Zagorochoria: Escape to Nature in Its Magnificence

Zagorochoria, is a region and a municipality in the Pindus mountains in Epirus, in northwestern Greece just north-east of Ioannina. It is an awe-inspiring natural landscape with an incredible network of 46 villages and features national parks, a monastery, rivers and waterfalls. Looking for a splendid all year round getaway to a place that is considered as one of the most beautiful and rich eco systems in Europe? Look no further. We have compiled a few of the many places worth visiting to make your experience unique:

Monodéndri

Settled at an altitude of 1,060m and a national monument, Monodendri is one of  Zagori’s most picturesque villages. It hosts some beautiful two-storey mansions and narrow streets that pass the village’s stone courtyards. The Monastery of St. Paraskevi can be admired from afar and a rocky trail that starts at the central square will lead you to Vikos Gorge.

Vikos Gorge

The famous Vikos Gorge is a large, steep canyon, which is visited by many tourists throughout the year and accessible from many vantage points. You will have the opportunity to walk the famous Vradeto Stairs at the edge of the gorge. These stone 1,200 meter stairs connect the villages Vradéto and Kapésovo.

Monastery of St. Paraskevi

Visit an abandoned monastery at the edge of Vikos Gorge which dates back to 1413-1414. This is a place you can meditate and enjoy a unique view of the gorge.

 Vikos–Aoös National Park

The core of the park, an area of 8,402 acres, comprises the spectacular Vikos Gorge. The park’s remoteness and relatively small human population, rich plantlife, and a plethora of large mammals such as the brown bear, is what makes this park unique. It is one of the last European strongholds, hosting a variety of natural habitats and ecosystems that rank it among the most valuable parks for nature conservation in Greece; it is home to many rare, endemic and protected plant species. Aside from trekking, sport enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can also enjoy rafting in the Aoos river, which is also a unique way to explore the beauty of the landscape.

Waterfalls in Illiochori

Unknown to most people is the village of Iliochori, built on the eastern slopes of Tymfi. It is a small, quaint village that hosts 3 spectacular waterfalls that form two green natural pools. The waterfalls are located at “Balta di Striga” and the highest of them reaches a height of 25 meters. The route is very pleasant with a marked path that begins at the village square — if in doubt, you can always ask one of the villagers who will surely be able to show you the way.

Famous Stone Bridges of Zagori

The bridges of Zagori are characteristic of the area; all of them are constructed with stone yet each of them unique in their own way. Surrounded by gorgeous landscape, these bridges are worth a stop, even if just for a quick selfie! Kondodimos or Lazaridis bridge, Plakidas or Kalogeriko (Monk) bridge, Milos bridge, Kokkoris or Noutsos bridge, Pitsionis bridge, Mirisis bridge

Where to Stay…
Ready to delve into Zagorochoria and enrapture yourself in all it has to offer? Kipi Suites — a member of Aria Hotels (www.ariahotels.gr) — is located in the heart of Zagori at the top of the traditional village of Kipi. It is the ideal base in which you can easily explore all that the area has to offer. The hotel boasts spectacular panoramic views reflecting the perfect harmony between the natural environment and cultural heritage of the traditional village gardens of Zagoria.

Enjoy a rich breakfast with local delicacies, a savory lunch, or delicious dinner while cozying up by the fire or in the open air (weather permitting) and taking in stunning views of the river and mountains below. The kitchen prepares original recipes and offers wines exclusively by the Greek vineyard in the Kipi Bites restaurant. In the mood for a drink or glass of wine after a long day of exploration? Kick back and relax at the Kipi Lounge bar where the music and atmosphere will make any explorer’s day one of complete satisfaction.

Kipi Suites has been developed from two Zagori village houses dating from 1850 with a further three buildings added to blend perfectly with the original property. The traditional exterior facades have been carefully preserved while the interiors add a contemporary air. Featuring traditional stone architecture, the hotel comprises eight luxurious suites equipped with all modern comforts named after the surrounding villages of Central Zagori. All suites are decorated with fireplaces while the junior and executive suites also feature a whirlpool bath. Kipi Suites is the perfect combination of serenity and great location. For further info and reservations, please contact: Email: [email protected] & Tel: +30 26530 71995