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Plastira Lake

Fairytale Sceneries Under the Charms of the Sleeping Beauty

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A monument created from mankind has been depicted as one of the most admired monuments of nature that has managed to magnetize travellers all over Europe. The artificial Plastira Lake was once the dream of a visionary leader, and today is one of the most beautiful destinations of the Greek mainland with landscapes of unrivaled natural beauty. Situated in an idyllic location of Karditsa prefecture, surrounded from the green slopes of Agrafa Mountains, Plastira Lake is the true jewel of Thessaly. Extending over the Nevropolis plateau, the region owes its name to the abundance of deer that once lived there, as Nevros means baby deer. However, Nikolaos Plastiras, an early 20th-century military general and politician whose origin was the picturesque village of Morfovouni, envisioned the construction of the notorious dam on Tavropos river that would give a solution to the chronic problem of water scarcity and irrigation of the Thessalic plain. Despite the fact that the construction of the dam was in the works since 1925, it was finally completed in 1959. Over the years, the dam was filled with 400 million cubic meters of water, so Tavropos lake was created. Rarely human intervention synergize to create a natural environment of such immense natural beauty. Characterized as one of the most beautiful destinations of mainland Greece, Plastira Lake offers magical sceneries of utmost serenity, a pandemonium of colours, landscapes and sensations, all the seasons of the year. Refreshing water sources, oxygen blast, sceneries of utmost serenity and hospitable people will show you the unimaginable landscapes of this lake, a paradise for nature lovers as it provides the opportunity for all kinds of alternative activities of mountain sports. Beautiful and harmonic, with dense vegetation and rugged mountains, Plastira Lake is a place that constantly changes depending on the time of the year, and it is always fascinating! Dense verdant trees, treacherous alpine ridges, crystalline waters of lakeside settlements complement the distinctive charm of Agrafa Mountains. Nothing will ever predispose travellers for such an erotic destination in this corner of Greece. Vegetation reminescent of the nature in Scandinavia and lake sceneries that seem to sprung out of a landscape in Switzerland will travel you to other levels of beauty, where the master is none other than Mother Nature. Flowing springs and streams, traditional villages hanging from mountain ridges and labyrinthine asphalt roads with hundred of flocks grazing in the green banks will show you the authentic face of the Greek countryside. And if you visit Plastira Lake in winter, you will feel like everything have sprung out from a fairytale on northern Europe. This lake will charm you whichever season you choose to explore it. Whether you visit Plastira Lake in the snowy mountains of winter, the verdant nature of spring, the golden leaves of autumn or the wonderful climate of summer, it is definite that this destination will blow your mind.Around the lake, there are millions of picturesque villages of their own beauty and character, with panoramic views of the lake and the the surrounding mountains. Apart from the unique beauty of the lake, the surrounding area attracts many travellers for its impressive sights. Religious monuments, interesting museums, stone bridges, impressive caves and dense forests are just a few of the attractions that will fascinate you. Undeniably, the landscape of Plastira Lake is truly breathtaking!
The Vision of Nikolaos Plastiras

One of the most important political figures of Greece

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The artificial Plastira Lake was once the dream of a visionary leader, and today is one of the most beautiful destinations of the Greek mainland with landscapes of unrivaled natural beauty. In 1928, Nikolaos Plastiras, else known as the “Black Rider”, an early 20th-century military general and politician whose origin was the picturesque village of Morfovouni, envisioned the construction of the notorious dam on Tavropos river that would give a solution to the irrigation problem of the Thessalic plain and the problem of water-supply of Karditsa prefecture and take advantage of the force of the water in order to generate electricity. Despite the fact that the construction of the dam was in the works since 1925, his idea was not materialized until 1959, due to the many sufferings Greece went through including the objections of the local community, the German occupation and the civil war. The lake was created at the location where river Tavropos formerly existed, flowing to the south towards Achelous River. Extending over the Nevropolis plateau once was, the region possibly owes its name to the abundance of deer that once lived there, as Nevros means baby deer.Over the years, the dam was filled with 400 million cubic meters of water, so Tavropos lake was created. Unfortunately, Nikolaos Plastiras did not live to see his vision become in reality, as he died in 1953, six years before the completion of construction of the dam. It is worth mentioning that the “invisible” allied airport of “Neraida” used to operate on the plateay before the creation of the lake during the Second World War without ever being perceived by the Germans. It is said that the residents of nearby villages hid the airstrip with trees on daylight and lit bonfires in the evening in order to help the pilots of allied aircrafts. Nowadays, fir, chestnut and oak trees adorn the magnificent landscape that has enliven the entire region of Karditsa with its unique ecosystem and its distinctive beauty. Situated at an altitude of 800 meters, Plastira Lake occupies acreage of almost 25 square kilometers, with a maximum length of 12 kilometers, a width of 4 kilometers and a maximum depth of 60m. The dam has a height of 222 meters. In 1984, Tavropos Lake was renamed in Plastira Lake to honor the inspirer who managed to solve some of the most important problems of Karditsa prefecture.
The Tour of the Lake

