Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Municipalities of Thesprotia
Municipalities of Thesprotia
Thesprotia is located in Greece
Thesprotia within Greece
Coordinates: 39°35′N 20°20′E / 39.583°N 20.333°E / 39.583; 20.333
Administrative regionEpirus
 • Total1,515 km2 (585 sq mi)
 • Total40,804
 • Density27/km2 (70/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
46x xx
Area code(s)266x0
Vehicle registrationΗΝ

Thesprotia (/θɛsˈprʃə/; Greek: Θεσπρωτία, pronounced [θesproˈtia]) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Epirus region. Its capital and largest town is Igoumenitsa. Thesprotia is named after the Thesprotians, an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region in antiquity.


See also: Ancient Thesprotia

Thesprotia was part of the proto-Greek region in the late Bronze Age in which Greek archaic toponyms are densely found.[2][3]

In antiquity, the territory of modern Thesprotia was inhabited by the ancient Greek tribe of Thesprotians and was bordered by the neighboring regions of Molossia to the north and Chaonia to the east. Thesprotia is mentioned at the Epic Cycle as a place where Odysseus sailed and married the local queen Callidice.[4] Thesprotia became part of the Epirote League before it was annexed by Rome where it became part of the Roman province of Epirus. After the fragmentation of the Roman Empire into East and West, it was part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire until the late Middle Ages, except for a period of Bulgarian rule in the 9th-11th centuries. In c. 1430 it fell to the Ottomans.

From the 8th-9th until the 15th century, the region was called Vagenetia, a name deriving from the Slavic tribe of the Baiounitai, who appear in the early 7th century during the Slavic invasions of the Balkans.[5][6] In the late Ottoman period, the area was known as Chameria, and at 1910 most of the territory of the modern prefecture of Thesprotia was known as Sancak of Resadiye or Çamlık Sancak or Igoumenitsa Sancak.[7][8]

Thesprotia remained under Ottoman rule until 1913, when it was ceded to Greece after the Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War. As part of Greece the province of Margariti became part of Preveza prefecture and the provinces of Paramythia and Filiates were part of Ioannina prefecture.[9] The area above river Acheron continued to be referred to as Tsamouria in official Greek government communication until 1937,[10] when the separate prefecture of Thesprotia was established.[11][12] In 1923, the population of Thesprotia was 60,705,[13] In 1920, there were 20,319 Muslim Albanians in Thesprotia. After their expulsion on the orders of Napoleon Zervas at the end of World War II, Muslim Albanians numbered to only 77 individuals in the 1951 census.[14]

Geography and climate

Acheron river

Thesprotia borders Albania to the north, the regional unit of Ioannina to the east and Preveza to the south. The Ionian Sea lies to the west. Much of the regional unit is mountainous. Most farmland is located in the valleys in the central, southern and the western part. Two of Thesprotia's rivers are legendary: the Thyamis and the Acheron of Greek mythology, lined with reedbeds and plane trees.

Thesprotia's coastal climate is Mediterranean. Cold winters of a semi-alpine climate dominate the eastern part and higher elevations.



The regional unit Thesprotia is subdivided into three municipalities (numbered as in the map in the infobox):[15]


Thesprotia was established as a prefecture in 1937 (Greek: Νομός Θεσπρωτίας). As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Thesprotia was created out of the former prefecture Thesprotia. The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.[15]

New municipality Old municipalities Seat
Filiates Filiates Filiates
Igoumenitsa Igoumenitsa Igoumenitsa
Souli Souli Paramythia


Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.


Thesprotia is traditionally one of the poorest and most remote regional units of Greece. The main economic activities are agriculture and tourism, with agriculture as historically the main economic activity.[16]

The main tourist attractions of the region are its numerous beaches, particularly the resort of Syvota. Other tourist attractions are the remains of ancient cities such as Gitani.


In 1996, construction began on Motorway 2, officially called Egnatia Odos. The road, which links the Ionian coast at Igoumenitsa to Thessaloniki and further to Alexandroupoli the Greek Turkish borders, was opened to traffic in 2009. Other important roads in Thesprotia include the Greek National Road 6 (Igoumenitsa - Ioannina - Larissa) and Greek National Road 18 (Filiates - Paramythia - Preveza).

