Kozani

Tasting
Tasting

What are the flavors of the region?

Kozanis Prefecture is a paradise of the modern “foodtaster”. In the mountains of Voio, Askio and Vermio, in the valley of Velvendo, in towns, villages and forests the visitor can find traditional products that meet its most demanding expectations. Cheeses, sausages and meat, legumes and pasta, wine and “raki”, saffron, fruit, sweets and jam, as well as the “wild” flavors such as hunting, freshwater fish, mushrooms, chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts fascinate fans’ exceptional taste and make the area and ideal destination of flavor search.

What can I try?

The visitor caGiaprakian try many different dishes from Kozanis Prefecture, although some of them are very characteristic for the region. The local dish “Gaprakia” is the main dish during Christmas. It is made of pork meat cut in small pieces or minced meat, rice and many different spices, wrapped in cabbage pickle “armia”, which is a local recipe. The “Giaprakia” are cooked in small fire and according to the tradition, it symbolizes Christ swaddled in his clothes. “Tsoukalakia” is a kind of stew. The “Mpoumpari” is a rare delicacy made of filled stomach or intestines with rice and minced pork and liver, while the dominant delicacy of Kozanis dish during Easter is the so called “Tsitsilato” (lamb cooked with a abundant herbs and spinach). The area is well known for its homemade pies, stuffed with onion, eggplant, leek, nettle, spinach or minced meat. Unique are also small rounded pies called “Kichia”, made by a sheet of dough and feta cheese wrapped in a screw shape. The cheese products of Kozani are considered to be unique for their quality and taste. The local “Feta” cheese, the “Touloumotiri” cheese, the “Kefalotyri” or Parmesan cheese, the “Batzios” cheese and the “Manouri” cheese are delicious. The famous beans from the Sisani area e a delicacy as a bean soup or as “Gigantes” – baked in the oven. Finally the large amounts of apple and peaches production in the area of Eordaia – Velvendo, had led to the creation of modern agricultural co-operatives involved in the development and promotion of fresh fruit jams and unique taste.

Wine rejoices people!

Greeks loved wine from the ancient years and adored its God Dionysus. Wine accompanied Gods and people both in pleasant as well as in unpleasant moments of life. People in Western Macedonia and especially in Kozani’s Prefecture have worked on viticulture, on the domestic wine production system and on the production of the famous “tsipouro” since the old days. The famous wines of Kozani, Siatista and Velvendo were transferred with caravans to the European markets. There are a lot of people nowadays, who maintain the tradition and produce their own wine and in the meantime they are active in the production of “Tsipouro”. Associations and individuals create products of exceptional quality. The famous exceptional variety of “sourblack” wine in combination with the Muscat and other local varieties comprise the base production of wine in the region. Very famous is also the so-called “sun-cured” wine of Siatista, the red wines of Pelekanos area as well as the cooked sweets. “Tsipouro” a rare art of ouzo, comes from a double distillation of grape stum and it is flavored with anet. The tradition requires men to gather around the “cauldrons” during distillation and to have fun while eating, drinking, singing and tasting the new harvest.

 
Mountains & Rivers
Mountains & Rivers

Beautiful nature and unexplored landscapes!

Areas of Boucharia - Nochtaria, Voio, Askio, Skepasmeno, Mount Bourinos, forest Kastanodasos in Eordaia.

The Aliakomnas River streams through the area of Kozani’s prefecture and it pours into the Thermaic gulf, in the southern part of Axios River, creating an extensive delta rich in flora and fauna. The river is very old just like its name. The name “Aliakmonas” comes from the word “αλς” (salt, the see) and the word “ακμων” (anvil). According to the Greek mythology Aliakmonas was one of the river Gods, who had been born from the Ocean and Tithy. It was and still remains a source of life.

