What is Epirus?
“… Drinking your morning coffee in a green landscape next to a lovely lake, enjoying at noon fresh fish on the beach while the Mediterranean sun warms your body and the evening drinking wine by the fireplace with the snowflakes dancing in the background in the window pane»
Epirus is the geographical region of Greece that extends in the northwest of the country. It consists of the prefectures of Arta, Ioannina, Preveza and Thesprotia. Its area is 9223 km². and the total population of 336 650 inhabitants. The capital and largest city is Ioannina with a population of 111 740 inhabitants.
Greek Epirus, like the region as a whole, is rugged and mountainous. It is largely made up of mountainous ridges, part of the Dinaric Alps. The region’s highest spot is on Mount Smolikas, at an altitude of 2.637 metres above sea level. In the east, the Pindus Mountains that form the spine of mainland Greece separate Epirus from Macedonia and Thessaly. Western coastline of the continent consists of countless beautiful beaches lapped by the Ionian Sea. Most of Epirus lies on the windward side of the Pindus. The winds from the Ionian Sea offer the region more rainfall than any other part of Greece. Due to the diversity of the natural environment in Epirus climate differs from region to region. In the mountainous parts the winter is heavy with intense cold and snowfall, while the summer is especially cool. The lowlands are characterized by heavy rainfall cold winters and hot summers without missing the spring and summer showers. In coastal areas the climate is Mediterranean with low rainfall and high temperatures.
The Vikos-Aoos and Pindus National Parks are situated in the Ioannina Prefecture of the region. Both areas have imposing landscapes of dazzling beauty as well as a wide range of fauna and flora. The vegetation is made up mainly of coniferous species. The animal life is especially rich in this area and includes, among other species, bears, wolves, foxes and deer.
Epirus has few resources and its rugged terrain makes agriculture difficult. pastoralism have always been an important activity in the region. Epirus is home to a number of the country’s most famous dairy products’ brands, which produce feta cheese among others. In the shores the main activities is the Citrus fruit and vegetables production and fishing. Another important area of the local economy is tourism, especially eco-tourism. The outstanding natural beauty of the area, as well as its picturesque villages and traditional lifestyle, have made Epirus a strong tourist attraction.