Escapist State of Mind
Weekend Escapes
Argithea Villages
Untamed Beauty & Wild Nature
The motto in Thessaly is none other than travel to the unknown. Argithea villages stand high up on the Agrafa Mountains, and those who travel to fairytale Plastira Lake become so enchanted from the sparkling waters so that they ignore the magical microcosm of Argithea villages. In this corner of Greece, dozens of charming villages and picturesque settlements pop out of the blue behind the imperious slopes of the mountains. Although most of them are inhabited only in summer, winter in Argithea feels like a place lost in time. Mouzaki village is considered to be the “gate” of Argithea that will dive you into this verdant world of Mother Nature of to Eastern and Western Argithea. Exploring the villages of Argithea is astounding, as the labyrinthine asphalt road passes through lush vegetation with impeccable views of the imposing mountain slopes and the lovely settlements. From the lovely Stefaniada Lake with its wonderful landscapes, the Petrilou monastery with its exquisite wooden carved temple, the chapel of Prophet Elias and its stunning views of Thessaly, to charming Maratho with its distinctive architecture, the single arched bridge of Trizolou and verdant Leondito, Argithea will amaze you! Nature lovers and authentic travellers who seek for unspoiled destinations will fall in love with the villages of Argithea, as they promise experiences of intense emotions in wild landscapes and forested massifs of fir trees, beeches and maples. On top of all, the remaining villagers will show you the genuine hospitality of Agrafa with a glass of local tsipouro in their traditional coffee corners. Between the ridges of Agrafa, genuine travellers will discover Argithea villages, a mysterious world that opens new horizons for travelling to the unknown. The untamed land of Argithea unfolds amongst rocks, forests and snowy peaks in the most treacherous way. Rugged and inaccessible, Argithea is a place where human presence persists for millenia despite its remoteness. Wildlife aficionados will find their paradise, as they will have the opportunity to enjoy adventure and isolation in one of the most remote destinations of Thessaly. A landscape diverse, exhiting, and yet thrilling, with authentic villages and hospitable people. Welcome to Agrafa!

NEED A REASON TO TRAVEL

If you are looking for a beautiful destination where you can enjoy the tranquility of nature, Argithea village has it for you! Remote villages and landscapes of wild nature create an impressive identity of utmost beauty, one one of the top reasons you should travel to this destination. What’s more, genuine travellers and authentic explorers will fall in love with Argithea since it is one of the most unknown destinations of Thessaly, if not Greece. Argithea villages offer a genuine getaway with a true spirit of authenticity away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. From exploring tiny settlements and discovering old monuments of historical value, to enjoying the serenity of nature and sleeping with the rthyming of the birds, it is definite that Argithea promises an experience of a lifetime! The cultural monuments antagonize with the remarkable natural sceneries that try to imprint your mind with the most beautiful memories. In Argithea villages, one of the most important Greek tribes, the Athamanes who were descendants of King Athamas of Boetia, found refugee in antiquity. You can imagine how historical this place can be! The locals are famous for their kind hospitality and they take care of the travellers with love and care. Idyllic landscapes, always with evocative beauty, will astonish you. Whatever your reason for travelling, Argithea villages are an amazing escape out of the ordinary!

TOP THINGS TO DO

First of all, you should visit Argithea village, one of the most beautiful villages that has managed to maintain its traditional character with the cobblestone square, the narrow alleys and the plane tree. In a small distance from Argithea village, archaeology lovers can visit the position of “Hellenika” where excavations have brought to light cist graves and remains of the ancient capital of Athamania. However, one of the most important monuments is the monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa found within an errie landscape of wild beauty. Wherever you look, the view is breathtaking. According to tradition, the monastery served as the base of Georgios Karaiskakis for his war councils while the revolutionary government established its headquarters on the monastery in 1867. The Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary in Petrilo is also a unique monument that distinguishes for the miraculous icon of the Virgin, which is being tranfered for two months to Fanari of Constantinople every year! Another important monument is the Fanari Castle, the sole Byzantine castle of western Thessaly, which was build during the second half of the 13th century on the foundations of ancient Ithomi according to Homer. Lovers of culture can visit the Ecclesiastical & Historical Museum in Anthiro with an interesting collection of manuscripts gospels, religious icons and beautiful wall paintings as well as the Folklore Museum of Mouzaki that exhibits household utensils, agricultural tools, local costumes and traditional woven objects of the 19th century that reflect to the once daily life of the village. Lovers of nature can visit Stefaniada Lake located one kilometers from Spilia Monastery; if you want to enjoy a terrific 4×4 route, drive from the lake towards the course of Ahelous or the villages of Evrytania. At last but not least, it is a must to stroll around the villages of Argithea; check out of full exploration below!

