46 unique villages come together in a marvelous complex ready to fascinate your senses. In Papigo, one the numerous villages, let Mount Astraka take up the full spectrum of your vision and overwhelm you. Enter the magical nature of Zagori from Aristi village. Visiting the heart of Zagori, pass through Monodendri for spectacular views of the gorge of river Vikos. For times of inner peace and tranquility, the area of Ano Pedina should do the trick. Then again, there is always the area of Kipi, where time passes by in an even more tranquil way. All of them -separately and all together- a great destination for walks in nature and breathers of the freshest air.
Ano Pedina is of the most vivid village of this area. Up on the mountains of the region of Epirus in Northern Greece, the area attracts a good number of visitors and hence one will find various guest houses, tavernas and points of interest although this is not a destination touched by the commercialism of tourism. The village of Ano Pedina welcomes visitors, travelers and tourists alike in the best possible way but life in the village goes on even after the weekend, even when everybody has left and the locals get back to their habitudes. On your way there, the massive plain which spreads in front of your eyes might even make you forget for a while at what altitude you are actually ascending. The area will impose easily its own tempo, so take this as a valuable piece of advice...leave your laptop behind if you don’t want a hard time looking for an adsl connection, put your mobile phone on mute bacause you won’t have a good reception anyway and forget about what you do in the city because the closest example of what you know is called the town of Ioannina and it is at 35 km away from where you now are...
The village of Megalo Papigo (Large Papigo) is one of the most popular in the area regardless of its difficult accessibility of a 12 km twisty drive. But it is worth it...Let the bare rocky slopes of Mount Astraka take up the full spectrum of your vision and overwhelm you. Megalo Papigo may very well attract a lot of visitors in their jeeps for the weekends but the shadow of Astraka makes its point. A point understood by everyone.
At 2 km away, we come across Mikro Papigo (Small Papigo) where the setting is totally different. Take a walk in the morning rain. The village is disserted. Not a sound is heard. This is the last civilized area before the peak of the mountain, the last stop before lake Drakolimni, your last chance to weight your inner powers and feel ready and able for everything. Enter the magical nature of Zagori through Aristi village. Take a break when crossing over the little bridge and see the strengths of the river Voidomatis. Feel its frozen cold waters passing through your fingers at 6 degrees Celsius if not a lot lower.
The area of Zagorohoria has become one of the most popular and tourist destinations in Greece, especially for a short winter break. At times, I come to think of the important or the small things that each village in the area of Zagori has to say. All of them have indeed a lot of stories to tell, a lot of hidden secrets to share. If you are willing to get to the area’s tempo and listen...that would suffice.