On the heel of the mountain Vitsi, at 1350m of altitude, lies one of the most important traditional settlements of Greece, and one of the ten most beautiful villages of Europe. It became known for the beautiful architecture and the peaceful beech forests that surround it. The fairy village Nymfaio, situated 17 km southeast of Florina and few kilometers away from Agios Athanasios, by the Greek-Skopje frontier line, is visible only by air. The root is really fantastic as you pass by several small lakes and landscape is still picturesque. With a population of no more than 50 inhabitants, it is an ideal destination for both winter and summer vacations. Its 150 year old stone mansions and paved streets, are unique in Greece. All houses follow the traditional architectural style.At the entrance, a wooden bridge connects two of the most impressive houses.
In the village, people move only on foot, by bicycle or on a horseback since cars are not allowed (So cool!). There is a large parking facility at the entrance of the village and all visitors are obliged to leave their cars. Only local residents are allowed to enter by car in order to reach their homes.Among the most impressive buildings is Nikios School with the huge clock. The Goldsmith, Folklore and History Museum was inaugurated in 2000 but unfortunately in 2014 it closed due to financial issues.
There are very few shops but you can find some really nice traditional products. If you like history, ancient buildings, stunning views or just simply want to escape from everyday life, then Nimfeo is the perfect fairy tale spot to visit.
Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1385. Next to the church is an old cemetery dating to the 18th and 19th centuries.
A beech forest that surrounds the village, the paved streets, the typical stone houses, the traditional cafes and restaurants, make this place ideal to enjoy a pretty walk and admire the picturesque landscape. You could lose all sense of space, time and reality here. Less than one km from the village a famous Bear Sanctuary was build and organized by the non-profit organization “Arcturos”. On the way to Arcturos you will find many tasty fruits, so take a small bag with you 🙂 Since its foundation in 1992 Arcturos has been actively working for the conservation of the Brown Bear and its habitat in Greece and in the Balkans. Arcturos accomplished the elimination of the phenomenon of the dancing bear in Greece, and today continues working for the obliteration of illegal captivity in the wider region of the Balkans. Today 10 bears that were either former dancing bears, captive bears from zoos or orphaned cubs that have since come of age, are sheltered in the Arcturos Bear Sanctuary at Nimfeo. The bear that died here at the age of 50 years, holds the Guinness World Record for oldest bear.