Epirus is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece.
It is bordered to the west by the Ionian Sea, and it borders to the northwest of Albania, to the north of the region of West Macedonia, to the east of the region of Thessaly. Its capital is Ioannina (57,000 inhabitants). The periphery is divided into four regional districts:
Thesprotia: Since the Kallikratis program of 2011, this region has also been part of the decentralized diocese of Epirus-West Macedonia.
It has an area of 9,300 km2 and a population of approximately 365,000 inhabitants in 2002.
Mountainous (2,646 m in Smolikas) and not very fertile, Epirus contains lakes without outlets (we speak of endorheism), like that of Ioannina, one of the main cities. The coastal plain is more fertile.
The relief and the snowy climate in winter still sometimes cut this region off from the rest of the world in winter.
Epirus is known for the beauty of its landscapes: high limestone cliffs of Tymphaeum, deep gorges of Vikos, vast forests of oaks, then of conifers, following the road from Ioannina to Metsovo, a humid valley where the sanctuary of Zeus nestles dodonean.
Since the Kallikratis reform of 2010, the old nomes of Thesprotie, Ioannina, Arta and Préveza have been replaced by new administrative entities called regional districts, whose borders have not been changed. The municipal organization has been simplified, the number of municipalities increasing from 76 to 18.
In antiquity Epirus, populated by Dorians from the northwest, was considered (at least by the Ionians) more as a Hellenized "barbarian" country than as a traditional Greek province. It belonged to Macedonia before becoming a Roman province, then Byzantine and becoming an independent despotate populated by Greeks, Albanians and Vlachs.
Conquered in the 15th century by the Ottoman Turks, the current territory of the outskirts of Epirus joined Greece on February 21, 1913 with the capture of the city of Ioannina by Greek forces during the First Balkan War. This region suffered particularly from the civil war, which lasted until 1949, opposing royalists and communists.
Notes and references
Bibliography on ancient Epirus
Epirus greece portal