Departure region Thessaloniki


Duration / time start
One day / 8:00
650 km.
Kastoria is one of the most beautiful cities of Western Macedonia highlands. Its population is estimated at over 13 thousands of people. The historical part of the city is located on a small peninsula nearby Lake Orestiada that washes the shores of Kastoria. Nowadays, this city with more than 2000 years of history is considered as one of the most popular winter resorts in Greece, as well as the fur capital of Europe.

A brief history of Kastoria

Titus livius, an ancient historian, noted that the first settlement on the sites of the contemporary Kastoria was established in the 8th century bc, and it was given the name celetrum. Later, it was renamed to Diocletianopolis. In the 6th century bc, justinian, the roman emperor, moved the city to a more secure location a few miles south, on a small stretch of land near lake Orestiada, and put up protective walls around it.

The wealth of Kastoria

The townspeople of Kastoria were abundant in wealth, which enabled the city to remain independent, even as a part of the Ottoman empire. This prosperity was attributed to the fur trade, a prosperous industry that started in the late 19th century and made Kastoria one of the major hubs of the Greek liberation movement.

The Byzantine treasury of Greece

Kastoria boasts of many ancient orthodox churches built in the eleventh century. This is why it is also known as the Byzantine treasury of Greece. The museums in Kastoria house hundreds of fascinating and rare artifacts from the past!

The cave of the dragon

Greece is teeming with myths and legends, and Kastoria is no exception. Legend had it that the dragon cave was the treasure trove of a mythical king Kastor, guarded by a fierce dragon. One day, the dragon was slain and the gold looted. The cave was forgotten for millennia, until it was stumbled upon in 1940 by local explorers.

The entrance of this remarkable cave resembled the maw of a dragon, and within one could discover subterranean lakes and roam around grand chambers with stunning stalactite formations dangling from the ceiling.

Investigating the lake Orestiada phenomenon

Take a stroll along the banks of lake Orestiada and be sure to bring some bread for the swans, ducks, and even a pelican! But that`s not all — this lake has a peculiar occurrence that locals have been talking about. Every year, just prior to the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary (august 15th), the lake`s water turns icy-black and the fish start to swim up to the surface. Scientists haven`t been able to find a logical explanation for this phenomenon yet!

On the go!
Approx. 2,5 hours

Transfer to Kastoria. On the way a coffe stop may be arranged.

The Lake Village
30 minutes

Guided Tour to the Dispilio Lake Settlement

Tender Beauty
approx. 3 hours

Visiting Kastorian fur factories

approx. 1 hour

Lunch at one of the picturesque taverns of Kastoria

The Bride of the Lake
approx. 2 hours

Kastoria City Tour

Back to Thessaloniki
approx. 2,5 hours

Transfer from Kastoria to Thessaloniki




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What to take

Water and money for food and souvenirs. You won’t need anything else to have a great time!

What to wear

Comfortable shoes, a headgear and appropriate clothing for visiting temples and monasteries.