The prefecture of Kastoria belongs to the Region of Western Macedonia and it borders Albania and Bulgaria. It is mainly a mountainous and semi-mountainous region with few plains. The local economy is mainly based on fur processing, hotel services and agricultural production. The mountain areas, especially near the Greek-Albanian border, are sparsely populated but this is slowly changing. On the slopes of Grammos there are many abandoned villages and memorabilia of historical times.
The most important urban center of the prefecture is Kastoria (the capital) as well as Argos Orestiko, Maniaki, Mesopotamia and Nestorio. Kastoria is the commercial and administrative center of the prefecture. It is built on a peninsula in front of a lake, at an altitude of 700m between the mountains of Vitsi and Grammos. There are many Byzantine churches, relics and mansions in Kastoria and this serves as evidence of the past successful marketing and distribution of fur to all the important centers of Europe. Some of the mansions are open for visits. The mansion of Nerantzis Aivazis houses the Folklore Museum of the city while the mansion of Emmanuel brothers houses the Costume Museum. For a more comprehensive picture of the city’s Byzantine past, you can visit the Byzantine museum which hosts interesting exhibits, as well as the Byzantine Churches of Agios Stefanos and Panagia Koumpelidiki. One of the most fascinating aspects of the city is the lake with its rich flora and fauna; a shelter for several rare birds, amphibians and small mammals. A walk along the banks of the lake or a boat ride with the tourist boat of the municipality will give you the opportunity to admire the unique natural beauty of the lake. Don’t forget to visit the Dragon’s Cave: a large cave with stalagmites, the entrance of which is located a few meters from the lake shore.