Vikos Gorge ©️ Bill Higham

October 5, 2017

6 Destinations for Nature Lovers

 

1. Zagorohoria: 46 mind-blowing villages perched on Pindus Mountain

View of Astraka Peak © Spyros Vathis

Zagorohoria, one of the most beautiful regions of the country, is of the most impressive destinations as they are situated in an area with rich flora and fauna, of the richest of the country within the boundaries of Vikos-Aoos National Park.

The 46 picturesque villages are ideal for hiking aficionados, as walking through the old paths and the stone bridges that used to connect the villages is definitely an experience of a lifetime. In Zagorohoria, there are 31 sign-posted trails from LIFE – Zagori program with yellow plates (Code Z) that connect the villages of Central Zagori and routes with Code P that connect East Zagori as well as important areas between Metsovo and Zagori. Of the most beautiful routes include (1) the route of Vradeto Stairs, the most imposing cobblestone road of Epirus, which connects Kapesovo and Vradeto villages, (2) the route from Mikro Papigo village to Drakolimni Lake of Tymfi through the mountain shelter (3) the route of Vitsa Stairs, made in the 17

Of the most beautiful routes include (1) the route of Vradeto Stairs, the most imposing cobblestone road of Epirus, which connects Kapesovo and Vradeto villages, (2) the route from Mikro Papigo village to Drakolimni Lake of Tymfi through the mountain shelter (3) the route of Vitsa Stairs, made in the 17th century, that connects Vitsa with Koukouli villages, (4) the magical route that starts from Voutsas Monastery in Greveniti towards the village of Doliani, (5) the route that starts from Karies village and leads to Anthrakitis village through Kavallari passing through traditional settlements and many monuments and (6) the route that starts from Kipi village towards Tsepelovo village.

Discover the region of Zagori!

2. Halkidiki: Perhaps, once you set foot on that land, you will appreciate the saying “there is not place like Halkidiki”.

Halkidiki ΙslandsIf you are a nature lover, Sithonia will surely blow your mind! Pine forests reaching the crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea and hidden coves with white sand will travel you to the genuine nature of Greece. The charm of tranquility, the picturesque seaside villages and the magical beaches will offer you the most tranquil vacations ever!

It is a must to visit traditional Nikiti for its genuine Macedonian hospitality, cosmopolitan Neos Marmaras for its monuments from Asia Minor and alternative Vourvourou with its turquoise waters. Sithonia is an ideal place for a peaceful and relaxing holiday, especially for nature lovers. In Sithonia, travellers will have the opportunity to admire breathtaking landscapes with picturesque coves, deserted sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful beaches of Chalkidiki, which have been awarded many times with the blue flag secluded coves next to lush forests, traditional fishing villages and stunning architecture in homes and churches.

Discover the region of Halkidiki!

3. Pelion: Explorations on Centaurs’ Mountain

“Moutzouris” train © afc45014

The sound of the steam engine will charm you instantly. Strange and rigorous sounds will fill you with excitement and enthusiasm. Can you imagine entering another epoch by travelling in wooden wagons of the past? This very dream of yours may become true on this corner of Greece. Legendary “Moutzouris”/ ”Smudgy” the legendary train of Pelion, is a symbol of the local culture of Pelio that has marked the lives of the inhabitants since the dawn of time. The legendary train of “Moutzouris” whistles and wheezes with his wonderful steam engine the beginning of a journey to another era! On the blossoming days of spring and the golden shadows of autumn, “Moutzouris” will travel you from the charming station of Ano Lehonia to the picturesque station of Milies through a wonderful trip of ninety minutes. This 60 centimeters gauge line, one of the narrowest in the world, hosts four wonderful wooden wagons that will travel you in the past. His nickname, Moutzouris, literally means someone who turns things black, which was named obviously after the black steam smoke of the engines! Are you ready for one of the most spectacular rides of your life? As the maximum speed of the train is 20 kilometers per hour, travellers will have the opportunity to admire panoramic vistas over wonderful gorges, magnificent old bridges and tight tunnels that will make them want to stay there forever. Starting from the picturesque station of Lehonia, lovely Moutzouris ascends the verdant olive groves with sceneries of utmost serenity. The route is of great natural beauty with numerous architectural marvels including constructions from carved stone and grey limestone that form arched bridges, tunnel entries and retaining walls. On the final approach towards Milies, the scenery will take your breath away, especially after the crossing of the steel bridge of Taxiarhis, else known as De Chirico’s Bridge, a rare occasion where a train crosses a bridge that is straight and the tracks that lie on it are actually curved!

Discover the region of Pelion!

4. Mountainous Arcadia: An Exhilarating River Rafting Experience

Lousios River © Nick Christodoulou

Who said that Greece is not an ideal destination for rafting enthusiasts? The unimaginable beauty of Arcadia will definitely thrill rafting enthusiasts!

Breathtaking landscapes and water routes promise one of the most unforgettable rafting experiences in the most impressive river of Peloponnese. The sound of the impetuous waters of Lousios River combined with the smell of the wet soil invite the adventurers to test their strength in river rafting. A unique path to one of the most pristine water trails of Greek nature will take you to the unexplored landscapes of Arcadia. Passing through a wooded gorge with a mysterious tunnel, arched bridges and impressive passages, it is certain that all of you will spend a memorable travel experience exacerbation of adventure and adrenaline will reach its maximum!

Undeniably, Lousios River is one of our country’s most impressive rivers ideal for rafters with experience in the sport.

Spring and autumn are the most appropriate seasons for rafting. Wear your rafting waistcoat and helmet and embark on your rafting boat to explore the mysterious beauty of the Arcadian nature.

Discover the region of Mountainous Arcadia!

5. Karpenisi: Gifted with the finest of nature

River Trekking at Panta Vrexei Gorge © Adventure Endurance Network

Where it Always Raining (the explanation of Panta Vrexei), the waterfalls never stop flowing. Sometime impetuous others serene, the cool waters of Krikelopotamos paint wonderful sceneries for the lovers of river trekking revealing the ulterior secrets of the wild beauty of Evrytania. Panta Vrehei Gorge is one of the most beautiful gorges of Evrytania. Literally meaning always raining, the gorge owes its name to an area of the gorge with icy waters that come from Krikelopotamos River at Kaliakouda Mountain and find their way out from the sources in the tops of the canyon creating beautiful waterfalls. Panta Vrehi Gorge distinguishes for its idyllic atmosphere, its beautiful colours and its dense vegetation. Running waters and majestic waterfalls decorate the enchanting landscape. The gorge is accessible through a stunning path with the grandeur of nature playing the leading role. If you love extreme sports, Panta Vrehi is the place for river trekking enthusiasts.

Discover the region of Karpenisi!

6. Samaria Gorge:A One of A Kind Experience at Europe’s Longest Gorge

Samaria Gorge © Krzysztof Belczyński

The Gorge of Samaria is the longest gorge of Europe. The gorge lies on the south side of Chania in the largest uninhabited area of Europe. The gorge was declared as a National Park in 1962 for the survival of the endangered species of the wild goats of Crete. The length of the gorge reaches eighteen kilometers and it is accessible from the northern side of the plateau of Omalos. The gorge of Samaria is a place of exceptional natural beauty lying between the White Mountains and the Mountain Volakias ending in the seafront of the village of Agia Roumeli.

Hiking in the longest gorge of Europe is definitely an experience of a lifetime!

Discover the region of Crete!

 

From caves, forests and gorges to lakes, rivers and waterfalls and forests, mountains, Greece is one of the best destinations nature lovers!

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