Up in the north-western corner of the country, West Macedonia is the only region in Greece without a coastline. As over 80% of the land surface is mountainous, with many lakes, rivers and picturesque villages, tourists tend to be attracted to the area during the winter months for the ski resorts. The main ski centres are to be found in the towns of Vigla, Vasilitsa and Velvendos. The regional capital is Kozani, and the four regional units that make up West Macedonia are Florina, Grevena, Kastoria and Kozani.
Dispilio Lakeside Neolithic Settlement
On the edge of a lake near the town of Dispilio is the reconstructed Neolithic village, which is based on the findings of recent archaeological excavations on the lakeside. Traces of the village were found in 1932, the first such archaeological find in Greece. A number of excavations have been carried out since, and many important artefacts have been recovered, from everyday objects and utensils to a bone flute. These artefacts have been used to flesh out the reconstructed village.
Archaeological Museum of Florina
Renovated as recently as 1999, the museum exhibits the wealth of archaeological finds from the area in and around Florina. These displays range from the Palaeolithic to the Byzantine period. The oldest object is a set of mammoth jaws thought to date to sometime between 200,000 and 500,000 years ago. But by far the most impressive collection is that from various Roman villages nearby, including statues and a beautiful mosaic floor. Numerous beautifully carved and painted artefacts from Byzantine churches are also on display.
Archaeological Museum of Kozani
Artefacts from the Palaeolithic to the Roman period from all over the prefecture of Kozani are on display in this early 20th century Neoclassical style museum. These objects range from everyday items to beautiful prehistoric and ancient jewellery, as well as an impressive collection of Roman marble statues. One display that stands is that of the metal objects recovered from Iron Age sites in the area, including a 3rd century BC necropolis. The museum is currently undergoing major refurbishment following a recent earthquake.