Where to stay
Kastoria has a variety of accommodation options available catering your individual needs, circumstances and budget, ranging from small downtown inns, unique boutique pads, self-catering rooms-to-let, and awesome century-old refurbished mansions converted into hostels to big pampering hotel chains, to suburban chalets, and charm-filled bed-and-breakfast facilities, such as Vissinokipos in Aposkepos, a breath away from the center of Kastoria (approximately 5 kilometers). Prices vary from 35-40 euros per night for a simple double room (off-season and with no breakfast included).
As a top nature tourism, with the legendary mountains that highlight the region’s serene qualities, Kastoria manages to attract more travelers around Christmas time, during Easter and the month of May, when the International fur Fair takes place, gathering a lot of visitors from all over the world. Also, Kastoria is a popular destination all-year-round for all kind of weekend warriors especially from the Northern part of Greece.
What to taste
“garoufa” (a Kastorian type of fish lake soup, similar to “kakavia”), slow-cooked carp, fried common roach
local meat dishes: “savvatiano” (slow-cooked pork meat with tomato sauce), “myrodato” (grilled pork tenderloin), Macedonian meatballs (“makalo” made with flour sauce, garlic and sometimes tomato paste)
local types of cheese (feta, kefalotyri, kasseri, kefalograviera, batzos saganaki)
“sarmadakia”, known also as “dolmades” or stuffed pickle cabbage leafs – “sarmades”
marinated aubergines swollen with carrots
a local variety of apples
baked chocolate croissant or stuffed orange biscuits
sugary pumpkin pie
lalagkites (a type of honey donuts)
saliaroi – a type of local shortbread with walnuts and powdered sugar snarfed up all the year round
Kastoria’s regional cuisine is surprisingly rich and varied, a compliment to the splendid surroundings, and thus you should be trying some of the many restaurants serving traditional food. However, there’ll still be something delicious and flavorful left to try in a regional village tavern, usually made with pure natural ingredients.
Beans of various selections with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are spearheading products of the local fare. You can taste these uniquely low fat legumes baked, boiled (normally served as a salad), in a casserole, or in the saucepan (served as a soup dish, the scandalously legendary “fasolada”).
Although lake fish is rare in Kastoria, it makes the best “garoufa” (a Kastorian type of fish lake soup, similar to “kakavia”), pike, perch, sauté catfish, slow-cooked, fried or garlicy Caviar from common roach.
A brilliant range of meat products of untouched pasture that you can enjoy on grill, but also hotpot pure meat flavours such as: “savvatiano” (slow-cooked pork meat with tomato sauce), “myrodato” (grilled pork tenderloin), and the meatballs of Northern Greece (“makalo made with flour sauce, garlic and sometimes tomato paste).
One of the best gifts of Kastoria’s Mother Nature is undeniably foraged wild mushrooms, abound almost everywhere in the region, a unique gastronomic experience that you can endeavor during mushroom season. Particularly, in the historic hamlet of Sidirohori, where you can taste various mushroom delicacies (grilled/fried/roasted mushrooms or mushroom soup in wintertime).
Other popular nibbles going well with tsipouro are the “sarmadakia”, known also as “dolmades”, or the stuffed pickle cabbage leafs (“armia”), “armiοpita” (homemade pie with pickled cabbage leafs), marinated aubergines swollen with carrot, Florina peppers stuffed with cabbage, and the famous local cheese, batzos, mostly consumed as saganaki.
Lastly, do not leave without tasting the celebrated sweet apples of the region (with Protected Geographical Indication - PGI), the baked chocolate croissant or several stuffed orange biscuits from the local pastry shop named the Goddess Demeter (Thea Dimitra), any of the sweets preserves, as well as sugary pumpkin pie, semolina halva, lalagkites (a type of honey donuts), and saliaroi – a type of local shortbread with walnuts and powdered sugar snarfed up all the year round.
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