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ARTA

Information | Photo Gallery | Map

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Arta is a mountainous region with a narrow exit to the Ionian Sea, where the twin rivers Arachthos and Louros pour their silt-rich waters to form a pair of beautiful lagoons within the Amvracic Gulf. The evergreen landscape captivates the visitor, beckoning him to explore it as thoroughly as possible. The city of Arta is the capital of the prefecture, its legendary stone bridge attracting the greatest attention among those who happen to be passing through.   

 

HISTORY-CULTURE

Man has lived in Arta since the Paleolithic Age, its fertile land and healthy climate being a constant attraction for settlers. The first name we have of the people that once lived here is that of the Dryopes, a very ancient Greek tribe, while legend relates that a band of Minyans, another Greek tribe of the South, led by their king Athamas, moved here after they lost their territories in Viotia to the Boeotians. Later still, sometime in the late 7th century BC, Corinthian settlers were also added to the population of Arta. They all fought along the side of the rest of the Greeks to repel the Persians, and sided with Sparta during the destructive Peloponnesean War. The great king Pyrrhus of Epirus, a formidable rival of Rome in his time, established his capital in Arta, and this was perhaps the pretext of the violent Roman conquest just a few centuries later. The people had to flee to the highlands, or to move to Nicopolis, a city founded by Emperor Augustus to commemorate his famous naval victory in nearby Aktion, which was decisive in establishing his power, and thereby his throne. The city of Arta emerged in the 11th century AD, and Byzantine Emperor Michael II endowed the city with an extensive building programme. A series of violent raids was followed by bitter Turkish conquest in 1449, a period which lasted well into the early 20th century. Yet even during this time, Arta remained a rapidly developing city, a center of trade, agriculture, and intellectual prowess.    

 

SIGHTS

Blessed with ample running water, the mountains of Arta are rich in picturesque rivers and streams, lakes and waterfalls, all within dreamy landscapes of lush green. This seemingly endless setting for a fairy tale gradually leads to a majestic coastline, where wonderful beaches give way to a pair of enchanting lagoons. The city of Arta itself holds many sights of great interest. Its legendary stone bridge, where the foreman had to sacrifice his beloved wife within its foundations in order for it to keep standing, was initially built in the late middle ages. Ancient Amvracia lies nearby, the foundations of its castle serving as an ideal platform for the Byzantine castle which now stands on top of them, one of the most spectacular and well kept of its time. Among many other monuments worth a visit, the ones that stand out are the ancient theatre and the temple of Apollo, and the Byzantine churches of Panagia Parigoritissa (The Comforting Mary) and Agia Theodora. There are many more archaeological sites within the prefecture, but if one must choose, the most spectacular are the ruins of the ancient city-fortress Orraon, the stone bridge of Plaka, the Byzantine churches of Panagia Pandanassa, Panagia Vlacherna and the Red Church, the meta-Byzantine monasteries of Seltsou, Rovelista, Panagia and Agios Georgios, and the church of Chrysospiliotissa. A single visit can never afford enough time to enjoy the natural and cultural wealth of Arta.            

 

ENTERTAINMENT-SPORTS-SHOPPING

The city of Arta offers an abundance of shopping and entertainment facilities along with ample accommodations and exemplary services. Numerous hotels, cafes, shops, nights clubs, restaurants and taverns provide options to satisfy even the most demanding visitors. The situation is no less satisfactory in the countryside, both on the mountains and along the coastline. Fresh fish can be enjoyed in restaurants close enough to the sea as to be able to smell it, while the taverns on the highland villages prepare delicious meals on the grill. Cozy rental rooms make even the most temporary visitors feel like longtime residents who have been walking these mountains for years. Sporting facilities are extensive, while there are many opportunities to purchase some of the local delicacies and traditional textiles to take back home.       

 

ACCESS

There is a daily bus service from Athens and Thessaloniki to Arta. The road network to Arta is developing into a high-speed motorway. 

 

CONNECTIONS

Daily bus routes connect Arta directly with Ioannina, Preveza, Agrinio and Messologgi. Any destination in Greece can be reached by corresponding routes.

 

MUSEUMS

The city of Arta hosts an archaeological collection which includes some spectacular exhibits, and a historical and a folk art museum, which conjure vivid images of life as it has been the past four centuries. More folk art of cultural interest can be seen in the museums of Ktistades, Kypseli and Perama Distratou. There is also a museum of natural history in Kopraena.    

 

ALTERNATIVE TOURISM

Agrotourism, ecotourism, gastronomy, spiritual, archaeological, therapeutic, birdwatching, canyoning, sporting (trekking, river trekking, mountain climbing, canoe-kayak, water ski, rafting).

 

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

ARTA AREA CODE:  26810-

POLICE STATION: 26810-80132, 21470, 21475, 21450, 80100

TOURIST POLICE: 26810-80103-4

TRAFFIC POLICE: 26810-80154, 21464, 21466, 80160

MUNICIPALITY: 26813-81197, 62100

HOSPITAL: 26810-22222, 26666, 77777, 70344

PHARMACIES: 26810-70231, 73149

BUS STATION: 26810-28314, 27348

TAXI STATION: 26810-78360, 78333

POST OFFICE: 26810-22422, 27278

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 26810-26099, 27799

MENIDI PORT POLICE: 88616

 

 

 

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EPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTA
EPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTA
EPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTA
EPIRUS ARTAEPIRUS ARTA
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