Tag Archives: ski

7 tips you need to know before heading to Elati

13 Jan
Elati village via http://www.xpatathens.com

Elati village via http://www.xpatathens.com

1. Go by car. If you want to really familiarize yourself with the area and take as much as you can back with you, you should really go by car which will give you the flexibility to explore this mountainous place even more. Elati is an amazing village itself but driving in the surrounding area will really take your breath away! On your way up from Trikala take a few minutes and stop to admire the traditional bridge in the village of Pili.

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2. Don’t miss (1): Plastiras lake. A few kilometres from Elati is the artificial Plastiras lake.

Plastiras Lake via Evangelos Vissariou, Flickr

Plastiras Lake via Evangelos Vissariou, Flickr

The surrounding area, which was radically developed after the creation of the lake, offers many activities for the visitors, apart from the unique landscapes! Many cafes and restaurants give you the opportunity to enjoy the view of the lake and the mountains in the background! Very close to Neochori you will find “To Manitari”, an excellent choice for lunch or dinner and a restaurant that many locals choose to visit! 😉

3. Don’t miss (2): Ski centre of Pertouli.

Ski Center of Pertouli, Photo Source  sdimitris via Flickr

Ski Center of Pertouli, Photo Source sdimitris via Flickr

Continuing on the road after Elati and before reaching the nearby village of Pertouli, you will find the ski centre. Although it is a very small one, it is worth visiting as the view from the top of it is just amazing; you will have the chance to see the surrounding mountains, standing gloriously usually full of snow!

DSC_0445 DSC_0529

4. Continue even further down the road and visit Pertouli and Neraidochori! The magnificence of this area is not captured only in the villages of the area but also in the road connecting them! The views while driving are breathtaking!

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You will find many spots  to stop and enjoy the view! One of them is just after Neraidochori, where you will find a refurbished church and a great place to admire the nature!

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The back door of the church!

Close to Pertouli you will find a restaurant called “Niavis”; a traditional spacious Greek taverna, with amazing view of the mountains and the surrounding area and excellent food; again a choice of many locals from the area!

5. Explore the area! Don’t just admire the view from the car; let yourself explore on foot or bikes the area especially near the ski centre where you will find many off road roots and paths and enjoy the heavy forest!

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6. A restaurant that you should really visit when you are in this area is called “Ta Kanavia” and it is located in Elati.

Kanavia Restaurant via www.touristorama.com

Kanavia Restaurant via http://www.touristorama.com

Excellent spot overlooking the area and the mountain opposite to Elati, amazing food comprising of well prepared and served firsts and amazing main dishes with many choices on hunting and traditional dishes. The wine is also excellent!

7. Downtown Elati you will also find “To Kechri”, beautiful cafe where you can enjoy relax and enjoy a hot chocolate in a cold winter day!

Café “To Kechri” via elati-pertouli.gr

Café “To Kechri” via elati-pertouli.gr

You should really try the homemade cherry spoon sweet which is absolutely delicious!

Stavros Tsoukatos

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Discover the 4 seasons of Kastoria (part 2): Winter

15 Dec

The second part of the post is meant to guide you around beautiful Kastoria during the season the city is mainly famous for: winter.

The hardest time of the year gives Kastoria a unique charm making it a very popular winter destination in Greece. The average temperature in the winter is +5ºC while it can be as low as -15ºC and so you will definitely need to pack your warmest clothes.

 The most famous phenomenon of the area is the frozen surface of Lake Orestiada (aka Kastoria Lake). In olden days the lake used to freeze almost every winter and the ice was so thick and hard that a large cart could easily traverse it.

Frozen Lake via vavelhaber.blogspot.com

Frozen Lake via vavelhaber.blogspot.com

If, however, during your stay in Kastoria you are not lucky enough to find the lake frozen, don’t worry; there is much more for you to do than just stand there and wait for the water to freeze! Here are my 3 best suggestions:

Koutouki

Choose one of the beautiful traditional “koutouki” taverns and try to get warm by drinking the local tsipouro spirit and tasting local meze. Tsipouro is a quite strong spirit, so it will help you stay warm during your stay in Kastoria (or keep you good company if you lack one!). For those that are not really fond of strong spirits, the area is also known for its red wine that makes a good match with local products like graviera cheese or the well-known Kastoria beans. My personal favourite tavernas are “Ouzo Therapy”, a modern, minimal restaurant with a wonderful view over the lake and “Tsipouradiko tou Thoma”, a traditional tavern whose menu can sometimes contain more than 120 different dishes!

