Departure region Cassandra

Excursion to Kastoria

Duration / time start
1 day / 7:00
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.

Trace of Kastoria

The beginnings of Kastoria can be traced to the 8th century bc as it was first established as celetrum. Titus livius, a celebrated ancient historian, mentioned this original name. Later, during the reign of justinian, the roman emperor, the settlement was moved to a more secure location a few miles away from its former home. Here, at the tip of a small headland close to lake orestiada, the city was fortified by walls.

Secure autonomy from ottoman empire

The affluence of the people of Kastoria allowed the city to remain relatively independent, even when part of the Ottoman empire. This wealth was, and still is, derived from a thriving fur trade. Consequently, at the close of the 19th century, Kastoria became a major centre of the greek national liberation movement.

The Byzantine treasury of Greece

Kastoria, a city in greece, has long been referred to as the Byzantine treasury of the country. This is due to the many ancient orthodox churches dating back to the eleventh century that are still standing. Additionally, museums in the area contain a wealth of fascinating and unique artifacts from the past.

The cave of the dragon

Like other cities in Greece, kastoria has its own mythical legend. This is the tale of the cave of the dragon, which is located near the Mavriotissa monastery. It is a place where fact and fiction are intertwined, making it hard to distinguish between the two.

Legend of the Kastor cave

It is said that the Kastor cave was the treasured gold mine of a mythical ruler and was protected by a dragon. Unfortunately, the dragon was slain and all the gold was taken. For thousands of years, the cave was lost and forgotten, until it was stumbled upon by nearby adventurers in 1940.

The entrance of this magnificent cave looks like the jaws of a dragon, and inside you can witness underground lakes, and explore spacious chambers with remarkable stalactite formations suspended from the ceiling.

The mysterious lake Orestiada

Take a stroll around the shore of mystical lake Orestiada and don’t forget to bring some bread for the local birds — swans, ducks, and even a pelican.

But, there’s something even more peculiar about this lake. Every year, on the eve of the assumption of the blessed virgin mary (the 15th of august), the lake water turns black and cold and the fish start swimming on the surface. This has been observed by the locals, however, scientists are still unable to provide a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon.

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 Halkidiki
approx. 2,5 hours

Transfer from Kastoria to Halkidiki




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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.