The green mountain slopes, running waters, imposing gorges and enchanting lakes, are ideal paintings all year round.
Zagorochoria has a wild charm that captivates the visitor.
Green slopes and impressive ravines, rushing and icy rivers, well-preserved traditional villages, magnificent stone guesthouses, elegant bridges and monasteries built on the rock become part of an experience that will fascinate you. You only have to choose which village to use as a starting point for your excursions.
With an area of about a thousand square kilometers, Zagori is divided into western, eastern and central parts, each with its own, special features, its own history and, of course, its own unique villages. Northwest of Ioannina, western Zagori includes some of the most popular, and perhaps most beautiful villages in the area.
Papigo, Aristi, Vikos, Agios Minas and Mesovouni, which surround the valley of Voidomatis, have gained fanatical fans who return here every year to admire the unique architecture, to tour the cobbled alleys, to view the unique and feel close to nature.
One can hardly distinguish the most beautiful village in Zagori. Each village has its own charm and is a starting point for exciting tours. And certainly no one is satisfied with a single visit.
The most famous is the Megalo Papigo in the west, which offers many accommodation and food options. Here you will admire the magnificent mansions, the cobbled cobbled streets, the old churches and the view of the Astrakas towers, the five impressive rock formations of Mount Tymfi.
At a distance of 3 km is the Mikro Papigo, which is a constant love of climbers. From here start the hiking trails to the Dragons lake Tymfi, one of the most famous alpine lakes in Greece where the alpine Triton lives, the rare species of amphibian that looks like a small dragon.
Its waters are crystal clear and reach a depth of 5 meters, while the view of the surrounding mountain peaks is impressive.
You can only walk from the path that starts from Mikro Papigo. You will need about 2.5 to 3 hours to the shelter of Astraka (1950 m.) And from there about another 1.5 hours to reach the mythical dragon lake.
Heading from Megalo to Mikro Papigo, it is worth making a stop at the small natural pools called Kolimbithres (locals call them ovirs). These are pits formed by the natural flow of stream water. In summer they are suitable for swimming.
The river Voidomatis is one of the most enchanting landscapes in the area, perhaps the most ideal setting for hiking trails, endless tours, but also extreme sports for lovers of the genre.
Voidomatis is one of the few rivers whose water is drinkable. Everything composes a landscape that charms and rewards even the sworn enemies of hiking.
The heavenly, clear blue waters, with a constant temperature of 4 degrees Celsius all year round, make the adventurous for a swim during the summer months.
At this time, the centuries-old plane tree paths on its shores are ideal for hiking, as they hide countless surprises at almost every step.
One of the most characteristic images in Zagori is without a doubt its stone arched bridges. They date from the 18th century and reach 60 in number.
We come across direct stone bridges that look like they were taken from a fairy tale, dense vegetation and unique images that are created as the sunlight is reflected on the crystal clear waters.
The most famous are Kalogeriko, Kokkoros or Noutsos and Kontodimos around the village of Kipoi, Missiou near Vitsa and Kamber Aga near Miliotades.
The Vikos Gorge is the ultimate attraction of the area.
This is a magical location with great ecological value. Besides, it is in the Guinness Book as the gorge with the smallest opening, just 1,100 meters at its narrowest point and at the same time a depth that exceeds 900 meters. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world!
It has a length of 10 km and vertical, steep and rocky slopes, overgrown with rare flowers and herbs. Its width ranges from 30 to 100m. The river that crosses it, Voidomatis, has water from November to June.
The area is one of the most important ecosystems due to the rare flora and fauna.
The geographical isolation of the area, the relatively small human impact and the great variety of habitat types and microclimatic conditions, favor the development of different plant species. Thus, the area is a place where many rare plants are collected and preserved. Many of them are considered endangered species.
The best time to cross the gorge is summer, accompanied by an experienced guide.
Zagorochoria, despite their remarkable tourist development, did not lose their traditional color and remained untouched in time.
The sense of time is lost and the visitor sees alive the tradition and history of Zagori. The wild beauty of the mountainous nature with the green mountain slopes, the rivers, the alpine lakes, the steep gorges harmonizes with the human creation, the stone arched bridges, the stone mansions, the churches, the stone cobbled streets.
There are a variety of options for your stay such as hotels, traditional hostels, rooms, mansions, which combine the atmosphere of another era with all modern comforts. In all the villages of Zagori there are restaurants and taverns where you can taste traditional flavors and the famous pies of the area. You will be impressed by the warm and friendly hospitality of the residents of Zagori.
Zagorochoria is an ideal destination for all seasons and will travel you to authenticity and genuine tradition.