Departure region Cassandra

Kastoria

Duration / time start
1 day / 7:00
Distance
650 km.
Transport
Auto
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.

History

The first settlement on the sites of the modern Kastoria was already founded in the 8th century BC. According to an ancient historian Titus Livius, it was originally called Celetrum and was later renamed to Diocletianopolis. In the sixth century BC, Roman emperor Justinian relocated it to a safer place a couple of miles to the south, on a tiny peninsula near Lake Orestiada, and protected it by fortress walls. 
Thanks to the richness of the townspeople, Kastoria managed to maintain relative autonomy even while being a part of the Ottoman Empire. The source of such a wealth was, and is still the developed fur trade. Due to this, at the end of the 19th century the city turned into one of the main centers of the Greek national liberation movement.


Byzantine Kastoria

The city preserved many ancient Orthodox churches, built in the eleventh century – this is why it is also being called the Byzantine treasury of Greece. Museums of Kastoria store hundreds of interesting and unique artifacts from the past!

Cave of the Dragon 

Of course, all city of Greece have some sort of legend – in this place myths and reality live so close to each other, that it is hard to say where one ends and another begins. Kastoria is not an exception – it has its own legend about the Cave of the Dragon, which is located nearby the Mavriotissa Monastery.
According to the legend, the cave was a gold mine of a mythic king Kastor, and it was guarded by a dragon. One day the dragon was killed and all the gold were stolen. The cave has been forgotten for thousands of years – until it was found in 1940 by local enthusiasts.
The entrance of this amazing cave looks like a dragon’s mouth, and inside you can find underground lakes and walk around large halls with unique stalactites formations hanging from above. 

Lake Orestiada phenomenon

Buy some bread and take a walk around the shore of the Lake Orestiada. You can feed its dwellers: swans, dives, lake ducks and even a pelican! In addition, there is one more thing about this place. Local residents claim that water in the lake turns black and cold for 8 days, and fishes start to swim right on the water surface – it happens every year on the eve of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the 15th of August). Scientists cannot find a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon!

The best Kastoria tours by Excursio.gr

Our goal is to introduce you to yet another wonderful corner of Greece, which is unique in its own way. Of course, you would be able to visit one or two fur factories if you want to – the individual tour allows you to travel as you wish!

1
On the go!
Approx. 2,5 hours

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


2
The Lake Village
30 minutes

Guided Tour to the Dispilio Lake Settlement


3
Tender Beauty
approx. 3 hours

Visiting Kastorian fur factories


4
Lunch
approx. 1 hour

Lunch at one of the picturesque taverns of Kastoria


5
The Bride of the Lake
approx. 2 hours

Kastoria City Tour


6
Back to Halkidiki
approx. 2,5 hours

Transfer from Kastoria to Halkidiki


YOU'LL VISIT

OPTIONS AND PRICING

Ask a Question

We will help you with the choice of yacht or route and verify the availability for the selected date. Fill out the form or call/text us

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.