Ioannina prefecture is located at the northwest far end of Greece and it is characterized by its extremely beautiful natural environment. It is mainly a mountainous prefecture with forests, picturesque lakes, rivers, traditional villages, rocky bridges, abundant in flora and fauna. At the region are located many important Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Sport and alternative tourism is quite developed in balance with the rich cultural heritage and local tradition. Practice sports as mountain hiking, skiing, rafting, canyoning, climbing etc.
Ioannina is the capital of the prefecture as well as administrative and financial centre of Epirus, built at the shores of the lake Pamvotida, a beautiful modern town that combines the historic tradition with the legends. The first ever reference of the capital is dated back to 9th century using the name Episkopi. During the Ottoman Empire and especially at the era of Ali Pasha, Ioannina prospered financially and intellectually. The town’s history is reflected to the Castle, the churches, the mosques, the mansions and the Island with the amazing monasteries.
The region is inhabited since prehistoric times. In various spots have been found tombs and remains of settlements dated back to the Bronze Age until the Hellenistic period that demonstrate the importance of the region in the antiquity. At that time thrived the cities Passaron and Tekmon, the place where was situated the sanctuary of Dodoni, an important religious centre of Greek range. During the reign of Pyrrhus (4th-3rd century B.C.) the region entered into the phase of its maximum prosperity. In the 2nd century B.C. the Romans destroyed most of the monuments while in the Byzantine Ages are founded many monasteries and churches.
During the Ottoman Occupation, the region gets into a period of great prosperity. Ioannina became an important commercial centre, while the special privileges given to its habitants lead to a great financial and intellectual heyday. The merchants transacted in Greece and abroad. From that era is known the story of Ali Pasha and the story of the drawing of Kyra Frosini in the lake. In 1913 the region of Ioannina became a part of the Greek state and during the Greco-Italian War in its mountains the Greek warriors made history with its feats.