Thesprotia: Enchanting coastline with picturesque harbors


Capital: Igoumenitsa

Also the mainer regions are: Igoumenitsa, Souli, Sivota.

The prefecture of Thesprotia is one of the four prefectures in the periphery of Epirus. It is characterized by picturesque mountainous regions as well as beautiful seaside areas. It is situated on the NW end of Epirus by the Albanian borders and it is bathed by the Ionian sea.

The seat of the prefecture is the city of Igoumenitsa, called “the gate of Greece to Western Europe” due to its important port. The prefecture also includes some important towns, which are the commercial and administrative centers of their surrounding areas. Some of them are Sivota, Perdika, Paramythia, Filiates, Sagiada, Plataria, Souli etc.

Thesprotia Map

The impressive feature of the prefecture is the enchanting shoreline from Sagiada up to the mouth of Acheron river. Beaches with turquoise waters, golden sand or white pebbles, quiet bays surrounded by green landscapes and small picturesque ports. Thesprotia is certainly a place worth visiting to enjoy the beauty nature has endowed it with.

The city of Igoumenitsa is a cosmopolitan city, built by the sea in the northern part of the prefecture, opposite Corfu. It is the seat of the prefecture of Thesprotia, situated 480 km from Athens and 470 km from Thessalonica. Its large port is a hub for the sea communication with many ports in Greece and the Adriatic sea. It is an important sea gate to Western Europe. Igoumenitsa is linked by ferry service to Paxi islands, the island of Corfu, Patras and Italian ports such as Bari, Brindisi, Venice and Ancona.

It name is probably due to an abbot (“igoumenos” in Greek) of a monastery that used to be there. The historian Thucydides named the port «Limin Erimos» (Deserted port). The city was freed from the Turkish occupation during the First World War (1913).

Thesprotia Attractions

The points of interest in the city include the Municipal Library and the Municipal Art Gallery as well as the tower of Rayios built on a 85m hill, 3 km from the beach of Drepanon of Igoumenitsa. This tower protected the settlement of the peninsula of Lygia. Today, from the walls remain parts of 5m height and 3,7 m wide. Do not omit to visit the Hellenistic settlement of Gitani, the of Javellena (heroine from Souli), as well as the Delta of Kalamas river, a wetland with high ecological value.

The combination of mountain and sea, the charms of the city and the endless golden-white beaches can enchant every visitor. Τhe long clear-water beaches of Drepano and Makrigialos, 7 km long, offer tranquility, rest, good food and an ideal vacation for all visitors. In the last years these two beaches are awarded with the Blue Flag eco-label.

Sivota, is a picturesque, seaside village just 24 km south of Igoumenitsa, known as the cosmopolitan summer destination of the area. It is known from the ancient times, as history ties the small islands in the Sivota bay with what Thucydides mentioned as “Sivota Islands”, among which the sea battle between Corfu and Corinth navies took place in 433 B.C., during the Peloponnesian war. During the Turkish occupation, the village was called Mourto, while the name Sivota was adopted in 1959.

Sivota is built in an idyllic landscape by an enchanting bay surrounded by hills, with small green islands, exquisite beaches with crystal clear water. It is no wonder that the village is a center of attraction for thousands of tourists from Greece and abroad. In the recent years, Sivota has become an important summer destination for tourists. The beautiful beaches of Bella Vraka, Mega Ammos, Mikri Ammos, as well as the well organized marina, attract thousands of visitors every year.

You can visit the archaeological site of Dimokastro with the ruins of the ancient settlement of Elina. Also worth seeing is the village Perdika with the rare natural landscape. The village offers many opportunities for recreation, such as sailing, diving as well as boat trips to Parga, Paxi and other interesting places.

Paramythia is situated in the southeastern end of the prefecture of Thesprotia. Its is 82 km from Ioannina and 35 km from Igoumenitsa and its port. It is amphitheatrically built at the foot of Korilla mountain range. To the south stretches the fertile plain of Paramythia, starting from Neochori village and ending at Acheron river.

There are many different views on the origin of its name, however the most accepted is that it is derived from the name of the monastery “Parigoritria” (” Paramythia ” in ancient Greek), that existed in Paramythia. Right by the town flows the small river Kokitos, which is known from the ancient times as formed by the tears of the relatives of the dead people that Charon took to Hades on his boat.

