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Walks

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Surrey
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20 posts
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Walks

Hi. We are a group of us going to Megalo Papingo area and was just wanting to organise perhaps a 3 hour walk. Where could I find out the information of where to walk and organise something for the group. Would we need a guide or are the walks easy to find??

Thanks

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Parga, Greece
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11. Re: Walks

Oops!!

Hit the wrong key, what I was going to say was that we were in the southern Tzoumerka on Sunday for some walking (trying to get the joints sorted out) and the area is definitely a must. It is very secluded with much of the old life still evident and thus far unaffected by the tourist industry but evidence that they are trying in this direction. It is certainly a place to practice the Greek and although there are some guest house on the internet (GTP site), in reality the accommodation is picking up a room where you can - when catting we were treated to a bit of hospitality for lunch and we are definitely taking a few days up here later this year.

The map which was left behind was one which was taken from the Epirus map box and never got packed in the car. Being away from home for 3½ months takes a bit of planning (gardening, mail and checking the house etc) and taking a large saloon car means we end up putting too much in of some things and leaving out some of the essentials. This situation is exacerbated by two of us doing the packing and the lists (yes, we are list people) getting passed from one to the other. The Anavasi map was not the only thing left behind this time but as a travelling friend of mine always said "pack half the clothes and twice the money and you won't have a problem" so with a bit cash we're sorted.

This spring we are taking some of our house guests and ex-pat friends up into the Zagori and Tzoumerka so that they may sample the delights of the region - we will also avail ourselves of Greek friends' offers to show us some of the hidden gems.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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12. Re: Walks

Tzoumerka in on the list. Along with far too many other places - too much Greece, not enough time!

Surrey
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13. Re: Walks

Good morning Tsipouro. I have another few questions if you don't mind. In your first message you mentioned a short walk from the vllage of Papingo where we would be staying to Astraka to see the views and walk back taking about 1.5 hrs. Is this a relatively easy walk??? The other question is do you know of any walks that incorporate a number of stone bridges?????? And just one other question...can you recommend a village to have lunch in??? Thank you.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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14. Re: Walks

I have never walked from Papingo - I just know there is a path up into the mountains leading to Astraka & the lake Drakolimni. Looking at the map going all the way to Astraka will take almost 3 hours & about 1000m of ascent, which is why I suggest you walk as far as you can in 1.5 hours & then turn back. Sorry I cannot be more specific on this - as said Papingo would not work for us as a base as we want a variety of daily walks & we prefer to be based around Vitsa or Kipi for more flexibility. So my knowledge is limited to visiting the villages to have lunch/drink/take photographs/explore the churches etc.

At Papingo you are already at a high point - bridges are to be found in the river valleys & at outskirts of villages where they are the old river crossings for kalderimi between villages before the roads were built. If you want an abundance of stone bridges the following walk will provide them, but will take more than 3 hours. We stay in Vitsa & take a whole day (7 - 8 hours), including plenty of photo stops, side-trips, a picnic lunch & a drink at a village taverna. You might do it in 4.5 - 5 hours if you keep moving.

Start from Vitsa & walk down the Skala Vitsa (stepped kalderimi) to the Misiou Bridge. Then follow a riverside path towards Kipi. You will pass Kokkaros Bridge from where you may be able to continue on a riverside path if water levels allow. As we are normally there in early May the river is always too high so we have to resort to the road to the outskirts of Kipi, with a side trip to the tiny church of Ag Paraskevi & then another one to the three arched Plakidas (or Kalogeri) Bridge. On the outskirts of Kipi you reach Kontodimos Bridge from where a path climbs steeply up to Koukouli Village (interesting church, cobbled streets, welcoming taverna). This village looks across to Vitsa, but the return means a steep drop back down to the Misiou Bridge & then the climb back up the Skala Vitsa. If between you you have more than one car you could make this a shorter linear walk from Vitsa to Kipi by shuttling your transport. You will also have to allow for travel from Papingo to/from Vitsa.

You really need to get hold of the Anavasi map for this & assess whether your group all walk at a similar pace or it could take a very long time. But you will certainly see some of the best bridges!

Cannot recommend specific lunch stops but the bigger villages like Kipi, Tsepelovo, Dilofo & Monodendri as well as the Papingo villages will generally have a choice of tavernas open.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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15. Re: Walks

Just a thought - if you started from Kipi & went to Koukouli, then Misiou & then back along the river you could leave out the Skala Vitsa that we walk at both ends of the walk & probably do this circuit it in around 3.5 - 4 hours. But don't underestimate the time it takes when walking unfamiliar paths - there are few signposts & you need to study the map/terrain to understand where you are going. The path up to Koukouli was very indistinct last year, but you basically keep heading uphill until you reach the road into the village. The path back to Misiou leads off the road at the other side of the village.

Surrey
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16. Re: Walks

Thank you that is a great help. I was a bit concerned about any of the walks being too steep and difficult as one member of our party has had a knee op. a whle ago now albeit, but would not like to put any pressure on him. Thanks once again for the very helpful information and if you do thiink of any relatively easy walks (and impossible to get lost!!!) in the area please let me know. I am talking between 2-3 hours probably.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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17. Re: Walks

The Aoos River to Stomiou would be least likely to cause issues for someone with a previously dodgy knee. There are a few ups & downs as the path diverts from right alongside the river, but the only serious uphill is the last pull up to the monastery, which you can take very slow as it's not far. I have iffy knees & find going downhill can cause more discomfort. Zagori is full of steep hills - not a lot of options for those unfit or unaccustomed to walking such terrain. I'm sure you'll enjoy the area whatever you do.

It's really a matter of time - it seems you don't have enough! The flattest walk I can recall is from Vradheto village (accessed by a very winding road from beyond Kipi) out to Beloi Lookout which has an awsome view along the Vikos Gorge. The actual walk is across a flattish plateau, with green vegetation & wild flowers in spring. About 1.5 hours return from/to the village, but quite a drive from Papingo before you start walking.

Surrey
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18. Re: Walks

Hiya just wanted to update you on our 2 night stay in Zagoria after you had been so helpful in sorting out walks for us. The first day we did as you suggested, the Stomiou Monastry walk which was wonderful and we eat our picnic by the spring. we were very lucky that a Monk came out and invited us in to have a look around and wow..what views!!!! We then went on to our hotel which was Papaevangelou Hotel in Megalo Papinko. We had a wonderful 2 night stay here and the owner was just so helpful, friendly and polite ... that we really felt it was home from home. We would thoroughly recommend to anyone. On our second day we went water rafting on the River Voidamatis which was FANTASTIC!!!! We were shocked at how safety conscious the company Rafting Athletics Centre in Artisti were. Our guide was Theo who had a brilliant sense of humour and made us laugh throughout our trip.It was incredibly reasonable and we got a video and pictures that he was continuously snapping to take home with us. On our last day as we were leaving the area we did a walk of the bridges from the Kipi area which again was fabulous. You were right - the area... is addictive and we will be back!!We are so pleased we chose to stay in Megalo Papingko as despite the windy roads .....we absolutely loved it. Thanks for all your help.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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13,342 posts
22 reviews
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19. Re: Walks

Glad you had such a good time. And much appreciated that you reported back as this info will no doubt be useful to future travellers. It is a gorgeous area so if you return one day will be very happy to make futher suggestions.

There are some wonderful places beyond Kipi around the back of the mountains. And do put Skala Vradheto & Beloi & Oxia Lookouts on your "to do" list.

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