We present to your attention the rating of the best hotels in Kastoria – an ancient Greek city.
Beavers or fortress: the territory of Kastoria, a city in northwestern Greece,has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Here are found monuments of writing, which are older than the entire Western civilization combined, and the city itself, apparently, was founded by the Aeolians. And with all this, the Greeks themselves are not sure of the origin of the name, so numerous guides interpret it as anyone likes. Therefore, in Kastoria there is a rule: you can not believe anyone. No guides, no taxi drivers, no bartenders, no merchants. Although experienced people claim that just traders can.
The last two or three decades in ancient Kastoria go exclusively for shopping, and highly specialized: in the region is concentrated almost the entire fur industry of Greece, here you can buy an excellent fur coat not for all the money in the world. In this city with great fanfare is held Kastoria International Fur Fair – an exhibition-fair, which attracts buyers of fur salons from Europe, Russia, Central Asia to feel the mink fur.
Since the XIV century, Kastoria lives in fur shops (markets, factories, farms), although it has something to be proud of without furs: the city is located on the isthmus of the peninsula, on the shore of the spectacular Lake Orestiada (600 meters above sea level), which got its name in honor of the mountain nymphs of the oreads. In addition, in the city you can see more than 70 well-preserved churches of different periods, including the IX – X centuries.
Kastoria can hardly be called a city – only 14 thousand inhabitants with a suburb and nearby farms. However, in Greece, even in the capital, less than a million live, in Thessaloniki 300 thousand, and in Patra a little more than a hundred. By the way, Kastoria is very close (although in Greece everything is not far) from the border with Albania and for the sake of interest you can track the unique interpenetration of cultures, which both Greeks and Albanians equally indignantly deny. What to do, fragile national pride and a complex dramatic history of the neighborhood.
Limneon Resort is located at the entrance to Kastoria very close to Lake Orestiada and is not so focused on tourists who are eager to enjoy the beauty of the region as on connoisseurs of fur products. That is why they do not bother with any exclusive services (despite the Resort & Spa), but they are pleased with good beds, a hearty breakfast and a large parking lot. It is quiet, pleasant and you can sleep before visiting the fur market.
However, for the soul in the hotel still has a spa Noufaro:
- hammam and sauna;
- fitness and yoga classes;
- Jacuzzi and massage.
For an additional fee.
Two buildings – Crystal (4 stars) and Golden (5 stars) – are only 69 rooms. Quite large and bright, warm in winter and with excellent ventilation in summer, they leave a pleasant impression thanks to the unobtrusive interior, daily cleaning and friendly staff.
From the windows of the rooms offers a stunning view of the lake – however, sometimes the roof of the restaurant prevents you from admiring the surroundings. Therefore, experienced people recommend booking rooms on the third floor, there is nothing interfering with the review.
Victor, Petah Tikva: “We were from August 8 to 14 inclusive in 2019. The hotel is not bad, but the breakfasts, as for me, are average – uncly, too sweet, mostly any of the dough. I do not recommend dinner and lunch at the hotel, and it’s not just about the price – just ten minutes a huge number of taverns, cafeterias and even ordinary takeaway tables. Why limit yourself to monotonous hotel cuisine in Greece, that’s not understand at all. In the room ask for a corkscrew, kettle and cups immediately upon check-in, the dishes for some reason are declared, but it is not. “
Grey marble, bog oak and only 5 minutes to the center of Kastoria are the main advantages of the Esperos PalaceHotel. Yes, pathos was invented a long time ago in Greece, since then it has been successfully exploited.
54 rooms (of which in fact 7 suites and one grand suite) is a laconic design, a bathroom that will be convenient to use even for people with disabilities and good beds with bed linen made of strip satin. The hotel is cleaned daily, and so that you can not find fault. And the impression is not spoiled even by worn-out floors and veteran cabinets.
In the atrium of the hotel there is a café-bar, it overlooks the terraces of the floors. By the way, both the atrium and the catering point are decorated stylishly and it is pleasant to look at them. And since the hotel is preferred mainly by restrained and well-mannered tourists from Western Europe, it does not happen noisy.