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Ragoutzaria

If you are looking for an authentic festival to party the Kastorian way, then you need to visit Kastoria a few days after New Year’s.

Source pavlosdim.blogspot.com

Source pavlosdim.blogspot.com

From the 6th to the 8th of January the locals dress as Dionysus’ (the ancient Greek god of  winemaking and wine, ritual madness and ecstasy) followers or as members of the opposite sex, and celebrate “Ragoutzaria” in order to forget the hardship of life and especially of the year that just passed. Every group of people has its own band of brass instruments and live music is played loudly in every corner of the town from the morning until the evening that all groups meet in the town centre and celebrate together until dawn!

Σοθρψε live-avles.blogspot.com

Source live-avles.blogspot.com

Vitsi Ski Resort

Vitsi, just 22km from Kastoria, is one of the smallest ski resorts in Greece and although it is mainly used for training purposes, it is also open to the general public.

Source history-pages.blogspot.com

Source history-pages.blogspot.com

It is not well known (yet), so with a waiting time for the lifts of about 3-4 minutes you can enjoy skiing uninterrupted. So if you want to train for your favourite sport or play in the snow surrounded by a calm and majestic natural environment, then Vitsi is just the place for you! If the weather is nice you can also visit the nearby traditional village of Nymfaio (the road might sometimes be closed if the weather conditions are bad).

Labros Psomodotis

7 traditional villages you should visit when travelling in the Greek mainland

2 Dec

1. Nymfaio, Florina

Nimfaio Village via www.ethnos.gr

Nimfaio Village via http://www.ethnos.gr

Nymfaio has been often included in “The ten most beautiful villages of Europe” lists, and has claimed the UNESCO “Melina Mercouri International Prize” for the excellent management of the area’s cultural heritage and the surrounding natural environment.

Nimfaio via danezis.blogspot.com

Nimfaio via danezis.blogspot.com

Arcturos’s (NGO dedicated to the protection of brown bears and wolves) headquarters are situated just 1,5 km from Nymfaio and their sanctuary is open to visitors year round (depending on weather conditions).

Don’t miss the chance to visit the “Goldsmith, Folklore and History Museum”, with exhibits including authentic local furniture, traditional tools for jewellery making, and, of course, jewels. Before leaving the area dine at Thoma’s, a 5-star tavern in Amyntaio, a few kilometres away from Nymfaio.

2. Palaios Panteleimon, Pieria

Located at the foothills of the most famous and mysterious mountain of antiquity, Mount Olympus, the village of Palaios Panteleimon is renowned for its hospitable people. The village, also named “the balcony of Olympus” is an ideal destination for every season. Nature lovers and adrenaline enthusiasts will have the opportunity to choose between hiking, mountain biking, climbing, paragliding and off-road driving. After a day full of exhausting activities, relax in one of the traditional cafes (or kafenia in Greek!) on the main square and enjoy authentic Greek coffee prepared on the coals and served in a copper pot, always accompanied by a locally produced spoon sweet!

3. Palaios Agios Athanasios, Pella

Situated within short distance from the border between Greece and FYROM, Palaios Agios Athanasios has become a trending destination in the last couple of years due to its proximity to the ski centre of Kaimaktsalan. For travellers seeking relaxation, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Palaios Agios Athanasios during the winter season, but if you are in pursuit of cosmopolitan ski holidays rush to book one of the charming guest houses; from traditional cafes and taverns to luxury restaurants and nightclubs, you will find everything you need in this small village.

4. Zagorochoria, Ioannina

I would need more than 20 pages if I wanted to fully describe this corner of Greece. Zagorochoria is a set of 46 villages that meet the needs of every kind of traveller. Here you can find cosmopolitan villages, quiet villages, or even secluded villages, only accessible on foot! Either on the peaks of Pindos mountain range or hidden in the woods, each and every one of them will take you back to older times.

