Escapist State of Mind
Weekend Escapes

Kalarrytes & Syrrako: Explore the Authentic Villages of Epirus

Perched on the craggy mountain slopes of Tzoumerka Μountains and endowed with indescribable sceneries of wild beauty, Kalarrytes and Syrrako, the twin villages, are the true jewels of Epirus. Characterized as two of the most beautiful villages of Epirus, both of them distinguish for their traditional character with their stone houses, their traditional fountains, their arched bridges and their cobblestone alleys that will instantly charm you. For this reason, Kalarrytes and Syrrako have been declared as traditional preserved settlements from the Ministry of Culture. The central squares of the villages are the most picturesque spots of them filled with charming taverns under huge plane trees, an ideal place to enjoy your coffee with panoramic views. A promenade around the villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako will reveal to you the traditional spirit of Epirus at its grandeur. It is certain that the spectacular vistas to the wild ridges of Tzoumerka Mountains will take your breath away. If you are looking for a peaceful place to enjoy the tranquility and isolation of the mountains, Kalarrytes and Syrrako are your best choices!

NEED A REASON TO TRAVEL

Under the foothills of Peristeri Mount, at an altitude of 1,2oo meters, you will discover the two isolated traditional villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako, facing each other as if defying gravity. Both of them are genuine stone masterpieces built from expert stonemasons while they appear to compete in terms of natural beauty and history. Kalarrytes and Syrrako are the true jewels of the traditional architecture of Epirus. The local people of Kalarrytes were famous as experts of silver and gold smiths, tailors, stock farmers and tradesmen who brought credit to their village in the 18th and 19th century; it is worth noting that this village was the place of origin of Sotiris Voulgaris, the founder of BVLGARI jewelry house! The elaborate architecture with the stone mansions, the arched entrances, the stone bridges, the sculptured fountains and their central squares make them antagonize which of them is the most beautiful one. Although Kalarrytes and Syrrako are found opposite one another, for one to reach it, he must follow an eighteen kilometer long circular route through a deep ravine; a memorable hike that crosses Chrousia’s ravine connecting the two Vlach villages with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Cool waters, impressive waterfalls, beautiful riverbanks, picturesque sceneries, stone houses, labyrinthine roads overflown with massive oak and fir trees fill the sceneries of Kalarrytes and Syrrako with the most beautiful colors of Picasso’s palette. . If you want to find your own spiritual freedom and your divine tranquility, it is certain that the villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako will leave you speechless. Today, the villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako are something far more than beautiful with a true spirit of authenticity.

TOP THINGS TO DO

First of all, you should visit the church of Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of Kalarrytes, a wonderful religious monument with valuable ecclesiastical objects made from local artisans. One of the best things to do in these villages is to follow the hiking trail connecting Kalarrytes and Syrrako, a memorable hike that crosses Chrousia’s ravine connecting the two Vlach villages with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. You should definitely taste the tasteful local dishes of Epirus! Whether you love traditional pies, country-made sausages, or cheese, it is definite that you will love the Epirote cuisine. If you are a lover of adventure, head to an agency of outdoor activities to go for rafting in Arachthos River. Let’s not forget about the treasure of folk art items kept in the Syrrako Folk Art Museum all constitute irrefutable evidence of the area’s thriving financial state. At last, drive to the spectacular ride ideal for photography aficionados starting from the village of Kalarrytes towards the village of Syrrako with the imposing monastery of Kipina; perched within a rocky landscape, this religious site was cosntcuted in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in 1212. The construction of the monastery is impressive while it gives off a sense of hospitality and serenity. Nowadays, there are no monks in the monastery; if you want to visit it, which is highly advisable, you should take the key from the coffee house in Mystras village.