Max, Moscow: “We, like many, flew to Kastoria for a fur coat – still two times cheaper than in Moscow. Esperos Palace booked at the box, generally fine, but we won’t come again. Inexpensive place in the very center, but in need of repair. When we checked in, there was a toilet leaking in the room, there was water everywhere. On the respeshen tried to resist, but still the number was replaced. Interestingly, the hotel had no WiFi, only wired internet in the rooms. Yes, great, but somehow wild. They say there are problems with data security.”
The lovely boutique hotel Orologopoulos Mansionis a traditional Greek-style boutique hotel located in Piazza Dolzo near the lake (150 m). During the construction, the designers were given the task: to revive the house of the Orologopoulou family on Picheon Street, preserving the authentic atmosphere. In the end, the historical value of the mansion of the XIX century was preserved, while creating a comfortable space – a hotel with 9 rooms (that is, a maximum of 22 people).
It turned out very well: the hotel looks very photogenic from the street, and the rooms from the inside are decorated with natural wood and stone. Each room has ornate ceilings, sometimes with beams and wrought iron chandeliers, deep traditional windows (from the unaccustomed rooms will seem dark, but in a hot climate this is even a plus), stylized fireplaces, stained glass, elements of traditional patterns and carvings (no meanders, only the north-west). On the floor are handmade mats, in the décor used motifs of folk crafts.
With a preserved antique aesthetic, Orologopoulos Mansion is a modern hotel with air conditioning, TV and a combined bathroom in each room. There are comfortable beds, good sound insulation and prices are much higher than the market average. Breakfast is included. According to reviews, nothing special – a lot of sweet pastries, orange juice, cereals, omelets. Preferences and discounts for children are not provided.
The hotel does not have its own parking, but there is free municipal parking nearby, along the street. With crime in Kastoria calmly, and rentkar is still insured.
A small secluded fully equipped house, built in the style of traditional Macedonian architecture, is not even a hotel, it is rather a cottage that can be rented to spend a quiet holiday on the shore of a mountain lake. Own kitchen-studio, large bathroom with all necessary amenities and a cozy bedroom with a wooden bed plus stunning views of the lake and mountains – all this is designed for four people. You can take pets, but within reason. The friendly owner, by the way, offers carriers for cats and small breeds of dogs.
The house is located in a large garden that descends very close to the lake. Near the house of the owners, they are also busy serving guests, including cleaning on demand and solving household issues immediately, without delay. You can ask the owners to cook, but most of the guests either eat in the city (just a few minutes by car), or cook themselves from products that can be bought in grocery stores (literally a hundred meters away) or in a small market in the morning.
Inga, Minsk: “The apartments are beautiful, felt at home. The owner is very attentive, speaks excellent English. There is its own access to the lake, everything is very beautiful. Clean air, silence, clouds and mountains. We took a sun lounger and rested in the garden while my son played nearby. It was a surprisingly relaxing holiday.”
In light of the decline in popularity of natural fur in Europe, hoteliers of Kastoria, whether they like it or not, change their orientations to the cardinal points. For example, a brand new hotel in the central part of Kastoria Kyknos De Luxe Suites & Rooms is built in the expectation of abundant flows of tourists who came to buy a fur coat. Modest, but quite comfortable rooms of several categories with not the most beautiful view of the roadway, but a free hearty breakfast are suitable for such a holiday – spend the night, have a snack and appreciate the nearest fur eldorado.
Next to the hotel there is a tavern, it is better to have dinner and lunch there, not counting on the talents of hotel chefs. What’s nice, in the local catering points there is no division into breakfasts-lunches-dinners, so à la carte meals can be obtained at any time of the day.
Kyknos De Luxe Suites & Rooms is not the best hotel for a holiday with a child. Children’s playground a hundred meters from the building is not only under the scorching sun, but also paid. The staff will not be questioned a crib or an extra towel, the administration reacts with a disgruntled chick even to the child’s sigh, not that to crying or playing on the territory.
