Christmas in fairytale destinations

1. Nymphaeus, Florina

In the thought of destinations endowed by nature in all its magnificence, surely, this stately village occupies a place, being perched at 1,350 meters with a fantastic scenery “hugging” it, captivating every visitor. Stone-paved paths, a beech forest, an arched wooden bridge, stone houses and a picturesque cobbled square are just some of the “gems” it hides.

2. Pertouli, Trikala

A place unscathed by time, which looks like it has come out of a fairy tale. The tourist resort of Trikala, close to the Ski Center, resembles an alpine landscape, since it is monopolized by fir trees, reaching 1,100 meters. Traditional mansions, stone fountains, cobbled uphill alleys characterize the sparsely populated village today, which maintains its picturesque identity. Between Pertouli and Neraidochori flows the ‘Rema tis Manas’, the waters of which flow into Aspropotamos. Going down to the lower neighborhood of Pertouli you will have the opportunity to admire this river.

3. Tsagarada, Pelion

Where nature rages, with a view of the Aegean and a stone-built character, this village takes your breath away. Even in winter, its beauty remains rare and unrivaled, a fact that you will see by taking your tour among its mansions, cobblestones and picturesque paths. In the square of Agia Paraskevi you will see a huge plane tree, one of the oldest trees in Europe, whose age reaches 1000 years.

4. Stemnitsa, Arcadia

Built on Mainalos, at an altitude of 1080 meters, this traditional settlement resembles a painting canvas. The village is “nestled” in a wild, unspoiled nature, in a dense, green forest with firs, plane trees, chestnuts and acacias. Its incomparable beauty is composed, among other things, by the imposing tower houses with arched lintels, the stone cobblestones, the walnut and cherry trees, the fountains in the shade of centuries-old plane trees and the lively square. While you are in the area, do not miss visiting the Lousios gorge, the fir forest of Mainalos, the monasteries of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, the Holy Monastery Panagia Filosofou and the Holy Monastery Zoodochos Pigi.

5. Syraco, Ioannina

At 1,150 meters, built on a steep slope of Mount Lakmos, perched on the rocks, Sirrako preserves the traditional continental architecture, being an ornament for Tzoumerka. Stone-built houses and picturesque paths surround it, while the whole landscape is in perfect harmony.

6. Agoriani, Parnassos

Also known as Eptalofos, on the northeastern slopes of Parnassos, at a distance of 15 kilometers from the ski slopes, it is the ultimate winter destination. Fir forests, stone paths, 19th century churches, a paved square with plane trees, a waterfall and running water, everything is ready to seduce you into the spirit of the time.

7. Vitsa, Zagori

Another mountain settlement in the northern part of the prefecture of Ioannina, in Central Zagori, at the entrance of the Vikos gorge. It is a residential complex with a special beauty. Vitsa is built amphitheatrically in a green area, while, approaching the settlement you can enjoy the view of the stone-built houses hanging on the slope. It stands out for the unity of its stone-built houses, churches, streets and squares.

8. Voras Kaimaktsalan, Pella

Mount Voras or Kaimaktsalan, the third highest mountain in Greece, reaching up to 2,524 meters, is covered by densely wooded valleys and forests of oak, beech and pine. If you are looking for a white and dreamy setting for your winter holidays, this is the best choice.

9. Valia Kalda

Between the prefectures of Ioannina and Grevena lies this beautiful, but at the same time inaccessible valley, in one of the most pristine forests of Greece, in Northern Pindos. Around it rise the mountains Lygos and Mavrovouni. It is an ecosystem of rare beauty, surrounded by peaks of Pindos, forests and running waters. Walking among the hiking trails, only two senses will be activated as you close your eyes, hearing and smell. The songs of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, the smell of the trees, all will take you on a journey and rejuvenate you.

10. Meteora, Trikala

In central Greece, in the northwestern part of Thessaly, there is a holy place, a monument of Orthodoxy, which leaves every visitor speechless and shocked. The gateway town to Meteora is Kalambaka, which is worth a visit. The magnificence of this gigantic stone complex and the monasteries on the edges of the rocks give the area its uniqueness. It is a masterpiece of nature, a geological phenomenon unique in the world, whose scenery, especially in winter, seems magical.

11. Litochoro, Pieria

In Pieria, at the eastern ends of Mount Olympus, you will find the “road” to the abode of the gods. Litochoro, built at the foot of Olympus, in all seasons of the year confirms that nature is the best artist. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the town squares, the picturesque neighborhoods and the alleys with the traditional houses. Descend to the water mill, “Lakko” according to the locals, which is crossed by the Enipeas. Litochoro, reminiscent of a Swiss village, will undoubtedly seduce you. Nearby you will find beaches such as Variko, Gritsa and Plaka, with a view of the endless sea of Thermaikos on one side and Mount Olympus on the other.

12. Agios Lavrentios, Pelion

This historic and picturesque village is located just 20 kilometers from Volos. The central square of Agios Lavrentios gazes at the wonderful view towards the mountains. At the end of the 14th century, an Agioreite monk, Lavrentios, built his monastery, which to this day is the best-known attraction of the village, giving his name to the small settlement that gradually began to develop. The more affluent inhabitants of the village built imposing mansions that housed the great celebrations and events of the place, which you will see in various parts of the settlement, as you walk up the cobbled streets, to admire the wonderful view. Together with the cobbled central square and the historic fountains that dominate the village, they make up a place that is authentic and unaltered. Around the village, a dense forest with chestnuts, beeches and olives, a landscape of absolute tranquility and peace.

13. Papigo

The most famous village of Zagorochoria, built on the slope of Tymfi, reaching 960 meters, is 60 kilometers from the capital of Epirus, Ioannina. It is a mountain village consisting of two districts, Megalo and Mikro Papigo. Abundant nature surrounds the village, which contributes to its uniqueness. It is located within the Pindos National Forest, Valia Kalda. which includes the gorge of Vikos as well as the ravine of Aoos. Near Papigo is also the river Voidomatis, which originates between Papigo and the village of Vikos and with its icy waters feeds the gorge of the same name. The Towers of Astraka are the ones that will catch your eye, five huge rocks that tower over the small Papigo. The highest of the five towers reaches 1,788 meters. While in the area, you will have the opportunity to tour the mythical alpine lake accessed from Papigo, Drakolimni of Tymfi (or Gamila). Also, the Continental architecture is remarkable with the stone houses that are in perfect harmony with the rocky environment.

14. Tsepelovo, Ioannina

Built on the slopes of Kazarmas (peak of Tymfi), at a distance of about 50 kilometers from the city of Ioannina, the “jewel” of Zagori has traditional, continental architecture. Surrendered to the unpretentious beauty of Tymfi, this stately village has a distinct image, which is composed of the cobbled square with the plane trees, the picturesque cobblestones, the bridges, the stone-built houses and the mansions. The church of Agios Nikolaos is also characteristic, which is worth visiting, while in the wider area of Tsepelovo you will spot the imposing ravine of Rogovou.


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