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Tzoumerka: The most wild and imposing ridge of Pindos

Tzoumerka


Tzoumerka is a area of imposing beauty, a natural setting where the mountains coexist in harmony with the verdant vegetation and all forms of water.

Surrender to the embrace of the colours and the fragrant smells of nature, enjoy the sunrise from the mountain peaks of Tzoumerka, savour the warm hospitality of the country people of Epirus. Live a new experience in a place unspoiled by tourism which remains authentic and picturesque…

In the wider area of Tzoumerka you can discover little picturesque villages with particular beauty, rich tradition and long history.

Tzoumerka Map

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SYRRAKO
A settlement of great beauty with rich cultural tradition, built at an elevation of 1200m only 52 km from the city of Ioannina. The name Syrrako was probably derived from the word “Serakou” meaning an infertile, arid place. Stone-built traditional bridges, stone-paved little streets, impressive stately homes, arches and vaults, reconstructed guesthouses, traditional picturesque taverns and stone-built fountains are some of the characteristics of Syrrako.

This historic village of Pindos is the birthplace of distinguished men (the first parliamentary Prime Minister of Greece I. Kolettis and the poets G. Zalokostas and K. Krystallis) and it is built in a natural setting of extreme and rare beauty. The red rock, upon which Syrrako is built, looks as if cut by a giant knife and it is defined on one side by two large and deep river beds in the southern end of Lakmos mountain, Valea Mare and Grouna Mare, and, on the other side, by the fabled Chroussias river having its sources high on the mountain peaks. Syrrako is an ideal destination for visitors looking for absolute relaxation and rejuvenation of mind and body.

KALARRYTES
The village is built at an elevation of 1200m and it is known as the “gem” or the “eagle’s nest” of Epirus. It has been officially characterized as a traditional settlement. The village used to be the centre of traditional processing of gold and silver. The distinguished goldsmithing businessmen families of Voulgari and Nessis come from Kalarrytes.

VOURGARELI
It is amphitheatrically built at an elevation of 750m below the peaks of the Eastern Tzoumerka mountains. The village is the seat of the Municipality of Athamania . The general picture of the village is composed by houses with roofs of ceramic and stone tiles, stone-built fountains and arched bridges in a verdant setting.

ATHAMANIO
It is amphitheatrically built at an elevation of 760m and it has a leading position among the villages of the Municipality of Athamania. The village is characterized by houses with neat yards and vine-arbours, verdant fir-tree forests on the surrounding mountain sides, stone-built bridges and an impressive panoramic view.

THEODORIANA
The village is located on the south-eastern side of Tzoumerka mountains at an elevation of 950m surrounded by fir-tree forests. The name of the village stems from the name of the ancient Athamanian town “Theodoria” as the findings at the location “Selio” indicate.

MESSOUNTA
It is built at an elevation of 700m surrounded by a fir-tree forest. Below the village flows the river Acheloos.

KYPSELI
It is built at an elevation of 650m between the peaks “Tzouma” and “Ftelias” of the Tzoumerka mountains. The picturesque setting of the village is composed by watermills, fountains, bridges built with the local black stone, picturesque houses with traditional, folklore and architectural elements which stand unaffected by time.

AGNANTA
It is built at an elevation of 650-700m while its highest districts, at the base of Tzoumerka mountains, are almost at an elevation of 1000 m. Rich vegetation with fir and pine-tree forests, verdant hills surrounding the village and a rich variety of tones of green are some of the characteristics of the village.

KATARRAKTIS
It is a village with abundance of spring water, built at an elevation of 800 m. A little higher than the village flows the famous twin cataract, with a height of 90m (its water flows almost all year round except for the July-September period).

PLAKA BRIDGE
Plaka is a pretty village, built next to the bridge bearing the same name, on a piece of land bounded by the river Arachthos and its contributory Raftanitis river.

RODAVGI
On of the most picturesque mountain villages of the prefecture of Arta, built on the eastern foothills of Xirovounio mountain with abundant spring waters, a great variety of vegetation and quite a few points of interest.