The hotel is sharpened for fur shopping, at the reception they strongly advise certain manufacturers (no wonder, the owners of the hotel own several fur factories) and the desire to stay for a week is puzzling. However, there is a good side: the hotel is not too famous.
Stylish and brand new (opened in 2013), the 4-star Calma Spa Hotel is located not in Kastoria itself, but on the outskirts, three kilometers from the center. For children offer a free swimming pool, animators and high chairs. This is a rarity not only in Kastoria, but also in Greece in general.
The hotel has 16 different rooms – there are double and triple, family and suites. Their main advantage is the ease of design, calm colors of textiles, roller blinds, not dusty curtains, on the windows and perfect sound insulation.
Calma is very attentive to the needs of all categories of guests, so the steps are equipped with ramps, and on the ground floor there is a room adapted for people in wheelchairs.
The highlight of the hotel is spa treatments, which must be paid separately:
- relaxation room;
- cosmetic procedures;
- various types of massage.
Svetlana, Norilsk: “We were in the last month before lockdown, that’s lucky, so lucky. We chose a hotel at random, by photos, stayed at Calma, booked and arrived three days later. In general, everything turned out just fine – the rooms are clean, the bed is new, the balcony overlooks the well-groomed alleys. Breakfast is good, American style, included in the guesthouse, can be ordered in the room. The staff is very quick and polite. We’ll be back!”
Everything turns out, the farther from Kastoria, the better – and hotels, and air, and the view from the window. The only disadvantage of the suburban location is the need to rent a car. Most tourists order rents directly at the airport in Kozani, because the local name of Aristotle is still a village. The most desperate go by car from Thessaloniki – only two and a half hours, but how many opportunities to see the Greek province!
Enastron View is a decent level hotel with mesmerizing views of both the lake and the mountains, with comfortable large rooms and a shared terrace where breakfast is pleasant. Located in the village of Loutraki at 700 meters above sea level, around a clean refined lawn and artistically trimmed slightly crippled Greek shrubs. The rooms have nothing superfluous, unpleasant or embarrassing – cleanliness, silence and good air conditioning. The perfect place for an amazing night’s rest with a light snack for breakfast – and that’s it, there is nothing more to do in this hotel. Forward, to the fur exhibition center! It is only 2 kilometers away.
The hotel organises interesting excursions to a bear farm nearby (yes, bears are also used to sew fur coats, sadly) or to the National Wetland Park to the Prepes Lakes. There is interesting and, according to reviews, quite unusual, but without anti-mosquito repellent can not do.
The economy of the region, the administrative center of which is Kastoria, for many decades rests on two pillars – fur coats and buyers of fur coats. And if the Europeans have changed their minds, it’s time to call the Orthodox brothers.
Similarly, Pansion Zafeiriou is one of many. A sturdy middle-of-the-range hotel with decent rooms, designed for connoisseurs of Greek fur. There are large beds with good mattresses, free breakfast, and the most popular service is a wake-up call. In order not to be late for the opening of markets and pavilions. All guests receive a free bottle of water and a dish of fruit – however, this is Greece. Fruits here are worthless, and without water really can not do. More from the free on-site – WiFi and unguarded parking.
Dinner and lunch in the hotel will not work, there is only a bar with cosmic prices. In principle, it does not matter: half a kilometer from the hotel, entire streets are quite decent taverns. The Greeks themselves do not like them, so to meet at dinner someone shouty from the locals is unrealistic.
The hotel with a slightly banal name is located almost on the shore of Lake Orestiada. By the way, if someone decided that the hotel was named after the EU, this is not so: the owner does not get tired of telling guests the Greek myth about the beauty of Europe, which Zeus washed in the guise of a bull. It is in honor of the beauty and named the hotel. And the EU here is even more than cool.
