Kozani is a charming mountain town in northern Greece that offers a unique ecotourism experience. It is the saffron capital of Greece, where you can witness the purple crocus fields in bloom every October and learn about the cultivation and uses of this precious spice. Kozani also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with a centuries-old library that rivals the National Library in Athens for its rare and valuable works, and a historic centre that features grand 18th-century houses and post-Byzantine churches. But Kozani is not only about history and culture. It is also a paradise for nature lovers, who can explore the stunning landscapes of the region, such as the Servia Canyon, a miniature 'Grand Canyon' carved by the Haliakmon or Aliakmonas River, where you can enjoy hiking, rafting, kayaking and birdwatching. Do visit the Lake Polyfytou, an artificial lake created by a dam that offers scenic views and opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. Kozani is also home to a remarkable biodiversity, with many endemic and rare species of plants and animals, such as the Balkan chamois, the brown bear, the golden eagle and the orchid Ophrys kozanica. Here are some more specific ideas from our "to-do list" for the greater region - or prefecture - of Kozani:
- Visit the Historical Folklore and Natural History Museum of Kozani, where you can learn about the history, culture and biodiversity of the region. You can see exhibits of fossils, minerals, plants and animals, as well as traditional costumes, tools and crafts.
- Climb up the Agiou Nikolaou Clock Tower, a landmark of the city of Kozani that dates back to the 17th century. You can admire the panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains from the top.
- Explore the Boucharia Geopark, a geological park that features strange rock formations, caves, waterfalls and fossils. You can also hike, bike or horseback ride along the trails that connect the different sites.
- Shop for some Krokos Kozanis, the famous saffron that grows only in this area. This spice is known for its aroma, flavor and health benefits. You can also visit the town of Krokos, where you can see the fields of purple flowers in autumn and learn about the cultivation and processing of saffron.
- Enjoy some fishing or rowing at the artificial lake named Polyfytos, which was created by a dam on the Aliakmonas river. The lake is home to many species of fish and birds, and offers a scenic landscape of green hills and forests.
- Visit the Archaeological Museum of Kozani, where you can see artifacts from various periods of ancient Greek history, such as pottery, coins, statues and jewelry. You can also admire the architecture of the building, which was once a mansion of a wealthy family.
- Relax at Nikis Square, the main square of Kozani that features a fountain, a statue and a park. You can also enjoy a coffee or a traditional treat at one of the cafes that surround the square.
- Admire the art and architecture of Panagia Faneromeni, a church that was built in the 14th century and has been renovated several times. You can see frescoes, icons and wood carvings inside, as well as a bell tower outside.
- Browse through some books at Koventarios public library, one of the oldest and largest libraries in Greece. The library has a collection of over 150,000 books, manuscripts and documents, some of which are rare and valuable.
Kozani is a destination that will enchant you with its natural beauty, its traditions and its hospitality. It is an ideal place to unwind and embrace nature, while discovering the secrets of this laid-back corner of Macedonia.