Zagorochoria, is a region and a municipality in the Pindus mountains in Epirus, in northwestern Greece just north-east of Ioannina. It is an awe-inspiring natural landscape with an incredible network of 46 villages and features national parks, a monastery, rivers and waterfalls. Looking for a splendid all year round getaway to a place that is considered as one of the most beautiful and rich eco systems in Europe? Look no further. We have compiled a few of the many places worth visiting to make your experience unique:
The famous Vikos Gorge is a large, steep canyon, which is visited by many tourists throughout the year and accessible from many vantage points. You will have the opportunity to walk the famous Vradeto Stairs at the edge of the gorge. These stone 1,200 meter stairs connect the villages Vradéto and Kapésovo.
Monastery of St. Paraskevi
Visit an abandoned monastery at the edge of Vikos Gorge which dates back to 1413-1414. This is a place you can meditate and enjoy a unique view of the gorge.
Vikos–Aoös National Park
The core of the park, an area of 8,402 acres, comprises the spectacular Vikos Gorge. The park’s remoteness and relatively small human population, rich plantlife, and a plethora of large mammals such as the brown bear, is what makes this park unique. It is one of the last European strongholds, hosting a variety of natural habitats and ecosystems that rank it among the most valuable parks for nature conservation in Greece; it is home to many rare, endemic and protected plant species. Aside from trekking, sport enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can also enjoy rafting in the Aoos river, which is also a unique way to explore the beauty of the landscape.
Waterfalls in Illiochori
Unknown to most people is the village of Iliochori, built on the eastern slopes of Tymfi. It is a small, quaint village that hosts 3 spectacular waterfalls that form two green natural pools. The waterfalls are located at “Balta di Striga” and the highest of them reaches a height of 25 meters. The route is very pleasant with a marked path that begins at the village square — if in doubt, you can always ask one of the villagers who will surely be able to show you the way.
Famous Stone Bridges of Zagori
The bridges of Zagori are characteristic of the area; all of them are constructed with stone yet each of them unique in their own way. Surrounded by gorgeous landscape, these bridges are worth a stop, even if just for a quick selfie! Kondodimos or Lazaridis bridge, Plakidas or Kalogeriko (Monk) bridge, Milos bridge, Kokkoris or Noutsos bridge, Pitsionis bridge, Mirisis bridge
Where to Stay…
Ready to delve into Zagorochoria and enrapture yourself in all it has to offer? Kipi Suites — a member of Aria Hotels (www.ariahotels.gr) — is located in the heart of Zagori at the top of the traditional village of Kipi. It is the ideal base in which you can easily explore all that the area has to offer. The hotel boasts spectacular panoramic views reflecting the perfect harmony between the natural environment and cultural heritage of the traditional village gardens of Zagoria.
Enjoy a rich breakfast with local delicacies, a savory lunch, or delicious dinner while cozying up by the fire or in the open air (weather permitting) and taking in stunning views of the river and mountains below. The kitchen prepares original recipes and offers wines exclusively by the Greek vineyard in the Kipi Bites restaurant. In the mood for a drink or glass of wine after a long day of exploration? Kick back and relax at the Kipi Lounge bar where the music and atmosphere will make any explorer’s day one of complete satisfaction.