At a distance of 20 km southeast of Kozani there is the artificial lake of Polyfytos. It is crossed by a 55 m over the water surface high bridge, which is 1.372 meters long and 13,5 meters wide. It is known as the “High Bridge of Servia”. The lake was created by the creation of a dam and the operation of the most important hydroelectric plant of the country. It is one of the biggest artificial lakes in Greece, where a modern floating port has been build recently. The program was promoted by Kozani’s Prefecture facing at the creation of special conditions to develop eco-tourism, maritime and fishing activities. The route around the lake is of high interest, following the road to the village Imera, passing over the Polyfytos lake hydroelectric dam of the Public Power Corporation (ΔΕΗ) and continuing to the opposite side among the orchards towards the Village Velvendo. You can also camp for swimming and fishing at the lake.

The mount Bourinos is very beautiful and fascinating from a geological point of view and “catches” visitors’ eyes. The rich forests, the special geological formations, the valley of “Μεσιό Νερό” (Mesio Nero) with its rare flora and fauna, the numerous fountains and the unique beauty of “Elatodasos” Forest compose a magnificent landscape, and a complete tourist choice. Due to its great ecological importance and its unique biodiversity the mount Bourinos has been selected to the European Program Natura 2000, a European Network of Special Protection Areas.

The mount “Askio” or “Siniatsiko” with an altitude of 2.111 meters is one of the most significant mountains in Kozani’s Prefecture. Its eastern and southern part is rocky and bare, where the towns of Siatista, Galatini and Eratira are located, whereas the western part of the mountain has enough vegetation, particularly in the area where the towns Namata and Sisani are located.

The mount “Vermio” along with its history of myths, beliefs and achievements of heroes and Gods, Kings and Saints, can be characterized as one of the richest and most beautiful places of flora and fauna among the Greek mountains. The mount “Vermio” is very close to the Pieria Mountains, having Macedonian’s holy river of Aliakmonas as a natural border. There are lots of rivers, dense forests of fir trees and beeches as well as pastures. The two largest ski resorts in the country are in the mountain of Vermio, Seli and the “3-5 Pigadia”, ski resorts of great natural beauty.

The mount range of Pindos is the largest in Greece and supplies water to the two thirds of the Greek population. A very important part of the mountain, which stands for its rare beauty and ecological value, is protected by two national parks: the national park of Vikos – Aoos in Epirus and the park of Valia Kalda in Western Macedonia. Moreover 6 areas are parts of the Natura 2000 network. Rocky slopes, high and impressive peaks, zestful streams, many springs and mountainous lakes are the dominant pictures of the area.

Between the prefectures of Kastoria and Kozani there is the mount of Voio with its beautiful small and big villages, the famous arched bridges and the mysterious forests. It is an attractive proposal for walking fans.

 
To Get There
To Get There

By bus: There is frequent daily service with KTEL busses to and from Athens and Thessalonica.

By car: You can get to Kozani by car:

The distance from Athens is 502 km.

The distance from Thessalonica is 141 km.

The distance from Patras is 447 km.

The distance from Ioannina is 229 km.

By train: There is railway service from Athens to Skydra ns Platy and from Thessalonica to Skydra.

By Air: Daily flights from the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport of Athens to the airport of Kozani.

 
Useful Telephones
Useful Telephones

Municipality of Kozani 24610 50300

Kozani Hospital 24610 67600

Kozani Police Dept. 24610 24131, 23333

Kozani Traffic Police 24610 23142

Kozani Bus Depot (KTEL) 24610 34454

Athens Bus Depot (KTEL) 210 5129308

Thessalonica Bus Depot (KTEL) 2310 522488

Kozani Railway Station 24610 36067

Athens Railway Station (OSE) 210 5297777

Thessalonica Railway Station (OSE) 2310 517517

Kozani Airport 24610 36098

Eleftherios Venizelos (Athens) Airport 210 3530000

Kozani Taxi 24610 40500

Kozani Post Office (ELTA) 24610 24601

Archaeological Museum of Eani 24610 98551

Archaeological Museum of Kozani 24610 26210

Museum of Folk Art - National Historical Museum of Kozani 24610 33978

Koventarios Library of Kozani 24610 22245

 
Events
Events

Kozani's carnival

The most interesting local celebration during the carnival are the Fanoi (great bonfires) lit at the squares of Kozani, where people sing and dance around them. All celebrations become more exciting on the Sunday of the last week, after the carnival parade, when huge bonfires are lit all over the town which burn until the early morning hours.

