Our home base in Greece was in a small town just outside of Ioannina called Katsikas. This is where we have family, and it's a perfect place to be for day trips to Ioannina and Surrounding Area.
The city of Ioannina is so pretty. The focal point of the city is Ioannina Lake, also known as Lake Pamvotida. There is a walkway around much of the lake with cafes, restaurants and many tourists shops. In this next picture, we took a little drive up to the town of Lingiades and took a photo looking back down at the town of Ioannina. As you can see it's an amazing view!
Ioannina is a great city to walk around in. It's quite small, with a population of 65,000. Most shops in town are small, family owned shops. Lots of restaurants, cafes, and silversmiths are big here.
If you head southwest from Ioannina, you end up in Parga. Parga is my favourite little seaside town in Greece. It take an hour and a half to drive from Ioannina to Parga. The water here is crystal clear, the hills are green, and the homes absolutely charming.
A short drive from Parga is Sarakiniko Beach (about a 20 minute drive). It feels like paradise!
If you head north from Ioaninna, you end up in Vikos National Park. One of the deepest gorges in the world is here at Vikos Gorge. The views in this park are breathtaking. It's the perfect park for hiking.
After hiking uphill for about 2 hours, we reached the Monastary of Stomio. It's open to the public for viewing, lighting a candle and having a moment of peace. Also, absolutely incredible views from this point.
Last but not least, here are a few images from the small farming town of Katsikas. It's only a 10 minute drive from the city of Ioannina. Most of the town's older population are chicken farmers or sheep herders. Or both! Life is wonderfully simple here. The air is clean, the landscape is stunning and the people pretty wonderful.
For those that only have a Sunday to explore the whole of Athens and want to get the Athenian local feeling, this tour is for you! In just a few hours you will not only have the opportunity to check out the sights of the capital, but you will also get to taste the full spectrum of the Greek cuisine!