Zagorohoria …The star in the crown of Epirus!
In Greece there are few areas more surprising or more alluring than Zagori!
It is the collective name (Zagori, Zagoria, Zagorochoria or Zagorohoria) is the northern part of Pindos total area of about a thousand square kilometers.
Brings together 46 villages, spread here and there, the route of the study coincides with the path of knowledge of Epirus wine. These places have heaped praise on Lord Byron immortalized them in his poem about the wanderings of Childe Harold.
Accommodation & Fun: In almost all the villages there are plenty of choices for your stay, including hotels, traditional guesthouses and mansions that combine the genuine atmosphere of Epirus (with earthly elements, like stone and wood) with exceptional luxury and all the modern conveniences.
In the restaurants and taverns you can taste traditional dishes and Zagori famous pies. We recommend the very special “Margarites” restaurant in the village of Kipi, which reflects the elegance and hospitality of its owner, Mrs. Ninetta.
For Extreme Sports Lovers: If you like extreme sports, try rafting on the Voidomatis River. Its tranquil waters with their dreamy beauty are suitable even for the beginners! Here the nature lovers can indulge in trekking, mountaineering, climbing, rafting, kayak, horseback riding, paragliding or mountain biking, to test their stamina and enjoy the unique beauty of the landscape.
Hiking, hiking… and hiking! All the villages are connected by hiking trails. The routes are numerous and cross villages, paths, stairs, bridges and canyons.
Art Break & Holidays: In Zagorohoria Nature attracts the artists that can spend endless hours painting, photographing, writing or composing music under the dreamy colors and the amazing sounds of Nature.
Weddings in Zagorohoria: If you wish your wedding to become a special event, then make the wedding ceremony accompanied by the Greek music and spend your honeymoon in one of the most beautiful and luxurious suites!
More about Zagorohoria
In the north-east of the city of Ioannina, between the green mountains Pindos, chain stretching 46 picturesque villages, or otherwise Zagorohoria. The word “indicator” is first mentioned in manuscripts of 1321 and means “far off” is one of the many names of the Greek mainland, who came from the Slavic language. Zagorohoria are famous not only for its natural beauty and unusual architecture, but also a rich history. The natural beauty, coupled with unlimited attacks on nature hikes, a variety of recreational activities, impress and fascinate the many visitors and newcomers. Zagorohoria, an area of approximately 1,000 km ², divided geographically into 3 parts: The Western, Eastern and Central Zagori.
Each of them has its immediate beauty and history!
Central Zagori: located in the north of the city of Ioannina and it includes such wonderful villages like Wits, Monodendri known Vlahohoria (Vrisohori, Iliohori, Laista), Kipi, Dilofo, Asprageli and Kukula, Kapesovo, Tsepelovo, Skamneli, Negades, and in addition villages of the Upper Valley Vicos (Vradeto, Elati, Elafotopos, Upper and Lower Pedina), as well as the village Dikorfo, Manasseh, Kaluta, Dipotamo, Fragades and Leptokaria
– Monodendri village: One of the villages, to which you should pay attention when visiting the area – is Monodedri. It is situated at an altitude of 1060 meters above sea level, at a distance of 39 km from Ioannina. It is famous for its architecture and excellent location. Walking through the cobbled streets, a large central square, traditional stone houses and mansions, as well as the church of Agios Minas and Agios Athanasios- that’s what may interest visitors. In addition, should walk up to the Monastery of Agia Paraskevi, from where breathtaking views and visit the unique gorge Vickos, recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the gorge with the smallest gap (about 1,100 meters at the narrowest part of it and at the same time, the depth of more than 900 meters).
– Kipi – is a picturesque village in the heart of Zagorje, built on a hill, and its distance from Ioannina is 39 km away. The main notable feature is the gardens, among which is the river, decorated with stone bridges.
You can be found on cobbled streets, stone houses, and “Hayat” (large domestic private balcony, usually on the south side of the house, a typical element of the local architecture) and a clock in a high tower.
Also noteworthy are the Church of Agios Nicholaos and a wonderful museum which presents an interesting collection of folk artefacts.
Of particular interest is the “Foundation” – part of the dwelling, usually intended for the male population, as well as the famous bridge Kokori, who became the favorite place for shooting many commercials.