Lassaneia

Events on the end of summer, which constist theatrical representations, concerts, athletic events etc. They are named "Lassaneia" from Georgios Lassanis, who was from Kozani and participated in the Macedonian Struggle.

Local holidays

11 Octomber - celebration for the liberation of the city from the Turks.

6 December - Saint Nicolas day, Kozani's patron.

The Niaimeros fair

Fair in the north side of the city in the Niaimeros place. It takes place in the first Tuesday of October. It was lasting 9 days (niaimeros = nine days), but now it lasts only 3 days.

 
Sight seeing
Sight seeing

the ancient city Aiane on the hill Megali Rahi dated from the prehistoric years. The city prospered in the 6th and 5th century BC and was abandoned in the 1st century BC. The excavations revealed graves and cemeteries from the prehistoric to the Hellenistic years and the city was identified with the ancient Aane that was capital of the kingdom of Elimia. The most important monuments saved today are: the classic agora (market), the hellenistic houses, the classical arcade with pillars, a large, circular cistern quarried out in the rock, large cist-graves dated to the late Archaic and Classical periods, Farmhouses, Roman tholos tomb and Byzantine and post byzantine churches (11th - 19th century). In the Archaeological Museum of Aiane you will see interesting discoveries from the ancient city and the surrounding areas.

in Aiani the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and the church Saint Dimitrios of (11th - 12th century) and the monastery of St. Nikanoras (1532) in Zavorda above Aliakmonas river.

Polyfytos lake with the bigger bridge in the Balkans.

in Serbia, the Byzantine castle (6th century) above the valley of Aliakmonas, and a big Basilica with murals from the 11th century.

in Velvento, Byzantine churches and monasteries (St. Minas 11th century and St. Nikolaos 16th century with old murals).

Early Christian Basilica with astonishing mosaics, in Agia Paraskeyi.

in Sisani the 11th century Episcopal church.

the famous arcaded bridges of Voios

http://www.hellogreece.gr

churches monasteries

During the Byzantine era the Kozani’s Prefecture is affected by several invasions of northern tribes. After the invasion of Goths during the 5th century, invasions of the Slavs followed during the middle of the 6th century onwards. During the very short peace period, expansion intensions by the Bulgarians could be set under control in 1018 by Vasileios II. The Normans followed at the end of 11th century and the Serbs at the end of 13th century, mainly with Stefan Dusan in 1333, who took advantage of the civil war with the Byzantines. The largest and most important town within the Kozani’s Prefecture is Servia. The city was fortified gradually and it seems that the fortification was rebuild after the devastation by the crusaders in the 13th century. The castle is now the most important defensive visited monument of the medieval period within Kozani’s Prefecture. From this age several monuments such as churches and some monasteries are not missing and can be found in the areas of Velvendo, Aiani, in Voio (Sisani) and in Eordaia (Pyrgoi).

From the middle of the 18th century inhabitants’ activities were mainly trade with Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, which led to a significant economic growth and the development of arts and architecture in this region. Unfortunately there are in Kozani only few examples of mansion houses from that era, such as the mansion houses of the families Vourkas, Vourkas – Katikas and Lassanis. Most of the mansion houses have been maintained in the town of Siatista, which was a very important economic center. Its growth can be seen through the quantity and quality of the mansion houses. The town of Eratyra was also an important economic and cultural center and today many mansion as well as rural houses can be also visited today. In the towns of Tsotyli, Vlasti and the Pyrgos of Eordaia there are also remarkable architectural specimens, but in comparison to the pervious cities, on a smaller scale. In the western part of Voio traditional settlements, architectural ensembles and individual buildings such as stone bridge can be seen.

