Metsovo is a mountain town in the prefecture of Ioannina at an altitude close to 1,200 meters, located at the eastern of the prefecture, inside the mountains of Pindos. The inhabitants, are about 4,000, mainly Vlach, most of them working with livestockand less with agriculture. Metsovo is a traditional village with many of its monuments been listed as preserved, like the monastery of the Virgin near Metsovitikos River, the Monastery of St. Nicholas and the monastery Zoodohos in a place called Kiatra Rossia (meaning red in Vlach rock/boulder). Metsovo also works, a beautiful Folklore Museum, an Art Gallery and three organized winter ski-centers which attract many visitors.
Averof Art Gallery
The permanent exhibition of the Art Gallery includes numerous works of art, most of which come from the personal collection of Evangelos Averof. He was a great politician, writer and a dreamer of today's "miracle of Metsovo", who long envisioned establishing a high level Art Gallery in his hometown of Metsovo. To this end, he created one of the most compete collections of that period. He built the building of the Gallery, which opened in 1988, the same year he founded a charitable foundation that bears his name, in which was donated the works and the building of the Gallery. In 1994 took place the expansion of the Gallery with a second level, were new exhibitions found spaces and the collection has been considerably enriched. It now houses famous works of: Lytras, Gyzis, Tsokos, Bokatsiampis, Rallis, Xydias, Pantazis, Iakovidis Volanakis, Malamos, Botsoglou, Paniaras, Preka, Sorogas, Fasianos, Tsigou while three works of art stands out. "The burning of the Turkish flagship by Kanaris" by N. Lytras, "the youg boy eating watermelon" by P. Pantazis and "the first steps" by G. Iakovidis.
The Folklore Museum in Metsovo operates since 1955 and is housed in the reconstructed family house of Tositsas. It includes a collection of objects of the period 1650-1850, like traditional woodcarvings, furniture, textiles and embroidery, gold-embroidered costumes, weapons, farming utensils, etc. From 1991 on the third floor of the mansion stands out personal items and photos of Evangelos Averof -Tositsa, who showed great care for the establishment and operation of the museum.
In Metsovo there are three ski resorts: the "Politses", "Karakoli" and the newest of all "Zygos". Politsies, in the Prophet Elijah area, have some easy tracks, chalet, ski schools and rental shops. Certainly it is the best ski center for someone who wants to learn skiing. In Karakoli there is a seat lift that leads to two runs though poor snow makes the function less and less permissible. Zygos in Anilio is at a higher altitude of the three (1680-1850m). It has an air-seater chairlift 700 meters long with three runs, two towed, 2 baby lifts and also an endurance 10 km track. The distances from Metsovo the ski-cebters are short easy to drive.
We'll mention two monasteries of Metsovo. The first is that of St. Nicholas, located at the foot of the mountain of Metsovo, next to the river, on the midway between Metsovo and Anilio. Although it is not known exactly when it was built, in 1700 the church was renovated and the pictures belong to the 17th and 18th century. The church also contains beautiful frescoes by the painter Efstathiou. The second is the Monastery of the Assumption. Built in 1754, includes cells, hostels, paved courtyard, magnificent frescoes iconostasis and icons of the 17th century. The bell from the waist up is wooden. Every year on August 15 takes placea big festival in honor of the Virgin Mary.
The truth is that access to Metsovo used to be very difficult, especially during the winter due to heavy snowfall in the area. In 2009 Metsovo was connected with Egnatia highway making access mainly from North Greece more easy. The access from Athens became more easy too as most drivers avoid a difficult and sizable road of "Katara". Metsovo is from Athens via Trikala about 415 km and can be reached in about five hours. From Thessaloniki Metsovo is 250 km and can be reached from the Egnatia Highway through Grevena in approximately 2.50 hours. Metsovo is also 55 km and about 1 hour from Ioannina.
Metsovo is a perfect place not only for the winter when you will most likely see it in snow and enjoy winter sports, but also for all the four seasons. About accommodation, there are many hotels that host hundreds of visitors throughout the year. The most impressive is the recently opened, "Grand Forest", on a hillside with wonderful and breathtaking view of the Metsovo. A hotel in harmony with nature, in an untouched pine and fir forest that offers unique services.
Flavors and shopping Giude
We start with cheese and on the top of the list are famous ones, Metsovone and Metsovela both of which in recent years have gained an international reputation as stand for the unsurpassed quality. As about wine, among many others, stands out the Katogi-Averfo as the award-winning best-known representative of the family cellars Averof. The food choices are endless, but we choose to refer to meat especially lamb and sheep that you'll try in several recipes and it's difficult to find elsewhere. Metsovo, among others is particularly famous for its unmatched wood-carving, a tradition that lasts through centuries and impresses till today. You will also find hand-woven, real works of art, which will amaze you with their unique style.