The periphery of Western Macedonia is situated in the North-West part of Greece, bordering with the peripheries of Central Macedonia (East), Thessaly (South), Epirus (West), as well as with the regions of Bitola (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Korçë (Albania) to the North.
Although it covers a total surface of 9.451 km² (7,2% of country’s total), it has a total population of 302.892 inhabitants (2,9% of the country’s total), thus it is a low-density populated Region (32 inh. per km², as compared to the country’s 79,7 relevant figure). This is mainly due to the mountainous nature of the Region, as 82% of the total surface are mountainous and semi-mountainous areas. This is also reflected in the population distribution, as the major part of the population (56%) lives in rural areas.Capital of the periphery is Kozani with 47,451 inhabitants.Other main towns are Ptolemaida (32,775 inh.), Grevena (16,704 inh.), Florina (14,318 inh.) and Kastoria (13,959 inh.).
The Region has one operational Industrial Area in Florina and another one under construction in Kozani. The secondary sector is very important for the Regional economy, mainly due to the mining activities, the production of electric power (70% of country’s total power is produced in the Region) and the fur-leather sector . However, “soft” structures have not followed the general improvement of heavy infrastructures, a situation that has to be remedied, in order to achieve an overall higher economic development of the Region. The R&D services are at a rather low level: only 3,5% of the country’s total research foundations are situated in the Region. Among them, the Technological Educational Insitute plays an important role in supporting the regional research and educational efforts. However, an enhanced interaction with SME’s will be a crucial factor, in order to improve the productivity and the added value of products and services generated in the Region of Western Macedonia. Famous products are marbles,Saffron (krokos Kozanis), fruits,local wines (Kozani, Amyntaio), furs (Kastoria, Siatista) and specialized arts and crafts industry.
The Egnatia motorway via Egnatia (Trans European Network) that crosses the Region, along with its two vertical National Roads, form a network that dramatically improves the transport conditions in the Region and alter its traditional “isolation” image, mainly due to its mountainous landscape. On the other hand, the railroad network is insufficient and the two airports (Kozani and Kastoria) can only serve small passenger planes. The telecommunication network has drastically improved over the last decade, providing the regional population with adequate services and modern facilities.
The last years the region is being developed in turism mainly on winter. It is the only Greek periphery without sea coast, but on the other side there are a lot of lakes, mountains, graphic villages and two big ski centers in Florina (Vigla) and Grevena (Vasilitsa) and one other unter construction in Kozani (Velvendos).
The building of West Macedonia Periphery is located in Zone of Alternate Urban Planning (ZEP) in the city of Kozani.
The university of West Macedonia and the technological faculties help in the intellectual growth of region. There is a big number of students who's studying main in the Pedagogic Department and in Department of Balkan study of the University in Florina and in the Department of Energy Management of the University and in Technological Educational Institute of West Macedonia in Kozani.