Nymfaio is a predominantly Aromanian village, built at an altitude of 1.350 m on the slopes of Mount Vernon (Vitsi). The traditional village has been singled out as one of the ten most picturesque villages of Europe, according to UNESCO. It is a charming mountain settlement with a picturesque square, stone-built houses and cobblestone paths, surrounded by a dense beech forest. It is well known for its stately architecture and has been declared a traditional settlement and a site of historical importance by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in order to preserve its architectural integrity. Wood, stones and roofs made by galvanized metal sheet are the dominating architectural elements of the village's style. This unique in Greece architecture was introduced from central and northern Europe by local merchants who used to travel to those places, so that the snow can easily slip and not cause problems to the buildings.
Nymfaio, formerly known as Niviesta or Nevesta, was inhabited around 1385 by Vlachs nomads. From the 17th and for the next three centuries, the village flourished as one of the largest silversmithing centers in the Balkans. The large mansions reveal the economic wealth and prosperity of that period. During that time, the village had more than 3.500 inhabitants, a primary school and a high school. Most of the inhabitants were engaged in silversmithing and the trade of tobacco and cotton. Like most of the Greek mountain villages, it was affected by the migratory movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s and its population declined dramatically. However, in the last decades, people of the village, relied on the natural and cultural richness of the area, managed to make it a major tourist destination in Northern Greece.
The village hosts the Museum of Silver and Gold as well as a Folklore and History Museum, inaugurated in 2000 and located in a traditional mansion in the center of the village. Among the exhibits are furniture, artisan jewelry and religious silverware. There are also showcases displaying authentic costumes, old photographs and other memorabilia of the Macedonian Struggle, including letters written by the leaders of the Macedonian Struggle like Pavlos Melas and Germanos Karavangelis. Other attractions include the post-Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) and the Nikios School, built in 1928. Near the village you will find Arcturos, a non profit environmental organization focusing on the protection of wildlife fauna and natural habitat. The organization tries to solve the problem of bear and wolf imprisonment and raise public awareness concerning this matter.
In the village you can find shops selling local products, cafes and taverns as well as several guesthouses and traditional hostels. During your stay at Nymfaio taste the local delicious dishes like neveska, a dish made with layers of potatoes, finely chopped pork and melted cheese and drink excellent wine. Nymfaio offers numerous outdoor activities, from hiking in the woods to mountain biking and horseback riding. Through the villages passes the International Trail E4 but in the wider area there are more trails to be discovered. Nymfaio is located 16 km south-southeast of Florina and is a year-round tourist destination and one of the most popular in Northern Greece. Every year this jewel of Greek Macedonia becomes an attraction for travelers from all over the world. If you find yourself in the area in winter, do not miss to visit the well-organized ski center of Vitsi which is just 11km away.