Zagori Area

Kipi is one of the principal villages in Central Zagori – literally the “area behind the mountain” and one of the most picturesque traditional corners of Greece. The village is surrounded by rivers and numerous fresh water springs.

Every season is perfect for exploring Kipi and its surrounding cobble stone paths, stone bridges and rivers. At an altitude of 800m Kipi lies between the mountains of Mistikeli and Gamila and a basin for many rivers. It is home to the arts and crafts museum of “Agapios Tolis”. The six beautifully preserved stone bridges that connect the paths around the village have provided vital access to the village centuries years. Each is named after its benefactor or locality and all be visited in a two to three hour trek.

Zagori is a mountain area in the heart of Epirus. The name Zagori has a Slavic origin from the words ‘za’, which means behind, and ‘gori’, which means mountain.. The region extends to approximately 1.000 square km and includes 47 traditional villages. The altitude of the region varies between 500 and 2,600 m.

The mountain range of Timfi covers the largest part of Zagori. Deep valleys, gorges, steep mountain slopes, streams, rivers, alpine lakes, forests and alpine meadows alternate in a landscape of wild and unspoilt beauty which has been carefully protected by the people of Zagori. Today, the National Park of Vikos – Aoos maintains and preserves the natural beauty of the area.

The Vikos Gorge at the heart of the National Park is one of the deepest in the world, second only to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is an unspoilt haven for numerous endangered species – and varied ecosystems.

The area of Zagori in North West Greece, is famous for its attractions and activities:

  • Visit the renowned stone built villages of Zagori with their unique architecture, walk in the cobblestone alleys or just sit for a drink (locals call it “tsipouro”) under the shade of the plane tree.
  • Explore the iconic stone bridges of the area. The most famous are Kokkoris bridge, the three-arch bridge of Plakidas (or the “monk’s bridge”), and Missios bridge.
  • Visit the local churches and monasteries of the area including St Nicholas church at Tsepelovo, St Paraskevi church at Monodendri, Evangelistria monastery at Ano Pedina, Spilitissa monastery at Aristi.
  • Admire the view of Vikos Gorge, world’s second deepest after Grand Canyon, Arizona.
  • Get acquainted with the history and culture of Zagori through the museums at Monodendri, Koukouli, Elafotopos etc.

Zagori can be visited all year round. During spring, the snow melts and nature blossoms.

It is the perfect time for rafting and mountain biking.

Summer offers great trekking possibilities under the shadow of the trees. At the end of the trek a dive in the rivers is a must! It is also the perfect time for paragliding as the sun heats the slopes of the mountains creating rising currents.

Autumn is the most celebrated season in Zagori. The flora is one of the richest in Greece. The colours that dominate are between orange and dark purple.

Finally, winter is the ideal season to sit in front of the fireplace read a book, have a glass of wine and see the snow falling, while snug inside a traditional Zagori stone house.

The stone bridges

Kondodimos or Lazaridis bridge

Just at the exit of Kipi Village towards Koukkouli, is Lazaridis or Kondodimos Bridge. This bridge connects the two steep sides of Vikakis gorge. Built with one arch in 1753, it makes a spectacular sight among the forested landscape. It forms part of the path that connects Kipi to Koukkouli and Kapesovo villages.

Plakidas or Kalogeriko (Monk) bridge

About 200 meters from Kipi Village, towards Koukkoli lies the three- arch Plakidas or Kalogeriko (Monk) bridge. This is probably the most photographed stone bridge inZagori. Built in 1814, it presents an exceptional monument of the bridge construction art and connects the two sides of Vikakis gorge.

It was initially made of wood, its conversion to stone is attributed to monk Serafim of the Profotis Ilias Monastery in Kipi. The bridge helped residents of the surrounding villages to reach the water mill in Kipi (see below).

Milos bridge

At the exit of Kipi village towards Fraggades, just off the main road towards the river of Baya, lies the double arch Milos Bridge. This stone bridge was built in 1749 and connects Kipi to the old water mill of the village. Traditionally it helped the people of Kipi to cultivate their gardens and served as a shortcut for those heading to Ioannina from the path of Gasoura. Milos bridge can be enjoyed from most of the rooms and common areas of Kipi Suites.

