One of the 13 prefectures of Macedonia. The prefecture of Grevena occupies the SW part of Western Macedonia and it borders to the north with the prefecture of Kozani, to the east with the prefecture of Kozani and the prefecture of Larissa, to the SW and W to the prefecture of Ioannina and to the NW with the prefecture of Kastoria.
Seat of the prefecture: Grevena
Prefecture population: 37.947 (2001 census)
Distance of the prefecture seat from Athens: 484 km.
The main areas of the prefecture are: Grevena, Deskati, Vasilitsa, Lavda, Smixi.
The historical evidence in the area of Grevena starts in the Neolithic era. In the ancient years it was part of the dominions of Timfea and Elimia. The area of Grevena also played an important role in the Roman and the Byzantine years, as well as in the years of the Turkish occupation, as its monuments indicate. From the 17th century on, it grew into a very important commercial hub.
The prefecture was formed in 1964 by uniting the province of Grevena, taken from the prefecture of Kozani, with the municipality of Deskati and the communities of Dasochorio and Paraskevi from the prefecture of Larissa.
The city of Grevena is almost centrally located in the prefecture and it is connected with radially extending roadways to Kozani, Larissa, Trikala and Ioannina.
The prefecture of Grevena, rich in natural beauty, is an ideal visiting place for nature lovers, eco-tourists, as well as the lovers of exploration and adventure.
The "jewel" of the area is the National Forest of Pindos, also called Valia Calda, which lies in the north-western part of the prefecture, in the unexplored mountainous range of Lygkos.
In the dialect of the Vlachs, Valia Calda means warm valley…
The city of Grevena, the seat of the prefecture, is built at an altitude of 534 m, in an area with abundant vegetation, east of the N. Pindos mountain range, on the banks of Grevenitis, a contributory of Aliakmonas river.
It has a cool climate during the summer and it can serve as the base for outings to the nearby areas.
The city of Grevena is on a track of steady growth powered by the tourist development, which is based on the emphasis put on the beautiful alpine natural environment.
In the centre of the city, the pretty Aimilianou square, surrounded by pedestrian streets with traditional and modern restaurants and taverns can cover the dining requirements of the visiting tourists. On the pedestrian street M. Alexandrou (named after Alexander the Great), modern but also classical style cafes attract the visitor, while for the romantics among us the municipal refreshment establishments at Kastraki and at Tsakalia are available.
In the prefecture there are 17 stone bridges, all preserved in quite good condition. In the most important of them are included the bridge of Aziz Agas in Trikomo, which is the bridge with the biggest arch in Macedonia, the bridge of Portitsa and the bridge of Katsoyiannis in Spileo, the Bridge of Spanos in Kipouryio, as well as that of Ziakas in the village bearing the same name.
Furthermore, the area is strewn with many old churches, monasteries and buildings, situated in the various villages. Such a village is Spileo, where the stone-built school (1931), the mansion of Kostas Varvitsas (1900), the Monastery of the Dormition of Mary (Kimissi Theotokou, 15th century), as well as the church of the patron of the city Agios Athanassios (1804) can be seen.
The Monastery of Zavorda, where the unique lexicon of Fotios the Great was found, is considered the most important religious monument in Western Macedonia and one of the greatest and most important monasteries outside Agio Oros (Holy Mountain).
Furthermore, the village Perivoli is decorated by countless stone built fountains, as well as traditional buildings, such as the church of Agios Nikolaos (13th century) and the church of Agios Georgios (16th century).
Besides the walks in the endless natural environment of the prefecture of Grevena, the visitor has the chance to take part in adventure activities, to come closer to the grandeur and the power of nature. Especially the river Aliakmonas with its contributories, as well as the Venetikos River, are ideal for the lovers of activities such as kayaking and rafting.
The mountainous areas of Smolikas and Orliakas are suitable for rock climbing, hiking and trekking, while the Vassilitsa Ski Centre, where tow and chair lifts are in operation, are an attraction for the friends of winter sports.
Here is noted, that the city of Grevena, as well as the villages of the prefecture, have developed organized accommodation units for the visitors, in the form of hotels, rooms for rent and guesthouses, in order to satisfy the large influx of visitors from all over Greece.
The area of Vassilitsa lies in the western part of the prefecture of Grevena, which belongs to the geographical region of Western Macedonia.
This area is mountainous, with large forests, an abundance of natural beauties, snow covered mountain peaks, but also with many traditional villages at various altitudes.
One of the best known villages of the area is Samarina, a famous traditional mountain settlement, at an elevation of 1.450 m.
The area is also well known for the Vassilitsa Ski Centre, considered one of the best in Greece, located above the village Smixi.
In the northwest side of the Vassilitsa area extends the long valley "Valia Stathi", one of the most inaccessible and rugged valleys, which ends up to Aoos river.
Furthermore, the area lends itself to all kinds of adventure activities, as there are mountainous areas appropriate for climbing, rivers for water sports (rafting, kayaking) and a lot more.
The town of Deskati is located in the SE part of the prefecture of Grevena and it has been built at an elevation of about 850m. It is a pretty town surrounded by mountains with fir, pine and oak-trees. Its residents are known for their traditional hospitality.
Ziakas is a village lying 19 km southwest of Grevena and includes the settlements of Krya Vryssi or Tista and Perivolaki. It is built at an elevation of about 900m and it is named after the fabled hero Theodoros Ziakas.
How you can get here
By bus: There is KTEL bus service connection, from and to Grevena, with the largest cities of Greece: Athens, Thessalonica, Larissa, Kozani etc. From Grevena you can get to any village you want with the local bus service of the KTEL of Prefecture of Grevena.
By car: From Athens you can get here via the Athens-Lamia and Larissa-Trikala national roads. Via Kalambaka you get to Grevena. From Thessalonica you can get here via the Egnatia Motorway all the way to Grevena. From Ioannina, via the Ioannina-Trikala national road. From Metsovo you can get to Grevena via Milia.
The distance from Athens is 512 km.
The distance from Thessalonica is 192 km.
The distance from Patras is 423 km.
The distance from Ioannina is 178 km.
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