Wherever you are in Epirus, somewhere near you, there will be a “hidden” place that will surprise you with its beauty. One of them is the waterfall of Kouiassa in Tzoumerka and more specifically, five minutes before you reach the village of Kalarrites, after the metal bridge that crosses Kalarritikos river, you can park your car where there is and the sign that starts the path. The path from the main road to the waterfall is only 15 minutes. On your way you will find a watermill that works as a cafe next to the river. As soon as you reach the waterfall, the landscape will enchant you with its beauty, so it is a very good idea, if you are there in the summer, to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Kalarritikos river.
We are in the middle of the summer season in Greece, and this summer the temperatures are very high even for Greece. Having daily temperatures above 40 C, there are not many outdoor activities that we can enjoy, but we can certainly enjoy a lovely and easy hike to the breathtaking waterfall of Balta di Stringa.
Tymfi is a mountain in the northern Pindus mountain range, northwestern Greece. It is part of the regional unit of Ioannina and lies in the region of Zagori, just a few metres south of the 40° parallel. Tymfi forms a massif with its highest peak, Gamila, at 2,497 m (8,192 ft), being the sixth highest in Greece.
This is a short summary post with the highlights of the Thru-Hike of the northern side of mountain Tymfi. If you wish to see the individual posts which contain detailed information and more photos, you can click to the following links:
- Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 1 – Konitsa – Moni Stomiou – Sadi Migas
- Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 2 – Sadi Migas – Karteros Pass – Astraka Refuge
- Mount Tymfi (Pindos) North Side Thru-Hike Part 3 – Astraka Refuge – Davalista – Konitsa
There are a lot of mapped hiking routes at Tzoumerka, with special markings, both for advanced and beginners in hiking. A very easy hike is the one that starts from the Pramanta Mountain Refuge till Kefalovriso Waterfall. The waterfall of Kefalovriso, the highest of Greece (350 m.)
The official summer season is right in front of us, and in order to celebrate it, I decided to visit one of my favourite mountains of Greece, the Athamanika (or Tzoumerka).
The cycle of seasons at Tzoumerka (Athamanika) follows its own calm rhythms. Words such as awe and admiration are not enough to describe the splendor of the nature.
Here, time seems to hang still over the gorges, the vertical cliffs of the ravines and the snow-covered firs that climb the rocks up to the naked alpine zone. The abundant running water and impressive waterfalls justify the omnipresent dense flora and satisfy both the physical thirst as well as that of the sense of sight.
There are a lot of mapped hiking routes at Tzoumerka (Athamanika), with special markings, both for advanced and beginners in hiking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Geologically speaking, Methana 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 flows, but 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.