Train and Rail Travel in Macedonia Northern Greece Page 7 (see Greece train map)
Past Siatista another fork in the road goes south to the town of Grevena, a town which has its own very beautiful traditional music and dance played on violin, clarinet, laouto (lute), and defi (a tambourine-like drum). Summertime is the season to hear this music, with many musicians coming only then from the cities to play. The same road also branches north 49km through densely wooded countryside to the beautiful city of Kastoria, or straight ahead into and over the Pindos mountains to the Zagoria villages, Konitsa, and Yannina/Ioannina in Ipiros. There are many trailheads near Konitsa and the Adriatic seacoast at the port of Igoumenitsa.
Kastoria (population c. 20,000) is on the promontory of a peninsula that projects into a large lake. Many considered it to be one of the mainland Greece's most beautiful cities. Its prosperity derives from the 500 year old fur trade here, based on both minks and beavers. The name of the town comes from the Greek word for beaver, 'kastori', the local ones that lived in the lake here trapped to extinction during the 19th century. Kastoria dates to antiquity, and has been controlled by Bulgars, Byzantines, Serbians Turks. There are many Byzantine churches here and a Byzantine museum with a large collection of icons. The arhontika here are in better shape and more plentiful than those of Siatista, with one house, more than 500 years old, converted into a Folklore museum. The lake, like that of Ioannina is better for walking than swimming (not being terribly clean). Camping is possible near the Monastery of Mavriotissa, halfway around the peninsula, which has a circuit of 9km. The fourth highest mountain peak in Greece rises up beyond the town. This is Mt Grammos (2,520 meters) which, with its neighbor, Mt. Vitsi (2,360meters) form the border with Albania. In August of 1949, left wing rebels who had their camps on Mt. Grammos during the Greek Civil War (1946-49), were the object of the first use of napalm, the signs of which are still visible almost six decades later. This was during the Greco-American assault which ended the Greek Civil War. Trails lead upward from the valley of the Sarandopotamos River to the summit of Grammos. Hikers are warned to stay on the marked trails because live munitions have been found even in recent years by local shepherds which were part of the assault there.