May Day break in Zagorochoria
Nature is celebrating in Zagorochoria at spring time. May Day Bank Holiday is the ideal time to visit the area! Running waters, lush vegetation and a feast of colors and aromas make up the backdrop. Now is the time when the snow begins to melt and overflow the rivers with plenty of crystal clear water. Now is the time to become one with the mountain, to inhale the spicy scent of the plane trees and live a special experience that will remail etched in our memories for a long time.
With the backdrop of the imposing Vikos gorge, 46 stone charming villages invite us for a special travel experience in the spring mountainous nature of Epirus. Here we discover the charming Papigo, which stands in the shadow of Astraka, we visit the beautiful Vitsa and feel the awe of the landscape.
Papigo village is divided into two neighborhoods, Megalo (Big) Papigo and Mikro (Small) Papigo. You will reach Megalo Papigo after a 12 km. drive from Aristi, the “gate” that will introduce you to the magic of Zagori. With the Towers of Astraka at the background, Megalo Papigo impresses visitors with its traditional zagorian architecture, cobbled streets and fairytale atmosphere. Three km. away from Megalo Papigo, at the end of the road, you will meet Mikro Papigo, a paradise of calmness and peacefulness. Situated at an altitude of 980 meters, below Mount Tymfi, Mikro Papigo satisfies even the most demanding guests with its traditional architecture, lush vegetation and unparalleled beauty. Stone paths, old mansions and stone churches, narrow streets and rich natural landscape create a uniquely beautiful setting in Mikro Papigo. Between Mikro and Megalo Papigo, you will find the natural swimming pool called "Rogovo". The water erosion forms round pits, which look like small ponds, which the locals call ovires.
One of the biggest villages of Zagori, Vitsa has winding streets, well built houses, many churches and monasteries. From here you have access to Vikos stairs and Misios bridge.
The view of Vikos Gorge will definitely take your breath away. At an altitude between 550 and 1778 m., southwest of Gamila, Vikos Gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the world and has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest gorge with the smallest opening in the world. In particular, its narrowest point reaches only 1100 meters, while its depth is more than 900 meters. The Vikos Gorge is at the heart of Vikos-Aoos National Park, where a great variety of rare species of flora and fauna find a shelter. Among them 5 plants cannot be found elsewhere, herbs with medicinal properties, rare birds and animals such as wild boars, deer, bears etc. Also, the whole area has been included in the European network of Natura 2000 protected areas.
Where to stay
Awarded as the best luxury mountain resort in southern Europe, Mikro Papigo 1700 Hotel & Spa is a hotel-experience that is by itself one reason to discover Zagorochoria this spring. Set in the heart of the Vikos-Aoos World Geographical Park, the complex of historical buildings that make up the hotel offers you specially designed rooms and suites, an organic award-winning spa and a restaurant serving organic cuisine. From €120/overnight, with breakfast & use of spa facilities. Discover more here.
The splendid colors and aromas of nature, the traditional tastes of the local pies at breakfast, the luxury and comfort and the relaxation in the blooming nature of Zagori, with your family or friends, make up the setting of Zagori Suites. Perched at an altitude of 1,000 meters in the beautiful village of Vitsa, a breath away from the Vikos Gorge and the stone bridges of Voidomatis river, Zagori Suites is the definition of luxury boutique hotels. From €139/overnight with breakfast. Discover more here.