Monday, January 24, 2011

Zagorohoria - Epirus Greece. The perfect place for winter and summer

At the heart of Epirus, nestled among the steep and snowy slopes of Týmfi mountain range, you will find Zayorohória National Parkone of the most beautiful and rich ecosystems in Europe.

A complex of 46 picturesque traditional villages built in a magical setting amidst pine and fir trees is waiting to be discovered! Its unique traditional architecture, the impressive stone mansions and the undulating, natural forested surroundings are the ingredients of an unparalleled destination that should not be missed!

Visit one of Zayóri’s most picturesque villages: Monodéndri is a restored stone village. Stroll down its narrow streets past the village’s stone courtyards; take the rocky trail starting from the central square that leads you to Vickos gorge, whose depth is really awe-inspiring! From there, admire the Monastery of St. Paraskevi nestled on a rock overlooking the Vickos gorge.

Trekking lovers will have the chance to hit a variety of mountain trails in Zayorohória. Cross the Vickos gorge following the route from Monodéndri north to Vikos; Vikos to Pápigo, and Monodéndri south to Kipi, a traditional small village with old arched stone bridges. The route is quite long (it lasts at least 5 hours), but the experience is totally rewarding!

Starting from Pápigo you can take a much easier, three-hour trail; follow the path leading to Astráka refuge and then head for Astráka and Lápatos summits. Explore the magical “Drakolimni”, one of the three alpine lakes in Pindus mountain range, which according to local legends used to be inhabited by dragons!

Don’t miss the opportunity to walk the famous Vradeto Stairs at the edge of Vickos gorge. These stone 1,200 meter stairs connect the villages Vradéto and Kapésovo, and they were the only access to Vradéto village until 1973!

And when your day comes to an end, experience the true magic of Zayorohória: have a delicious meal in a mezedopoleío (local tavern), or enjoy a glass of fine wine by the fireplace in one of the traditional guesthouses of the area!
Aristi is part of the municipality of Central Zagori, it stands at an elevation of 650 meters above sea level, and at a distance of 17 km. from the city of Konitsa and 48 km. from the city of Ioannina.

Visitors setting off from Thessaloniki can reach Aristi using the EGNATIA Road and then the Ioannina Ring Road. At the last exit turn left following signs to Konitsa. On the 39th km of the route turn right with direction Aristi - Papingo. 

Visitors setting off from Athens can reach Aristi via Ioannina and continue on the national road of Ioannina - Kozani. Upon reaching the 39th km of the route turn right with direction Aristi - Papingo.

The hotel sits atop the village and offers visitors an extraordinary view over the Vikos Gorge and the unique natural beauty which characterizes the Zagori area.


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