All 36 rooms of the Europa Hotel are decorated in a slightly pretentious eclectic style, which mixes the turbulent 80s, the aesthetics of the shopping center, brothels and the ideas of Castorian designers about the classics in interior design. That is why you should not take children to the Europa Hotel – many steps, attacks, sharp beveled corners, glass furniture, slippery polished marble floor in the lounge and too steep stairs to the second and third floors can be traumatic.
For breakfast in the cafeteria of the hotel offers a standard set – fatty cold croissant, sweet orange nectar and cappuccino, cooked according to an exclusive Greek recipe.
Nikolai, Yekaterinburg: “My girlfriend and I met 2019 in Europe. An unforgettable experience, especially when it comes to decorating the bed with large gold balls. On the other hand, the owner presented a mini-bottle of pleasant red dry, congratulated on the holiday. And we woke up on January 1 and went to wander along the shore and drink ginger tea from a thermos – it, by the way, can be prepared on request in the local dining room, three minutes walk from the hotel. Of the bad – the bath in the room is tiny, it is more of a large sink than a bath. “
Not everyone is suitable for hotels, there are many people for whom the noise of other representatives of the human race is murderous and does not fit with the rest. Guest house La Noi,on the road to the tiny town of Vitsi, just for such tourists. No, it is not designed for connoisseurs of fur delights (except for those who go to see fur ruins not in the first place), La Noi is an ideal place for workaholics-introverts who need to sleep.
Everything is autonomous, quiet and with a view of the mountains: two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen with everything you need. And, of course, the terrace, as a symbol of northwestern Greece, which is almost Albania. By the way, you can not do without a car, you will have to go for food and everything else.
The owners of the house are quite stingy on smiles and service – towels and bed linen, for example, are issued for a fee, they almost do not know English.
To arrange parties, celebrate the engagement, birthday and other personal dates in the house the owners do not allow. Judging by the views, they are critical of even a bottle of beer. Such care for health, of course, touches.
Tips to everyone who is going to Kastoria:
- It is most convenient to travel by car, combining it with short cognitive walks. There is no public transport in the city, there are problems with taxis, not everyone can withstand marathons on foot through the hills, a bicycle / scooter is not suitable, as cobbled streets and many stairs.
- Renting a car in Kastoria is a quest worthy of the pen of ancient Greek tragedians. It is better to solve this problem in advance, otherwise there is a high chance of being left without wheels.
- Life in the city flows not according to tourist rhythms, but according to the pace set by the fur industry. On the eve of industry events – exhibitions, presentations of new collections, the opening of the season – in the city do not push through, you need to book a hotel for this time much in advance.
- The region has a very difficult summer – dry, drying, hot. The natives practice siesta, so during the day you will not meet anyone on the streets, and many establishments are closed for a long lunch break.
- In Greek cities, there is very little greenery, so you do not need to expect that you will get a break in the shade. Not local actually available only catering establishments.
- Greeks do not like other people’s children, so do not count on children’s menus, dishes and small furniture. In hotels, children are most often treated neutrally, but they expect silence and exemplary behavior from them.
Visit Kastoria is not only for the sake of buying a fur coat. After all, this is a crossroads of worlds – sophisticated Greece and the harsh Balkans, there is something to feed the inner aesthete. Not necessarily we are talking about mezedes (they say, local specialty), you can and long dilapidated stone steps to the lake, almost Macedonian architecture and wild, laid on goat trails, streets. In Kastoria, the tourist spirit does not soar everywhere, and the ancient churches were clearly restored by local craftsmen with the help of chisels and plasticine, but everything is remembered together.
However, fur coats take their toll, and in Kastoria rarely anyone stays for more than 2-3 days. Of course, for such a period of time nothing will have time to get bored, so all the Greek tourist problems for many go unnoticed. Yes, bad internet, yes, tasteless breakfast… but a fur coat, a fur coat – chic, glitter and beauty! Greek hotels will not spoil the pleasure of a successful purchase – after all, the EU, and this is certification, safety requirements and service standards. Which hotel to choose is a matter of taste and purse, in general, they are quite equivalent, and the quality of rest rather depends on how lucky you are with the maid and whether the local authorities decide to carry out the prevention of water supply.