When visiting this area you have to tune in with the rhythms of this particular place and enjoy a fascinating journey into history and tradition. Zagori means absolute harmony between man and nature with an architecture embedded in nature in a way that not only does not violate it, but it highlights its majestic beauty and uniqueness.
Some of the most beautiful villages to visit are located in central Zagori, near the famous resorts of Monodendri and Tsepelovo, while Ioannina is at 40 km.
Dilofo : The road stops at the entrance of the settlement and the visit continues on foot. Climb the central cobbled streets towards the square where the well-preserved church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary dominates, wander through the picturesque streets and you will be impressed with the imposing buildings. The schools, the churches and the mansions emanate a ubiquitous timeless nobility.
Koukouli: This traditional village has its own rhythm and enjoys a kind of “tourist immunity”. Like the rest of the region, Koukouli enjoyed great prosperity from the 18th to the middle of the 19th century. In the center of the village stands the church of Agios Minas the Egyptian, built in 1778. Today the old school’s building with its arches, its fountains, as well as the mansions of Plakidas, Kokoros and Anastasiades, stand out with their peculiar architecture and marvelous interior decoration.
Kipi (Gardens): A little further south of Koukouli you find Kipi, an important village, since the 15th century, which is built amphitheatrically over the lush Bagiotiko River. It has a remarkable infrastructure and can easily be reached via an asphalt road. However if you want to visit those neighborhoods that are on an altitude, you have to walk uphill through beautiful paths.
What to See: Most visitors follow the route leading to the villages of Vitsa and Monodendri – two of the most popular destinations – and “Oxia” which has the most breathtaking view of the Vikos gorge.
There are also several bridges worth visiting while in the area, like the large single-bridge of “Noutsos” or “Kokkoros”, located on the road to Tsepelovo, near the crossroads towards Kipi.
Via an enchanting mountain route that passes through the Tsepelovo mansion and Skamneli, you arrive at the site of Gyftokampos where an open-air “museum” with typical Sarakatsani huts and animal enclosures has been built. The area is used for an annual Sarakatsani festival in the first week of August.