Ioannina

City in Epirus
Also called:
  • Yannena / Yannina EL
  • Giannina IT
  • Yanya TR
  • Janina / Janinë SQ
Why visit Ioannina?
  • Aristotle argues that Hellenes (Greeks) were originating from the broader region.
  • Capital of Epirus, as well as regional commercial, financial, and cultural center.
  • Its lake is the symbol and almost synonymous to the city.

Attractions, sights & Things to Do in Ioannina

Starting Point: The Clock Tower of Ioannina

The Clock Tower of Ioannina

« Roloi »

A city trademark and a meeting point for the inhabitants stands for its distinctive architecture.

Ioannina Carnival Festival

« Tzamales »

Distinctive local Carnival custom where numerous street parties are organized around big fires.

Zosimaia Library

One of the largest Greek libraries, that is available to Ioannina inhabitants, but also to the broader population in a digital form.

Archaeological Museum of Ioannina

Covering a long period of the local historical evolution with findings that date from the Stone Age until almost the end of the Roman era.

Castle of Ioannina

Old Byzantine fortification of the city, that reconstructed to a great extent under the era of the ruler Ali Pasha in the late Ottoman period.

Lake of Ioannina

« Pamvotida »

An absolute trademark that composes the distinctive landscape of this beautiful city of Epirus.

The Holy Ark inside the Ancient Synagogue «Kahal Kadosh Yashan» of Ioannina.
photo: רדיומן

The Ancient Synagogue «Kahal Kadosh Yashan»

Unique tourist attraction and a holy place of the Romanyotis Jewish community of Ioannina.

Silversmithing Museum of Ioannina

Situated inside the city castle, it includes a series of artifacts describing the history and tradition of silversmithing in the Epirus region.

Byzantine Museum of Ioannina

Located on the acropolis of the city, next to the Fetiche Mosque it includes Early Christian as well as Byzantine exhibits and icons.

Fetiche Mosque of Ioannina

« Fetihie Tzami »

Dominating the acropolis and having a great view, it is the grave place of Ali Pasha and his family.

Ioannina Ethnographic Museum (Aslan Pasha Mosque)

Housed in a monument from the Ottoman era, highlights the multicultural past of the city.

Ali Pasha Museum, Ioannina Island

The building where Ali Pasha was killed, hosts today, items that describe his life, and exhibits related to the Greek struggle of Independence.

Perama Cave, Ioannina

Within a very short distance of the city, it is the first cave in Greece that opened officially to guests and became a major attraction.

Wax Museum of Greek History (by Paul Vrellis)

Concentrated in Greek history, it includes the artifacts of its founder, creator and artist.

A picture of the Papingo mountain range taken from the homonymous village.
photo: Dimitris Karagiorgos

Zagori

The mountainous region of two National Parks stands for its pristine nature and the distinctive architecture of its 46 preserved villages.

Panoramic view of the ancient theater of Dodoni with the green valley and the surrounding mountains in the background.
photo: Vasilis / CC BY 2.0

Archaeological Site of Dodoni

Located in a closed remote valley it is the oldest and the second (after Delphi) in fame and influence oracle in the ancient Greek world.

Metsovo Ski Center

« Profitis Ilias »

Family friendly ski resort with artificial snow, easy slopes, a café, and equipment renting opportunities.

Metsovo

Combining local products, exclusive facilities, & preserving the tradition, it's classified as a flagship of the Greek alternative tourism.

Flega Lakes, Pindos National Park

Legendary mountainous lakes on the subalpine highlands of "Valia Kalda", that can be reached through 3 different hiking trails.

Anilio Ski Center

One out of the three ski areas of Metsovo that includes five lifts and slopes for new-starters as well as for experienced skiers.

Questions & Answers About Ioannina

What is Ioannina, Greece?

The city of Ioannina is the largest city in the geographical region of Epirus and the capital of the prefecture. With a population of over 70,000 residents, it's considered one of the most important commercial, financial, and cultural centers of the region. Today the city hosts a very successful university, two hospitals, a water-sports center, while the constant growth of the tourism industry is accompanied by a significant improvement in infrastructure and facilities. The visitor can reach the city of Ioannina, either via the city airport or by using the new Egnatia highway. The distance from Athens is 438 km ( 272 miles) and from Thessaloniki 370 km ( 230 miles).

When was Ioannina founded?

Ioannina was founded in the 6th century AD by the Emperor Justinian on the shore of the lake which name derived from the Monastery of St. John the Baptist located in the castle until 510 AD. During the following centuries it was attracted by numerous enemies and was occupied by Russians, Slavs and Normans.

How was Ioannina during the Ottoman occupation?

In 1439 the city fell into Ottoman rule. Initially, the Turks with Sinan Pasha gave enough rights to the local inhabitants, but after some uprisings hardened their stance but without affecting its substantial economic development. Greek merchants were developing relationships with important commercial centers of Europe (Venice, Livorno etc). This was rising their economic wealth and consequently, they were contributing financially to the Greek society with some of them to be known as national benefactors. Their contribution to literature and the arts is undeniable and related to an important spiritual and educational activity in the city.