MUST VISIT VILLAGES

You might not be acquainted with this knowledge, but did you know that Greece is a primarily mountainous country where more than eighty percent of the land is covered from mountains? Indeed, the Greek mountains distinguish for their diversity, their rare scenery, their spectacular forests and their unsurpassable rich flora and fauna. Agrafa Mountain spreads over Evrytania and Karditsa regional units, and it is the southernmost part of majectic Pindus range. It is worth mentioning that Agrafa is famous for its complete autonomy throughout the entire 400 years of Ottoman occupation of Greece. Agrafa literally transplates to unwritten, unregistered or uncharted; as the Ottomans were unable to conquer this region, the area and its population was not recorded in the Sultan’s tax register, and the residents were free to conduct their customs and businesses as they pleased. Renowned for its rugged morphology and its wild topography, Agrafa Mountain is a densely forested region extending from the outskirts of Tymfristos Mount to Plastira Lake. Agrafiotis and Tavropos Rivers spring from Agrafa, an area of immense natural beauty that has managed to remain pristine due to its remoteness. If you want to explore the entire region of Argithea villages, be informed that the region is divided into the villages of East and West Argithea. Starting from lovely Mouzaki, the adventure culminates from the villages of East Argithea towards Pefkofyto (650m.) and Agios Nikolaos (1.550m) that nestle in a verdant landscape full of beeches. Weather permitting, this village will let you gaze the majestry of nature towards Pindus Mountains fluttering in the horizon! Going downhill, you will arrive to Vlassi village (1.050m) built on the stepp slopes of Schiokaravo Mountain. By a small detour, travellers will have the opportunity to discover historical Petrilo (2.152m) on the craggy slopes of Voutsikaki, with the 20 meters waterfall in Vryses spring! Opposite, on the steep slope of Koukourelos, you will find Koumpouriana village (970m.) with its wonderful view from the central square. Just a few kilometers away, religious aficionados can visit Kosti Monastery with its beautiful hagiographies. From Petrilo, lovers of offroad driving (dirt road in good condition) can follow a wonderful route to the historical Spilia Monastery (1300m.), a monument of the 17th century that served as the seat of the Revolutionary Government in 1876 and distinguishes for its ornated carved and gilded iconostasts. It is worth mentioning that the area around Spilia Monastery is considered to be of great natural beauty. A short detour before the monastery leads to Stefaniada Lake, which was created from a large landslide in winter of 1963, with the restored watermill of Paliantonis and verdant Leondito village, where you can rest in the cobblestone square of the village with the huge plane tree. Those who want to accelerate their adrenaline can follow the inaccessible road towards the riverbed of Acheloos, where you will experience the majestry of Mother Nature! If you want to experience the true beauty of East Argithea, continue towards Maratho – Vraggiana – Katafylli to discover the austere beauty of nature! The exploration on West Argithea is considered to be one of the most astounding driving routes of the Greek mountains that challenges you to climb from 200 meters to an an altitude of 1.650 meters at the swindswept mountain crossing of Tymbano. Starting from lovely Mouzaki, the adventure culminates from Drakotrypa, a village famous for its sword construction craftsmanship during the Ottoman occupation. Here, you can visit the historical Agia Triada Monastery. Next stop to Argithea (950m.), one of the most beautiful villages of the region, continuing towards Mesovouni, one of the oldest villages of Argithea, with the historical Virgin Mary Monastery. A few kilometers away, you will discover Anthiro, one of the most beautiful settlements of Argithea! If you decide to continue your exploration, you can head to the riverbed of Acheloos, a wonderful route that passes through tunnels. In the depth of the ravine, there is the Liakosvitikou Stream famous for the stone bridge of Petroto, while the historical village of Petroto is higher up. It is a wonderful village with traditional houses and verdant vegetation, which served as the capital of liberated Greece in 1944 by the Governon Alexandros Svolos. Hiking lovers can follow the E4 European Trail that passes through Petrilo and Petriliotis River. It is also worth visiting Pigi village with the Korakou Bridge, once one of the biggest bridges in the Balkans until its explosion during the Civil War.

