THE COUNTRYSIDE GEMS OF GREECE
For adventure lovers tucked in the northwestern corner of Greece, in the region of Epirus, Zagori (or Zagoria) is a mountainous region of stunning beauty in the Pindus mountain range. Covering about 1,000 square kilometers, it contains 46 villages which are known as the Zagori villages or Zagorohoria. Calm and cosmopolitan with charming views or hidden in the mountains with spectacular sceneries on the bare peaks or the forests by the rivers with the crystalline waters or the alpine lakes, Zagorohoria is a destination for everyone to explore even for once in this life.
For romantics spectacular Monemvasia described by famous Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos as a “stone ship” about to set sail is a perfectly preserved medieval fortress built on a monolithic slab of rock on the east coast of the Peloponnese. Created after an earthquake in AD375 and reached by a narrow causeway, the islet is a stunning sight, a mini rockmountain with sheer cliffs soaring above an aquamarine sea.
For those who love nature a panorama from Mount Pelion — mythological land of centaurs, nymphs and warriors — offers views of mountains, forests, islands and beaches. Dotted with picturesque villages, the remote peninsula is best explored by walking the kalderimia, cobbled donkey tracks and ancient paths overgrown with wildflowers.
Meteora is hands down one of the most impressive regions in Greece! Located on the northern side of Greece, Meteora is included in the World Heritage List. Dotted with towering rocks, it boasts a breathtaking landscape, creating an otherworldly beautiful scenery! According to studies, these rocks were formed 60 million years ago, when weathering and earthquakes gave them their current shape.
The Mastihohoria, a collection of medieval villages in southern Chios with a history in controlling the production of mastic, a tree resin once worth its weight in gold, is a place to be for all the artisan lovers. The above led to a turbulent history rebuffing invaders and Arab pirates, which is reflected in the villages’ seclusion and fortified character, built out of sight from the sea and surrounded by high walls.
For foodies eating in Nafplio is really a journey in flavors, special ingredients and combinations that you would never expect to taste. The Peloponnesian city owes much of its current charm to hundreds of years of tug-of-war between conquerors, mainly Venetian and Ottoman, who all invested in the city’s walls, and its beauty. That’s why it is a dream destination for history buffs or lovers thanks to the above-mentioned Venetian legacy. But for those more interested in what’s for dinner than holding hands over the table, it is also a dream foodie destination.
Situated at an altitude of 1,200 meters in the very heart of the majestic mountain range of Pindos in Epirus, Metsovo is undoubtedly one of Greece’s more picturesque towns. The city was home to some of the country’s most skilled stonemasons who used the region’s rich natural resources to build gorgeous mansions, monasteries, fountains, and cobbled streets and squares, most of which remain untouched by time. Nearby mountain peaks, slopes and pristine forests offer an arresting sight to visitors, who can enjoy scenic hikes in the surrounding area. Despite the rapid increase in tourism in recent years, Metsovo still preserves its traditional character, perfectly combining the past with the present by offering a multitude of cultural and sport activities all year round.