6/7 July – The Zagorohoria’s 46 traditional stone-and-slate villages, tucked into the Pindos range, offer atmospheric accomodation, crisp alpine air, sublime views.
Once connected only by mountain paths and stone bridges, they’re now connected by paved roads, some of which enjoy spectacular twists and turns. And turtles.
We book Arktouros Hotel in Monodendri, around 38 km north of Ioannina and we visit Mono Agia Paraskevi, a monastery with spectacular views over Vikos Gorge.
Agia Paraskevi has the oldest preserved church in Zagorohria. According to legend, Michael Voevodas Therianos founded it in 1413 to thank God for healing his dougther of an incurable illness.
Vikos Gorge is a river carved the 12 km long, 900 mt deep over millions of years, leaving cliffs and dephts. According to Guiness, it’s the world’s deepest canyon in proportion to its width. It begins south of Monodendri, running north until the Papingo villages.
We went to Megalo Papingo by road ribboning North offering Zagorohoria’s most breath-taking views. Megalo Papingo and Mirko Papingo -respectively, the large and the small -are two villages tucked into the Vikos-Aoos National Park at altitude of 960 mt. The most distinctive element of Papingo’s setting is the looming rock formations known as The Towers. The tallest is 1788 mt. We drive 1 Km to Micro Papingo up to natural pools fed by the Rogovo River. Many people were there swimming… not us…