Hiking in Zagori – Villages and Stone Bridges – Greece (family friendly)

Having completed one of the most exciting trekking trips in Tymfi, we decided to explore a bit further the area and specifically the Zagori villages.

Zagori, is a region and a municipality in the Pindus mountains in Epirus, in northwestern Greece. The seat of the municipality is the village Asprangeloi. It has an area of some 1,000 square kilometers and contains 46 villages known as Zagori villages (or Zagorochoria or Zagorohoria), and is in the shape of an upturned equilateral triangle. Ioannina, the provincial capital, is at the southern point of the triangle, while the south-western side is formed by Mount Mitsikeli (1,810m). The Aoos river running north of Mt Tymfi forms the northern boundary, while the south-eastern side runs along the Varda river to Mount Mavrovouni (2,100m) near Metsovo.

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Kalogeriko Bridge

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Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 3 – Astraka Refuge – Davalista – Konitsa

The third day of this amazing thru-hike, started after a good sleep and rest in the mountain refuge of Astraka. Although, day one and day two we had to carry a heavy load, we were very excited to carry on with our adventure and exploration of Mt. Tymfi.

For this third and last day on the mountain, we had as first goal to go through the Davalista pass which is located NW from the Astraka refuge, and as a final destination to get back to Konitsa where we had parked our car.

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Astraka peak – What a lovely morning view from the refuge

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Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 2 – Sadi Migas – Karteros Pass – Astraka Refuge

Following a rather good night of sleep in the “secret” log cabin, we woke up with a unique and mesmerising morning view. The early morning sun beams were gently hitting the high peaks of Mt. Tymfi and specifically Gamila peak. The contrast of the rock and the clear blue sky was great and there was clearly visible a line, which happens to be one of the most repeated trad-climbing routes of Gamila, Tsekouri.

Although this second day we had to cover quite some distance and to climb up Karteros’ pass, we took it rather easy with our breakfast. We enjoyed our morning coffee and talked about past mountaineering activities and climbing routes. 

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Our morning view from the log cabin

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Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 1 – Konitsa – Moni Stomiou – Sadi Migas

Few years ago, I have visited the magnificent Mt. Tymfi from the south side and I was amazed by the beautiful landscape, villages and hiking routes had to offer. The past winter, Greece was under strict lockdown and it was rather difficult -and illegal- to visit Mt. Tymfi from another area. Though, nowadays, it is possible again to travel within Greece and therefore we have decided to visit again this magnificent mountain, but this time to reach the high peaks via the north side hiking routes.

Specifically, we decided to start from Konitsa, then hike towards Moni Panagias Stomiou, Sadi Mygas, Karteros Pass,  Loutsa Robozi, Xeroloutsa Tsoumani, Astraka Refuge, Davalista and return back to Konitsa.

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Hiking at Methana Volcano – Greece (family friendly)

Last few months, I was mainly focused on sport climbing and mountaineering routes, though, finally once again I hit the trail for a great hike to the Methana Volcano.

Geologically speakingMethana is a very interesting region: a long time ago, it was very volcanic and nowadays, it counts  no less than 32 ancient craters. One can also see some ancient lava flowsbut it is the volcano located in the north-west, not far from the village of Kameni Chora (burned village), that is the most spectacular witness of this volcanic past – over here, one can really imagine oneself in a  true landscape of volcanoes.

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Trail indication

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Souzaki Mouzaki V- UIAA 50 m. | Trad Climbing in Kouverta Beach – Ermioni

It has been about a month since our last trad climbing adventure and this time we have decided to go to explore one more easy going and hassle free ridge.
 
Our previous climbing adventure, took place to the magnificent Thermisia Lagoon, and this time, again we climbed next to the seaside, though at a beautiful beach near Ermioni, named Kouverta.
 
This ridge was spotted quite some time ago, during our last visit to the region, and this time we decided to go to explore and eventually to climb it. And this is what we have actually done.
 
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View towards Kouverta beach

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Climbing in Charamos Crag – Kandia – Argolis, Greece

The last few years, and mainly in the last decade Climbing and specifically Sport Climbing has gone from niche sport to worldwide sensation, and here in Greece this is the rule too. As a result, more and more new climbing crags have been spring up like mushrooms all over mainland Greece, in the Greek islands (ex. Kalymnos), but especially in Peloponnese many new climbing areas have been established. For example in Peloponnese one can climb in Corinth, in Leonidio, in Ermionida, in Nafplio in Asini and from now near Kandia too.

Charamos Crag was spotted by S. Konstadakopoulos, who proceeded to bolt most of the routes on the left side of the rock face. C. Rigas was also invited and bolted several routes, focusing on the right portion of the crag, while E. Chroni, among others, contributed with cleaning some routes and generally supporting the bolting process. Most of the routes are quite demanding and on the upper scale of the climbing grades.

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View from the parking spot

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Lizard V UIAA 90 m. | Trad Climbing on top of Thermisia Lagoon

Due to the fact in Greece there is a national lockdown (covid-19), the opportunities to visit high mountains are very limited and therefore the past 6 months we did not have the chance to go for any winter mountaineering activity. Though, our passion and pleasure for outdoor activities, lead us to explore previous unexplored areas, and this is what we have done this time.

In the Argolis region, there is a magnificent Biotope with the name Thermisia Lagoon. Thermisia lagoon is an important habitat of rare migratory birds. It is a serene and unique lagoon surrounded by a breathtaking landscape.

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Thermisia Lagoon and Gulf of Hydra

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Black Diamond Hotwire Quickdraw Review

quickdraw (also known as an extender) is a piece of climbing equipment used by rock and ice climbers to allow the climbing rope to run freely through bolt anchors or other protection while leading. The straight gate carabiner is clipped to the protection; a bent gate is used for the rope. Quickdraws are manufactured with either a solid carabiner gate or a wire carabiner gate for its lighter weight.

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Black Diamond HotWire Quickdraws

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A Trad Climbing Guidebook of Profitis Elias – Asini, Argolis (Greece)

In the past years we have been climbing in various areas, mountains and crags and therefore we gained experience in the various forms of climbing. With this post, we would like to share with you a free climbing guidebook from the first established routes in Profitis Elias of Asini, which is located nearby Nafplio.

The rock climbing around Argolis region is all on excellent solid grey limestone. The majority of the routes are single pitch sport climbing routes, though there are some trad climbing routes as well. The Argolis area claims to receive over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and is a popular holiday destination.  It also means that it is possible to rock climb virtually all year round in the Argolis region.

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