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Prefecture of Florina

General Information

Florina prefecture with an area of 1924 sq.km has borders with the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania. The region is rich in agriculture and also has a rich wildlife and is close to the lakes of Prespa. In the mountains, the area is ideal for those who like skiing and mountaineering.

Prefecture Capital

Florina: the prefectural capital is a lively place due to the growing student population. The town has good restaurants and tavernas; the town has many traditional houses with covered upper floor balconies.

The Archaeological Museum: has on display artefacts unearthed from the surrounding district.

The Museum of Modern Art: has on display works by contemporary Greek artists.

Events in the District:

Every year, the Community of Xino Nero (Sour Water), organizes the local Carnival Festivities, which last for three days. The events include traditional dances, masquerade party, and float parade and music bands. They reach their climax on the last Sunday of the Carnival.

On Ash Monday, at the location of Pefka, there is a kite-flying spectacle. Visitors are treated to the traditional food which is bread-soup, halva, wine offered by the local community.

Towns and Villages

Amyndeo: is a modern market town 41 km from Florina and near Lake Vegoritis.

Nymfheo: is a revitalised village popular with rich Greeks who come here for the scenery and to ski in the winter. Near the village is the Bear Sanctuary founded in 1993, its aim is to protect the Brown Bear. The Wolf Sanctuary is nearby and its aim is to care and eventually release wolves that have been in captivity back into the wild.

Vitsi: this mountain village is both an ideal summer and winter resort, with many of the house built in the traditional style of the region.

Pissoderi: is the site of the Vigla ski resort and is a popular resort for Greeks as well as foreigners. The area is also popular with mountaineers; a well-equipped refuge caters for their needs.

The Prespa Lakes: the two lakes called Mikri Prespa and Megali Prespa are in an area of exceptional beauty. A narrow strip of land separates the two lakes. Megali Prespa is the largest lake (1000sq km) and crosses the borders of Albania and the former Republic of Yugoslavian Mikri Prespa with an area of 43 sq km is a haven for wildlife, herons, pelicans and other breeds are to be found here.

In the middle of Mikro Prespa is the small islet of Agios Ahilios, here they are ancient and Byzantine ruins, in the caves on the shoreline were used as shrines and are decorated with religious motives. The lakes are a popular area for those who wish to enjoy the tranquil and stunning nature, and are an excellent place to picnic.

Psarades: the National Trust of Greece protects this traditional village on the shore of Megali Prespa, Many of the villagers emigrated to Australia and America. A memorial on the lakeside from the Macedonian Association of Chicago testifies to the bonds to the region. Boat trips can be made to the three “askitiria” (small chapels) Metamorfosi is from the 13 th century, Mikri Analipsi dates from the 14 th century and Panagia Eleousa.

Agios Germanos: is a small village with some charming tavernas that serve fresh fish caught in the lakes. The Byzantine church in the village has some excellent frescos decorating the walls.

Travel:

Rail: a regular service runs from Athens and Thessaloniki.

Bus: a regular service runs from Athens and Thessaloniki.

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