...great tourist, cultural, archaeological and historic interest...
The Municipality of Orestidos sits in an area of inexhaustible natural beauty in the heart of Kastoria Prefecture, in northwestern Greece; it neighbors with Lake Kastoria (north), the lowlands of Mountain Voio (south) and Grammos mountain range (west).
The area presents great tourist, cultural, archaeological and historic interest. Extensive archaeological excavations that began in 1988, unearthed ancient settlements, the Roman Walls of Dioklitianoupolis at the banks of Aliakmon River, a Roman settlement and exquisite mosaics.
Named after the legendary Orestis who fled to the area after the murder of his father Agamemnon, Orestiko formed part of the ancient Macedonian State. According to ancient historian Appianos, Argos Orestiko is the homeland of the Argeades dynasty, the founders of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia.
The area’s natural beauty, traditional architecture, early-Christian churches, Byzantine and post-Byzantine monasteries are of great interest. The post-Byzantine monastery of Agios Athanassios Zikovistas - of the most beautiful in Greece – is found near the village of Spilios, at 20 kilometers from Argos Orestiko. At the deserted settlement of Zevgostasi, the 11th-century Byzantine church of Our Lady’s Dormition (Koimisis tis Theotokou) is decorated with splendid frescoes dating back to the Byzantine era. A Byzantine fresco of the Holy Mother and Child decorates an outer wall of the church.
There is a significant presence of thermal springs in the municipality, proven to possess therapeutic qualities. Located at 2 kilometres from the head village of Argos Orestiko, the hot springs of Ammoudara have modern bath and hospitality accommodations and a Hydrotherapy Center surrounded by lush nature. The local “Ammoudara” hotel boasts comfortable accommodation and attractive public areas.
At a mere 11 kilometers from Argos Orestiko, the Nostimo Museum of Palaeontology and Palaeobotany houses specimens of organisms ranging in age from 3.8 billion years (early life appearance) to 20 million years when the area was flooded with seawater and intense volcanic activity covered all plant life leaving behind fossilized palm trees, cinnamon trees and sequoia, as well as fossils of shark’s teeth, mammoth and sea shells.
Hours of operation:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. (during the summer months)
Contact: Petros Papaconstantinou, Museum Caretaker Tel: +30 24670 84588, +30 6932695995 Fax +30 24670 8458
A great number of cultural and religious festivals take place at the Municipality throughout the year. The “Oresteia” event is celebrated in July with music concerts, theatrical plays, traditional street dances, book, art and gastronomic fairs; the Big Trade Fair in September where a wide range of all kinds of products attract thousands of visitors; the three-day Argeitiko Carnival takes off in the village streets with dances and costumed fan in December 31 and lasts till January 2.