Hidden deep in Epirus’ mountains, lies a land, wild and cosmic. Zagori Region is full of culture, natural beauty, wild landscapes, unique architecture, and 46 villages called Zagorohoria.
It’s not just another beautiful tourism destination!
For many years Zagorohoria have been approaching eccentric nature lovers and their caravans from all corners of the globe. They used to go hiking, camping and selecting herbs from Vikos Canyon. Great personalities such as musicians, poets and authors walked those cobbled streets, maximizing their source of inspiration. The thing is simple. This land is, was and always will be a gathering place full of emotions. A rendezvous between migrants, their families and Zagori friends, especially on holidays and during local summer festivals.
In the past two decades, Zagorohoria engaged modernization and tradition, attracting more visitors by increasing their alternative indoors and outdoors activities. Today we will focus on Spring and Summer Activities! Besides they are ahead of us.
Calm dressed up with Adventure: Dragon Lake of Temphe Mountain
It takes favorable weather conditions, patience, time and sweat to get there but dear friends I am referring to a lifetime experience. Plus you can meet the legendary alpine dragons on the top! The most common path starts from Small Papigo Village. We strongly recommend beginners to ask for a specialist to help them during this path. It takes approximately 4.5 hours walking to reach your final destination. 3 hours walking till Astraka Mountain Hut where you can also stay overnight. 1,5 hour walking to reach Dragon Lake where you can also camp. Attention: Swimming is not allowed in the lake!
Yes, but it’s summer. I want to swim or do a water sport!
There are many possibilities and options. Let us present three of them:
One of the cleanest river in Europe, Voidomatis River passes through Zagori Region. Its sources are reachable by car and are located under Vikos Village. Well, I cannot tell if your skin can bear to swim on 4 oC but you can try rafting and kayaking. If you are thirsty enough don’t be afraid to drink it! It’s potable!
Papingo Rock Pools are basically natural rock formations filled with water and located between the Villages of Small and Big Papingo. If it’s not holidays or August, you can easily park your car in the street. Above you, the spectacular Astraka summits of Temphe Mountain. You follow a small path and three minutes later you can see the first pools. Equipment needed: swimming suit, towel and a pair of sneakers because the route is not pleasant! Don’t hesitate to follow and climb those small cliffs. The deeper sources will reward you!
Balta Di Stringa Waterfall is located in Iliochori Village where you can park your car! It takes about 25 minutes walk to get to the waterfall and 40 minutes walk to be back due to the slope ground.
Bonus activities: Horse riding and discovering tones of beautiful stoned Bridges!
Check also “Ioannina- a beginner’s guide to Greece’s best mountain city”
I will have a Green on the Rocks please!
Listed at Guinness Book of Records of Year 1997 as the deeper and narrower canyon of the world, Vikos Canyon is breathtaking. There are three spots where you can look up to its greatness: Oxia locality, Monastery of St. Paraskevi locality both on Monodendri Village and Mpeloi locality in Vradeto Village. They all require some walking and they all offer you a magic view!
Bonus activities: Trekking inside the Geopark of Vikos-Aoos is also an opportunity for senior nature lovers. It only takes 7 hours walking!
Is there anything that does not require so much walking?
You can do hang gliding near Aprangeli Village if you own personal gear. No? Ok. You can always sit on taverns, down on big plane trees and order homemade lemonades or tsipouro! Plus the food is fantastic everywhere. Read a book, listen to the locals’ stories and learn more about this place.
July and August are months full of spirit. The great organization of Zagori Mountain Running starts in Tsepelovo Village and ends in Kipi Village. You can either take place or cheer up athletes from all around the world while drinking your coffee! Film Festival «ZAGORIHOOD» takes place at Kato Pedina Village and invites all of you to open your eyes and mind. Vovusa’s Festival includes Documentary, Live Concerts, Speeches, Photography Exhibitions, Workshops etc. It’s marvelous. You can end up in Selio Party in Tsepelovo Village where you can literally dance inside the woods.
During this period, all villages host traditional festivals and huge events. There are no ‘in’ places or outsiders here. Depending on your current location, you can search the closer at the time event.
It’s all about perception
Zagorohoria’s beauty ranges from the sublime to the overwhelming and a visit in this region is guaranteed to be memorable. And mark my words: in this wild, harsh corner, you can see the stars shining all over the place.
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