Travel to Zagorochoria with your dog!

10-02-2018

Zagori, with its impressive scenery and the magnificent nature, is one of the best pet-friendly destinations for unforgettable excursions with your dog. Zagorohoria is a cluster of 46 villages, in the region of Zagori, with many common architectural, cultural and historical characteristics, while many of them have been declared as traditional settlements. The villages are built around a central square, called messochori, with a large church, a plane tree and a fountain. Cobbled streets and paths link messochori with the rest of the village.

The most popular side of the mountain is undoubtedly the Western Zagori. It includes the villages of the Voidomatis Valley, like Small and Big Papingo, Aristi and Vikos among others, but also the paths leading to the peak of Gamila and the famous Dragon Lake. It is the most readily accessible part of Zagori, and the starting point for most trekking paths in the Vikos Gorge.

The Eastern Zagori, on the other hand, is the very opposite. It is usually chosen by those who seek the quiet and authentic side of Zagori. Here lies the beautiful Vovousa, on the shores of the river Aoos, the picturesque villages of the Valley of Varda with the watermills and Kastanonas and Itea with their arched bridges.

Lying between West and East, the Central Zagori gathers some of the most beautiful villages: Dilofo, Kepesobo, Kipoi, Ano Pedina and Tsepelovo. In this region are also gathered some of the most beautiful bridges of Epirus, which include the famous Kalogeriko bridge, the bridge of Kontodimos, and the hallmark of the area, the Kokoros bridge.

Today the asphalted road has reached even the most remote villages. Unfortunately, the mountainous terrain makes tours extremely time-consuming, making it impossible for someone to visit all the villages within a few days. This is why the locals usually say that you never visit Zagorochoria just once.  There are also three villages that they are impossible to be reached by car. You have to pull over and walk in the village on foot by a paved alley. These villages are Dilofo, Koukouli and Small Papingo

With the increase of tourism in the area, almost every village has developed modern infrastructure although big hotels are not present here. Properties are usually restored mansions, perfectly harmonized with the environment.  However, some goods and services of the modern civilization are nowhere to be found here. In none of the villages will you find a pharmacy, a newsstand and a store to purchase daily newspapers or fresh milk. There’s no Health Center in the area, but there are a couple of rural clinics. There is only one traditional bakery in Tsepelovo and one in Kipoi. There is only one gas station near the village of Aspraggeli. There are no banks, but there is an ATM in Kipoi. Of course, it goes without saying that there are no pubs, bars or clubs in any of the villages.

Unfortunately for ski enthusiasts, there's no ski resort in the area, although Zagori is popular among the extreme sports’ enthusiasts, as it offers a wide range of activities in nature, most commonly climbing, trekking and kayak. In Zagori lies also the Vikos Gorge. It begins between the villages of Monodendri and Koukouli and ends near the village of Vikos. The gorge collects the waters of a number of small rivers and leads them into the Voidomatis River which forms in the gorge. The major part of Voidomatis is only seasonal, and is permanent only at the lowest part of the gorge. Vikos is also a site of major scientific interest, because it is in almost virgin condition, it is a haven for endangered species and contains many and varied ecosystems. The Gorge is very popular among climbers and hikers. The most common route starts from the monastery of Saint Paraskevi near Monodendri and ends near the village of Vikos.