Cruise Port Atlas | Igoumenitsa (Meteora), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Igoumenitsa (Meteora), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Igoumenitsa: Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea, Holland America

Recommended Attractions: Monasteries of Meteora, Thesprotia, Monastery of Giromeri, Syvota, Metsovo, Averoff Art Gallery, Monastery of St. Nicholas, Ioannina, Ali Pasha's castle, the ancient Dodona theater, Lake Pamvotis, the Eagles Nest villages of Zagori, Parga and the Oracle of the Dead

Sandstone Monoliths in Meteora

Meteora

Igoumenitsa to Meteora - 180 Km, 100 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Located near Kalabaka, Meteora literally means suspended in mid air, which is probably the best way to describe this sublime merging of geological drama and religious spirituality. The amazingly imposing rocks of Meteora were formed about 60 million years ago and evidence dates human presence there as far back as 50,000 years. Christian monks probably started moving to the area around the 12th Century, but it was not until the 14th Century that these precariously perched monasteries began to emerge, By this time, older forms of one-man ascetic hermitages had given way to, more organized groups of monks, who formed orders and proceeded with the seemingly impossible task of constructing buildings on these steep and nearly inaccessible peaks.

Typically, each monastery would include a church, cloistered living quarters or cells, a refectory, a library and in some cases, a treasury. For many centuries, travelers and monks had to be hauled up to these remote sanctuaries in a basket or net at the end of a rope. Of the six monasteries still active today, Great Meteoron and Varlaam are the two largest and most visited.

Rousanou Monastery

Byzantine Architecture   History   Greenery   Incredible Views and Vistas   Pillar-like Mountains   UNESCO World Heritage Site  

Strenuous Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Meteora by Exwhysee, Photo of Rousanou Monastery by Vaggelis Vlahos

Syvota shoreline in Thesprotia

Thesprotia

Igoumenitsa to Syvota - 22 KM, 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The region of Thesprotia combines history with rustic seaside villages that have the same appeal is Ionian islands but with a more unspoiled culture. The Monastery of Giromeri in the town of Filiates was built in the 14th century and features frescoes and woodcuts of later eras. The yacht harbor of Syvota, very near the border with Albania, has long been popular with regional boaters for its waterfront tavernas and cafes and the nearby beaches.

Beach   Byzantine   Art   History  

Moderate Walking    Limited Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Syvota by ERWEH

Epirus town of Metsovo

Metsovo and Epirus

Igoumenitsa to Metsovo - 112 km, 80 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Sprawling on the steep slopes of Mt Pindos amidst stunning alpine countryside, Metsovo is truly one of the jewels of Epirus and living testament to the region's fame for skilled stonemasonry. Apart from the Averoff Art Gallery, there is a small folkloric museum, the churches of Agia Paraskevi and the Virgin Mary, the Monastery of St. Nicholas and a traditional winery. In the town's main square there are many restaurants to sample authentic local cuisine and several shops that sell local products including the famous Metsovone smoked cheese and traditional crafts.

Art   Rustic Buildings   Greenery   Alpine Views  

Strenuous Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Metsovo by Joerg

Iaonnina's famous islet

Ioannina

Igoumenitsa to Ioannina - 67 km, 45 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

According to many historians, Ioannina - or Yannena as it is known locally - is a charming tapestry of many different historic periods and cultures. It has well-regarded Byzantine Museum, historic mosques and a large castle which was used by Byzantine, Serb and Ottoman rulers. A major University gives the town a youthful and lively atmosphere. There are bustling lakeside cafes, good restaurants and several trendy shops that coexist with the city's historic craft market, famous for its fine silversmiths. Accessible by short boat ride is the island in the middle of Lake Pamvotis, with its traditional village, narrow paved alleys, Byzantine churches and monasteries. The natural setting is breathtakingly beautiful and very characteristic of the region of Epirus. Near Ioannina there is the splendid 3rd Century BC Theatre of Dodoni. The palatial Cave of Perama is considered one of the most impressive in the Mediterranean.

Dodona Theater - Greek Ruin

Ancient, Byzantine and Ottoman   Lake and Mountains   Ancient, Byzantine and Ottoman   Museums  

Moderate Walking    Some Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Ioannina by Konstantinos Stampoulis, Photo of Dondona Theater by Onno Zweers

Stone Bridge in the Zagori region

Eagles Nest villages of Zagori

Igoumenitsa to Zagori - 116 km, 90 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Zagori is a region with 46 villages, isolated by geography and perched on the slopes of a scenic valley. Because of rare herbs, the region became wealthy and famous for healing. The houses are unique and built to withstand their precarious locations. It is a place to see nature and discover a unique and isolated culture.

Rustic Mountain Homes & Villages   Flowers and Herbs   Unique Local Crafts   Steep Valleys  

Strenuous Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Photo of Zagori Stone bridge by Panagiotis Botsis

Parga

Igoumenitsa to Parga - 20 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The colorful and historic seaside village of Parga has long been popular for its steep streets and rocky promontories. The Parga Castle was destroyed by the pirate Barbarrosa, and later by the Ottomans, before the present structure was built by the Venetians. When the city was captured by the Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha, he renovated the Castle to include baths and a harem. The favorite activity in Parga is sitting at a romantic seaside taverna, eating local seafood and drinking the local spirits. This is a great place to relax. Not far to the southeast of Parga is the Oracle of the Dead, a temple of Hades, where ancient Greeks came to ask questions of the dead.

Beach   Ancient Religious Sites  

Some areas have easy Walking    Limited Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Parga by Samuli Lintula

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible