Ziros Lake

Lake Ziros is located 2 kilometres to the west of the Filippiada-Ioannina national road, opposite the community of Pantanassa in Arta. Its name is of Slavic origin (Ozero = lake in Russian).


Stylish buildings that blend harmoniously with the region were built on the banks of Lake Ziros between 1950 and 1955. The purpose was to create a Children’s City (Paidoupolis in Greek, also known as Ziropolis) to look after the orphaned children of the Second World War and the Greek Civil War, on the initiative of Queen Frederica.

Lake Ziros is an important and stunning natural attraction, which is relatively unknown to the public because it is not shown on tourist maps with a scale below 1:300,000. The buildings of Ziropolis were designed by Austrian architects in 1955. The lake is approximately 1000 m long and 500 m wide and has an elliptical shape. It has a depth of over 25 m at its deepest point. Until 1965, when it was almost destroyed by an earthquake, Ziropolis was an important educational, cultural and economic centre in the region.

Lake Ziros is rarely used for sports, except for illegal mullet fishing and illegal swimming, which was finally forbidden after several children drowned during the post-war period when they were swimming without life jackets in the freshwater areas. At present this is inconceivable, as all water activities take place with a life jacket. The rumour of supposed whirlpools and eddies which drag swimmers in is not true. In 1992 Lake Ziros and the Ziropolis facilities were used by the Prefecture of Preveza to house Albanian and Northern Epirot economic refugees. In 1994-1995, it was used for water skiing competitions by the Ioannina Nautical Club, but this was stopped after complaints from the Preveza Environmental Society because they were polluting the waters with petrol and oil, and the noise of the engines was disturbing birds in the surrounding forests. On 25 May 1997, for the first time, a trip was made around the coastline of the lake with Swedish inkas canoes.