Metsovo

Western Greece

The town of Metsovo stands at Greece's highest mountain pass, between Ioannina and the plains of Thessaly, and has historic mansions and a distinctive cuisine.

Metsovo, GreeceMetsovo

To travel from the plains of Thessaly in Central Greece into the region of Epirus in Western Greece involves a drive over the highest road pass in the country, which is 5,599 feet (1,707 m) high and often closed in winter. Nearby is the lovely mountain town of Metsovo, full of character and atmosphere, reflecting the independent spirit of the tough people who live high in these mountains. Some are settled Vlach nomads, although a few hill dwellers still retain the old nomadic lifestyle.

Metsovo is very much on the tourist trail as it's a ski resort in the winter and popular with hikers in the summer, though it has still lost none of its charm. It has a permanent population of only about 3,000 people, and the drive here, in whichever direction, is one of the best drives in Greece though you can also get here by bus from Ioannina, Kalambaka (near Meteora), or Trikala. 

The Mountains Around MetsovoThe Mountains Around Metsovo

Metsovo Cuisine

Metsovo has developed a distinctive and hearty cuisine including pungent sheep's cheeses, game, and robust red wine, and there are plenty of restaurants in town offering you a chance to sample these local specialties. Stores sell the local wine, honey, and cheeses, which make for great gifts or a good picnic lunch if you go walking. Other souvenirs reflect the cultivation of arts and crafts in the area, especially in embroidery, silverware, and in the carving of wooden shepherds' crooks.

Some older men still wear their traditional dark blue or black pleated costumes, not unlike the kilted outfit of the Greek Army, complete with their pom-pommed shoes.

The Tositsa Mansion

Metsovo has flourished for many years, thanks to judicious tax benefits introduced during Ottoman rule because of the town's important position at the head of this vital mountain path. The Ottomans made it a small independent state. Merchants prospered under these conditions, and some of the grand mansions can still be seen. One of them, the Tositsa Mansion, was built in 1661 and now contains the Metsovo Folk Art Museum.

The Tositsa family was prominent in Metsovo and were generous benefactors, not only locally but all over Greece. The museum is presented as if the family was still living there and is spread across three floors, which are elegantly laid out with expensive furniture, rugs, silverware, jewellery, icons, and local folk costumes. Entry to the museum is by guided tour only, and they leave every 30 minutes.

The view from Metsovo in GreeceThe View from Metsovo

The Averoff Art Gallery

The Averoffs were another wealthy and influential local family with a magnificent vision for Metsovo. The Averoff Art Gallery also covers three floors and displays the family's collection of modern Greek art from the 19th and 20th centuries. There's also a good collection of photos of Metsovo over the years. It was the Averoff family which established the town's cheese-making industry.

Read the Discover Greece guide to the 11 best things to do in Metsovo.

Where to Stay in Metsovo

Other Western Greece pages

  • The Zagorian Villages and Vikos Gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece are popular for hiking, and for their scenic beauty and historical traditions.

    Zagori and the Vikos Gorge

    The Zagorian Villages and Vikos Gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece are popular for hiking, and for their scenic beauty and historical traditions.

  • Western Greece includes holiday resorts like Parga, the Pindus Mountains and Zagorian villages, hiking in the Vikos Gorge, historical Ioannina, and Dodona.

    Western Greece: Travel Information and Advice about Western Greece

    Western Greece includes holiday resorts like Parga, the Pindus Mountains and Zagorian villages, hiking in the Vikos Gorge, historical Ioannina, and Dodona.

  • The resort of Parga, in Epirus in Western Greece, is one of the most popular along the Ioanian coast, with several beaches and waterfront seafood tavernas.

    Parga

    The resort of Parga, in Epirus in Western Greece, is one of the most popular along the Ioanian coast, with several beaches and waterfront seafood tavernas.

  • Messolonghi (or Missolonghi) is a town in Western Greece which played a big role in the Greek War of Independence and is where the British poet Lord Byron died.

    Messolonghi

    Messolonghi (or Missolonghi) is a town in Western Greece which played a big role in the Greek War of Independence and is where the British poet Lord Byron died.

  • This walk in Ali Pasha's Ioannina also takes in the city's main museums, the citadel, and a ferry ride to the island of Nissi to visit the Ali Pasha Museum.

    Ioannina Walk

    This walk in Ali Pasha's Ioannina also takes in the city's main museums, the citadel, and a ferry ride to the island of Nissi to visit the Ali Pasha Museum.

  • Ioannina is the capital of Epirus in Western Greece, located by Lake Pamvotis and noted for museums and galleries, a castle, and a tradition for silversmiths.

    Ioannina

    Ioannina is the capital of Epirus in Western Greece, located by Lake Pamvotis and noted for museums and galleries, a castle, and a tradition for silversmiths.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Florina: A Train Journey to a Most Charming Winter Destination

    Full of life and creativity, the northern Greek city of Florina will surprise you with the number of things it has to offer.

    Read More

  2. Kavala: 5 Cultural Experiences

    Follow roads less tourist-trodden to plenty of unexpected sights and stops in this charming historical city.

    Read More

  3. Thessaloniki Closer to Getting its Holocaust Museum

    The plan for a modern museum, illustrating to visitors the story of the Jews of Thessaloniki, has been in the works for a decade.

    Read More

  4. A Sweet Taste of Autumn at the Chestnut, Wine, and Cheese Festival of Griva

    Every autumn, in a small village on the slopes of Mount Paiko, the local harvest is celebrated in style.

    Read More

  5. Hollywood Returns to Thessaloniki

    Film producers are increasingly choosing Greece as a location, not just for shooting, but for post-production as well.

    Read More

  6. New Archaeological Museum in Sparti Gets Green Light

    The construction of a new archaeological museum in the Peloponnese town of Sparti has received the green light, the Greek Culture Ministry announced recently.

    Read More

  7. Pinterest: Athens, Santorini, Mykonos in Top 50 European Cities With Most Beautiful Homes

    Athens, Santorini and Mykonos are among the top 50 European cities with the most picturesque homes, according to research released recently by the Alan Boswell Group. Experts from the 35-year-old UK i…

    Read More

  8. ‘Thessaloniki: A Thousand Views, ONE CLICK!’ – Photo Contest

    A photo competition aiming to reflect Thessaloniki’s creative and original vibe and promote the city’s European Information Center has been recently announced.

    Read More

  9. Elafonisos Looking to Appeal to Remote Workers

    Elafonisos, a tiny island south of the Peloponnese, is taking steps to attract remote workers through an initiative launched by the Global Hellenic Diaspora network and supported by the island’s munic…

    Read More

  10. Athens is the World’s Leading Cultural Destination for 2022

    The city of Athens was awarded top honors as the World’s Leading Cultural Destination for 2022 at the World Travel Awards (WTA). held recently in Muscat, Oman.

    Read More