Emerald Waters, Golden Leaves, Verdant Villages, Magnificent Vistas & Snow-capped Mountains

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Whichever season of the year you decide to discover the mysterious beauties of Plastira Lake, one thing is certain; nature will surprize you as the landscape alternate according to the colours of the four seasons. The lakeside road of of Plastira Lake (70 kilometers) promises one of the most exciting routes of mountainous Greece. Travellers visiting the region should definetely devote some time to wander around the lake and admire the charm of the fjords and the wonderful colours of nature. The exploration starts from Kalyvia Fylakti village, overlooking the alpine mountains of Agrafa and the snowy foothills of Olympus, along with the wonderful Halcyon days of February. Before leaving from the traditional guesthouse, I grabbed a moment on the stone balcony so that I could enjoy a refreshing breeze and capture the breathtaking view of the lake with my favorite camera. Heading towards the northern part of the lake to charming Kerasia, a village built at an altitude of 900 meters, which is ideal for promenades in nature with panoramic views towards Mouzaki, Meteora and the Thessalic plain; here, it is worth visiting the Mills of Bourala and Antonaki , the church of Zoodohos Pigi, the War Memorial dedicated to Georgios Karaiskakis, one of the most important heroes of the 1821 Greek Revolution, and the chapel of Prophet Elias. Just a few kilometers further, a short detour leads to picturesque Anthohori village, that stands out for the arched stone bridge of “Kamara” with its waterfalls and the stream of “Koromilia”. Endless promenades through wonderful trails that cross the verdant fir forests compensate the travellers who will discover this lovely settlement. It is worth mentioning that the southwestern side is the most developed part of the lake, with various hotels, restaurants, taverns, and amenities. Continuing towards Kalyvia Pezoula and Kalyvia Fylakti, two of the most developed villages of Plastira Lake, one of the most beautiful rides of the lake is reserved for driving aficionados in direction to the village Neraida. Do not miss the opportunity to spend time in the wonderful Pezoula beach with the well-organized outdoor activities; you can also enjoy your coffee in the cafeteria of the beach.Nestling at an altitude of 1.120 meters, on the craggy slopes of Agrafa Mountains, Neraida distinguishes for its dense vegetation and the ecstatic view that reaches to the mountainpeaks of legendary Olympus, if the atmosphere is clear! Lovers of hiking can also follow the wonderful route that leads to Alexandris Fountain. Next destination is Neochori, the capital of Plastira Lake, which nestles on the hillside above the lake. The settlement has one of the best views of the region, and it is one of the main reasons why the area has been developed with excellent hotel facilities and exceptional taverns. Approximately two kilometers of Neochori, travellers will find the Botanical Garden that surely deserves a stop! In an effort for the sustainable management and environmental protection of the Lake Plastira region, the garden was established (1998) in order to gather and stockpile part of the flora elements of the region and the Greek territory, so as to create an environmental infrastructure with information regarding this flora, the local ecosystems, and environmental protection of Plastira Lake and Greece in general. Heading towards the southern part of the lake, on the beautiful hillsides of Agrafa Mountain, travellers will find the lovely village of Belokomitis perched above the lake. According to a local tradition, its name derives from the word beloko (shiny place) and miti (nose)! Stone houses with beautiful courtyards and narrow alleys, Belokomitis is a true testament of the local architecture of the area with old stone houses, carved wooden balconies and doorways. After a pleasant drive through the forest, travellers will have the opportunity to pay their respects to the cliff edge monastery of Panagia Pelikiti perched at an altitude of 1.450 meters. Walking through the cobblestoned pavement, the guardian of the monastery shared with us the glorious history of this a dazzling post Byzantine monument. Through secret crypts and hatches, which under Turkish rule were the meeting place of thieves and freedom-fighters, we discovered the rare frescoes and wall painting that adorn the temple. Most of all, however, you will be impressed with the elaborate construction of the monastery. This is an original work of art: a rock hewn with both art and enthusiasm! After a small detour, we followed the signs pointing right to Zygogianeika – Observatory, and wearrived in one of the most spectacular sights of the lake, the Paratiritirio – Observatory! We followed an adventurous dirt road (1.5 km in good condition for compact cars), passing through wonderful landscapes where nature was stunning. When we arrived in the wooden shelter of the Observartory, I was fascinated from the eerie views of Agrafa Mountains. I arrived, then, in a wooden shelter Observatory and fascinated by the eerie views of Agrafa mountains. Looking from above the water magic lake with fjords and island, flooded by feelings of peace. The splendor of nature, the sky that fills the landscape with shades of the alpine forest and the rugged peaks of the Agrafa made me forget everything and appreciate the authentic beauty of the Greek nature. Gazing from above the aquatic magic of the lake with its verdant fjords and the tiny isle, I got burst with feelings of peace and tranquility. The splendor of nature, the sky that fills the landscape with shades of blue, the alpine forest and the rugged peaks of Agrafa made me forget everything and appreciate the authentic beauty of the Greek nature. Continuing the wonderful tour of the lake, I could finally observe from afar the imposing Dam that restrains the waters of Tavropos. The dam, which has a length of 220m, held out the waters of Tavropos, which covered the plateau of Nevropolis and created the Lake Plastira; such an amazing mankind project that helped in resolving serious problems of the Karditsa society, including the irrigation of the plain of Thessaly, the water supply of the city along with 38 towns and villages and the production of electricity from the power of water. An impressive construction that embraces the huge mass of the lake’s water, the dam is one of the most beautiful spots to gaze Plastira Lake. I must admit that what impressed me most is the back side of the Dam that dives into a depth of 83 meters between craggy rock formations. Following the lakeside road, we arrived in Moucha area with its prominent views of the beautiful fjords of the lake and the island “Niaga”. Leaving behind me the little village of Kastania, where one can enjoy beautiful lakeside paths between the trees, I noticed that the landscape had a melancholic spirit. Somewhere around Kastania, at an altitude of 1.081m, at the summit of Tsuka, there is a fire lookout station, which is worth visiting for its outstanding views. The view of the lake from Kastania Fire Lookout Station is indescribable as the fjords and the forests of the region create a unique synthesis. Our insider tip for this location is that the back road is in a quite poor condition because of the rainfalls and can be accessed only by 4×4. As the colors of the sunset were mirroring on the crystalline waters of the lake by the famous Lamperou beach, the unique beaaty of the sky was painting the slopes of the Sleeping Beauty behind the massiveness of Agrafa Mountains. Following the lakeside road, we reached the traditional settlement of Mesenikolas, else known as the balcony of Thessaly, with its panoramic vistas to Olympus Mountain and Pelion. Famous for its black wine and its tasteful sausages, Mesenikolas has an excellent view over the plain of Karditsa! Its picturesque cobblestone square with the enormous plane tree is an idea place to rest under the shade before you continue your discoveries. It is worth mentioning that the Wine Festival of Mesenikolas, an institution that has evolved into a leading cultural event of Thessaly, takes place in mid-August. Having visited the monastery of Koroni, one of the most important religious monuments of Thessaly with remarkable frescoes of the Cretan School, we headed to Morfovouni village, the birthplace of General Nikolaos Plastiras. Before you say aurevoir to this lovely destination, it is a must to visit the stone museum containing a collection of photographs and documents about his life.
Kiss Night Goodbye from Plastira Lake

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Undeniably, Lake Plastira is one of the most beautiful destinations of mainland Greece. A mankind monument has attracted thousands of visitors all year round, as nature adjusts its colours to the scenery depending on the season; white winter, golden autumn, sparkling summer and colourful spring, whichever you choose, Lake Plastira will fill you with unforgettable moments! Monuments with great cultural and architectural interest, mountain shelters, verdant forests and arched bridges, panoramic vistas of the lake and breathtaking landscapes, what else you might need? The beautiful sceneries of Plastira Lake were imprinted in my mind, the sleeping beauty of Agrafa and the magnificent colours of the sunset from Laberou beach, with the reflections of trees splashing in the lake, the spellbound view from the Observatory and the gigantic size of the concete dam. I still wonder if there is anything more beautiful than travelling!