in historic Ioannina was a real treat. Leaving Paxos on Friday by ferry in just under a couple of hours we arrived in Igoumenitsa, taking the Egnatia highway we arrived in Ioannina (or should I say Ikea!) in about 40 minutes.
A university town with a vibrant atmosphere, Ioannina is famous for it’s Zagori spring water, feta cheese, baklava and silver-work.
Staying within the castle walls with it’s network of small roads, you can understand why the pirates that breached the castle walls were confused. Home to two mosques, one of which is now a museum, their tall spherical towers add a magical feel to the place.
Whilst there we visited the islet of Pamvotis, referred to as Nisaki meaning little island. Small boats ferry passengers across and once there you’re able to walk around the circumference of the island within an hour and a half. Waterside taverna’s serve fish from the lake and the island has a huge range of flora and 6 monasteries one of which Agios Panteleimon has been converted into a museum with re-creations of Ali Pasha’s living quarters, this is where he spent the last days of his life. The tiny island has yearlong residents that keep small boats moored close to their homes and up until 1758 there was also a school.
Sitting by the lake with the stunning Zagori mountains in the background Ioannina really is a confusion of the senses.