The hiking trail of Vikos gorge, part of the E4 European path, and Drakolimni (or “Dragon Lake”) are two places of incomparable natural beauty totally worth your time.

Beautiful spot in Vikos gorge via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186829084515616237/

Beautiful spot in Vikos gorge via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186829084515616237/

The local cuisine is amazing, its cornerstones being the pies (or “pita” in Greek), several traditional recipes with meat and spoon sweets. Pair your meal with a nice red wine made in the area, and spend your evenings drinking tsipouro, a strong spirit made by local producers.

5. Pelion

There are 24 villages on Mount Pelion, some of them hidden in forests of beech and chestnut trees and other on the coastline. During your visit in Portaria village, which is probably the most picturesque one, and after you walk its cobbled alleys, follow the “trail of the Centaurs”, a circular path of 2,7 km (approximately 1 hour), to get inspired by the ancient Greek mythology.

Portaria via pilionterra, Flickr

Portaria via pilionterra, Flickr

Before leaving Portaria, have some coffee and cake at the Cafe “Aeriko” while enjoying the magnificent vista over Pagassitikos bay. The cosmopolitan village of Makrynitsa, known also as the “balcony of Pelion” is located just 4km away from Portaria. Once you get tired by strolling through its picturesque streets with the small shops, head to the restaurant “Gefsokratoras” to treat your sense of taste with a delicious meal.

Makrynitsa; the balcony of Pelion via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/336995984586522246/

Makrynitsa; the balcony of Pelion via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/336995984586522246/

What is more, from horse riding in the woods and skiing to scuba diving in the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, the area of Pelion can offer you numerous dreaming experiences!

6. Monemvasia

Perched on a rock thrown in the sea, Monemvasia gives the impression that the rock and the settlement were created together at once. Surrounded by walls and almost cut off from the mainland, the scenery will make you think that you just discovered a time travel machine! The entire old town looks like a museum, with narrow alleys and small squares while some buildings still retain their marble coats of arms, remnants of an era of wealth and glory.

At sunset, relax on the balcony of your hotel room, empty your mind and lose yourself among shades of red you’ve never imagined.

7. Vatheia, Laconia

Resembling an open-air museum of architecture in the heart of Mani, Vatheia remains untouched by time. A settlement positioned on a hilltop, Vatheia looks like an abandoned village since the permanent habitants are no more than a few dozen, living in tower-like mansions. The fairytale 2-3 -floor chateaus made of stone have very small windows, once used as ramparts during the war against the Turks or pirate invasions.

Many mansions have been renovated and are now charming guest houses. Don’t miss the chance to swim in the turquoise waters at the nearby beaches of Kapi and Exo Kapi.

Labros Psomodotis

5 islands – winter destinations you haven’t thought of

17 Nov

The Greek islands are not “closed” during winter time, time does not stop there! Although some of you might think they disappear shortly after September, they still stand over the blue waters all year round. Apart from those with very small population even during summer, all the rest enjoy a relaxed rhythm of life and a mild winter, with a bit more wind but little rain.

For some, the off season period is perhaps the best period to visit a Greek island because:

  • Many cafes and restaurants might be closed but the ones that remain open usually offer services of quality above the average since they serve fewer people than in the summer and mostly locals.

  • Prices for all services could be lower.

  • Museums and archaeological sites are working properly and without the hundreds of visitors one can enjoy them better.

  • It is easier to meet the authentic culture of each island which is probably the most enchanting experience one could live.

  • Joining locals in their gatherings is almost certain to happen and true friendships are more than possible to happen!

1. Crete

Rethimno during Winter via www.pinterest.com , Barbie

Rethimno during Winter via http://www.pinterest.com , Barbie

The largest island of Greece is waiting for you to visit throughout the whole year. The vibrant atmosphere in the 4 major towns guarantees that you will live a full experience even during the coldest times of winter. Head to Heraklion and pay a visit to the two archaeological sites located nearby: Knossos and Phaistos are the remaining of one of the oldest civilizations in Europe, the Minoan.

