chance to see beautiful monasteries that date centuries ago, still maintained in an excellent condition, though, and true ornaments.
Picture Gallery of Evagelos Averoff: The Averoff Gallery, also known as the Averof Art Gallery of Metsovo, is an Art museum in Metsovo, Greece. It was built in 1985 and inaugurated in 1988. In 1994 the building was extended to include a new wing and its facilities were updated. Its initial collection consisted of 200 paintings and sculptures of Greek artists of the 19th and 20th century, which are still part its permanent exhibition. After the museum’s expansion, the collection was significantly augmented.
Opening hours: 10.00 to 16.30 from September 15 to July 14 and
10.00 to 19.00 from July 15 to September 14 except Tuesdays.
Entrance fee: 3 euros Phone: +30 2656044200
Μuseum of Folkloric Art: The museum of Folkloric art is in the city of Metsovo and it is accommodated in the renovated Mansion Tositsa. It is an example of organization and operation of an old Mansion of Metsovo and contains a particularly large number of old objects of great value. The visit is accompanied with conducted tours every half hour.
Opening hours: 09.00 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 17.00 except Thursday
Εntrance ticket: 3 euros Phone: +30 2656041084
Μuseum of Hydrokinesis: It is situated in the village Anthochori, very close to Metsovo. It is an open-air museum with old rebuilt watermills and other relevant buildings. It is particularly well looked after, framed by very beautiful picturesque alleys and small bridges. After your walk, you can have your coffee in the refreshment stand that you will find there.
Children’s Library of Metsovo: This library that functions as lending is situated in the city of Metsovo and it exists from 1992. It belongs to the Institution of Baron Michael Tositsas and it contains more than 4.700 titles of children’s and adolescent books. The variety in types is enormous, therefore there are a lot of choices. You will find from fairy tales and books of art and zoology until historical, literary and a lot of other books.
Opening hours: 15.00 to 20.00 from Tuesday until Saturday
Εntrance ticket: Free of charge Phone: +30 2656041207
In the 1980s, a tunnel was under construction and was the longest in Greece. It alleviated traffic and does not use twisting roads. In 2006, the connection with Via Egnatia has made the section of GR-6 (Ioannina – Trikala) into this superhighway and had two interchanges for Metsovo.