Metsovo is a picturesque town situated in the slopes of mountain Pindos in Epirus. The small town stands at an altitude of 1156 m and is surrounded by beautiful nature and lush vegetation. Metsovo is a very popular destination in Greece as it is a place that has kept its character over the years with traditional stone and wooden houses. It offers visitors a variety of activities all year round. I spent two cold days there in January and absolutely loved it. Here are my suggestions on things you can do and see in Metsovo.
Admire art at the Averoff museum
The museum houses a vast collection from the works of famous Greek painters and sculptors from the 19th and 20th century. For more information click here.
Visit the museum of Folks Art
The museum is housed in the restored Tositsa Manor. On your visit you will be able to see how a traditional house of Metsovo was organized. It has an invaluable collection of old objects.
Walk around the village
Explore the village on foot, walk in the stone alleyways and admire the traditional architecture of the houses and the views of mount Pindos. Make sure you stop at Metsovorama cafe and bar for a coffee and admire the incredible view of the surrounding mountains. There are a couple of churches worth visiting like the church of Agia Paraskevi at the central square of the village and the church of Agios Nikolaos with rare byzantine icons.
Apart from the good wines from the local winery Metsovo is also famous for its dairy products and especially a cheese called metsovone that has a smoked flavor and is very delicious. You can also buy the traditional home-made pasta called hylopites, wood-carved objects and textiles.
Take a tour of Katogi Averoff winery
Located at the center of Metsovo, Katogi Averoff winery makes some of Greece’s most celebrated wines. You will have the chance to learn about the history of the winery and the wine making process. At the end you can even sample some wines and take some home with you. I am still enjoying my purchases! The winery is open to the public from Thursday to Monday from 10am till 16:00pm. If you want to arrange a tour in English, you should contact the winery prior to your visit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the artificial lake of Aoos springs
Just 20 km away from Metsovo you will find the artificial lake of Aoos springs. The lake stands at an altitude of 1343m and is an important hydro-biotope. The drive around the lake shouldn’t take you more than an hour. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do the whole round because of the snow but we left the car and walked at the lakes bank admiring the amazing landscape.
There are 3 ski centers operating around Metsovo making it a popular winter destination.
How to get to Metsovo
The closest biggest city with airport to Metsovo is Ioannina. From there it’s only a half hour drive through Egnatia highway. From Thessaloniki it’s 220 km away and again through Egnatia highway you will need about 2 and a half hours to get there. From Athens and through Ioannina it’s 450km and you will need 5 hours and 30 minutes. An alternative route from Athens is through Trikala and Kalampaka where you can stop and see the impressive rock formations and monasteries of Meteora on your way. This route is 370km and you will need 4 hours and 15 minutes to reach Metsovo. If you don’t have a car the public bus (Ktel) goes to Metsovo from many major cities around Greece like Athens, Thessaloniki and Trikala.
Where to stay in Metsovo
There are many accommodation options around Metsovo. My personal choice was The Katogi Averoff Hotel and Winery. A luxury but yet affordable hotel located in the centre of the village and next to the homonym winery. It offers nicely decorated rooms with attention to detail and all the modern amenities. The hotel staff is very friendly and helpful and the breakfast buffet offers a wide range of traditional products. At the hotel bar I had the pleasure of trying a couple of wines from the winery accompanied by local cheeses.
Metsovo is a great destination all year round offering visitors a wide range of activities in the nature like skiing in the winter, hiking and horse-back riding. It is also a great destination for gastronomy and wine lovers.
Have you ever been to Metsovo? Did you like it?