From the great Siatista to the mountainous Vlasti.
Thirty-five fascinating kilometers on the slopes of Siniatsiko (Askio) terms.
Siatista, a story like a fairy tale
Siatista, with very easy access via the Egnatia Odos, is a city that will welcome you modestly, without tourist fuss and glamorous attractions. It is certain that if one does not know its history, will surely overtake it as here too the modern Greek practice of the previous decades "everything ίνουν to be made of cement" has clearly prevailed. However, behind the buildings of modern urban aesthetics, the genuine face of an authentic and noble Macedonian state is still visible.
The story of Siatista looks like a fairy tale. It was somewhere in the middle of the 16th century when Vlach-speaking shepherds along with persecuted populations from Epirus, Thessaly, Macedonia was formed here, on the slopes of Mount Askio, the first residential cores. The inhabitants initially engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, while some small crafts were created. Later - due to the local climate- more and more people started to get involved in viticulture, making Siatista one of the most important viticultural areas in Greece in a short period of time. Alongside, The leather and fur processing that took place in small households proved to be particularly profitable.
A city with two faces
In the 18th and 19th centuries Siatista was a financially strong city, excellently organized and one of the few in Greece that had a complete water supply and sewerage network!
Then the prestigious mansions were built, the splendid churches and multi-storey schools that still exist today in the residential fabric of the modern town that is divided into the districts of Chora and Geraneia. Crossing the main street of the city, you will probably not be particularly impressed, as the colorless concrete buildings are the ones that prevail all around, with few exceptions. However, it is worth leaving your vehicle and looking for the famous mansions scattered among newly built buildings..
One of the most impressive Siatista mansions is that of Poulko, of Nerantzopoulos, of Kanatsoulis, of Manousis, of Poulkidis, of Kyra-Sanoukos, of Tsiotsi, of Jura, of Malioga. Nerantzopoulos mansions can be visited, Poulkos, Manousi, Dinciou, Dolgira.
The municipality will give you information on the phone to find out which mansions are open to the public 24650-22800.
The Paleontological Collection and the Botanical Museum are of interest, which are housed in the neoclassical building of Trabzon High School, his building 1906.
In the central square of Geraneia dominates the church of Agia Paraskevi (1677) with the elaborate gilded iconostasis. Go to the monastery of Ai-Lia that dominates a nearby hill to see the precious hagiographies depicting saints of Orthodoxy and ancient Greek philosophers! Go to the monastery of Ai-Lia that dominates a nearby hill to see the precious hagiographies depicting saints of Orthodoxy and ancient Greek philosophers. Go to the monastery of Ai-Lia that dominates a nearby hill to see the precious hagiographies depicting saints of Orthodoxy and ancient Greek philosophers, Go to the monastery of Ai-Lia that dominates a nearby hill to see the precious hagiographies depicting saints of Orthodoxy and ancient Greek philosophers 60 days.
Yet, worth a visit to the winery Go to the monastery of Ai-Lia that dominates a nearby hill to see the precious hagiographies depicting saints of Orthodoxy and ancient Greek philosophers (tel. 6945565068, K. John).
From Eratyra to the Byzantine Sisani
So we leave Siatista behind and driving for thirteen kilometers we head towards Eratyra (old Selitsa) perched at altitude 800 m., in the bare back of vegetation of Mount Askio or Siniatsiko. A typical example of a Macedonian city is Eratyra, with old two-story houses, abundant running water and the important church of Agios Georgios, his building 1844, is everything,what you need for a stop and tour of its traditional neighborhoods.
Fifteen kilometers north, the green village of Sisani rests in the fertile valley crossed by the river Myrichos, next to the newly built artificial lake. Today, the agricultural Sisani is famous in Macedonia for the production of beans with a special special taste.. In fact last, mainly young producers have turned to organic farming, creating a template, certified product, which is a hit in the organic food stores.
Ruins of the majestic Byzantine episcopal church have been excavated on the outskirts of the village, of the old metropolis of Sisani (11ος αι.). The excavations began in 1991 and brought to light important findings. Today this great archeological site can be visited as it has been a very careful promotion (information Ephorate of Antiquities of Kozani, tel. 24610 98800). Sisani has infrastructure for accommodation and food, while a particularly interesting is a walk on the lakeside road that runs around the small artificial lake of the river Myrichos.
From Sisani going up the asphalt road to 8 kilometers, you will find on the forested edges of Mount Askio and at an altitude 1.100 meters of the mountain settlement of Namata (older Pipilista), which owes its name to the abundant spring waters that gush everywhere from the bowels of the mountain (nama = source). Ask the hostel or tavern to point you to the path that leads to the abyss of Drakotrypa and ask the locals to tell you the various beliefs and legends about the dragon who lived here.
The livestock village of Vlasti
From Sisani the asphalt mountain road leading to Ptolemaida ends after 8 kilometers of strong ascent in the Vlach village of Vlasti, built in height 1.200 meters, in overgrown with beeches, armpit of the mountain that connects Mount Askio with Mouriki. It is a tidy village and certainly when you first see it is a pleasant surprise, here in the mountains of the prefecture of Kozani. The old name of the village was Blatsi or Vlatsi. During the Turkish occupation, it was administratively subordinate to the sultan-mother, which provided him with several privileges. which provided him with several privileges.
which provided him with several privileges. which provided him with several privileges, which provided him with several privileges, which provided him with several privileges. which provided him with several privileges, in Bucharest, in Belgrade and Istanbul.
Par’ all these, the 20th century did not start well for Vlasti. The Balkan Wars and later B.’ Global and Civil disintegrated the small economy of the mountain village leading most of the inhabitants to the big urban centers (mainly in Thessaloniki), but also in immigration abroad. Today Vlasti is trying to recover, mainly with the production of quality cheese products, but also with its emergence as a mountain destination.
From Vlasti start many hiking trails that lead both to Mount Askio and to the overgrown with dense beech forests Mouriki. The forest route is of high nature value (the whole road has now been asphalted) leading to the neighboring Vlach village of Kleisoura. But in winter it would be good to avoid it since this whole area gets a lot of snow.
A few words about Mount Askio
The Askio mountain or Siniatsiko, with its highest characteristic conical tip touching 2.111 meters, is visible from all over the plateau of Western Macedonia. Much of the impressive mountain is stripped of vegetation (mainly towards Siatista), as numerous herds of sheep and goats have been grazing here for hundreds of years. In several places, however, solid beech forests are growing, oak and scattered clusters of Macedonian firs. The most beautiful forest ecosystems are found at the point where Askio is connected to the mountain mass of Mount Mouriki, at the height of the villages of Sisani, Vlastis and Namat.
The mountain fauna is rich and includes large mammals that have been lost from the mountains of the South, like the bear, the wolf and the roe deer. Unfortunately, here too the wind industry has left indelible marks with giant wind turbines, new road openings on fraudulent ridges and hundreds of kilometers of high-voltage cables and pylons. It is obvious that these pharaonic projects are not in line with the orientation of the local communities and the competent municipal bodies for mild tourist development of the wider area..
Due to the special conditions created by the pandemic, you should definitely contact the listed hotels and hostels to make sure they work and meet your own health protection requirements.
● Complex of furnished apartments "Myrichos", tel. 24630 92550
● Guest house "Namata", tel. 6937249595, K. Miss