Nestled within the Pindos mountain range at an altitude of 1,200m, the charming town of Metsovo is set at the ‘crossroads’ of Epirus, Thessaly, and Western Macedonia.
Built like an amphitheatre, it boasts a collection of traditional houses with tile roofs and wooden porches, as well as grand mansions that are nestled between lush greenery. The town flourished in the 18th and 19th Centuries and ever since was supported by a local benefactor and politician Evangelos Averoff, who created a foundation to fund local crafts, cheesemaking, and winemaking. Indeed, Metsovo is known as a capital place to find excellent cheese in all varieties, most famed of all from the region being the smoky, toffee-coloured PDO Metsovone.
Top things to do
-Explore the town – stroll along cobblestone streets and sip coffee in Agia Paraskevi square, admire the traditional architecture and visit the Averoff Museum, Aghios Nikolaos Monastery, and the Folk Art Museum.
-In early spring or late Autumn especially visit the man-made Aoos Springs Lake.
-Southeast of that is the high Katara Pass (5km northeast of Metsovo) where you can challenge yourself in a climb or hike and admire stunning vistas.
Best places to eat:
-Visit To Paradosiako for a menu that celebrates cheeses made by the Tossizza Foundation. Also known for wild boar and pork tenderloin with cheese sauce, in a dining area decorated with traditional weavings, costumes, and cowbells.
–To Koutouki Tou Nikola serves simple yet delicious local fare, from meats and mezedes to grilled saganaki cheeses and hand-cut chips in a cozy ambiance.
-No-frills in terms of its appearance, Aspasia’s honey cuisine has character and packs a punch in flavour. Local meats, cheeses, and wines are served up in well-sized and affordable portions.
Don’t leave Metsovo without trying: Agiorgitiko wine at the Averoff Winery and Hotel, and cheeses such as gyalotyri, Metsovone, graviera, and goat’s cheese. Hard cheeses travel well and can be bought at I Pygi or the Tositsa Foundation Cheese Factory.