The prefecture of Florina is one of the 13 prefectures of Macedonia. It occupies the northeastern part of Macedonia and it borders with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and the prefectures of Kastoria, Kozani and Pella.
Seat of the prefecture: Florina
Prefecture population: 54.768 (2001 census)
Distance of the prefecture seat from Athens: 571 km
The main areas of the prefecture are: Florina, Prespes, Amynteo, Antartiko, Vevi, Meliti, Nymfeo, Pissoderi.
The natural beauties of the region, combined with the traditional villages, the dense forests of beech trees, the historical monuments, the two picturesque lakes Prespes and the majestic mountain ranges, make the prefecture a unique area in beauty and diversity of landscape, and an ideal vacation destination, all year round.
The city ofFlorina, seat of the prefecture, is the financial, commercial, administrative and cultural centre of the prefecture. The main characteristic of the surrounding area is the lush vegetation, to which the city owes its name. The modern city of Florina has been built on the ruins of an ancient city. It is a very picturesque city and, in many districts, it maintains its traditional character.
Besides the abundant vegetation and its natural beauty, the city of Florina can offer many points of interest. Visit the church of Agia (St.) Paraskevi, patron of the city, the Zoo with various animal species from northern Greece and wild animals (mammals and birds). You can also visit the game animal conservatory, where deer, hares, wild boar, roes and other animals are bred.
The Archaeological and Byzantine Museum is housed in a building at the Square of the Railway Station. In its collections are included works of sculpture, reliefs, epigraphs, various other findings, and an exhibition of Byzantine antiquities. In the Modern Art Museum, founded in 1977, gravures, paintings and works of sculpture are on exhibit. The city also has a Zoology Museum with species from the region, as well as a Folk Museum.
By the modern city of Amynteo, there are two lakes: VegoritidaLake and Petron Lake. On the Vegoritida Lake coast, in a setting of great beauty, was discovered the prehistoric settlement of Agios Panteleimonas. Swimming is also possible in this area. You can visit the archaeological area of Petron and the church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicolas).
The picturesque village Nymfeo, built at the foothills of Vitsi Mountain, is bound to impress you. It has been declared a traditional settlement and a site of historical importance. Here you can enjoy a setting of unequalled natural beauty, you can walk along stone-paved streets, some of which are really narrow, admire majestic mansions and explore dense forests. You can visit the ruins of the mansion that used to serve as Headquarters of the Macedonian Struggle, the Folk Museum, the post-Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicolas) and the Arcturos Brown Bear Sanctuary.
In the village Antartiko, with its houses built of sun-dried bricks and the mansions of distinguished Macedonian architectural style, is located the church of Agios (St.) Athanassios, of the 19th century, with a wood-carved chancel screen. In the mountain village Vevi can be seen a fortification wall and a graveyard of the Roman era, as well as the Byzantine churches of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicolas) and Agios (St.) Athanassios. In the village Meliti proudly stands the Byzantine castle of Skopos, the church of Prophitis Ilias (Prophet Elias) and remains of a Roman bath.
Of special historical value is the church of Agia (St.) Paraskevi in Pissoderi, as this was the place were the head of the great Macedonian Struggle fighter Pavlos Melas was buried in 1904, as well as the monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), built in the forest about 1050 A.D., which used to be base of the fighters of the Macedonian Struggle.
The most important natural spot of beauty is the area of the lakes Prespes. The two picturesque lakes, Mikri Prespa and Megali Prespa, attract the attention of the visitors, due to their natural beauty and their biodiversity. The lakes are separated by a narrow strip of land, of maximum width of 2 km. Nearby are important traditional villages. The area of Prespes has been declared a National Forest since 1974, being home to 1500 species of plants, 260 species of birds, more than 40 species of mammals, 22 species of serpents and 17 species of fish. In the lake Mikri Prespa you can visit the little island of Agios (St.) Achillios via a floating bridge, while in the summer time you can swim at the beach Koula of the lake Megali Prespa.
At a distance of 19 km from the city of Florina is located the Ski Centre of Vigla-Pissoderi. With the largest run of Olympic specifications in Greece, a guesthouse with a 30-person capacity, ski school, ski rental shop, and a chalet with restaurant and cafe, this centre attracts the lovers of winter sports who seek adventure and adrenaline heightening experiences.
The prefecture of Florina, with the large forests, the magnificent landscape, the majestic mountains, the beautiful lakes, the traditional settlements, the Byzantine monuments and the modern infrastructure, can satisfy the most demanding visitor, any time of the year.
How you can get here:
By bus: There is frequent daily bus service with KTEL busses to and from Athens and Thessalonica.
By car: You can get to Florina by car via the Athens-Thessalonica National Road.
The distance from Athens is 585 km.
The distance from Thessalonica is 166 km.
The distance from Patras is 530 km.
The distance from Ioannina is 311 km.
By train: There is railway service from Athens to Skydra ns Platy and from Thessalonica to Skydra.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
(Calling code for Greece 0030)
Municipality of Florina 23850 44325 Florina Hospital 23850 22555, 22166 Florina Police Dept. 23850 44230 FlorinaTraffic Police 23850 22202 Florina Tourist Police 23850 44240 Florina Tourist Information Bureau 23850 45560 Florina Bus Depot (KTEL) 23850 22430 Athens Bus Depot (KTEL) 210 5130427
Thessalonica Bus Depot (KTEL) 2310 522161 Florina Railway station (OSE) 23850 22404 Athens Railway Station (OSE) 210 5297777 Thessalonica Railway Station (OSE) 2310 517517 Florina Taxi 23850 23100, 22700 Archaeological Museum of Florina 23850 28206 Pissoderi Ski Centre 23850 45800-1
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