Excursions - 1 Hour Drive
Aoos Springs Lake
The artificial lake of Aoos' springs is 8,5 square km and it is situated in altitude of 1.300 metres. It was manufactured in 1987 in the plateau Politsies aiming at the production of electric energy. However, it later became a particularly important biotope for the region. The waters of the lake, where limited amateur fishery is exercised, have been enriched with fish and are channelled in river Metsovitikos in the height of Hrysovitsa. Being in contact with the natural environment will relax you. You will enjoy the gorgeous landscape with the peaks of Pindos unfolding around, but you can also make the tour of the lake by bicycle, an experience that you will never forget. If you go in Winter there is great chance to see the landscape in snow, a spectacle that really takes your breath away!
Pindos National Park - Valia Calda
Pindos National Park, also known as Valia Calda, is located in northwestern Greece and is perhaps the least known and visited national park in Europe. Founded in 1966 and considered as one of the most important protected areas for the conservation of mountain biodiversity, Pindos National Park is characterized by extensive forests of black pine and beech at low and medium altitudes, and Balkan pine at higher elevations. The area is home to a small population of Eurasian brown bear, which is an endangered species. Other mammals living in the park are wolves, deer, wildcats and Balkan Chamois. The park provides shelter to more than 80 bird species, 10 of which are rare, such as the imperial eagle, the golden eagle and the falcon Lanner. A great variety of reptiles, amphibians and insects, complete the park’s diverse fauna.
For centuries, the towering cliffs that dominate between mountains Koziakas and Antichasia compose an impressive giant stone complex of 800 or more rocks that create not only a landscape of natural beauty, but also one of the greatest monuments of Orthodox Christianity.
Nature, spirituality and tradition interact in a unique way, revealing the grandeur of the region, to its visitors, who flock from all over the world to admire one of the most important geological monuments of humanity. Not a few of those who come to the area for meditation and prayer, decide to experience first hand the life of the monks and see up-close the masterful architecture of the monasteries.
After Mount Athos, Meteora is the largest monastic center with constant presence in Greece, from the 11th century, during the time of installation of the first ascetics, until today. Currently only six monasteries are operational, but historic evidences show that at one point, thirty pilgrimage sanctuaries were open. Many smaller monasteries, most of which were founded in the 14th century, today are abandoned. However, the aftermath of the deep religiosity that exudes, remains alive, echoing the grandeur of days bygone.
In 1988, UNESCO included Meteora to the list of World Heritage Monuments as one of the greatest in the world, and called it 'Preserved and Protected Monument of Humanity".
A cluster of 48 villages of Epirus, built amphitheatrically in the area of Tymfi, Pindos and Mitsikeli (Zagori). The natural environment of Zagori is excellent and ideal for many outdoor activities. The local architecture is defined by stone, wood and slate rock.
Its name is Slavic and means "behind the mountains". During Ottoman rule, the region reached economic and spiritual prosperity. However, Zagori fell into economic depression after the death of Ali Pasha (1822), when it lost the privileges it enjoyed. The wars of the 20th century also had a huge toll on the area. Zagori is divided into West, Central and East.
The cave of Perama is located next to the idyllic lake, only four kilometers away from the city of Ioannina, in Perama. Discovered by chance in 1940, during the Second World War, and revisited after its end, the cave was photographed for the first a time by Constantine Kasvikis, trainer and amateur speleologist. It was in this way that John and Anna Petrochilou (founders of the Greek Speleological Society), learned about the existence of this cave and began its systematic exploration and mapping, in order to become the first cave accessible to tourists in Greece. It consists of several successive halls and corridors decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and impressive columns that are superbly complex. In 1956 they found fossilized teeth and bones of a cave bear. The cave’s size is 14800 sq.m and the tourist trail is a total distance of 1,100 meters.
Ancient Theatre of Dodoni
The shrine of Dodoni was an important spiritual place in ancient Greece. It was the oldest of Greek oracles where people traveled extremely long distances to consult with the high priests for their future. Outside the temple of Zeus, priests were being gathered beneath the sacred oak tree and listening to the sound of the leaves trembling in the breeze to get a glimpse of the future. People from all over the then known world, made a pilgrimage to consult the priests for the future and to attend cultural events taking place at Dodoni.
Indicative Scenic Routes
Route 1: Grand Forest Metsovo - Anilio - Chaliki - Anthousa (wild trout hatchery station) - Koukoufli - Amaranto / Kastanona - Kerasia - Malakasi - Grand Forest Metsovo
Route 2: Grand Forest Metsovo - Metsovo - Milia - Mikrolivado - Agios Nikolaos - Garden - Valia Calda - Vovousa - Elatochori - Flabourari - Aoos Lake - Grand Forest Metsovo