In the area of Tzoumerka you can also visit the villages:
Distrato (with the Agricultural Museum at Perama and the Tzamakios Library)
Kato Kalentini (with the Holy Church of Agios Georgios (St. George), built in 1850, at the location Palaiochori)
Trapezaki (with the historical monument of the Elementary School and the Monument of National Resistance against the German occupation).
Skoupa (with the Tzari Bridge and the location “Stefani tou Christophorou” (Saint Christopher’s wreath)
– The villages Kalentzi, Plaka, Korytiani, Pigadia, Aetorraxi, Helleniko, belonging to the “Katsanochoria” group of villages.

Tzoumerka Attractions

SYRRAKO
– The Church of Agios Nikolaos, (St. Nicholas) patron saint of the village. It is an imposing, stone-built church, one of the oldest buildings of the village and the biggest one in volume.
– The House-Museum of poet K. Krystallis.
– The monastery of Ai Lias (Prophet Elias), with a splendid view.
– The folklore museum of Erminia Fotiadou, where you can find out how the people of Syrrako used to live more than a century ago.
– The fountain Goura, the centrally located multi-spout fountain, the most admired architectural creation in Syrrako. It is built in square shape and it has large and tall arches on its three sides. On the arches is based an impressive dome, carved with unique workmanship and skill. At its base, cool water flows from three stone spouts.
– The Kontol(ou) fountain, the one with the most abundant water in Syrrako. The old fountain of Psallidas, and the fountains Tsakiri, Samarias, Tsiokou, Mpozia, Matsioula, Kalogries, Sopato, Noutsi, M’danitsa etc.

KALARRYTES
– The monastery of Kipina, built in 1212 in a recess of the perpendicular rock face in the gorge of Kalarrytikos river. The monastery is dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary.
– The monastery of Vyliza, located between Matsouki and Kalarrytes, on the north-western end of Tzoumerka mountains, over the junction of three tributaries of Arachthos river, at an elevation of 1050 m. The Monastery is a fortified building with crenellation. The interior of the church is decorated with murals dating back to 1797.
– The Church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) built in the 15th century featuring an important wooden carved chancel screen and murals which, unfortunately, have been subjected to damage.
– The ecological park of the village using the flow of the Kalarrytikos river.

VOURGARELI
– The Red Church in the district of Palaiochori, also known as Panagia Vellas, an eminent Byzantine monument of Tzoumerka built in the end of the 12th century.
– The monastery of Agios Georgios, (St. George) which during the year of the Turkish and the German occupation had been a spiritual and religious centre supporting the people of Tzoumerka. The chieftains of the areas of Tzoumerka, Radovizi and Xiromeron gathered in this monastery to co-ordinate the fight for the proclamation of the Greek Revolution in 1821 in Arta. It is also the place where the people of Vourgareli took refuge when the Germans bombed and burnt down their village in 1943.
– The stone-built fountains “Archonto” and “Krystallo” with 4 and 7 spouts respectively, both characteristic landmarks of the village.
– The stone-built arched bridges, Neraidogephyro, under the playground at the location Barda and the bridge near the big fountain on the way to Athamanio.
– The Inglessios Library with rare books in its collection.

ATHAMANIO
– The stone-built bridges “Tsagkaraki“, “Mega Lagathi” and “Alevrochia
– The location “Stavros” with its impressive panoramic view.
– The large stone-tile paved square with the centuries old plane-tree.

THEODORIANA
– The famous “SOUDA” cataracts formed by the waters of the river Aspri Goura (a splendid view of two cataracts dropping from a height of 28m at a flow rate of 800 cub. metres per hour).
– The Holy Church of Agios Georgios (St. George) with the 17 impressive cupolas and the tall bell tower built in 1880.
– The Monastery of the Birth of Virgin Mary, built in 1793. The monastery served as a monitorial school in the times of the Turkish occupation and as a hideout for the patriot fighters, as a makeshift surgery facility and as a hospital during the German occupation.
– The stone-built single-arched bridge of Gouras river built in the beginning of the 19th century.
– The gorge of Acheloos river with rich flora.

