|Kozani is the largest prefecture in Western Macedonia, characterised by an impressive cluster of mountains, plateaus, valleys, alternating scenery and climate, quaint mountainous villages, the Aliakmon River and the artificial Lake of Polyfyto. Strewn with archaeological sites, historical monuments, traditional settlements and lively towns with great commercial development, it sits at the crossroads of the regions of Central Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly.
An important transportation hub, the namesake capital is a significant commercial centre with flourishing economy thanks to its ample mineral resources and large electrical power units. Set at 710 metres above sea level, it boasts several 18th century mansions and interesting churches decorated with lovely frescoes. Renowned for the greatly prized marble of Tranovaltos, the unique in Greece cultivation of saffron, the fine quality of fruit, great variety of dairy products, fine wines and also its specialized small industry, Kozani has been a prosperous area in the course of its history. The local merchants were once known to have dominated the commerce of the Balkan peninsula, expanding their trade activities to the north and along the Danube.
Mountain shelters, guesthouses in traditional villages and the camp at Zoodochos Pighi lend themselves to organized hospitality and accommodation for visitors who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Paleolithic and prehistoric findings (the remains of one of the oldest specimens found in Europe – a prehistoric elephant discovered in the small town of Perdikas – dating back to some 3 million years), treasures of classical antiquity, Byzantine, post-Byzantine and modern monuments paint the historical picture of the prefecture.
Clinging to tradition, the locals do not miss a chance to hold festivities and celebrate life. The Carnival in Kozani has special characteristics separating from the rest. Staring on Tsiknopempti, three weeks before Lent, there is a lot of dancing and singing in the streets, with celebrations culminating with an afternoon parade and bonfires called “Fanoi” lit in every neighbourhood on Carnival Day.