Around the end of January 2017, we went on our first road trip (On The Road project) for the New Year. Our goal was to head north and discover the unique beauty of Northern (and Western) Greece, during wintertime. A country you can visit and admire all year round, which each season, can generously provide you with different images and feelings. With Athens as our starting point, we decided to visit Prespes, Kastoria and Zagorohoria.
On the first day, after having an in between rest stop at Meteora with their extraordinary presence and rocks hulking over and gazing at Mount Pindos, we reached Nimfaio, a village of unique beauty in the municipality of Florina. The snow-white drive from Domokos onwards presented us with a specifically wintery picture, yet so cozy after all.
On the second day, as we made our way through the mountains of Pisoderi, we arrived at the wonderful Prespes Lakes. The small one, completely frozen and the big one, wilder and in a deeper blue color. Nevertheless, the small lake is uniquely beautiful as she is frozen and crystallized, she offers an amazing spectacle. One short visit at Psarades village and we are off to Kastoria and an overnight stay at the traditional old center of Dolco. Through the whole night, the snowfall did its magic and covered the also frozen Orestiada with a pearl white veil. A one of a kind thing to witness, since the lake hadn’t gotten frozen in 2-3 years. Kastoria and her picturesque surroundings kept us company on our third day.
On day four, we headed towards Zagorohoria in Epirus, where for the next four days, with Papigko as our base, we wandered around Kapesovo, The Gardens, Zagori, Aristi, the Highlands and Lowlands, Vitsa and Vikos. A wonderful place of unique tradition.
We roughly covered around 1050 miles and we mostly drove on main road networks due to heavy snowfall and blocked provincial roads. The less interesting yet costly part of the journey was the drive from Athens to Lamia. The provincial areas in Northern Greece require attention when it comes to gas stations and refilling since many of them still do not accept POS payment appliances for credit cards.
Things that really stand out and you should try out, are Xinomavro wine from Florina, local beans in Prespes and Kastoria, Zitsa wine, homemade pies, dairy products and meat from Zagorohoria, as well as water from the springs in Vikos.
For further information, stay tuned for our articles about the road trip in Northern Greece in the next coming days.
Listen also to the playlist that we made about that wonderful winter Roadtrip. Enjoy!
*Special thanks to Volvo Cars Greece, for granting us the Volvo V60 Cross Country and making our trip more comfortable.