With towering mountains and charming villages, the Zagori region in northwestern Greece is a paradise for hikers, Catherine Fairweather said in FT. Particularly “haunting” in winter, it is covered in dense forests that are home to wild boars, wolves and bears, and through its heart is the breathtaking Vikos Gorge. Cobbled mule path, or kalderimia, which runs between its villages, where the splendid residences of merchants were mostly built, along with 64 of the area’s stone bridges, in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the area became rich from trade (Napoléon’s sailors at Trafalgar are said to have worn robes woven from the wool of Zagori sheep).
From the airport at Thessaloniki, it’s just a three-hour drive from Mount Olympus, the village of Aristi and the cozy Aristi Mountain Resort hotel. The sense of isolation is heightened as the road winds through waterfalls and ruined houses to the village’s main square, home to the En Aristi pub, which serves regional cuisine under the shade of giant airplane trees. giant. Spread over several traditional houses, the hotel features a spa and indoor pool, and each room has its own wood-burning stove and “rosemary-lined” front door, stepping out of it each morning is like stepping into “the landscape.” in dream”. A path leads out onto a desolate hillside, past the 17th-century monastery of Spiliotissa, down to the crystalline waters and white beaches of the Voidomatis River.
One of the best hikes runs through the deciduous forest of Vikos Gorge. In the “green, quiet world” within it is the Voidomatis spring, a wonderful place to rest. Lichens “hang like bracelets from the branches of a buffalo horn,” moss covers the rocks, and the mineral pools’ water is pure enough to drink and great for swimming.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/955422/zagori-hiking-paradise-greece Zagori: a hiking paradise in Northwestern Greece