How to get an authentic taste of Karpenissi in 8 Steps

3 Nov

Karpenissi in Autumn via flickr user Robin Iversen Rönnlund

Karpenisi during Autumn via flickr user Robin Iversen Rönnlund

Karpenissi in winter via trekearth.com

Karpenisi during winter via trekearth.com

Karpenissi by night via nocomments.gr

Karpenisi by night via nocomments.gr

1. Try authentic flavours

A simple walk in the center of Karpenissi and the nearby villages will reveal the local (and gourmet!) cuisine of the region that every visitor has to try! Given the number of different products and recipes, it is worth devoting some time to discover as many as you can!

Don’t miss:

  • The traditional sweet preserves (or Greek spoon sweets) from chestnuts, walnuts or grapes.

Traditional Greek spoon sweet via foodjunkie.eu

Traditional Greek spoon sweet via foodjunkie.eu

  • The traditional dairy products and especially cheese. Among my favourites are feta cheese from Velouchi mountain, the local yellow cheese and “tsalafouti cheese” (a  delicious type of creamy cheese!).

Tsalafouti cheese via forum.beer.gr

Tsalafouti cheese via forum.beer.gr

  • The traditional local pies with cheese, leek or herbs

Traditional pie with herbs via Expat Foodie

Traditional pie with herbs via Expat Foodie

  • The local cured meats. Some of the most famous are the sausages with leek, the prosciutto and the salami

Sausages with leek via mmmeat.gr

Sausages with leek via mmmeat.gr

  • The home cooked, traditional dish of rooster with local noodles and various dishes with wild boar

Traditional rooster with noodles via mygreekdish.com

Traditional rooster with noodles via mygreekdish.com

2. Explore Velouchi Mountain…

Velouchi Mountain via skaikairos.gr

Velouchi Mountain via skaikairos.gr

The town of Karpenissi is situated at the foothills of the 2315-metre high mountain of Velouchi; on the top you will find the famous Velouchi ski resort, only 10km away from Karpenissi. During winter time, if you are a snow lover, you can spend your time doing various ski sports or you can just have a warm drink accompanied by the spectacular vista of the winter sunset.

Velouchi ski resort via https://lh6.googleusercontent.com

Velouchi ski resort via https://lh6.googleusercontent.com

During the rest of the year, cross the mountain through the tunnel located on the top of it and find yourself on the other side surrounded by a moon-like landscape.

3. Enjoy a sport that suits you!

Besides skiing, the area has to offer a great number of alternative activities such as horse-riding in the middle of a platanus forest, rafting in one of the 3 rivers of the area (offering various degrees of difficulty), canyoning and trekking in stunning landscapes.

Horse-riding in Karpenissi via http://www.margit.gr

Horse-riding in Karpenisi via http://www.margit.gr

Rafting in Karpenissi via http://www.valeladi.gr

Rafting in Karpenisi via http://www.valeladi.gr

4. Trek to Pantavrechi and the Black cave (Via Ferrata).

Pantavrechi

Panta Vrehei via canyoning-caving.blogspot.com

Panta Vrehei via canyoning-caving.blogspot.com

The actual translation of Pantavrechi is “always raining”. It owes its name to the fact that the water coming down from the peaks of the Canyon of Krikelioti River doesn’t have a predetermined way out, leading to a continuous flow of small and large drops and creating a continuous artificial rain. Pantavrechi is accessible only from early June to late September as during the rest of the period it is not possible to walk the river upstream. It will take you 1.5h hiking to get there or 2.3h by a 4X4 vehicle followed by 30 minutes of walking.

The Black Cave and Via Ferrata.

The Black cave via http://2.bp.blogspot.com

The Black cave via http://2.bp.blogspot.com

A natural pool with shimmering waters is formed by a waterfall falling from 10 meters above. The path to get there starts at some point of the road between Proussos and Kastania villages and you will reach your destination after 20min walking in the footpath along Proussiotis River.

The path continues uphill in an idyllic landscape of platanus, firs and small streams. At the point where the canyon becomes narrower and the landscape becomes more wild  with little caves and small waterfalls, you will see on your right, an abandoned refugee house and the starting point of the famous “Via Ferrata” (road of steel); the path that allows you to climb to the inaccessible gorge of the Black Cave. It will take you around 2.30h to reach your destination!

5. Take a picture of the amazing vista over Lake Kremasta from Fidakia village.

Fidakia Village via http://content-mcdn.ethnos.gr

Fidakia Village via http://content-mcdn.ethnos.gr

Fidakia village, (the actual translation of the name is “snakes”), is among the most beautiful and traditional villages of Central Greece for me, built in an altitude of 1000 meters. Even though, it is located only 25km away from Karpenissi, due to the curvy road, it will take you around 40 minutes to get there. The route is amazing and the view over Lake Kremasta is spectacular so I strongly recommend visiting it!

Fidakia Village by Thanos Psichalas

Fidakia Village by Thanos Psichalas

View of Lake Kremasta from Fidakia Village by Thanos Psichalas

View of Lake Kremasta from Fidakia Village by Thanos Psichalas

6. Pick a picturesque village to visit!

Apart from the beautiful Fidakia village, visit another village of your choice in the area. All of them are traditional and worth a visit if you have the time! So pick one, wander through the narrow alleys, visit the small stores with the local products and enjoy authentic Greek coffee at the typical coffee place that every village has at its square! In no time you will become friends with the locals, they will buy you a tsipouro and surely they will share their stories with you! The villages I suggest are Koryschades, Klafsio, Kastania, Chelidona and Krikello.

Cental Square of Korischades Village via http://fe-mail.gr

Cental Square of Korischades Village by Thanos Psichalas

7. Drive in an off-road route!

If you are lucky enough to have a 4X4 vehicle, pick one of the many off-road roads and enjoy the wild landscape. Drive through dense forests of pins and chestnuts, cross small streams of water or whole rivers, reach the tops of the mountains and feel free! The best time to drive through these routes is from the end of spring until early autumn. Needless to say that an experienced driver is absolutely necessary.

These are the two routes I recommend:

  • The Easy route.

Starting from Dipotama cross, just a few Kilometers before you reach Proussos from Karpenissi town, turn right, heading towards Chelidona village. Then follow the signs to Agia Vlacherna and end up at Fidakia village. The way back can be much easier since you have the choice to head directly towards Karpenissi using a paved road.

  • The Difficult route.

Starting from Proussos, follow signs towards the villages of Tornos and Kastania. After passing Kastania, continue to the dirt road at its end. There is a good chance that the villages you will see (Prodromos, Roska, Skopia, Domnitsa) have no residents during the year, excluding the summer period.

8. Celebrate the new “Tsipouro & Winemaking”!

Tsipouro via pinterest user Eri Tfg

Tsipouro via pinterest user Eri Tfg

The whole region is well-known for the production of tsipouro (similar to raki) and wine. Special events are being organized in many villages starting at the end of October until the first days of November to celebrate the new production of the year and drink the remaining of the previous year! So be ready to drink a lot! Cheers or “Stin igia mas” as Greeks say!!!

Labros Psomodotis

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2 Responses to “How to get an authentic taste of Karpenissi in 8 Steps”

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  1. Skiing down Greece; discover 9 amazing ski resorts | diskaverins - November 13, 2013

    […] How to get a real taste of Karpenissi in 8 Steps (diskaverins.wordpress.com) […]

  2. 7 traditional villages you should visit when travelling in the Greek mainland | diskaverins - December 2, 2013

    […] How to get a real taste of Karpenissi in 8 Steps (diskaverins.wordpress.com) […]

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