Nature And Flora in Ioannina

Ioannina’s diverse landscape and remote mountain peaks and refuges have made it a natural sanctuary for several rare and endangered plant species. The abundance of lakes and rivers throughout the region support a delicate ecosystem which is difficult to find elsewhere throughout the country.


Located just outside the picturesque village of Agios Nikolaos, nature enthusiasts will swoon over the Agia Marina Oak Forest.
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Making its way through the Aoos Gorge, this river comprises an important natural environment for numerous types of plants and animals.
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Flowing down the Eastern section of the region and cutting through the Arachthos Gorge is the River Arachthos, known as the country’s prime rafting destination.
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Located in the remote western part of the region, the Bounas Forest is a pristine example of nearly a virtually untouched natural environment. Several different species of oak trees as well as ash, hornbeam, and juniper thrive throughout the forest.
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Encompassing the majority of the Zagori region, this Natura 2000 area consists of several forests, mainly composed of Oak trees but also featuring Fir and Pine trees as well.
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Notably greener than most of the other gorges throughout Ioannina, the Gormos Gorge lies just west of the fertile Gormos Valley.
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The vast fertile green plains of the Gormos Valley lie in between Mount Kasidiaris to the south, Mt. Koutsokrano to the west, Mt. Nemertsika to the north, and the mighty Mount Dousko to the east.
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Just because it’s only a tributary of the larger Arachthos River doesn’t mean that this river should go unnoticed. Rafters will delight in its tight turns and white water rapids while hikers will find hiking along its banks and exploring the wider in the shadows of Mt. Tzoumerka.
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The Kouvaras Gorge is a great place for nature lovers to explore and enjoy the clear waters of the Kouvaras River as well as the fairytale stone bridges that can be found throughout the area.
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This legendary lake dominates the city of Ioannina at just about every angle. It’s been the scene of mass murders, a means of escape and source of income for centuries.
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This lake is the source of the Louros River and a remarkable area of beauty. Thick vegetation and trees surround the lake which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.
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One of the deepest lakes in the country, Lake Zaravina supports a wide range of flora and wildlife. It’s a favoured stop-over for herons, storks and other migratory birds on their way south, as well as having a large variety of fish and amphibians that thrive within the area of the lake.
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The Louros River may only flow through the southernmost part of the prefecture, but it is an area of invaluable importance to myriad plant and animal species, as well as providing the power for a hydroelectric plant found along its path.
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Dominating the skyline around the Zagorohoria villages is Mt. Timfi or Papingos as locals refer to it. Nature enthusiasts and conservationists are drawn to the area on account of its immense natural beauty but also due to its unique landscape and rare species.
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Part of both the Mt. Tzoumerka National Park as well as the Natura 2000 programme, this mountain provides a convenient place for people staying in the nearby village of Syrrako to explore.
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The North Pindos National Park encompasses a large portion of the Ioannina Region throughout the smaller sub-regions of Zagori, Metsovo and Konitsa. A large number of mountains, rivers, lakes as well as a variety of wildlife and flora are found and protected within the park’s borders.
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A few kilometres north of the village of Lithino, you’ll find this rare and beautiful geological phenomenon.
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The region of Valia Kalda is found in the westernmost part of the Ioannina region and though only a small section of it is located in the perfecture of Ioannina, it is certainly worth exploring.
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For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of the Zagori region have used the long list of plant species which can only be found in the gorge as medicinal remedies for everything from headaches to infertility.
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Much smaller in size to the neighbouring Vikos Gorge, the Voidomatis Gorge features the picturesque Voidomatis River as well as some fine traditional stone bridges and quaint villages nearby.
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This lake may be artificial but the natural beauty surrounding it cannot be ignored. As the source of the Aoos River and home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, the reservoir is the perfect place for hiking and biking along the trails that encircle the lake.
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Just west of the village of Greveniti lies the beautiful Beech Forest of Greveniti which eventually opens up at the banks of the Aoos Reservoir. The picturesque Pond of Greveniti is north of the forest and features a beautiful array of flowers and other plants.
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North of Theogefyra stands the enchanting waterfall of the Kalamas River. A hiking trail which begins in the village of Parakalamos takes about an hour and a half to complete and takes walkers along the forested path which runs next to the river and leads to the falls.
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Mount Mitsikeli creates the southern border of the Zagori region as well as the North Pindos National Park. It is an area of natural beauty featuring a variety of wildlife and large birds of prey. It is part of the Natura 2000 initiative.
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The National Park of Mt. Tzoumerka is a nature lover’s dream, complete with a wide array of wildlife, forests full of several types of trees such as pine, fir and beech, and several hiking trails of varying difficulty.
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Other Activities for Ioannina
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