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Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip


Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip

From 360€

With Luxury Car: For 1 to 4 persons: 360€
With Luxury Minivan: For 5 to 8 persons: 560€
With Luxury MiniBus: For 9 to 15 persons: 900€

Departure Time from Thessaloniki at 09:00
Returns to original Pick up point at 19:00 (approx.)

The program of the excursion can be adjusted always according to the requirements of the passengers.



  1. Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip

Kastoria, a city with a rich history through the centuries, is today considered one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and manages to maintain its traditional character intact.
According to tradition, it was founded by Orestes, in honor of Electra’s sister. In Kastoria, important monuments of Byzantine culture are preserved to this day, such as the walls and the almost 80 Byzantine churches that it has, which together with the truly magnificent lake of Kastoria create an unsurpassed setting, which is difficult to resist even the most demanding traveler. It flourished mainly during the 17th century, since then the old mansions can be seen, then the amazing mansions were built, which have combined the local character with the Byzantine architecture.

Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip

When you are in Kastoria, you should not miss to visit the Eco-Museum, the first in Greece, where the visitor has the opportunity to “see” digitally the Kastoria of the 6th century and get to know its diverse ecosystem.
You can also see the Folklore Museum, the Byzantine Museum as well as the Museum of Costume Design.
Also do not forget to visit the fossil forest, twenty million years old with tropical and subtropical plants, palm trunks and marine fossils. Be sure to visit the museum that houses many of the fossils.
You must also see Lake Orestiada, Agios Stefanos and the Byzantine castle, which is characterized by travelers of the time as inaccessible and fortified.

Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip
Necessary sights to see include the dragon cave, an impressive cave to visit with 7 underground lakes, 10 rooms and 5 corridors – tunnels, located on the north side of the city, near the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in the Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa, 15 m. From the lakeside road. Its name is due to the tradition that says that inside there was a gold mine, which was guarded by a watchful dragon.

For those who love winter sports, in Vitsi, a village 20 km from the city of Kastoria, there is a ski center, with three slopes, which are able to receive a large number of visitors.

During your stay, do not hesitate to shop for some of the products it produces, which are also of excellent quality. Kastoria, of course, is mainly famous for the unique furs and leather it has and its agricultural products are a very good choice. So you will have the opportunity to buy delicious meat and cheese as well as legumes and nuts.

Kastoria seems to be a heavenly place that meets all tastes and requirements. In any category of tourists, whether you belong to nature lovers or if you are just looking for relaxation for two days.

Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada | What we can do in this Private Day Trip

Tour of the “Mansion” paths of Kastoria
In the neighborhoods of Apozari and Dolcho, the Kastorian mansions built around the 17th and 18th centuries stand proudly and are the eyewitnesses of the economic prosperity of the Kastorian furriers, when their commercial activities had crossed the border with activities abroad. The development of export trade with the countries of Central Europe created a class of rich bourgeois, who came into contact with Western culture. Aware of their power and given the strictly limited society in which they lived, they gave their homes such a form and dimensions as to enjoy their goods in an illusion of freedom. The mansions of Kastoria are harmonized with the environment of the area, being samples of traditional architecture.

Lake Settlement of Dispilio, Kastoria, archeological site, Eco-Museum.
The archeological site of Dispilio and the EcoMuseum are located at a distance of 7 km from the city of Kastoria, on the south side of the lake. A lake settlement of the Late Neolithic Period has been excavated here, which developed around the lake, from the middle of the 6th to the middle of the 4th millennium BC. With the creation of the Eco-Museum, which has been part of the “Life” program since 1966, and has been in operation since 2000, a faithful representation of the settlement was attempted, which enables the visitor to better approach the way of life of its inhabitants.

Folklore Museum of Kastoria. Nerantzi Aivazi Mansion
In one of the most picturesque streets of the city, is the mansion of Nerantzis Aivazis, which since 1975 houses the Folklore Museum of Kastoria. Here the material testimonies of the place, objects from the daily life at home and at work, objects related to ceremonies and celebrations find a hospitable home. The visitor can tour the imposing “krevata” (bed), the place that hosted the official ceremonies and celebrations, the “kalon onta”, (good room) as well as the summer living room that now houses for the needs of the museum the representation of a fur workshop.

Lake Kastoria – Orestiada. Short and big tour of the lake.
The lake of Kastoria, one of the most beautiful in the Balkans, is directly connected with the physiognomy, history and evolution of the city. It has been designated as a “Monument of Natural Beauty” by the Ministry of Culture and has been included in the European Network “Nature 2000”.