In 2009, construction began for a new highway that will connect Igoumenitsa and Saranda, passing by Sagiada and Konispol.

The port of Igoumenitsa serves ferry routes to the islands of Corfu and Paxoi (includes Antipaxoi), as well as Italy.

See also


  1. ^ "Αποτελέσματα Απογραφής Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2021, Μόνιμος Πληθυσμός κατά οικισμό" [Results of the 2021 Population - Housing Census, Permanent population by settlement] (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 29 March 2024.
  2. ^ Slavistic printings and reprintings. Mouton. 1972. p. 60. Pre Greek area: ... are of Greek origin and they often show archaic Greek features - toponyms : Epeiros , Thesprotia , Kammania
  3. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir Ivanov (1981). Introduction to the History of the Indo-European Languages. Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. p. 156-157. ISBN 978-953-51-7261-1. Pre Greek area:.. Θεσπρώτια, the tribal name Θεσ-πρωτοί, and the anthroponym Θεσπρωτός are archaic compouncd words
  4. ^ Pache, Corinne Ondine; Dué, Casey; Lupack, Susan; Lamberton, Robert (5 March 2020). The Cambridge Guide to Homer. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-108-66362-5.
  5. ^ Soustal & Koder 1981, p. 119.
  6. ^ Komatina 2016, p. 89.
  7. ^ Kornrumpf, Hans-Jurgen (1984). "Der Sandschak Camlik. Anmerkingen zu einem Kurzlebigen Spatosmanischen Verwalitungsbezirk". Balcanica (15): 122. In der osmanische Territorialverwaltung wurde das Wor vor dem 20. Jahrundert nicht verwendet", "In den europaischen Reiseberichten erscheint die Cameri sie dem Begin des 19. Jahrunderst im Zusammenhang mit dem Busuchen westlicher Gasandter bei Tepedelenli Ali Pasha
  8. ^ Kokolakis, Mihalis (2003). Το ύστερο Γιαννιώτικο Πασαλίκι: χώρος, διοίκηση και πληθυσμός στην τουρκοκρατούμενη Ηπειρο (1820-1913) The late Pashalik of Ioannina: Space, administration and population in Ottoman Epirus (1820-1913). EIE-ΚΝΕ. p.373.
  9. ^ Kallivretakis, Leonidas (1995). "Η ελληνική κοινότητα της Αλβανίας υπό το πρίσμα της ιστορικής γεωγραφίας και δημογραφίας [The Greek Community of Albania in terms of historical geography and demography." In Nikolakopoulos, Ilias, Kouloubis Theodoros A. & Thanos M. Veremis (eds). Ο Ελληνισμός της Αλβανίας [The Greeks of Albania]. University of Athens. p. 47
  10. ^ Baltsiotis, Lambros (2011). "The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece: The grounds for the expulsion of a "non-existent" minority community". European Journal of Turkish Studies. Social Sciences on Contemporary Turkey (12). European Journal of Turkish Studies. doi:10.4000/ejts.4444. S2CID 142733144.
  11. ^ Greece. Volume I — Physical Geography, History, Administration and Peoples. United Kingdom, Naval Intelligence Division. 1944. p. 255.
  12. ^ Law, Gwillim (1999). Administrative subdivisions of countries: a comprehensive world reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7864-0729-3.
  13. ^ Ktistakis, Giorgos (February 2006). Περιουσίες Αλβανών και Τσάμηδων στην Ελλάδα: Aρση του εμπολέμου και διεθνής προστασία των δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου' [Properties of Albanians and Chams in Greece: Nullification of the State of War and international protection of human rights] (PDF). Minorities in Balkans (in Greek). Athens, Greece: Center of Studying of Minority Groups. p. 7. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  14. ^ Troumpeta, Sevastē. (2013). Physical anthropology, race and eugenics in Greece (1880s-1970s). Boston: Brill. p. 194. ISBN 9789004257672.
  15. ^ a b "ΦΕΚ A 87/2010, Kallikratis reform law text" (in Greek). Government Gazette.
  16. ^ Vickers, Miranda.The Albanians: A Modern History. I.B.Tauris, 1999. ISBN 1-86064-541-0, ISBN 978-1-86064-541-9. pp. 20.