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Ioannina has a population of around 65,000 and sits on a beautiful lake backgrounded by high (snow capped) mountains.
There’s a little island in the middle of the lake. The island is serviced by a water taxi. A museum on the island will tell you all about the history of Ali Pasha, local brigand, administrator, hero, villain (take your pick!).
Ioannina has a rich Byzantine and Ottoman history which can be seen in the well preserved castle. Dating from 528 CE (making it Greece’s oldest castle), the Ottoman Empire added a harem and the Fethiye Mosque.
We had an enjoyable stay at Ioannina. Pleasant walks along the lake shore, the enchanting view over the lake to the snow covered (in Spring when we were there) mountains, and a trip to the Vikos George were some of our highlights.