On the shores of Lake Pamvotis lies Epirus’s capital and largest city, Ioannina (pop. 100,000). While perhaps not captivating, the city does serve as a useful transport hub between Greece and Italy. Aside from local finds, the highlights of the city’s Archaeological Museum, off Averof, near the city center, are the lead tablets used by ancients to inscribe their questions to the oracle at Dodoni. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 8:30am-3pm. ‚2, students free.) Catch a boat from the waterfront (lOmin. ‚1) for Nisi (The Island) to explore Byzantine monasteries and the Ali Pasha Museum (Open daily 8am-10pm. ‚0.75).
Buses run from the terminal at Zossimadon 4 to Athens (6V hr. 10 per day, ‚27) and Thessaloniki (7hr. 6 per day, ‚22). To reach the tourist office, walk 500m down Leoforos Dodoni; the office is on the left, immediately after the playground. ( 26510 46 662. Open July-Sept. M-F 7:30am-2:30pm and 5-8:30pm, Sa 9am-lpm; Oct.-June M-F 7:30am-2:30pm.) Hotel Tourist , Kolleti 18, on the right a few blocks up Averof from the kastro, offers baths, telephones, TV, and AC. ( 26510 25 070. Singles ‚30; doubles ‚40; triples ‚50.) Postal Code: 45110.
DAYTRIP FROM IOANNINA: DODONI. Ancient Dodoni (A(O5O)VT), the site of mainland Greece’s oldest oracle, is at the base of a mountain 22km southeast of Ioannina. According to myth, Zeus answered queries here from the roots of a giant oak tree. There is also a large 3rd-century amphitheater at the site (currently undergoing restoration). Buses to Dodoni run from Ioannina’s smaller station at Bizaniou 21 (30min.; M, W, F 6:30am and 3:30pm; ‚1.70). Ask to be let off at the theater. The return bus passes by at about 4:45pm; alternatively, you can hire a taxi (at least ‚ 15).
IOANNINA Iooavviva Photo Gallery
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