Overlooking the town, the fortress of Ai Donatos rises majestically on a naturally protected site. Its name comes from the church in the fortress with the same name, which was dedicated to Donatos, bishop of Evia (4th century A.D.).

These days the town throbs with life. Its geographical position and the fertile plain are the motive power for its growth. The modern highway Egnatia Odos (Via Egnatia) will connect it to the main part of Greece and give a further push to its growth.

You can visit the ruins of the ancient town Fotiki, the ruins of a medieval fortress, the archaeological collection, the Venetian clock, the Byzantine church of Panagia Paramythia, the Byzantine baths as well as the historical archive of the town.

Sagiada is situated in the NW part of the prefecture of Thesprotia, opposite the city of Corfu. The town has been built around the old Sagiada, which today is a pole of attraction, with its narrow stone paved streets, the traditional threshing floors, the churches and the old houses with the special architectural value. You can also visit many archaeological sites in the area, such as Mastilitsa, Strovili and the Tower of Sagiada.

Walking on the old trails and the stone-paved narrow streets, you can visit the Delta of Kalamas River which is an ecosystem with interesting species of fauna and flora, attracting many researchers from around the world.

The area of Filiates lies in the northwestern part of the prefecture of Thesprotia, between Kalamas river and the Greek – Albanian border. It has been a hub of transportation activity in the old times, but also during the Turkish occupation, as a point of the rods connecting Thesprotia and Ioannina.

These days, Filiates is a well organized municipality with all the necessary infrastructure and services needed for its operation. The area is very rich in natural beauty and also in sites of archaeological interest such as the ruins of the ancient city Titani, the monastery of Giromerion, the Tsamadas folk art museum etc. Some of the settlements of the municipality have been characterized as ” Traditional settlements “, such as Giromerion, Faneromeni, Kamitsani, Plesio and Finikio. It is worth visiting these traditional sentences that still preserve their traditional style. The area is also very close to the beaches of the prefecture.

Perdika is in the southernmost end of the prefecture of Thesprotia, opposite the southernmost part of the island of Corfu. It is an olive-oil producing village with increased tourist appeal, mainly due to the nearby beaches bathed by the turquoise waters of Ionian sea. The sunset at Perdika is something you would not want to miss either. In the summer the sun sets right in front of the village, behind the island of Corfu. At night the lights from Corfu, the island of the Phaeacians and nearby Sivota make for an interesting sight that can keep you looking at for a long time.

Souli is a mountain village resembling an unconquerable castle. In the 16th century the villages built in the area were inhabited by fearless fighters who did submit to the Turkish yoke. The people of Souli revolted against Ali Pasha and took part in the Greek revolution of 1821. During that rebellion, some of the Souli fighters were saved, but the rest were defeated in Zalongo, where the heroic Dance of Zalongo took place, with the Souliote women dancing and jumping off the cliff with their children to avoid capture and enslavement. Worth visiting is also the folk art collection exhibiting local traditional costumes and traditional household items.

The municipality of Margariti occupies a surface area of about 35000 acres and has a population of 3.324. Margariti, the seat of the municipality, is built on a 240m. hill. South of the village on a rocky hill rises the fortress of Margariti.

The area (sites Morfi, Mazarakia etc.) is rich in findings from the Middle Paleolithic era (stone tools etc.) and it seems that it is one of the areas of Thesprotia where Paleolithic man has lived.

How to get there

By car: You can drive to Thesprotia via the national routes: Ioannina – Igoumenitsa, Preveza – Igoumenitsa

From Athens the distance is 475 km
From Thessalonica the distance is 443 km
From Patras the distance is 276 km

By bus: There is bus service of the KTEL from Igoumenitsa, Athens, Thessalonica, Patras and other big towns.
By air: There is airline service from Aktio and Preveza’s airport.

Thesprotia Photos

Thesprotia Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)

Igoumenitsa Municipality
26653 61100
Igoumenitsa Fire Station
26650 23202, 21408
Igoumenitsa Health Center
26650 24420, 28346
Igoumenitsa Bus Station
26650 22309
Igoumenitsa Police Station
26650 29665
Athens Bus Station
210 5125954
Igoumenitsa Traffic Police
26650 29622, 22196
Thessaloniki Bus Staion
2310 517188
Igoumenitsa Tourist Police
26650 21200
Igoumenitsa Taxi
26650 23200, 23500
Igoumenitsa Port Authority
26650 99400
Igoumenitsa Archaeological Collection
26650 28411