During the first days of our mountain holiday in Zagori, we visited the mountains and the spectacular gorge that I wrote about in a previous post. In earlier brief history, I mentioned that there are also 46 old villages built of stone – now it’s time to visit some of them! These days there are less than 4000 inhabitants in the area. In the heyday, the number was many times that. Fortunately, travellers interested in nature, hiking, biking, horse riding, canoeing, climbing and other outdoor activities are beginning to find their way here, as well as those who are into history, architecture and stone construction. And for people who just love rocks – we happen to have those among our friends – it’s an endless goldmine.
If you travel to a mountainous area, the first thing you naturally want to see there are the mountains! We found the Zagori area in northwestern Greece to be a true treasure trove of many other things as well – such as distinctive culture, history, stone villages and bridges, rich flora and fauna and all sorts of strange and wonderful things – but the mountains would be a good starting point. And those gorges and mountains are really the reason why the history and culture of Zagori turned out the way it did. Also, you can see very far from high places and easily form a general idea of the area.
Every once in a while it feels good to take a break from boat life – to travel along roads, live in a house that sits firmly on the ground, sleep in a bed that doesn’t rock from side to side. Before Christmas, we decided to run away from the marina for a week, and headed to a region very different from the usual “Greek Holiday Destination”. Clearly, these few months that we have spent in Greece is just scratching the surface: this country has so many facets and so many stories hidden amongst its thousands of years of history. This blog post is not about sailing or the sea, this time we escape into the mountains!