Kastoria

City in West Macedonia
Also called:
  • Kesriye TR
  • Kostur SR
  • Kosturi SQ
Why visit Kastoria?
  • The city received its name from the beavers (kastoras in Greek) that live in the lake.
  • Traditional architecture, lake, and Byzantine past compose the city character.
  • The fur trade has flourished in the region for many decades.

Attractions, sights & Things to Do in Kastoria

Starting Point: Lake of Kastoria

Lake of Kastoria

« Limni Orestiada »

Identical element that composes the distinctive character of this Macedonian city.

Byzantine Museum of Kastoria

Revealing the significant role of the city during the Byzantine period through a series of icons and artifacts of exceptional art.

Church of Saint Nicholas of Kasnitzis

Little Byzantine Church of the 12th century that bears its founder's name, located in the Omonia Square, and dedicated to St. Nicholas.

A picture of the Byzantine Church of Panagia Koumpelidiki in Kastoria with an old woman looking at it.
photo: Kürschner

Byzantine Church of Panagia Koumpelidiki

One of the city trademarks that dates from the 11th century and is located at the Byzantine Acropolis.

Aquarium of Kastoria

The biggest aquarium in the Balkans is an ideal destination for everyone who wishes to get a picture of the life in the Greek freshwaters.

Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, Kastoria

Inaugurated in 2010, it includes an interesting exhibition hosted in a Greek fighter's house.

Museum of Costumes "Emmanouil Mansion"

Visiting a traditional house built in 1750, and getting an image of the local folklore through garments.

Church of Saint Stephen, Kastoria

« Agiou Stefanou »

Dating from the second half of the 9th century, it is the oldest Byzantine church of the city.

Inside a room of the Folklore Museum of Kastoria with typical furniture and decoration of a mansion.
photo: ΟρεστιάδεςΕΠ

Folklore Museum of Kastoria

« Nerantzis Aivazis »

Housed in a well-preserved mansion, it offers a clear picture of how was life during the past.

Prophet Elias Hill, Kastoria

Apart from enjoying a drink in the café or visiting the Prophet Elias chapel, this spot offers an amazing panoramic view of the whole city.

Dragon's Cave in Kastoria

« Spilia Drakou »

Probably the most impressive attraction, located just 2 km from the city and 20 meters from the lake.

A building of the Monastery of Virgin Mary Mauriotissa in Kastoria.
photo: C messier

Monastery of Virgin Mary Mauriotissa

A popular religious pilgrimage by the shore of the Kastoria lake just 5 km from the city.

Museum of Petrified Forest, Nostimo Kastoria

Unusual exhibits in a petrified form that reveal the landscape of the area 20 million years ago.

The mount Vitsi (or Verno as it is also called) covered with snow.
photo: Dgolitsis

Vitsi Ski Center, Verno Mountain

Its 5 slopes are situated at an altitude ranging from 1610 to 1875 meters, while its function starts normally from December and ends in March.

Horses in a green field surrounded by trees.
photo: stefg74 / CC BY 2.0

Artemis Horse Riding School, Sklithro

Offers a series of activities in nature such as horseback riding, canoeing, and mountain biking.

Nymfaio

A fairytale destination at an altitude of 1350 meters, famous for its traditional architecture and its breathtaking natural landscape.

The yard of Agios Minas, the main church of the village of Emporio.
photo: Erisa Desu

Emporio Kozani

Built at the foothills of the homonymous mountain, it is an old traditional settlement ideal for quiet and relaxing vacations.

Arcturos Wolf Sanctuary, Agrapidies

A 70-acre protected forest area is transformed into a refuge of wolves that cannot integrate and survive into their natural environment.

Lakes Chimaditida & Zazari

Both lakes construct unique wetlands, that attract rare bird species, thus they compose the ideal environment for birdwatching.

A snowy slope and a lift of the ski center of Pisoderi - Viglas.
photo: Ckyr / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ski Center Pisoderi - Viglas

At an approximate altitude of 1650 meters over the sea level is located a ski resort that is famous for the quality of snow and its long slopes.

Prespa National Park

A natural reserve standing for its biodiversity, while at the same time it is a part of a larger park between three different countries.

Florina

The cold winters & the picturesque river are the main characteristics of the city of Macedonia region located at the northern borders of Greece.

The relics and the interior of the Basilica of St. Achillios in the Small Prespa lake.
photo: stefg74 / CC BY 2.0

St. Achillios Island & Basilica, Small Prespa

A lake inhabited island, that gets its name from the Byzantine local church dedicated to St. Achillios.

Questions & Answers About Kastoria

What is Kastoria, Greece?

The Greek city of Kastoria is located on the western edge of the Macedonia region. It is the capital of the Kastoria prefecture which is located between the prefectures of Florina, Grevena, Kozani, and Ioannina, while in the east it borders with Albania. It is built on a peninsula west of Lake Orestiada (or lake of Kastoria) between the mountains of Vitsi range at an altitude of more than 600 meters (2000 feet) from sea level. The city's population is nearly 20,000 inhabitants and its name derives probably from the name of the beavers ("Kastoras" in Greek) that are endemic for several centuries in the nearby lake. The distance of Kastoria from Athens is 600 kilometers (373 miles) away from Thessaloniki is approximately 230 km (143 miles). The upgraded road network has transformed Kastoria to one of the most recognized alternative tourist destinations.

How important was for Kastoria the fur and leather trade?

Apart from its name that derive from the endemic beaver (kastoras in Greek), the city has connected the name with the fur trade that flourished in the region. The fur industry was based to the great population of the local beavers and until the recent decades contributed to the local economy. In the last years, the market competition and the fall in demand moved a significant part of the workforce at the industry of leather and fur to the emerging field of tourism.