Dodoni Archeological Site, Ioannina Walking Tour, and Byzantine Museum
Tour Participation Requirements
Listen, and you may hear it yourself: It was in the remote grove of Dodoni that priests and priestesses heeded the rustling leaves of an oak tree to gain prophecies from the gods. Dedicated to Mother Earth and later to Zeus, Dodoni is the oldest oracle in Greece, and second only to the oracle of Delphi in importance. In ancient times, pilgrims traveled great distances to ask for the oak tree for guidance, solace, and, if they were anything like us, the next day's Lotto numbers.
Dodoni sits in the shadow of twin mountain peaks, a vast complex of temples, hostels, and other buildings. Explore the ruins and take your seat in the imposing theater that dominates the landscape. On these worn limestone tiers, audiences once applauded ancient Greek playwrights and, later, cheered gladiators to victory.
The story of Ioannina entwines culture and cruelty. The city's commanding castle, built in 528 A.D. by the Emperor Justinian to celebrate the might of the Byzantine Empire, was seized in 1788 by Ali Pasha, a Muslim-Albanian tyrant who became its most infamous resident. Notorious for his harems, he had a habit of roasting rebels and drowning anyone he didn't like by tying them into sacks and sinking them in Lake Ioannina. He's also said to have executed a rival with a sledgehammer and provided razors to 280 prisoners of war so they could skin each other's heads.
The pasha was overthrown and beheaded, but his gruesome behavior lives on in regional folk songs. Hopefully, you won't hear those.
"Live like the Pasha in Ioannina"
Despite Ali's atrocities, this Greek colloquial expression means to enjoy the best in life. Being a ruler isn't enough – you have to rule a city as wealthy and cultured as Ioannina. So live the Pasha's lifestyle – in an epicurean way. (No roasted rebels, please.) Ioannina is famous for its desserts – local cafes serve the traditional sker bourek (sugar pie), syrup pastries like baklava, and sherbetia (sherbet) flavored with wine, fruit, and flowers.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.