Explore the White Mountains (the greek name is Lefka Ori or Madares) near the town of Chania, stay in a mountain refuge, play with the snow and taste the authentic Cretan cuisine in front of the fireplace.

Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Admire the Venetian architecture and the famous Fortezza fortress in the town of Rethymnon and then practice some winter sports in the ski resort of Psiloritis, located in the Nida plateau, 70 km away from Rethymnon.

Fortezza Rethimnon via Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Fortezza Rethymnon via forum.snowreport.gr

Psiloreitis ski resort via forum.snowreport.gr

Psiloritis ski resort via forum.snowreport.gr

Finally, visit the town of St. Nikolas to enjoy stunning panoramic view of the lake and the sea from the town’s waterfront!

Agios Nikolaos, Crete via www.thomson.co.uk

Agios Nikolaos, Crete via http://www.thomson.co.uk

2. Evia

The second largest island of Greece is located just an hour away from Athens and you can reach it by crossing a bridge within seconds. The island offers you numerous experiences. In the north of the island you will find the village of Edipsos, with the most famous thermal spa in Greece, whose fame dates back to the ancient times.

Edipsos via travelphoto.gr

Edipsos via travelphoto.gr

Thermae Sylla Wellness & Spa Hotel, Edipsos via www.greece.com

Thermae Sylla Wellness & Spa Hotel, Edipsos via http://www.greece.com

Located also in the northern part of Evia, the beautiful village of Kimi offers an astonishing vista over the Aegean sea.The whole island is well known for its physical beauties turning it into an ideal destination for sports in the nature like hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Dimosari’s Canyon, Evia via www.anastasiahotel.com.gr

Dimosari’s Canyon, Evia via http://www.anastasiahotel.com.gr

Visit the town of Chalkida and observe the strange movement of the waters beneath the old bridge, result of a rare tidal phenomenon.

Chalkis bridge via www.flickr.com

Chalkis bridge via http://www.flickr.com

3. Corfu

Corfu, one of the most cosmopolitan islands of Greece, has an amazingly stylish town, great example of Venetian architecture. Walk to its famous alleys, visit the museum of Asian art to find wonderful exhibits and try the local cuisine.

Corfu via melissokomos.gr

Corfu via melissokomos.gr

Do not miss the chance to pay a visit to Achillion, once being the palace of Empress of Austria-Hungary Elisabeth of Bavaria, better known as Sisi. Achillion that has served as a casino in the past and now as a museum offers a beautiful vista over the Ionian Sea.

Achillion Palace via travel-around-greece.blogspot.com

Achillion Palace via travel-around-greece.blogspot.com

4. Syros

Being one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea, Syros is at the same time the commercial, administrative and cultural centre of the Cyclades islands. The Catholic and Orthodox elements that coexist harmonically on the island form its particular character. Ermoupoli, Syros’ largest town and capital of the Cyclades, is amphitheatrically built and stands out for its beauty with impressive neoclassical style mansions and magnificent churches.

Syros via www.cycladia.com

Ermoupoli, Syros via http://www.cycladia.com

Wander around the narrow streets of the upper part of the town and admire the unique Miaoulis Square with the impressive Town Hall designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller in the lower part. Visit the archaeological museum of the island where you can find exhibits dating back to 3,000 BC and attend a theatrical play or a concert at the Apollo Theatre, a miniature of La Scala in Milan.

Miaouli square via www.syroumelathron.gr

The Town Hall at Miaoulis square via http://www.syroumelathron.gr

5. Rhodes

Rhodes via https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=rhodes+google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x14950ae9895f8bfd:0x586d9037b4e902ad,Rhodes&gl=uk&ei=aLKIUuDwMIiJ4gTapYHoDg&ved=0CCwQ8gEwAA

Rhodes via rhodesmarket.blogspot.com

 The capital of Dodecanese islands is a famous destination year round. Rhodes, often called as the emerald island or the island of the sun, will welcome you warmly even the coldest days of the winter. You can find places of great interest all over the island: medieval and ancient castles, the valley of the butterflies and several museums. The medieval town of Rhodes, selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, combines Late Gothic architecture with local Aegean features and Muslim elements added later by the Turks, thus creating a blend that makes this medieval town triple special.