BOUTIQUE HOTELS & ELEGANT SUITES

Whether you are looking for a boutique hotel to stay with your family or you desire to find an elegant suite to stay with your other half by the fireplace, we have drafted a list with the best accommodation choices in the villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako! Family Hostel Napoleon Zaglis in Kalarrytes is a wonderful hotel located in an authentic environment amidst the mountains towards the marvelous landscape of Tzoumerka. With a warm and family atmosphere, this large mansion is an ideal destination for family and friends! Stavraetos Hotel in Syrrako is another beautiful hotel built with a respect to the traditional character of the wider region. The wooden ceilings, the handmade brass fixtures, the fantastic views to Tzoumerka, match harmoniously with the superb quality of carved furniture and vivid colors on the premises. Syrrako Hotel is yet another wonderful hotel located in the village of Syrrako. The hotel is housed within an impressive three-storey stone mansion, which was built 100 years ago and served as the primary school of the village. Syrrako Hotel’s decoration, which is inspired from traditional elements, exudes a unique atmosphere of warmth and elegance. Petradi 1873 in Kalarrytes is another great accommodation choice situated over the peaks of Epirus Mountains in an untouched natural landscape.

TRADITIONAL TAVERNS AND CLASSY RESTAURANTS

If you are craving for authentic recipes from Epirus, you should definitely visit Akanthos (0030. 26590.61518) in Kalarrytes; the tavern of Napoleon Zagkli distinguishes for its delicate recipes and its fine raki. If you are lucky, you might be there in one of the improvised feasts accompanied from rebetiko songs under the rhythms of clarinets. Stavraetos (0030. 26510.53296) in Syrrako is another great choice for tasting the traditional local cuisine. Evridiki bakes the most amazing Vlachic pies of Tzoumerka while she specializes in goat stew, lamb in a pot and grilled ewe! Beware that those two taverns remain open during the winter. Sarika (0030.26510.53540 ) in Syrrako is also a great dining option! It’s a tiny warm and beautiful place with exquisite delights; freshly baked bread, crispy potatoes, and traditional sausages are some of its simplest meze. Make sure you taste the amazing kataifi with ice cream and cherry syrup!

TRAVEL INFO

Access to the villages of Kalarrytes and Syrrako is easy from Trikala through Kalambaka. Along the Trikala-Ioannina highway, turn at the intersection of Mourgani and continue towards Kastania and the villages of Aspropotamos, the village of Anthousa, the peak of Baros and the village of Kalarrytes and Syrrako.If you are travelling from Metsovo, you will have to follow the road to Haliki of Aspropotamos villages through Anilio, continue towards Katafytos village and the peak of Baros towards Kipina, Prosilio and Syrrako. If you need directions, ask the locals!

MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

One of the best things to do in these villages is to follow the hiking trail connecting Kalarrytes and Syrrako, a memorable hike that crosses Chrousia’s ravine connecting the two Vlach villages with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Photo Credits
Chroussia Ridge: ΦΩΤΑΚΟΣ by Panoramio Kipina Monastery: Nikonman by Panoramio Landscape in Kalarrytes: ΦΩΤΑΚΟΣ by Panoramio Plane Tree: ΦΩΤΑΚΟΣ by Panoramio Snow Capped Syrrako: Nikdomeniko by Panoramio Stone Fountain: Charalambos Papandrinopoulos by Panoramio Syrrako Square: GR Captain by Panoramio Syrrako Village: Nikos Lagos by Panoramio Tree: Ntinos Lagos by Panoramio Tzoumerka View: Christos Poros by Panoramio Tzoumerka: Alpha1924 by Panoramio Tzoumerka Mountains: Amalia Lampri by Flickr View from Syrrako: Vagelis Papacharalambous by Panoramio View of Kalarrytes: ΦΩΤΑΚΟΣ by Panoramio View of Syrrako: Stathis1978 by Panoramio View of the mountains: ΦΩΤΑΚΟΣ by Panoramio View to the Mountains in Kalarrytes: Phaethon by Panoramio Winter in Kalarytes: Mikal14562 by Panoramio View to the houses of Kalarytes: Vasilis Protopapas by Flickr Snow in Syrrako: Ant84rs by Flickr