 

 
Towns & VIllages
Towns & VIllages

Siatista: on the slopes of Mt. Siniatsikos was a center for the fur trade in the 18th and 19th century. The town grew prosperous and today the buildings from that time reflect that wealth. The interiors of the houses have richly carved wooden ceilings and stained glass windows.

Siatista Paleontological Museum : has on display remains and artifacts from around the area.

Velvendos: this charming market town with trees and orchards surrounding it has also retained many of its old mansions. Architects design many of the newer buildings in the traditional manner to retain the harmony of the town.

Perdikas: near the town of Ptolemaida, here archaeologists discovered bones from a prehistoric elephant, which once roamed the region; the bones approx. are three thousand years old, and are one of the oldest specimens of its kind found in Europe.

Servia: this village with its Byzantine fortress stands sentinel over the pass that leads into the region of Thessaly. Several Byzantine churches are also in the district, many of them adorned with fine frescos. The bridge here with a span of 1372m is the longest in Greece.

Akrini: here is the Skotino Cave (“dark cave”), with its stalagmites and stalactites.

Many other villages in the region have examples of traditional architecture that can be admired, for example the villages of, Pentalofos, Vlasti and Tsotili with its picturesque bridge.

 
Tourism
Tourism

The prefecture of Kozani has a population of 160.000 people and an area of 3.562 km2. It is a mountainous area, crossed by Greece's larger river, Aliakmon. Its landscape with the forests, caves, snowed ridges and small waterfalls favours outdoor activities.

The town of Kozani is an excellent point for starting your excursions in west Macedonia, since it is only minutes away from other towns, such as Florina (45 min), Kastoria (45 min), Grevena (20 min) and Siatista (15 min).

You can explore the history of the area by visiting the ancient findings and the Byzantine churches. You are also invited to taste the local cuisine, to participate in the local feasts and celebrations and to get to know the local customs, especially during the Carnival.

You are welcome to visit the folkloric and archeological museum, the Municipal Library, the church of Saint Nikolaos, the Monastery of the Anscesion, the mansions ("archontika") of Kozani and Siatista, the castle of Servia and the artificial lake of Polyfytos.

Alternatively you can also visit Kozani, the capital of the prefecture, by night. It is a very lively town with cafes, restaurants, cinemas and night clubs

 
History
History

According to the archaeological discoveries the region was inhabited since the Paleolithic times. In the region where today is the prefecture of Kozani existed the ancient regions of Elimia, Eordea and a part of Orestiadas. In Herodotus is reported that it belonged to Upper Macedonia that was the base of operations of the north-western Greek races or as Herodotus mentions them, Doric races. The rich archaeological discoveries in the region of Agiani and in other places of the prefecture showed the high level of the residents and that they had developed relations with all of Greece. The growth of these centers continued until the Roman domination.

During the Ottoman domination a lot of cities like Siatista, Kozani, Serbia, and Velvento had big commercial growth and the people who got rich from the trade with the neighboring countries build a lot of mansions, models of architecture decorated with fretwork and astonishing murals.

The people of Kozani took part in the revolution of 1821 and in the Macedonian Fight.

 
General
General

The prefecture of Kozani is in western Macedonia and is in its bigger part mountainous. The mountains have green forests with traditional settlements, old mansions, stone houses and also mountaineering shelters.

Capital, administrative and economic centre of the prefecture is the city of Kozani. It is built in a plateau and it is a city that combines modern with old architecture. Visit the old mansions, the Metropolitan Church of Saint Nikolaos of the 17th century with wooden temple and beautiful murals, the Library of Kozani founded in 1668 with rare books and manuscripts, and the beautiful forest Kouri. Famous is the School of Kozani that was founded in 1645 and offered a lot in education of the region. Kozani is also known for the units of the National Electrical Company that supply the whole country. In the prefecture are produced very good fruits as apples and peaches, the unique in Greece crocus (Saffron), cheese-making, wines and other.

 
 
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