BOUTIQUE HOTELS & ELEGANT SUITES

Whether you are looking for a boutique hotel to stay with your family or you desire to find an traditional guesthouse, we have drafted a list with the best accommodation choices in the villages of Argithea! Keramario Hotel is a traditional guesthouse in Drakotrypa village ideal for romantic getaways for couples and relaxing vacations for families and solo travellers. It offers a unique experience by staying in eight giant hobbit houses with all modern amenities. Plus, it has an animal farm with deer, rabbits, chickets, turkeys and peacocks! Koutsikouris Hotel is another great accomodation choice located on the provincial road Mouzaki – Spilia Monastery. In a location uncomparable natural beauty, with magnificent views over the impressive Agrafa mountains, surrounded by a virgin pine forest, Koutsikouris Hotel offers consists of ten fully equipped rooms that can satisfy even the most demanding travellers.

TRADITIONAL TAVERNS AND CLASSY RESTAURANTS

If you are craving for traditional dishes of the Greek cuisine, you should definitely visit Gantoudis in Polydroso Petrilo (0030.24450.31701) where you can taste local sausages, steaks and lamb dishes, along with a variety of local appetizers. Diaselo in Foundoto (0030.22450.32213) is another great dining choice open all year round! Within an impressive hall, this cozy tavern distinguishes for its homemade pies and its traditional recipes with rabbid, wild boar and beef. Furthermore, O Giatros Tis pinas (0030.6974.788.640) is a great choice for tasting traditional specialties of Argithea region with a panoramic view to Stefaniada Lake. At last but not least, Ta Ragazia in the provincial road towars Spilia Monastery (0030. 24450.32020) is one of the most authentic taverns in the region. Family atmosphere, delicious homemade recipes of . What else you might need?

MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

Petrilo village is a verdant village with abundant water sources where the European E4 Trail offers the opportunity to hiking lovers to cross one of the most beautiful hiking routes of Thessaly. Argithea villages distinguish for its craggy morphology and its wild topography, an ideal destination for mountaineering aficionados, as there are more than six mountainpeaks exceeding 2.000 meters in height. Some of the most popular include Liakoura, Krava, Fteri and Voutsikaki. There is an extensive network of mountain tracks and forest roads connecting the villages of the region, although most of them are inaccessible in winter due to heavy weather conditions.

TRAVEL INFO

Access to Argithea villages is easy from the Provincial Road of Karditsa towards Argithea region. The journey usually lasts two hours and thirty minutes.

Photo Credits
Acheloos River: Nikos Grammenos by Panoramio Acheloos Riverbed: Stasinos by Panoramio Agios Nikolaos village: Nikos Grammenos by Panoramio Agrafa Mount: Giannis Paisis by Skaikairos.gr Agrafa Village: Christos Kontokostas by Anthiro Village: Nikos Grammenos by Panoramio Authentic Beauty: Sarakatsanoi.blogspot.gr Liaskovo bridge: Nikos Grammenos by Panoramio Panorama of Argithea region: Vasilis Argyris by Petrilia.blogspot.gr Prophet Elias Chapel: Koykoyravas Dimitris by Panoramio Stefaniada Lake II: Christos Kontokostas by Panoramio Stefaniada Lake: Actimon.blogspot.gr View from Tria Synora: Vasilis Argyris by Petrilia.blogspot.gr View to Agrafa: Vasilis Argyris by Petrilia.blogspot.gr Vlassi Village: Nikos Grammenos by Panoramio