Not one, not two, not three. 46 are the villages that complete the complex of Zagorochoria. And believe us, they are all worth a visit and your time. But because we know that time is not endless, we have chosen 5 villages of Zagori to make the perfect winter getaway. Stone-built villages, settlements with cobbled streets, squares where people chat under the rustling trees, fountains with crystal clear water running, rivers, famous stairs, gorges and mountain ranges, with authentic flavours and national parks. This is the backdrop that makes up Zagorochoria. Are you ready?
Aristi, one of the most beautiful villages of Zagorochoria, has been receiving many tourists in recent years, as it has accommodation and taverns. Built at an altitude of 650 meters on the slopes of the mountains Koudounata and Grabala, Aristi is the ideal place as a base for exploring the rest of Zagorochoria and places of unique natural beauty such as Papigo (just 11 km from the village). For lunch we go to Papigo at «Pantheon».
At 51 km from Ioannina and just after the equally beautiful Kapesovo, lies the impressive village of Tsepelovo. Characterized as a traditional settlement with many preserved buildings, the village used to be the administrative center of Zagori. Picturesque stone alleys, impressive churches and several shops for food and coffee will fully compensate you with the best traditional recipes. As in the tavern «Mikri Arktos» which is famous for its traditional pies and goat’s meat in the oven.
Vitsa is certainly one of the highlights of the Zagorochoria complex and is located 36 km from the city of Ioannina. The village will immediately win you over at first sight, built amphitheatrically in an area of unparalleled natural beauty and belongs to the Central Zagori. The houses, whether old or newer, follow the traditional stone architecture and the village, located at an altitude of 960 meters, consists of two districts, Ano and Kato Vitsa. Stop for lunch at «Cinnamon & Garifallo».
Elati passed under the radar of travellers as many were the ones who did not stop to visit it since the surrounding villages took the lion’s share. In 2004, however, the image of the village changed as the tavern «Sta Riza» was opened and slowly Elati entered the tourist map of Zagorochoria for good. The tavern serves traditional Epirus flavours with a large selection of pies with handmade natural dough and stews of the day. The village itself is ideal for mountain walks, two of the routes you can follow lead to small churches, Agia Triada and Panagia.
The last of the villages of Zagorochoria that we recommend you to visit is also a “gateway” to even more destinations in the complex. Ano Pedina is a small, quiet village in Central Zagori which has evolved into a destination for many with a variety of accommodation options. Within a few kilometres you will reach Vitsa and Monodendri, while Aristi and Papigo are not far away either. You’ll wander through its narrow streets and smell the burnt wood – a smell completely familiar with winter in the village. And for lunch we go to «Skatzochiros» where we taste traditional recipes with modern touches.