Lakeside Jewel of Northern Greece

This charming town, the beauty of which will most certainly seduce you, is built amphitheatrically on a narrow peninsula, is mirrored in the Orestiada Lake and nestled amidst the mountains Grammos and Vitsi. The best way to explore the city is taking a short tour around the lake starting from the southernmost side up to the north.

Take a stroll on the narrow pathway along the lake; you will be overwhelmed by its idyllic beauty and tranquillity. The promenade shaded by beech and pine trees and the surrounding forests create a magical atmosphere and make an excellent shelter for all kinds of bird species.


the Lake

The Orestiada Lake is home to a 200 different species, among them some rare and endangered ones. Local fishermen find themselves vying with waterfowl for the  fish inhabiting the lake. During your walk don’t forget to stop by the Dragon’s Cave, where you’ll get to see seven underground lakes and areas with astonishing stalactites. If you want to admire the city from above, follow the lush and green path towards Profitis Ilias Church and walk higher up to Agios Athanasios viewpoint.



At a short distance from the lake you’ll encounter the old neighbourhood Doltso, a picturesque corner of the town, where buildings date back to the 17th and 18th century when the city’s economy thrived due to the fur treatment industry and trade. Lots of buildings have been converted into museums, such as Neratzi Aivazi mansion that houses the Folk Art Museum, the Emmanouil mansion housing the Costume Museum, etc. The second oldest and glamourous neighbourhood is Apozari. There, you will absolutely fall in love with the byzantine churches and beautiful mansions, which are typical examples of Macedonian architecture.


Byzantine and Ottoman-era Treasures

The city is famous for its many Byzantine churches, of Byzantine and Ottoman-era local architecture.

In Kastoria, you’ll get to visit more than 60 Byzantine and post-Byzantine Churches, spanning from the 9th to the 19th century and two Mosques.

Make a stop at the Byzantine Art Museum (in Dexameni square), where artifacts from the Byzantine period are exhibited (over 700 well preserved byzantine sculptures, murals, paintings and icons from temples around the city).



Kastoria is a popular tourist destination and an international centre of fur trade, known as the city of the fur traders. Tourism and the fur industry are the mainstays of the local economy. Interestingly, the city’s name may have possibly derived from the European beaver (kastóri in Greek), now extinct in the area. Mink fur trade has been famous, and the city hosts an international fur show every year. Fur trade is the cornerstone of the economy in Kastoria, dating back to the 14th century, when the city  used to supply ermine pelts for the lining of robes worn by Byzantine courtiers. Early traders settled in Russia and Germany. After Germany's division at the end of World War II, the fur centre moved from Leipzig to Frankfurt. During the Greek Civil War in the late 1940s, thousands of Kastoria inhabitants migrated to the United States to take the place of aging Jewish immigrants who had formed the core of New York furriers. In 1984, 25,000 people from Kastoria were working and living in the area of New York, and 10,000 in Frankfurt. Today there are more than 300 small and big fur dealers in Kastoria.

People also engage in other activities, such as sale and distribution of locally grown produce, particularly wheat, apples, wine, and fish.

Kastoria has 16 local radio stations, 2 TV stations, 5 daily and 7 weekly newspapers. The city airport,  named Aristotelis Airport, is located in Argos Orestiko, 10km away from Kastoria.