Stepping into any of the villages of South Pindos and discovering their consummate treasures, it feels like you are entering a place absolutely untouched by the relentless stride of modern man.
At the source of the mythical Aheloos river, in a land where bears and wolves still roam, concealed by plunging ravines and towering ridges, lie the villages of Aspropotamos Trikalon. Completely authentic and overflowing with the riches of nature, once seen, they can rewrite the book on raw, untainted beauty; changing your perception on how to define a beautiful landscape forever.
On one side there is Mt Itamos, on the other Mt Koziakas. Between them the Portaikos river gorge and the 16th century bridge of Pili. Here you can admire one of the greatest byzantine monuments of the country, the church of Porta Panagia with the mosaic icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
Paleokaria hides in the Portaikos valley. Prepare for the unprecedented spectacle of the 12m high waterfall cascading down behind the stone bridge.
Born out of the wilds of Neraidohori are its numerous folktales, which populate this world with strange creatures and weave age-old mysteries, while Pyrra also has its fair share of enchantment; cross over the stone bridge and enjoy a coffee in the square surrounded by oak and beech forests.
In Desi, the waters issue forth from beneath the mountainside in the form of more spectacular waterfalls. Then in Kalogiri, you will gather herbs in spring and chestnuts in autumn. In Drosohori, the claim to fame is the intriguingly named “blots”, the local delicacy. Summertime in Athamania means you are invited to let your hair down in one of the traditional village feasts. You’ll need a healthy appetite for all those fine local dishes and all that dancing too!
Finally in Krania, divided in two by its ravine, the weaving tradition is spinning its magic to this day. Outside the village, the Holy Temple of the Doliana Holy Cross with its 13 domes is a sight to take your breath away. Another stunning monument, though still inaccessible to women, is the Holy Temple of St. Vyssarion, where the skull of the saint of the same name is kept.