Life in the Macedonian town of Kozani unhurried and uncomplicated. Its library has been slowly growing for four centuries and now rivals the National Library in Athens for its rare and valuable works. Discovering its other charms is simply a matter of walking the classic promenade, visiting Servia and its miniature ‘Grand Canyon’ or walking over the bridge at Lake Polyfytou. This laid-back corner of northern Greece overflows with beauty. Try to go in October for the saffron harvest when the purple crocuses are in flower.
One of my most favourite summer destinations in Greece is Zagorochoria. This summer I visited Kapesovo and Tsepelovo. Both villages are well-preserved, with beautiful traditional houses and narrow pedestrian alleys. Places that are interesting to visit are, Paschalios school, Kapesovo Scale, a well-known long cobblestone path that connects Kapesovo with Vradeto. This scale is the largest and most well-preserved in Zagorochoria. Other places to visit, close to Kipoi are the Kalogeriko Bridge, the Kokkori Bridge and the Lazaridis plant museum.
Tsepelovo is the largest village in central Zagori, about 50 km from Ioannina. The places that you should definitely visit is the Grave of Ioannis Vilaras, and the church of Saint Nikolaos. From the village a walking path leads to Drakolimni, the famous lake of unique beauty that is located on the top of Timfi mountain.
|Photo By Vicky Pan|
Acheron River (ποταμός Αχέροντας) is one of our favorite places in Greece and we have already written a post about this paradise place. Last summer we visited Acheron River again. And that time we were determined to walk and swim into its cold waters. So we prepared ourselves, bought river shoes (you definitely cannot walk in the river without them) and a waterproof case, where you put your keys, some money and your phone (it is advisable to have your phone with you if you decide to walk a long distance). You can buy these at the stalls at the start of the walk, near the parking places. Leave behind a bag with a towel and dry clothes to change when you arrive back.
|Photo By PargaPortal|
The water was freezing at the beginning. And this is the most challenging part of the walk. Because of the springs, the water at this point is very cold and you may think that you cannot manage walking any further. We recommend you start walking fast. Or rest for 5-10 seconds on the banks so that your body gets used to the temperature. And then start walking again. The water temperature gets better after a couple of minutes. Nature becomes stunning, and your walk more adventurous. For some short distances you must walk through narrow paths and slippery rocks. At some parts the river gets deeper. Swim hard and fast to cope with the current of the river. Stop for a while, listen to the nature sounds and feel the vibes of this ancient place.
|Photo By Giannis Gioutlakis|
After an exciting one hour of walking / swimming, we reached this stone bridge. This is the point where you can walk upon the rocks and reach the top of the bridge. The view is breathtaking. From there you can go back to the river or you can follow the path on the right hand side (follow the red spots). It takes about 45 minutes to go back to where you firstly started walking in the river. We chose the second option. We were completely wet by the river and we really enjoyed walking in the dense green nature.
|Photo By thesprotia3d|
One of the most beautiful spots on the way back was this narrow tunnel in the rock. The area is also known as Skala tis Tzavelenas and is a must for those who like hiking.
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Prespa lakes are two lakes in Northwest Greece, one called Small and the other one Great. The Great one is shared between Greece, Albania and FYROM. The Small one is shared between Greece and Albania.
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The lakes are one of the most important natural parks in Europe with exceptional beauty. Visitors have stunning views of the surrounding mountains reflecting in the waters. If you like bird – watching this is a paradise of 261 bird species, such as pelicans, wild ducks, Dalmatian pelican and many migratory birds.
|Photo By gtp|
Saint Achilios is a small island in Small Prespa. One can visit the island by a wooden floating bridge. There are 11 houses on the island, a guest house with a restaurant and the ruins of Saint Achilios church which does worth a visit. Definitely an ideal place for those who seek quiet vacation near nature.
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Located near Konitsa, Aoos river is a must-visit place in a beautiful area rich in trees, flowers and birds. If you walk the paths along the river you will be amazed by the stunning nature’s colours.
Hiking is the visitors’ favorite sport, but you can also do water sports such as rafting and canoe kayaking. There is a 7 hour hiking path to Zagorohoria for the adventurous. If you are not used in walking that long, a beautiful route by the river -starting from Konitsa‘ s bridge and ending at the Monastery of Stomio- is only 1.5 hours long. It accommodates just one monk who would be delighted to start a conversation with visitors as he is alone most of the time.
Tip: If you visit the area in the winter, it will probably be covered in snow. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing, start walking on the paths and you will definitely not want this fairy tale trip to come to an end.
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