Grasp the opportunity to visit the baths of Kallithea, hosted in a magnificent restored building – unique combination of nature, incomparable monumental architecture and history.

Kalithea baths via www.travel-rhodes.com

Kallithea baths via http://www.travel-rhodes.com

Labros Psomodotis

Skiing down Greece; discover 9 amazing ski resorts

10 Nov

1. Parnassos

Being one of the closest ski centres from Athens (and the largest in Greece), Parnassos gets quite busy especially during the weekends in the winter. The nearby town of Arachova, full with modern bars, restaurants and cafes, attracts loads of people and is one of the most famous entertainment hubs in Greece during the winter!

Distance from Athens:180km

Ski runs: 21

Total length of ski runs: 22km

2. Kalavryta

Source http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Source news.gtp.gr

 

At an altitude of 2340m, in the northern part of Peloponnese you will find the 2nd largest ski center of Greece, this of Kalavryta, situated close to the town of Kalavryta. Due to its close proximity to Athens, this ski centre also attracts many people during the winter, who enjoy the 12 ski runs of different difficulties including a black one, this of Ino (1400m long), considered to be one of the most challenging runs in Greece.

Distance from Athens: 203km

Ski runs: 12

Total length of ski runs: 20km

3. Kaimaktsalan

Source http://2.bp.blogspot.com

Source e-xionodromika.com

Kaimaktsalan ski centre, very close to the border with FYROM and the traditional village of Palaios Agios Athanasios, offers 13 ski runs of different difficulties. From up there (2500m) you will also be able to enjoy the view of lake Vegoritida and the peak of mountain Olympos!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 139km, from Athens: 660km

Ski runs: 13

Total length of ski runs: 15km

4. Pelion

Source money-tourism.blogspot.com

Source money-tourism.blogspot.com

In the extremely picturesque and full of nature mountain of Pelion, in Agriolefkes, there is a ski centre, at an altitude of 1500m. What is really worth saying about this ski centre is that offers the opportunity to ski while enjoying the view of the…sea! Yes, that’s right, you can go skiing whilst admiring the Mediterranean sea!

Distance from Athens: 346km

Ski runs: 8

Total length of ski runs: 5km

5. Pertouli

The ski centre of Pertouli, near the uniquely beautiful village of Elati, is not a big one; on the contrary, with only 3 ski runs, is probably one of the smallest in Greece! Still, it is worth visiting if you are in this magnificent area and spend some time skiing in all levels of difficulty!

Distance from Athens: 375km

Ski runs: 3

Total length of ski runs: 2km

6. 3-5 Pigadia

3-5 Pigadia (pigadi meaning well in Greek!) is the ski centre of Naoussa in Northern Greece. In this unique location you will find many ski runs and the only ski centre in Greece with a system of artificial snowing to ensure that the quality of skiing will be at high standards throughout the winter season!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 108km, from Athens: 557km

Ski runs: 10

Total length of ski runs: 9km

7. Seli

The ski centre of Seli, near Veroia in the north of Greece, was the first established ski resort in Greece back in 1934. Still a famous winter destination, it attracts people from all parts of Greece and offers a variety of ski runs for the visitors in its well organized facilities.

Distance from Thessaloniki: 95km ,from Athens: 540km

Ski runs: 19

Total length of ski runs: 15km

8. Vasilitsa

Vasilitsa is another very famous ski centre in northern Greece which attracts many ski lovers. Situated near Grevena, it offers high quality facilities and you will find it full with skiers especially during the weekends as many people from the surrounding areas visit to enjoy the snow!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 216km. from Athens: 468km

Ski runs:18

Total length of ski runs: 22km

9. Falakro

The ski centre of Falakro is one of the most important ski centres of northern Greece and one of the biggest as it has 21 ski runs. Although the name of the mountain suggests that there is not much flora (as Falakro means bald!), the mountain is quite rich in nature and magnificent sceneries. The ski centre is situated in an advantageous position which stays covered with snow more months per year compared to other ski centres in Greece and as a result is quite popular!

Distance from Thessaloniki: 210km

Ski runs: 20

Total length of ski runs: 20km

Enjoy your winter vacations in Greece!!!

Stavros Tsoukatos

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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