Here’s an idea: why not swap a beach holiday in Greece with an intimate exploration of one of the 46 Zagorochoria villages? Ditch the deep blue sea for the cascading waters of a brilliantly green river, as this surprisingly varied cluster is surrounded by Mounts Timfi, Pindos and Mitsikeli. Conveniently located within a two-hour drive from the Ioannina airport, some villages can feel like a precious gift at the end of a green and windy road, while others are only a stone’s throw away from this sizeable lake-side city. A car is definitely in order, bound to come in handy for your sports equipment and/or mountain bike. Yup, Zagori is an athleisure paradise, whether you’re an extreme sports fanatic or simply enjoy an easy hike to the nearest spring with your girlfriends.
Voidomatis river is perfect for canoeing and kayaking or just sitting on the riverbank in your bikini, while Vovousa village offers the toughest mountain bike race in the country. It also boasts one of the few stone bridges in constant use since 1748, which just so happens to be perfect for romancing. The point is, you have options. What’s not optional is the extreme relaxation instantly prompted by the endless layers of forest green, stretching out as far as the eye can see. And the sudden intake of pure oxygen, which can feel almost intoxicating!
Whether you choose to hike, trek or climb the surrounding countryside, it’s totally up to you. Just keep in mind you can always take the culinary road and forage: hunt for mushrooms, berries or explore the impressive variety of local superfoods, just waiting to be picked. Insider tip: don’t worry about the kids! Most villages come with a tight-knit band of bubbling children that roam around all day like the 21st century never happened, and they’re more than happy to accept new entries for the duration of your stay! Zagoriwood and the Vovousa Mountain Festival will keep the artier crowds entertained, while the marvelous stone-dominated architecture will sooner or later have you dreaming of a little mountain home to call your own. Why not feed the fantasy with a quick getaway?
Courtesy Aristi Mountain Resort
Courtesy Vovousa Festival
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