Kipoi - Zagori
Experience an idyllic, mountainous fairytale at Vickos Canyon, overlooking the imposing rocks proudly overlooking the Garden(Kipoi), as well as the Baia River, the stone arched bridges and the colorful Zagorian nature that takes a breath away.
One of the most beautiful Zagorohoria, Kipoi (the Gardens), 39 kilometers from Ioannina, is named after the many gardens and vineyards that exist in the area. It is also called “village of the bridges”, as it is framed by magnificent arched Epirus bridges, with the most important triplexed bridge of Plakida or Kalogiarikos, the photographed bridge of Kokoris, the bridge of Kontodemos or Lazaridis, the stone bridge of Mylos, the bridge of Petsonis of Misius. The architecture of the site owes its authenticity to the unique iron-plate of the area, a stone burned by volcanos of the Paleolithic era.
As it was a big village, it has stunning stone mansions, half-hidden by the lush vegetation, amphitheatrically built in the barrier between Gamila and Mitsikeli, huts with arched openings, stone-made streets and tiny squares, compose the picturesque, beautiful village Kipoi, settlements in Central and Western Zagori has been declared a traditional settlement, with a 1975 presidential decree.
The village of Papingo is located very near the northern end of the Vikos Gorge and is inside the Vikos–Aoös National Park. It attracts many hikers and mountaineers from around the world. The Vikos Gorge is the largest canyon in Greece and arguably in all of Europe: it is the gorge with the greatest depth to width ratio, according to the Guinness Book of Records 1997.
The village of Papingo is surrounded by deciduous forests and topped by the snowcapped Astraka peak of Mt Tymphe, that towers over the village. It has modest lodging provisions as well as tavernas serving traditional food, coffee, and spirits.
The climate of the region is Mediterranean transitioning to Continental with heavy snowfalls in the winter and considerable rainfall and humidity also during the other seasons of the year. There is a very diverse flora and fauna, because of the many microenvironments, such as streams, rivers, lakes, forests, agricultural land, coppices, pasture, sub-alpine grassland and the unique biotope of the Vikos Gorge.
Zagorochoria Mikro Papigo
Mikro Papigo is amphitheatrically built on the steep slopes of Mt Timfy and can be reached after approximately 3 km further up from Megalo Papigo.
Apart from the scenery, the village itself has a remarkable beauty as well. Right after entering, the visitor comes across the central cobblestone square. Along the stoned alleys, there are many great exponents of the Zagorian architecture, also made of stone.
Most of these houses and mansions have two stories, ornate chimneys and large courtyards.
The important church of Agioi Taxiarches is also in Mikro Papigo. All these have contributed in order to declare the whole Papigo as a national historical monument. Apart from strolling around the houses and visiting the church, another popular activity there is trekking. Many visitors start from the square and head to the shelter of Astraka, passing by four stone fountains.
Aristi in western Zagori is a beautiful head village located on the road to Papigo and the village of Vikos (with a stunning view of the homonymous gorge and Astraka). In recent years it is one of the Zagorochoria with the greatest tourist development without losing its character at all.
Aristi is located about 49 km from Ioannina, following the national road from Ioannina to Kozani, from which we turn right at the junction for Mesovouni and Papigo. It is 300 km from Thessaloniki and 470 km from Athens.
The village of Vitsa is found in Central Zagoria, at the edge of Vikos gorge, next to the village of Monodendri. It can be reached by walking down into this gorge and following the cobbled trails on its floor.
Then, the Misiou Bridge has to be crossed and then follow the famous Vitsa stairs dating from the 17th century, which lead to this village. The location of Vitsa gave it the reputation of being the balcony of the great Vikos Gorge, due to the amazing view from there.
One of the most remarkable features of the village are the traditional stone houses, made of the same type of rock. They are placed along the steep superficies one next to the other, forming a sort of cascade. In the square of the village, you will see the huge plane tree providing its shadow. The village also hosts some very antique walls dating between 2500 and 2000 BC, the time where ancient tribes inhabited the area.
Tsepelovo is a well- preserved village and actually the biggest of Zagoria. It is located 50km away from Ioannina. Tourism facilities are widely developed in Tsepelovo, offering different various options in terms of food, entertainment and accommodation. Walking through this charming village is an incredible experience.
The cobbled roads will guide you to old mansions, ancient churches, beautiful houses and stone bridges. All constructions are built in the zagorian architectural style. The church of St. Nikolaos, in the middle of the square, impresses tourists with its wall paintings, made by painters from Kapesovo in 1786.
The church has twelve domes and sixteen arches. In the yard of the church, you will find the grave of the poet Ioannis Vilaras.
One of the most known mountain destination in Greece is Kapesovo, a well-preserved village in Zagoroxoria, with beautiful traditional houses and narrow streets. You should visit Paschalios school, where the Map of Rigas is excibited, one of the few copies that you can find in Greece.
Close to the village there is Kapesovo Scale, a famous scale from Kapesovo to Vradeto. 100 years ago, all mountain villages of Zagori, where connected with Skala, narrow roads made of cobblestones. Vradeto scale is the largest in Zagori and the most preserved one.
Out of the village, close to Kipoi village you can visit the famous bridge of Kalogeriko or Plakidas. Another interesting worth-visiting place is Plant museem Lazaridis, in Koukouli village where a large collection of dried plants and herbs is excibited