– Elati village of Zagori: Elati is amphitheatrically built in a sylvan north region of the Mitsikeli Mount, with a view to the mountains and forests of Mount Tymfi with an exceptional climate. It is a closed distance destination from the city of Ioannina, but also a central point for the tour of every visitor to the rest villages of Zagori region. In Elati you can visit the church of Agios Georgios, built in 1806. Elati, is hidden in a big forest of oak trees, pine and fir trees and gives to the visitor a magnificent view to Zagori and the peaks of Tymfi. Don’t miss out to stop in the square with its tall plane and in the church of Agios Georgios. Also, don’t miss the stoned founts, the bridge and the route till Dikoryfo through a rich forest.
– Aristi is a beautiful large village, 48 km away from Ioannina. It is found on the way to the village Papigo, just before the impressive monastery of Virgin Mary Spiliotissa, which is built on the edge of a cave’s rock precisely above the river and the bridge of Voidomatis. In the central square of the village you can have your coffee in one of the traditional cafes and admire the imposing church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary with its high belfry. In Aristi you will also find shops with items of folkloric art in beautiful picturesque paved alleys and you will see the old tap in the middle of the village.
So, as you will be coming back from we suggest you to stop and enjoy some delicious coffee in the traditional coffeehouse in the square of Aristi!
– Asprageli: The «Gate of Zagori», is located at a distance of 30 km. from Ioannina City, ideal base for trips to the other villages. In 1943 the Germans destroyed the village. The ruins of the church of Agios Nikolaos, that reveal the glory of the past, are still saved. Worth visiting the Monastery of Asprageli with a route lasting an hour, that offers a magnificent view to the basin of Ioannina. Also, the sunset from the entrance of the village is a unique spectacle.
Worth doing trips on the slopes of the mountains around it.
– River Voidomatis: Earthly Paradise, as the locals say, with its crystal clear waters and the surrounding thick plane-tree groves.
– Stone bridges: At almost every step there are the traditional stone bridges that attract the eye with their beauty and fine architecture.
-The unique valley Vicos, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.
– In addition, you can visit the archaeological sites of great historical value, lake, surrounded by the beautiful wildlife, picturesque bridges and museums of special interest to lovers of history and folk customs.
– 320 km from Salonika in Konitsa
– 445 km fron Athens
– 40 km from Metsovo, to the East Village of Zagori.
– 20 km grom Ioannina and will meet the first village in Central and Eastern Zagorohoria.
Getting There: The most convenient way to visit Zagoria is by car.
Cars may be rented in Ioannina, Thessaloniki and Athens but general availability and the best values are to be found in Athens.
From Athens, take the National Highway to Larissa. This portion is an interesting and scenic drive that passes the famous monasteries of Meteora and through gorgeous mountain landscapes.
Most of the access roads to Zagoria are located between Metsovo and Konitsa along the main highway from Ioannina to Kastoria.
Ioannina is the nearest destination for bus and air service from major Greek cities.
Advanced reservations are necessary for those planning to rent a car due to limited availability, especially in August when most Greeks take their vacations.
There are daily local buses from Ioannina to the villages of Papingo, Monodendri and Tsepelovo as well as the many villages along the way.
Famous men from Zagori for “Commerce and Philanthropy”
Manthos Rizaris (1764–1824) and Georgios Rizaris (1769–1842) were Greek benefactors, merchants and members of the organization Filiki Eteria and founders of the Rizarios Hieratical School in Athens. Rizari brothers were born in the village ofMonodendri of Zagori region.
They lost both parents at an early age. Manthos Rizaris, the elder brother, moved to Moscow, in order to work in his uncle’s trading business. At 1806 Georgios followed. They got involved in trade and made a fortune. At 1817 Manthos became member of Filiki Eteria, and supported financially with huge amounts of money the Greek Revolution: a total donation of over 50.000 Russian rubbles was offered for the Revolution’s objectives. Manthos, died at 1824 in Russia.
Both brothers supported the independence of Greece. With their financial aid helped: the poor, the orphans, the ones that suffered because of the armed conflicts that took place during this period. After Manthos’ death, Georgios moved to Odessa, and continued his business there. He found in his home place (Monodendri) the School of Greek Courses. Many orphans were awarded with full scholarships, including full coverage of their living costs. At 1837 George Rizaris settled in Athens, his goal was to found a Religious Institution in the newly formed Greek state that would prepare educated priests. At 1843 after his death, the Hieratical School has started to function.
Moreover, they have founded in their home place Monodendri the Rizaris’ Handicraft Centre, the“Angelos Kitsos” OpenAir Theatre and the Rizaris’ Gatherings and Exhibition Centre.
Their bequests continue to offer to Greek education and Greek Orthodox Church.