River Voidomatis flows across the villages of Zagoria. It is one of the most scenic natural attractions in Greece. This river is a famous active holiday destination for tourists from all over the world. It is also characterised by the traditional stone bridges along it and it is famous for its clean water, as it is probably the cleanest river in Europe. Its smooth, crystal-clear and friendly water offers a lot of excitement and fun to the adventure sport lovers. The grey rocks and the green vegetation are nicely combined to the turquoise water of the river. Rafting, cannoning, canoeing, river trekking are among the popular water sports practiced in Voidomatis River. Many sports organizations frequently organize courses of water sports along Voidomatis River as well as excursions. Note that Voidomatis crosses the famous Vikos-Aoos Natural Reserve, which is among the most precious and beautiful natural reserves in Greece. The water route to Voidomatis starts at the village of Vikos, where the spring of Voidomatis originates. Vikos Gorge is very deep, measuring about 1km deep and 1,100m wide. There is a track among the lush forests, which leads down to the river. The greenish-blue waters flow at the bottom of the gorge. The view to the National Park of Vikos is amazing from the inside of the track, that stretches for about 12 km. Around Voidomatis River, you will find traditional Zagorian villages and beautiful Byzantine Monasteries.
Cultural Events in Zagoria
Sarakatsans Festival offers some characteristic examples of local festivals held by the local communities. The tribe of Sarakatsans used to be nomad shepherds and are said to constitute one of the purest Greek populations, as they might be descendants from the original tribes of Homeric Greece. Their festival is celebrated every year at Gyftokambos, in the central area of Zagoria, during the first weekend of August.
Epirus cuisine has the most delicious dishes in Greece!
Local cuisine mainly uses ingredients found on the mountain and depends mostly on stock farming products: milk, yogurt, cheese, goat and sheep meat. Milk is the basic ingredient in the Epirus cuisine. It is used for the production of butter and buttermilk, yogurt and the famous local cheeses. Butter is another essential ingredient in the region’s cookery as olive trees do not thrive on this land.
The great variety of local cheeses is owed to the area’s fresh goat and sheep milk and it is the result of a long tradition in cheese-making. Local feta cheese is really top quality.
Pies hold a central place in the region’s gastronomy and they are prepared either as a weekday meal or as a special dish on feast days. They can be simple and straightforward to make or complicated and requiring more skills, there are salty or sweet ones, made with or without phyllo, stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, seeing that in Epirus, practically everything can be made a pie: meat, fish, macaroni, greens, vegetables etc.
Traditional cooking of Epirus involved the use of particular cookware. Many of these items are still used today, named tavas (a lidded baking dish), roasters and sagania (large pans for cooking on the fireplace).
Savory syrupy sweets such as saragli, walnut cake, almond cake, flute shaped sweets, local baklava with walnut filling and the well-known Kantaifi from Ioannina are but a few of the sweets you can taste in Epirus. The secret is a successful combination of ingredients such as kantaifi threads, baklava dough sheets, walnuts, almonds and thick syrup. You can also try spoon sweets made from the fruits of the Epirus earth. Make sure you also taste Debina, a wine made from an Epirus grape variety cultivated in 95% of the vineyards in the Zitsa viticulturally zone. It produces the renowned white wine PDO Zitsa, as well as well-known semi-sparkling and sparkling wines. Don’t forget to try the aged tsipouro (a type of spirit) and local cranberry and blackberry lique
Do you want to stay in Zagorochoria? BOOK NOW Pindos Chalet I!
Pindos Chalet I is located in the entrance of Vitsa village, one of the 46 picturesque traditional villages of Zagori, in a magical setting amidst pine and fir trees at an altitude of 960m.
It is considered as a luxurious, yet homey accommodation. It is decorated with chic English upholstery and furnished to detail with antiques, stylish fabrics and luxury oriental rugs. The Frette linen and the exclusive bathroom amenities, the luxury bathrobes and slippers, the high quality mattresses and the beds guarantee a relaxing sleep.
It consists of 2 bedrooms with double beds on the ground floor with en suite bathrooms. The wooden stairs lead to the spacious and cozy living room, the dining area and the fully equipped kitchen with large fridge-freezer, oven, electric hobs and complimentary tea and coffee facilities. There is an extra WC on this floor.
There is no airport in Zagoria. The closest airport is in Ioannina city, about 1 hour drive from the villages of Zagoria. The airport of Ioannina receives domestic flights from Athens. The flight time from Athens to Ioannina is 1 hour. From the airport of Ioannina, you can go to Zagoria by car. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Zagoria from the center of Ioannina.
The villages of Zagoria can be reached by bus from Ioannina. The town of Ioannina is connected by bus to Athens, Thessaloniki and many other Greek towns. There are daily buses from Athens and Thessaloniki to Ioannina. Buses from Athens depart from Kifissos Bus Station (Bus 051 Omonoia-Kifissos and X93 Athens Airport-Kifissos) and the trip takes about 7 hours. The bus trip from Macedonia KTEL Station in Thessaloniki to Ioannina is about 3 hours. From Ioannina there are buses to almost all villages of Zagoria and certainly to the most popular villages, such as Papigo, Monodendri and Konitsa. Depending on the village location, the duration varies from 40 min to 1 and half hour.
To travel from Athens to Zagoria by car, you follow the National Highway Athens-Patras. After you cross the cable bridge of Rio-Antirrio, you continue to Mesolongi and Ioannina. After you pass Ioannina, you follow the signs to the particular village of Zagoria where you want to go. To go from Thessaloniki to Zagoria by car, you follow the Egnatia Odos from Thessaloniki to Ioannina and in Ioannina you follow the signs to the particular village of Zagoria where you want to go.