Florina – Gateway to the Stunning Prespa Lakes, “where Greece begins”

Florina is a gateway for the astonishing natural settings in the western part of Macedonia, close to the borders of North Macedonia. Nearby you find the ski slopes of Vigla-Pissoderi and the wild Prespa lakes. Hidden in a green valley, it is first a student town with a vivid social life, and good access to hiking and winter sports.

Where is Florina Greece?

West Macedonia on a map

History of Florina

Transnational Park of Prespa

Florina Town

Florina – Things to see

Florina-Greece – How to get there?

Florina – Weather and Climate

Beautiful old houses next to Sakoulevas river, Florina town, Macedonia Greece
Beautiful old houses next to Sakoulevas river in Florina town

Where is Florina Greece?

Florina is a town in mountainous northwestern Macedonia, Greece. Its motto is, ‘Where Greece begins’. It is also the Metropolitan seat for the region. It lies in the central part of Florina peripheral unit, of which it is the capital. The town’s population is 16,771 people (2001 census). It is in a wooded valley about 13 km south of the international border of Greece with North Macedonia.

West Macedonia on a map

Map of West Macedonia Greece
Map of West Macedonia Greece – Coordinates: 40°45′N 21°25′E

It is the gateway to the Prespa Lakes and, until the modernisation of the road system, of the old town of Kastoria. It is located west of Edessa, northwest of Kozani, and northeast of Ioannina and Kastoria cities. The nearest airport is situated to the east. The mountains of Verno lie to the southwest and Varnous to the northwest.

History of Florina

For many years, the Greek part of the Prespa Lakes region was an underpopulated, military sensitive area which required special permission for outsiders to visit. It saw fierce fighting during the Greek Civil War and much of the local population subsequently emigrated to escape endemic poverty and political strife. The region remained little developed until the 1970s, when it began to be promoted as a tourist destination.

Transnational Park of Prespa

Landscape with panoramic view of Lesser Prespa Lake in Florina, West Macedonia Greece.
Landscape with panoramic view of Lesser Prespa Lake in Florina

With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000. In 1999 the Society for the Protection of Prespa received the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for its conservation efforts regarding the Lake Prespa Ramsar site.
The area contains four National Parks located in Albania, Greece, and North Macedonia. The largest town in the Prespa Lakes region is Resen in Macedonia. Winters bring heavy snow and long periods of temperature below freezing point. During the hot summer months, it becomes a busy market town.

Florina Town

Nymfaio the picturesque traditional village of Greece and a very popular winter destination. Arcturos organisation which protects brown bears was founded there and provides shelter for wounded bears. Macedonia Greece
Nymfaio, the picturesque traditional village of Greece. Arcturos organisation which protects brown bears was founded there and provides shelter for wounded bears.

Florina is a crossroad for further travelling in the Balkans; southwest of Prespa Lakes you will find Krystallopigi, the border crossing to Albania and just 35 km to the north you will find Bitola, just across the international border to North Macedonia.
What Florina town lacks sightseeing it has in abundance of restaurants and cafés. Try the local specialties of the Prespa beans and the famous sweet red peppers, also referred to as Florina Peppers.

Florina – Things to see

Nymfaio is a picturesque traditional village of Greece and a very popular winter destination. Arcturos organisation which protects brown bears was founded there and provides shelter for wounded bears. Macedonia Greece
Nymfaio is a picturesque traditional village of Greece and a very popular winter destination
  • The Archaeological and Byzantine Museum of Florina contains collections of sculptures, reliefs, and inscriptions, displayed on the ground floor, excavation finds from two cities, Petres and the hill of Ag. Panteleimon in Florina, displayed on the first floor, and a collection of Byzantine antiquities also exhibited on the first floor. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 08.00-15.00 Tel.: +30 23850-28206 Read more
  • The Florina Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Florina in Greece. It was founded by the Florina Art Centre in 1977. It is housed in a neoclassical building by the Skouleva river. The museum’s collection is composed of 480 works by 254 artists, which includes paintings, sculptures, and engravings. More recently, its collection was enriched by a work of El Greco donated by the national Gallery. Address: 103 Eleftherias Avenue, 531 00 Florina, Tel.: +30 23850-29444 Read more

Florina Greece – How to get there?

Sunset at Petron lake close to Amyndaio town, Florina, Macedonia Greece
Sunset at Petron lake close to Amyndaio town

You can reach Florina by train or bus (KTEL) from Athens and Thessaloniki. The distance from Athens is 573 km and from Thessaloniki it is 160 km. The buses from Athens depart from Kifissos Bus Station (+30 2105130427) and in Thessaloniki they depart from Makedonia Station +30 2310595418). If you go by train, there are daily connections from Athens and Thessaloniki to Florina Station (+30 2385022430). Read more

Travel by car

If you travel by car Florina is passed by GR-2 (Lake Prespa – Edessa) and GR-3/E65 (Kozani – Florina – Niki – Bitola). The historic Via Egnatia is situated to the east. The new GR-3 superhighway runs east of Florina.

Florina – Weather and climate

Magnificent scenery at the Prespes Lake, in Florina, northern Greece.
Magnificent scenery at the Prespes Lake in Florina
JanFebMarAprilMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
Day3,5°10°15°19°23,5°27,5°28°22,5°16,5°11,5°
Night-3°-1°1,5°4,5°7,5°11°14°14°14°-1°
Rainfall (days)141317172119131112121212
Average day and night temperatures in Florina in °C and average rainfall in days.