Kokkoris or Noutsos bridge

The single arch stone bridge of Kokkoros or Noutsos was built in 1750 and lies a couple of kilometers from Kipi Village towards the road to Ioannina. In order to span the narrowest part of the river an integral part of the design is a stone pathway on the sides of the gorge. Following numerous refurbishments over the centuries, the bridge is in very good condition and lies on the road to Central Zagori. The path from the bridge continues through the gorge on the North towards the springs of the Voidomatis river.

Pitsionis bridge

Just after Fraggades village, around two kilometers off the main road, lies the stone bridge of Pitsionis. In 1818, Th. Pitsionis from Dilofo commissioned the bridge that bears his name. This is a three arch bridge, with an exceptionally high middle arch (10.50 meters) that perches gracefully over the Zagoritikos river.

Mirisis bridge

Deep inside the mountains, in a tributary of the Bayiotiko river, the single arch stone bridge of Mirisis joins two forested sides of the river. There is little historical information on this bridge. As you walk on the undulating path over the bridge it gives the impression of a modern sculpture.

Epirus

Epirus lies in North West Greece. It is mostly an alpine area, dominated by the Pindos Mountains, the backbone of Greece. Less known to tourists, it offers the visitor a wide choice of attractions from white, sandy beaches and picturesque villages like Parga and Syvota to the traditional villages of Zagorochoria and the National Park of Vikos_Aoos.

Lets look some of the attractions of Epirus:

Ioannina

A bustling city, capital and biggest city of Epirus, Ioannina is the central attraction of the region. Dominated by Pamvotis lake and famously associated with Ali Pasha, the 18th century Pasha of Eprirus, Ioannina was the richest town in Greece and a focus for art and literature.

The harbour and fortress areas are the best places to see evidence of Ioannina’s Ottoman past. Don’t miss a walk inside and around the castle. The town’s biggest attraction is Nisi, an island within the lake. It consists of just one small fishing village. At the far end of the island is the 18th century house of Ali Pasha that has been converted into a museum. Discover the story of Ali Pasha and Kyra Frosini.

Ioannina is a lively city famous for it nightlife and bar scene. It boasts an excellent archaeological museum, Vrellis Museum of History and much more. Next to Ioannina is Perama cave. If you have time, do not miss it.

Perama Cave

Perama cave is located 4km outside the city on your way to Zagorochoria. The cave has stalactites and stalagmites and was dedicated to Pluto and Persephone. The cave extends over 14,000 sq.m. The tourist route covers a distance of 1,100m and lasts approximately 45 minutes. You can visit the area everyday from 8 in the morning until sunset. A visit to Perama Cave is an unforgettable experience.

For more information, please contact at tel.no 26510 81650 or 26510 81521 or www.spilaio-perama.gr.

Dodoni amphitheatre

In a green valley on the Eastern slopes of Mount Tomaros, 22km south-west of Ioannina, is Dodoni, one of the most important archeological site in Epirus. The site dates from 1000BC, and was the location of the Oracle of Zeus, second only to Delphi. The amphitheatre, which is still in good condition, is one of the largest in Greece with a capacity of 18,000 people.

Parga

Parga is a small coastal town located in South West Epirus , between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa. The town forms the shape of an amphitheater around the bay near the Venetian castle and has an island-like atmosphere.. It’s one of Greece’s most scenic towns with some beautiful, unspoiled sandy beaches and a breath-taking view across the bay. Those who prefer to explore and discover will find numerous historical sites and ancient mystical places. Parga is also a gateway to the picturesque islands of Paxi, Antipaxi and Corfu.

Ancient Nikopolis

Nikopolis is situated in the suburbs of the city of Preveza. It was built by Octavian in 31 BC to celebrate his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra in Aktion. It was a beautiful city with temples, theatres, gymnasiums and thermal baths. It was a communications hub between Rome and its dominions.

Today, part of the stadium, the two theatres, the amphitheatre, the aqueduct and the fortification walls are still preserved. Mosaics which are considered to be of the most beautiful in Greece have beem unearthed at Nikopolis.

Syvota

Syvota is a picturesque village on the coast of the Ionian Sea, in Thesprotia. Just a half-hour drive from the capital of Thesprotia, Igoumenitsa, it is the best-known resort in the region. Syvota is a region blessed by nature, built in an idyllic landscape with verdant hills around an enchanting bay with islets reminiscent of Norwegian fjord and spotless beaches.

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