Metsovo, the ultimate winter destination!
Built amphitheatrically in a wooded embrace under the neck of Katara, this rugged stone mass of Pindos, Metsovo stubbornly retains its traditional character. A model of a mountain settlement, which is full of life at all times of the year, generously offers its visitors so many beauties that are hard to find in respective destinations.
Especially during the winter season, the famous village, birthplace of great national benefactors (Tositsas, Stournaras, Averof, etc.), is a constant value in the tourist map of Epirus. Half-hidden in the fog or wrapped in a white snow cloak, it looks like a painting that invites us to enjoy it with all our senses.
What to see:
- To see wonderful places of art and culture that introduce us to a living tradition.
- Take a tour of the gray kingdom of stone, adorned by the red tiled roofs and the green touches of nature.
- Admire the two-storey mansions with loggias and heavy wooden doors.
- To quench our thirst in stone-built fountains and to taste the famous local delicacies.
- To fill energy by doing sports in mountains and rivers.
The “graces” of Metsovo on a walk
The heart of the settlement is the central square, one of the most famous in mountainous Greece. We ascend to Agia Paraskevi (15th century), the metropolitan church of the village, with its ornate wood-carved iconostasis and sacred relics of inestimable value. On the benches around the courtyard with the tall plane trees, we see a typical Metsovite image: the elders with their chewy mustaches, the traditional costumes and the wooden glides chatting in Vlachs, enjoying the first light of day.
A few meters above, the mansion of Michael Tositsa houses the Museum of Folk Art of the Mainland and together the entire folklore history of Metsovo of the 18th century. Nearby, we meet the Evangelos Averof Gallery, where paintings and sculptures of great Greek artists are exhibited. For a short break with a view we can choose the recreation hill, where in 1668 the Castle was built which was destroyed in 1854 along with the whole village. The Averofio Garden, a green oasis of 10 acres, planted with all the endemic species of trees of Pindos, will give us beautiful images and breaths of mountain air, relaxing on the bench behind the church of Agios Georgios.
Following the stone cobbled streets to the lower mahala, the first residential core of 1008, we will visit two more important monasteries, founded near the banks of the Metsovitis river: the Monastery of Panagia with the renovated watermill Gina and the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos with 17 ai.
Weight in local gastronomy
You will understand how important gastronomy is for Metsovo at first sight or rather at the first smell! In the taverns of the square, the skewers are turned early, loaded with all kinds of meat. Here are set “epic” food and drink with kontosouvli in oil paste, delicious kokoretsi, village sausages, but also pies… too many pies!
Around the square there are shops that sell the delicious capital of the area: a wide range of dairy products, from which stand out the top cheeses Metsovone and Metsovela.
As part of your tasting training, add a visit to the Standard Cheese Factory of the Tositsa Foundation to get information and to obtain fine dairy products, but also to the Katogi Averof Winery where the wine of the same name is bottled, one of the most famous in the country.
On the outskirts…
Huge volumes of forested mountains, three rivers and an artificial lake are a guarantee that you will never be hit! For active visitors, the area is ideal for hiking on marked trails, mountaineering, mountain biking, off-road routes by jeep, kayak, rafting and of course skiing at the ski resorts at “Karakoli”, “Profitis Ilias” and “Zygos”.
On the opposite slope from Metsovo (6 km) is Anilio, with a long tradition in wood processing. To the southwest (13 km.) Anthochori awaits you with the rushing stream Rona crossing the village. See the restored watermills that have now been converted into a Museum of Hydrokinesis.
A unique experience is the tour of the artificial lake of the springs of the Aoos river, with its fir-covered islands and the upper fjords that will give you unique images, especially at sunset.