Greece’s north is a veritable treasure trove of hidden gems and under and un-reported towns and villages that hold the essence of its appeal. At least when it comes to the winter months, these sleepy forgotten places really come into their own. And the reasons are more than obvious. One of these sleepy, forgotten villages is Siatista. Like many of its neighboring towns, Siatista made its fame and money in the 17th and 18th century by harvesting crops that yielded high quality produce. In Siatista’s case it was in its involvement in the fur trade. Not surpsingly, when the trade died down, so did the town’s fortunes. But not before all this wealth was prudently made use of. This is manifested in the grand ‘arhontika’, or mansion houses that the wealthy traders built for themselves.
Siatista is located in the Kozani prefecture and is nestled on the foot of the mountain Siniatsiko at just under 1,000 meters elevation. Siatista is what you’d expect to see in rural, alpine Austria. Certainly not a typical Greek holiday destination. Yet there it is. Red tiled stone demesnes built amphitheatrically, with cobblestone alleyways and more quaintness than anyone can ever really handle. Siatista is divided into two separate districts: Gerania and Hora, both pretty and picturesque.
Several museums, churches, monasteries and cultural centres exist for you to better acquaint yourself with this magic Balkan infused town.
Plentiful nature abounds around the area, too. The river Pramoritsa creates a bountiful panorama of waterfalls, springs, gorges and a forest tapestry of oaks, pine, fir, willows and plenty more. As one gathers, the trekking, rafting, kayaking and mountaineering opportunities are off the charts.
The magic in Siatista however, is only just the beginning of a wonderful trail down memory lane. Belle Époque rings aloud as one hikes up to the Mastorohoria, one of the most intriguing Greek assortments. This selection of villages that literally mean ‘the master villages’, is a story to be told in our next installment, so look out.