Lake Pamvotida

This well known lake was in ancient times known as “Pamvotis” (the great provider). Situated right next to the city of Ioannina, this uncommonly beautiful lake is a true gem of the Ioannina Basin region. With a fascinating history full of legends and traditions that go back centuries, the lake of Kyra Frosyni * has become famous beyond the borders of Greece.

The lake is supplied by the springs of Mount Mitsikeli, Drabatova, Sendeniko and Krya. Its waters are usually calm, though it freezes on occasions. It exerts a mysterious charm over the locals, who spend sunny summer days on its shores, revel in the morning mist around its banks or walk next to it on melancholic winter’s evenings.

There are thick reed beds around the lakeside as well as dense thickets of willows, poplar trees and huge plane trees which offer shelter from the wind to a host of local and migrational birds. Herons, grebe, snipe, swans and cormorants all “earn their daily bread” by snacking on the local fish population.

The lake has two main features: a dream-like peninsula with its historic castle and towering minarets and the small island – the only island in Greece to be inhabited and yet not have a name – which basks in its green waters.

Little boats will ferry you through the local nature, past historic monasteries and into the picturesque fishing community, where the real heart of the island beats. Sample some of the desserts that Ioannina is famous for, enjoy the warm welcome the locals offer guests or try some of the popular local snacks, such as carp, eel and frog’s legs.

The secrets of the lake are well hidden in the shroud of the morning mist. They await you when you take a trip through legend and history.

Activities: The Lake offers perfect conditions for water skiing, rowing and canoeing, as the wind in the area is usually very favourable.

*Interested in the story of Kyra Frosini?

She was a beautiful young girl that asked her parents to allow her to marry a Greek merchant from Venice so as to avoid being forced to join the harem of Ali Pasha, the local ruler (she was only 12 year old). One day, when her husband was away, Muhtar (Ali’s son) fell in love with her (although he too was already married).

Unfortunately, Ali Pasha also liked her, so he sent his son abroad on a military mission to be able to get close to her himself. She refused his advances, so he accused her of prostitution and ordered her to be executed (along with 16 other girls) by being drowned in the lake! The year was 1801. The story of Kyra Frosyni is so popular that many taverns, cafes and boats on the lake are named after her.

Related experiences