One day excursion to Florina, Prespa Lakes and Nimfaio
Florina is located 202 km from the center of Thessaloniki. Built on the banks of the Sakouleva river, the capital of the namesake district is sure to captivate you.
Your acquaintance with it will start with a walk along the paved Eleftherias Avenue, the most beautiful and most characteristic street in the city, where you will admire the old mansions which were built along both river banks. They stand out for their unique local architecture and vibrant colors.
You can enjoy your coffee at one of the cafes housed in the mansions and then head to the Public Market, also known as the Old Bazaar. From there you can go to Agios Panteleimon hill to admire a panoramic city view. You can walk up to the top following a marked path (it will take you about 45 minutes). Once there you will see the imposing Cross, which was erected following a mandate by bishop Augustine.
Nimfaio is listed among the ten most beautiful villages in Europe by many travel guides. Located 26 km from Florina, in the eastern slopes of Vitsi mountain at an altitude of 1,350 m. this traditional settlement dominates the wonderful alpine scenery and amazes all its visitors.
Nimfaio is surrounded by a beech forest and is an ideal destination for an excursion in nature. The stone made houses, the impressive mansions –which attest to its glory days spanning from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century– and the cobbled alleys comprise a unique scenery for an unforgettable experience. Especially during winter the snow covered landscape is truly magical.
During your stay at the village you can visit the Silversmith, Folklore and History Museum, the church of the village’s patron Agios Nikolaos and the Wild Nature Park. One of the most significant attractions here is the Arcturos Environmental Center, which was set up by the non-governmental and non-profit namesake organization, aiming to protect the wild animals (especially bears and wolves) as well as their natural surroundings.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the famous Small & Big Prespa lakes (protected wetlands by both Greek and international treaties) to admire their grandeur. The two lakes are the “aquatic borders” between Greece and the neighbouring countries of Albania and FYROM. Their heavenly landscape offers serenity and tranquility, making them a perfect destination for nature lovers.
You can visit the village Psarades located at the shores of the Big Prespa lake to dine at traditional taverns with delicacies like lake carp and the famous Prespa beans, as well as the mountain settlement Agios Germanos which stands out for its authentic quaintness. In the Small Prespa lake you can cross the pedestrian bridge to reach the islet of Agios Achillios, one of the few inhabited lake islets in Europe.