Karpenissi is the capital of the county of Evritania and you are almost in the center of Greece. It is surrounded by fir peaks and the wider area is the most densely populated area in the country.
Just about 300 kilometers away from Athens with the good road network and access is one of the favorite destinations not only for nature lovers. Here you will walk in gorges and ridges, you will swim in rivers and lakes. You will have amazing food and drink your coffee on a paved square beneath a plane tree. In the evening you will gaze at the starry sky and the peaks of Kaliakouda and Timfristos, listening to the running waters welcoming you to a two-day relaxation.
It is a magical place, not only with its mountain, but also with the villages and generally the whole nearby area here. Do not miss the chance to visit the Prouso monastery to discover its history, the villages of Krikelos and Koryschades but also the Torno, the Big and the Small Village, Fidakia,Chelidonas and the Gavro. If you have just two days to enjoy it, make a small schedule to discover some of the most important pieces of the area.
One of the most beautiful villages in central Greece with paved alleys, old stone mansions, blooming courtyards, well-preserved houses. The above combined with the picturesque square with the imposing church of the Birth of the Virgin compose the image of the preserved settlement that is built at an altitude of 1000 meters. A scenery of unique beauty, within walking distance from the village of Fidakia, lies the area of Tsagaralona. Here you will gaze at Lake Kremasta and you will have a picnic at the stone tables and seats that have been made by locals. There is also a source of running water to cool you off.
The largest artificial lake in Greece and the cleanest in Europe. Here the waters of the rivers Trikeliotes, Tavropos and Acheloos are gathered. What characterizes the place is the one-arch bridge of Tatarna and the bridge of Episkopi leading to the homonymous monastery. The most beautiful part of the lake is the beach that is created in its south-eastern part. Plateau and bay with shallow clear waters ideal for enjoying a dive in the summer or for picnics with your friends.
Village with a long history as the first National Assembly of Greece was established here. For some people, it is one of the most beautiful villages of the area thanks to its stone buildings. At an altitude of 994 meters, just a few kilometers from Karpenissi.
One of the most beautiful villages in the area and perhaps the most beautiful route of the area, the road that connects the village with Karpenissi. It is among the most mountainous villages of Greek mainland and stands out for its paved square. Great choice for a trip especially if combined with food at one of the taverns.
Monastery of Prousos
Prousos Monastery is located 31 kilometers from Karpenissi and 2 kilometers from the homonymous village. The name of the monastery is due to the icon of "Panagia Proousiotissa". This particular image originates from Bosphorus of Asia Minor and was found in Sterea Hellas to be protected by the Byzantine emperor, Theophilus (829-842), who was iconoclastic. It is connected with many stories and miracles. The most amazing thing about the monastery is its location and the way the old monastery is built, literally inside the rock.
Megalo Panta Vrechei
The most famous and unique gorge in the area. Its name comes from the running waters of the springs above the the on its longest route, giving it a sense of constant rain. It is not always easy to reach, as the height of water in the river plays an important role. Usually, late May to mid-October is the best time of the year with easy access and you will need to spend almost the whole day to enjoy it.
Necessary equipment: swimsuits, second clothes, water, backpack, walking shoes, preferably waterproof ones.
Mikro Panta Vrechei
Equally beautiful canyon but smaller and less well-known in the village of Tornos. A 35-minute hiking trail starting from the church of Agia Triada in the mainland and of Tornos. It has also taken its name from the waters running from the springs that are above the route, a phenomenon that happens all year round.
Apart from the hiking in the Megalo and Mikro Panta Vrechei, the area has other hiking routes either along the river, in the gorge like the Black Cave (easy route and short, perfect for beginners), as well as trekking routes to the surrounding peaks. There is a nice route to the Temple of Thofristos (Velouchi) and the alpine lake "Drakolimni". Hiking trails for all tastes. You will also be able to ride, cycle and raft.
At the Mesostrati tavern, before Megalo Chorio on the left. Amazing food and traditional cuisine. At Choriatiko, in Mikro Chorio for grilled meat and at the "Ilaris", in Karpenissi for tsipouro and appetizers. If the road takes you to Krikelo, do not forget to have coffee at Voula and Nikos’ Matzato, and if you want to dine choose the amazing tavern "Antigoni".
The area around Karpenissi is famous for its herbs, dairy and cheese products and good food. The inhabitants love and care for their place and he, in turn, rewards them. Do not forget to try handmade jams from the cooperative, mainly from berries and blackberries. Sweet jam, cherry, cherry, quince, walnut, sting and chestnut. Liqueur of berries and chestnut.The most fragrant infusions grow up In the mountains of Evritania. Take along leaving lemon balm, lime, mountain tea, oregano and lavender and of course local aromatic honey. Do not forget to try authentic local dairy products, tsalafouti and goat butter. The perfect combination of dairy products and the famous meat sausages in the area. Prochiouto of Evritania (Prousou) and of course Stuffed sausages, a perfect combination to accompany your wine or the tsipouro made with love in the area.
The area has many choices for accommodation, from traditional guesthouses and wooden houses to boutique and luxury hotels. Most of them with a lovely breakfast with traditional products of the area and spectacular views. For the mountain and hiking lovers, there is also the possibility of staying at the Velouchi Shelter upon request and at a cost of 13 euros per person.
We chose to stay at Hotel Oniropetra just a few meters from the entrance to Karpenissi (from Lamia). A boutique hotel with amazing breakfast and great views to the top of Tymfristos - Velouchi. One of the reasons that distinguish this hotel is its hospitable and kind staff and its spacious rooms A large glass window gives you the absolute view of the mountain from the large living room, so even on the worst days, you want to stay there with a cup of coffee and watch the view. The rooms are also spacious and always in absolute cleanliness beside the small brook with the plane trees to welcome you with the sounds of nature. Finally, what adds to this magic is the two sauna rooms next to the stream.
We really liked
Although Karpenissi is not the most beautiful village in Greece, however, it is fortunate to be in one of its most beautiful spots. It is literally in the center of many excursions and options, all of which are about 50 minutes away. Krykello on one hand and Panta Vrehei, Fidakia on the other and Lake Kremaston, Proussos to the west. All of them, great choices. Wonderful destinations for nature lovers and mountain fans with a very easy and comfortable road network to get there from both Lamia and Agrinio. Perfect weekend destination throughout the year with plenty of activity choices.
* Do not miss (if weather permitting) to dive into the river that leads to Lake Kremasta, the beach of the locals.