In Zagorochoria, options for activities and sightseeing are many, while you should ideally dedicate 4-5 days to discover the region. Trails in wild nature, exploring the narrow streets of the villages, the architecture and amazing landscapes will leave no-one untouched. From Megalo and Mikro Papigo to the Monastery of the Archangels and from the gorgeous Drakolimni (Dragon Lake) to rafting in Voidomatis River, the region of Zagorochoria will always offer more than one reasons to visit it…
A visit to the largest, in terms of population, of the Zagori villages is required. The many stone, listed houses in combination with the stone-paved paths, the quaint shops and the smell from the wood ovens will take you on a journey to some older times. Do not miss the chance to try some tsipouro, accompanied by local appetizers and pies, in one of the traditional taverns. Furthermore, it is worth visiting one of Europe’s oldest monasteries, which has been standing for almost a thousand years*! The Rogovos Monastery is perfect for many moments of rest and contemplation. Finally, for the more bold and experienced hikers, we recommend the Tsepelovo-Tymfi’s peak (Gamila crest). A fairly demanding course, which starts at 1,150m and reaches 2,500m, lasting 7-8 hours, with lots of springs and an ever-changing, unending natural landscape.
*It was reconstructed in 1749, following its total destruction
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
The know it all says: The first university in Greece was founded and operated inside the Monastery (1815)!
These are two of the most historic villages in the Zagorochoria complex. They stand at an altitude of 1km and are parted by the stream of Rogovos. Nowadays, they are considered to be Zagori’s most cosmopolitan villages and magnetize visitors with the unique beauty of their flora and fauna, the special binding of the stone and greenery and the authentic, Zagorian architecture. Walk around the stone-paved alleys, photograph the village from every possible angle, get lost in the pure, natural beauty of the area and look for the sign with Theodore Kolokotronis’ phrase (Mikro Papigo). For the experienced hikers, the O3 trail is recommended, with the magical route of Papigo-Tymfi’s Dragon Lake, which is suitable for exploring from May to October. Finally, visit the stone-built church of Agios Vlassis (Megalo Papigo), which was constructed in 1852 and features more than a century old icon wall-paintings.
Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
The know it all says: Of the 85 acres of the district, only 8 of them are occupied by urban areas!
Aside from hiking, there are also alternative ways to explore the area’s land, water and air! Rafting, canoe-kayak, paragliding, horse riding and mountain bike riding are a few ways in which you can add some adventure in your life and meet nature and its wonders, from some different points of view. Pull some paddle in Europe’s cleanest river, explore the forests on two wheels, fly over Mitsikeli’s slopes or choose a pleasant horse ride in the Papigo area. These activities take place with the help of organized, experienced teams that guide you through the adventure in complete safety. They also provide professional equipment for each activity. The region is one of Europe’s most suitable ones for action sports. Introduce some adventure into your life by trying one or more activities.
Suggested visit time: 1-4 hours
Cost: Horse riding: 15-25€/person, Rafting Voidomatis: 25-35€, Paragliding: 70-90€/person, Mountain Bike: 20-30€/person
The know it all says: There are 32 hiking trails, 7 of which are considered climbing, due to the difficulty level and the high altitude!
These are three villages in central Zagori, on a distance of 20km (about 35 minutes by car). These villages are typical examples of the zagorian architecture, with stone being the key element in houses, streets and squares. Follow the path, get lost in nature’s magic, rest in the villages’ squares, drinking some coffee or tsipouro, and listen to various stories about the region. The village of Vradeto is the one with the highest altitude and the less permanent residents in Zagorochoria. The well-known route of the Vradeto Stairway is the one that stands out here. Kapesovo, on the other hand, is considered the artistic village, since it has spawned many of the era’s icon painters and woodcarvers. Finally, in the prehistoric village, as Skamneli is being called, you will find absolute silence, as well as the Pelasgika walls, which bear testament to the existence of life even from the ancient years. A walk around these three villages can only fill you with charming images and pleasant memories, so, if you have the time, do not miss the chance to visit them.
Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
The know it all says: One of the truly rare originals of the Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios is preserved in Kapesovo!
Our next proposition is addressed only to experienced hikers. The Dragon Lake is located on Mount Tymfi, at an altitude of about 2,050 m. and owes its name to a rare species of small Alpine newts (Mesotriton Alpestris) that are hosted in its waters. Access is achieved via the O3 trail and you need to be armed with strong lungs, in order to endure the 5 hours of walking, from Mikro Papigo. All along the route of the ascent, there are a lot of springs and countless openings so you can marvel at the view. Also, halfway through the route, there is a shelter, in which you can rest or spend the night. The images that you will have collected when completing the trip will compensate you for all the weariness and hassle. You should bear in mind that the lake’s waters are freezing cold, even during the summer months. But the most suitable for you to visit are May through October.
Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
The know it all says: It was created during the last ice age, 10,000 years ago!
The Aspraggeloi village is located in central Zagori and it is built on smoother ground. It is different, both in appearance, as well as in mindset, giving the sense that it is a rich, aristocratic village. In a 15km distance (around 15 minutes by car) you will find the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin. From this spot, you can admire the view of Ioannina unencumbered, as well as the Zitsa region. Furthermore, for the fans of adventure and hiking, we recommend the route of Aspraggeloi-Aspraggeloi Holy Monastery, via the Z17 trail. This easy route starts at the village and lasts 1,5 hours, covering a distance of about 3 kilometers. Finally, 4km outside of the village, you will find the Monument of Zagorian Woman, which is dedicated to the women of Zagori that played a catalytic role* in the war of 1940, against the Italians.
*Carrying food and ammunition through inaccessible paths
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
The know it all says: The statue reaches 6 meters in height, while it weighs 1.7 tons!
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