March 28, 2020
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The prefecture of Florina includes the lakes Megali and Mikri Prespa (Big and small Prespa) Vegoritida, Petron, Zazari, Himaditida and the acquatic bio-park of Prespes. Florina, the capital of the prefecture, is in a distance of 573 km. from Athens and 160 km. from Thessaloniki. The city was built in modern time period but there are ruins of older time in the region. One of the most wonderful locations of the prefecture of Florina is Prespes in an altitude of 853-2177 m. It is in a distance of 50 km. from Florina. Mikri Prespa (Small Prespa) is situated to the western side of the central road and it is separated from Megali Prespa (Big Prespa) with a narrow strip of land 1000 m. The entire region has been characterised as national forest. There are 380 species of birds whereas the flora of the region is very interesting. The waters of Megali Prespa are very deep, up to 55 metres as well, while in Mikri Prespa the depth of waters does not exceed 8 metres. There are byzantine monuments in Prespes, churches, monasteries, tombs and ascetic places completing the natural beauty of the region. In the island of Aghios Achillios in Mikri Prespa, the homonym church, deserted but magnificent preserves in an impressive way the characteristics of an old big bassilica of the 10th century. In the island of Aghios Achillios are also saved ruins of the church of Sts. Apostoli from the 11th-12th century, the church of St. Demetrios dated back to the 14th century, the one-piece with wooden roofing church of St. George with wall paintings of the 15th century, the monastery of Panaghia Porfyra in the southern end of the island. In the southern bank of Megali Prespa, facing the village Psarades, they are saved ascetic places and wall paintings on rocks dated from the 13th-14th century. Beautiful villages in the banks of Megali Prespa are Psarades with houses of stone and wood-the farthest village in the borders with Albania and the unique of the 13 Greek villages that is situated in this big lake as well as Aghios Germanos with the homonym church. The church is dedicated to Aghios Germanos, patriarch of Constantinople, who according to the tradition died in this region and was buried in the church. They are saved parts of wall paintings of the 11th and 12th century. In the same region it is worthwhile to visit the church of Aghios Athanassios of 1816 as well. In Megali Prespa you can go for swimming to the beach Koula near the guard-house and to Psarades. In altitude 1.420 m., in the mountain side of Vitsi in the road leading from Florina to Prespes, near the ski center Vigla, it is to be found Pissoderi. It is in a distance of 22 km. from Florina. Sightseeings of the region are the historical byzantine church of St. Paraskevi, the monastery of Aghia Triada, the building of Modestia School being nowadays a guesthouse and certainly the ski centre of Vernos (Vitsi) in the location "Vigla" , 1 km. south-east. There are two sliding and one air-lifts, four tracks of various colours, shelter of the Climbers Skiers Club of Florina, restaurant and chalet. Information: Ski centre: tel. (03850) 45800-1, Climb.Skiers Club. of Florina: tel.(03850) 29939. In the location "Vigla Pissoderiou" there is a shelter in an altitude of 1.650 m., that can accommodate 55 persons. Information: Climb.Skiers Club of Florina. In the mountainsides of Vitsi it is situated the village Nymphaeo in an altitude of 1350 m. with extraordinary architectural characteristics, Popular Art museum, famous mansions with wall paintings. It is in a distance of 53 km. from Florina and less than an hour from the ski centres in Vora and Vigla. It is very interesting to go for a walk to the village with the stone-paved streets and the mansions. In Nymphaeo there is also a model horse riding club, restaurants, cafeterias, shop of Women’s Cooperative, basket and volley grounds as well as tennis court free of charge, while there are also marked paths for walking in the forest and the meadows. Amyndaeo, a modern country town, is in a distance of 40 km. from Florina. In the village St. Panteleimonas, 6 km. north-east, in the banks of the lake Vegoritida, in the beginning of the century it had been excavated a settlement and cemetery of the Early Iron Age (1100-700 B.C.). You can go for swimming to the beach of Aghios Panteleimonas, in the lake Vegoritida. There is also the Protection Centre for Bear consisting of the Veterinary Station in Aetos, where the bears are housed for a transitional time period and the Forestry Station in Nymphaeo, enclosed area of 50 000 m., where the bears live in a natural environment under people’s care.
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