Known for its beautiful rivers, picturesque villages, and breathtaking views of nature at its best, the Zagorohoria region of Greece is becoming one of the most popular areas for Greeks to visit. This area is also known as Zagori or Zagoria. This is one of their best kept secrets, and only recently have foreign tourists been discovering this haven of nature’s perfection that yields a plethora of enjoyable activities for nature lovers.
The region of Zagorohoria consists of 46 villages which ring the region similar to an amphitheater. This creates an atmosphere of Greek culture in ancient times and sets the tone for an escape the fast pace of city life. Buildings proudly showcase architecture of stone, slate and wood to complete the ambiance.
The village of Vikos is built on the edge of the Vikos Gorge and offers scenic hiking with a 30 minute walk to the springs of the Voidomatis river which offers mountain sports and various excursions for nature lovers. Two other popular traditional villages are Papigo and Mikro Papigo which lie within the Vikos-Aoos national park. They serve as the starting point for trekking excursions which pass through the two natural lakes ”Ovires” and “Rogova” for summertime swimming fun.
Along the trail, you’ll see the peak of Mt. Timfi, and when you’re done there, visit “Provatina” which is the second deepest cave discovered. After this breathtaking excursion, you’ll want to visit the Zagori Nature and Culture Information Centre in Papigo to learn more about the history and culture of the region of Zagorohoria.
True nature lovers will want to visit the village of Fragades to experience an amazing view of the mountains and its unique architecture. While there you’ll want to visit the stone arch bridge of Petsionis. Moving on to Vrishohori, you’ll find lovely natural springs with sparkling water. This village serves as the trail head for excursions to the peak of Timfi, where the age-old sycamore at Iliohori has a diameter of 11m exists.
The village of Aristi is known for its famous archaeological finds from the Paleolithic period. The panoramic view is exhilarating and within its area you’ll find The Monastery of Panagia Spileotisas built in the 16th century, on the banks of the Voidomatis River. If history is your thing, then you’ll want to be certain to visit Vitsa, the birthplace of several historical figures that exhibits several traditionally constructed mansions. You’ll find the double arched bridge of Misios, and archaeological dig sites that have discovered ancient graveyards and settlements.
When visiting the village of Monodendri, you’ll find repose in the relaxing atmosphere of stone houses and cobble roads. As you follow the cobblestone trail, you’ll notice a variety of handicraft shops at the Rizario Centre of Handicrafts. You can watch artisans at work with traditional embroidery weaving techniques as you follow the path on to the Aghia Paraskevi Monastery dating back to the 15th century.
There are many reasons to visit Zagorohoria, Greece. The vastness of this region encompasses a rich cultural and historic climate that offers something for practically anyone. Archaeology buffs will be fascinated by the ancient dig sites, and exhibits from the Paleolithic period through the 18th century. Admirers of architecture will marvel at the unique design of the buildings, and layout of the villages. Nature lovers will find the mountains, rivers, springs, and other natural wonders to be an unforgettable experience as the sights, smells and sounds, unique to this area are savored.
Those looking for excursions and sports will not be disappointed either. So when planning that special vacation, keep in mind the best kept secret in Greece, Zagorohoria.
(We would like to thank Dimitris Karagiorgos for his photos).