Holidays in Tzoumerka
Noted as two of the most virgin tourist sites in Greece, Syrrako and Kalarrites, two quaint villages in Tzoumerka (Greek Mainland) offering a wide range of outdoor activities, and from various accommodation options to exciting culinary choices, are the best alternatives for your next trip. Nestled far away from the bustling destinations of the country, preserved almost to the point of being an open-air museum for Balkan Vlach traditions, there is no doubt why this duo of villages is regarded as an ideal spot for those seeking serenity. While far away from the Greek seaside, perched on high mountain slopes the stone-built hamlets boast some pretty comfy temps during the summertime and recommend wild swimming in rivers by escaping the crowds.
Being an absolute Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, in the Epirus region you are spoilt for choice between hiking one of the innumerable hiking trails, experience trout fishing, mountain biking, off-roading, rafting and kayaking in Arachthos river, as well as canyoning the impressive Paradise Gate Pyli Paradeisou or Stavraetos gorge (known also as Bozia). If not in the mood for embracing the outdoors, however, you can discover the many local attractions.
Between the cobblestone neighborhoods of Syrrako, the visitor cannot miss the daunting church of Agios Nikolaos, the old three-storey school, Kostas Krystalli's maison and the Folklore Museum of Ermineia Fotiadou. On the other hand, in Kalarrites (with the many natural springs) one can visit the Goldsmithery and Silver Museum and the Historical-Folklore collection of Aggela Gkolfinopoulou – bearing a resemblance to a traditional household, stopover the chapels of Agios Nikolaos and Agia Triada, and take a break at the 5th generation traditional coffee-shop (kafeneio) of "Akanthos" which has ceaselessly operating since 1840.
Just about the two remote villages, the visitor comes across some incredible religious monuments, like the Kipina Monastery hooked on a steep rock and the Vyliza Monastery (both accessible through walking trails). To add to the above, one can go see the bridge of Kouiasa and the bridge of Plaka, which is the largest single-bay viaduct in the Balkans and considered to be the 3rd largest in Europe, the cave of Anemotrypa, and other ecological and historic enticements.
Holidays in Syrrako and Kalarrites is a peaceful getaway, perfect for those who want to hide out in a lush countryside, made for travelers interested in taking in Greece's rich Nature without the salty feel of Greek islands.
where to stay
Accommodation options are not limited to the two village communities, as the visitor can choose to stay at one of the nearby settlements (in Pramanta, the “capital” of the villages, in Melisourgoi, in Prosilio, in Kalentzi, in Petrovouni, in Michalitsi, in Plaisia, in Kostitsi and Monolithi), and at the same time there are two Mountain refuges (Pramanta, Melisourgoi).
what to taste
At the traditional cafes, guests can enjoy enjoy their coffee and homemade spoon sweets, and at the same time in local taverns and you can taste the area’s culinary specialties, including tsipouro (local brandy). Visitors yet have not plenty of options when it comes to nightlife, but they can also sit back and enjoy a drink at one of the relaxing shops in the picturesque village of Pramanta.