Though Greece may be known for its beaches and islands, it is certainly an ideal destination for the winter months. And with 80% of its territory being mountainous, it has some fantastic well-kept secret places that deserve to be known, such as Metsovo, in Epirus. Here is why you should visit this beautiful village.
A mountainous gem
Perched on the mountainside of the range of Pindos, Metsovo is a small traditional village that has tons of authentic character. Well known as a mountain escape by locals, it is a year-round destination that offers gorgeous surroundings – even more so in the winter, when majestic white snow blankets the village.
With its air of impressionist paintings, this marvellous village is ideal for art and culture lovers. Discover the area’s two-story stone and wood houses, known for their characteristic red roofs, its green scenery and its fascinating cuisine. The surroundings are perfect for nature lovers, with a plethora of hiking trails, pine forests and hidden rivers.
A lively village where tradition reigns
The picture-perfect settlement has a quaint main square, dominated by the stunning church of Agia Paraskevi, built in the 15th century. This area is where you can also see a distinctive everyday scene: senior men sitting on square benches and conversing in Vlach, the local dialect.
But Metsovo also includes a few sights to discover, such as the Averoff Gallery, where you can admire sculptures and paintings by famous Greek artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. A stone’s throw away, the Tositsa mansion is home to the Folk Art Museum. Inside, visitors can admire a variety of everyday items, including utensils, jewellery, firearms and swords, as well as traditional dresses, woven fabrics and looms. The collection also includes icons dating from the 15th to the early 20th centuries.
Walk on the cobblestone streets and observe the houses, breathe in the fresh air and take it all in.
The monasteries of Panagia and Agios Nikolaos are also worth exploring, both built on the banks of river Metsovitis, a little bit outside the village.
Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine
After exploring the area, you will quickly come to understand that tradition reigns in Metsovo, and as such, the village is home to a unique cuisine, which you can discover in one of its many tavernas. Make sure to try not only the local pies and the tasty sausages but also the local dishes prepared with metsovone cheese. This distinct smokey cheese is simply delicious, and you will want to drop by a store selling dairy products so that you can take some home with you. Finally, the region is also home to the Katogi Averoff Winery – a place where you can sample Katogi wine, an aromatic red wine known across the country.
There is more to Metsovo than meets the eye
Blessed with stunning scenery, Metsovo is also a perfect base station to indulge in some ski fun. Located approximately six kilometres (3.7 miles) from the village, the Anilio Ski Resort, one of the latest additions to the family of ski centres in Greece, awaits visitors. Perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, this new resort is ideal for those who want to try their hands at cross-country skiing, and it includes five ski slopes and one for snowboarding. End the day at the chalet to enjoy some warm beverages and a hearty meal.