A weekend in Ioannina

Ioannina has aspects of the West and East entangled together in its long and adventurous history. Located in a beautiful natural setting and with a vibrant cultural life, the capital of the Epirus region is an ideal autumn destination. It is a truly unique city, which combines magnificent mountain views with charming old neighborhoods packed with tile-roofed houses, lush greenery and evidence of a time when Christians, Muslims and Jews coexisted in this part of Greece. To get to know something of this history, visit the Municipal Museum, which is housed in the former Aslan Pasha Mosque. You should also visit the castle and its acropolis, located in the old quarter, home to the Fethiye Mosque, built in 1430, and the ornamented tomb of Ali Pasha. A visit to the Municipal Gallery offers a good overview of the trends in modern Greek art as its collection includes landscapes and portraits, works by champions of the abstract, as well as pieces by artists focused on illustrating their “Greekness” or on embracing European trends. The Archaeological Museum also has a good collection of finds, ranging from traces of the first humans in Epirus to the late Roman period, with an emphasis on the excavations at Ancient Dodoni.

If you have more time at your disposal, there is much to see around Ioannina, such as the island on the lake Pamvotida on which Ioannina sits, where Ali Pasha died, which is also home to several impressive monasteries, such as Aghios Nikolaos. It is inhabited and has a few shops and restaurants.

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