  • The short tour of the lake
    This walk is ideal for those who want to enjoy the lake up close. The best way to enjoy the scenery is to do it on foot or by bike. Leaving the two-way road that passes through Dolcho, the passer-by has in front of him 7 idyllic kilometers right next to the lake.
    The lakeside road is paved but very narrow. The plane trees and willows lean over the lake. At the beginning of this route, perched on the rock, is the Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos.
    On the road you can meet walkers and groups of people fishing with rods. Nice pictures that show the constantly renewed relationship of people with the lake.
  • The big tour of the lake
    This route gives the traveler the opportunity to see the lake in all its glory. Starting from the southern exit of the city and driving parallel to the lake, you reach Dispilio which is located at a distance of 7 km from Kastoria. At Douchlo there is an interesting cave, which is accessed by stairs. The bridges of the village of Giole, Cesme, Lacos and Granovoda are interesting architectures of traditional architecture. Near the church of the Ascension, in Nisi, the important lake settlement of Dispilio has been excavated since 1992.

Museum of Wax Figures of Folklore and Prehistory
This new museum was founded in Mavrochori, Kastoria, by the couple Panagiotidis Dimitris and Theocharis Theofano.
In two buildings of local architecture, scenes of daily life of our people are presented, reviving customs and traditions nationwide.
An entire pre-war village has also been created with life-size shops and houses where visitors can see the old forgotten professions – carpenter, glazier, shoemaker, blacksmith, etc.
In a cave an entire tribe of Archangels process leather, weapons, cooking utensils, tools, in a difficult struggle for survival.

Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip

Dragon Cave
The myth of the cave
Many centuries ago, the large cave in front of the monastery of Mavriotissa was a gold mine guarded by a dragon that breathed and released flames and poisonous fumes from its mouth.
The monster after a battle, was beaten and floated dead in the waters of the lake. Then, with lighted torches, people proceeded to the cave where at some point the torches went out due to lack of oxygen at the bottom of the cave. Then a voice was heard saying, ‘He who bends down and takes a handful of mud will repent, but he who does not take it again will repent. Some dared to take mud from the cave and coming out in the sunlight they were surprised to see that they were holding wet gold dust.

Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa
Built in 1082 during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios A’ Komnenos, this Byzantine treasure is located four kilometers from the center of Kastoria, next to the lake. The katholikon of the monastery belongs to the category of single-room, wooden-roofed basilicas. To the east of the temple the arch is semicircular, while to the west a spacious narthex is formed. The frescoes on the east wall of the monastery are placed in the first half of the 12th century and the representation of the Second Coming on the east and south walls of the narthex is at the end. The exterior frescoes, depicting Emperors and Saints Demetrius and George, are placed around 1260. Over the centuries, various repairs have been made to the building resulting in the destruction of much of the hagiography.

Vitsi Ski Center
On Mount Vitsi and close to the city of Kastoria (just 22 km), operates the organized ski center of the Kastoria Ski Association, at an altitude of 1800 meters. It is located on the borders of the prefectures of Kastoria and Florina, near the village of Polykerasso, in an excellent location that is an attraction for the beauty of the landscape and the picturesqueness of the surrounding settlements. Vitsi is protected as a prey sanctuary and is an ideal habitat for the endangered bear. The area has been unaffected by human activity and retains the unique beauty of wildlife.

The carnival of Kastoria – Ragoutsaria
The fun and spree of the Kastorian carnival is now known to everyone.
The Ragoutsaria, as the carnivals are called, are celebrated from the 6th to the 8th of January and are a revival of the ancient Dionysian ceremonies, which took place from ancient times and according to the locals is a celebration that aims to forget the problems of the year.

The carnival events are the culmination of the festivities for the city, because they are combined with the festivities of the twelve days. In Ragoutsaria all the people of Kastoria take part, but also many foreigners who are present in those days in the city and all pour into the streets and alleys, celebrating with dances, songs, teasing and with plenty of wine. Many orchestras with brass instruments, consisting of 5 to 12 people, also take part.


Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip

Thessaloniki to Kastoria and Lake Orestiada – Private Day Trip | Description


  • Pick up and drop off service from your hotel in Thessaloniki
  • Transportation by air-conditioned V.I.P. car or mini van
  • Professional chauffeur (English-speaking)
  • Wifi on board (free)
  • Bottle of water and coffee during the route (free)
  • After the trip you will receive with email edited photos and a small video of your trip.


  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Guide who speaks your language
  • Entrance fees

Additional info

  • Participants under the age of 12 must have a parent or guardian.
  • Because there are many sights worth seeing but a day trip is not enough to visit all of them, before starting the trip we will present to you all possible sights to choose what you are more interest for.
  • There are many beautiful sights. You are encouraged to bring a camera along. But if you don’t… we have a camera for you!
  • Weather will not affect the operation of the tours.
  • However if canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions, you will be given the option of an alternative date
  • Pick up from your hotel in Thessaloniki
  • Departure time: 09:00 am (approx.)
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
  • Return details: Returns to original Pick up point


Thessaloniki to Kastoria! Let’s travel!


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