Metsovo: Lakes, Ski Resorts and Bears

Metsovo is a renowned mountainside town straddling the Pindus mountain range where Epirus converges with western Macedonia and Thessaly.

Standing at an altitude of 1,156 metres and overlooking a steep valley below, it ranks as one of the pre-eminent winter and alpine destinations in Greece.

Built like an amphitheatre; its tile roofs and wooden porches stretch out across the slope, and its grand mansions nestle in between beech and fir trees.

Metsovite travellers and traders became prosperous, particularly in the Danubian principalities and Russia, then brought the benefits of their wealth back to their homeland by constructing public buildings, bridges, churches and schools.

Metsovo; in essence a market town, became a cultural and commercial hub for merchants and traders from East and West.

Metsovo’s main square is one of the most famous attractions of mountainous Greece and thousands of visitors pass through it every year, stopping to take a picture next to the monument of two bears

Of its benefactors, particularly noteworthy is the Tositsa Foundation, and Evangelos Averoff, who were the driving force behind the economic boom and an influx of tourism in 1970.

A bit further up, at an altitude of 1,400m, is the Politses ski resort. It may be small, but it offers all the necessary facilities for amateur skiers.

About 20 km north-west of Metsovo, is the magnificent artificial lake at the source of the Aoös River.

In the winter, the blue water sinks into the white landscape and in the summer it’s draped in the foliage of the dense riparian forest.

The beech forest gives way to a forest of firs to the north of the lake, the boundary of the Pindus National Park and the renowned Valia- Kalda.

With info from Discover Greece