MESSOUNTA
– The stone-built bridge Kamara, a protected monument, in the stream called “Trochos” or “Souda”.
– The village Myrophyllo with houses of the 17th and 18th century.
– The monastery of Agios Georgios (St. George) in the village Myrophyllo, built in 1618 and decorated with rare murals.

KYPSELI
– The Karalis Folklore Museum with 1800 exhibits. Its collection includes utensils of agricultural, pastoral and household use, weapons, local costumes, wood carvings, woven textiles, embroidery items, coins, tools of various professions and other artefacts of folklore art.
– The Monastery of Evangelistria (dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary) built around 1700, with splendid well-preserved murals.
– The Church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) built in 1904 at the central square of the village.
– The Churches of Agios Markos (St. Mark) and Agios Kosmas (St. Cosmas) of Etolia.
– The two watermills at the location Goura, characterized as protected monuments, and the watermill at Agios Panteleimonas (St. Panteleimon).

AGNANTA
– The watermill Mandania at Prophitis Ilias and Analipsi.
– The post-Byzantine monument of Agia Phaneromeni.

KATARRAKTIS worth visiting:
– The well-known monastery of Agia Ekaterini (St. Catherine) built in 1730 and rebuilt totally in 1827.
– The watermills
– The forest village and the Mikrospilia cave.

PLAKA BRIDGE worth visiting:
– The famous “Bridge of Plaka” built in 1866, a masterpiece of architecture, 61m long., 21m high, 3,20m wide at the highest point with a 40 m. central arch.
– The Monastery of Plaka or Monastery of Panagia Mouhoustiotissa of the 17th century, one of the most famous monasteries in the area, located on the eastern bank of Arachthos river. It is built on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the river, between the famous bridge bearing the same name and the village Raftaneoi. The murals of the main church date back to 1680, while the exact date of construction is unknown and the year of its reconstruction seems to be 1665.

RODAVGI worth visiting:
– The stone-tile roofed church of Agia Paraskevi, built in 1804 , with the wooden carved chancel screen of exceptional art and the stone-built bell tower.
Arachthos river valley

Tzoumerka Cultural Events

Tzoumerka is an area with rich tradition where many cultural activities take place. It has a great reputation for its folk fairs, attracting visitors from all over Greece. Here we present to you the main celebrations, events and folk fairs in the villages of Tzoumerka…Have a great time!

Vourgareli: Mountain Celebration in June; cultural events on 4-12 of August taking place on the square of Vourgareli; local fairs on the day of Prophet Elias, July 20th, and at the Red Church in Palaiochori on September 7-8.

Athamanio: Cultural events on August 13-17 on the village square; Carnival and kite flying in Carnival period; local fairs on August 15th (Dormition of Virgin Mary) in Athamanio, on August 29 (St. John the Forerunner), and on July 26 (St. Paraskevi) in Paleochori.

Theodoriana: Local fair on August 15 at the country church of Virgin Mary (in the afternoon of August 15 and 16 takes place the local dance “Diplokagkelo” with its roots in the years of Turkish occupation). The dancers form snake-like turns across the entire village square forming two rows with men in the front and women in the back row) and the “celebration of the ewe”.

Messounta: Events dedicated to Aris Velouchiotis organized on the Sunday closest to the day of his death (June 16 1945) in Faggo of Messounta; a three-day local fair for the celebration of the Dormition of Virgin Mary on August 15.

Kypseli: Cultural events on August 20-23, including exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances; Carnival; local fair dedicated to St. Cosmas of Etolia on August 24.

Agnanta: Celebration of “Tsipouro” (locally produced alcoholic drink) in combination with the celebration of the Holy Taxiarchs in the district of Frasta on November 8; local fair on July 25-27 on the square of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary culminating with the dance event “Kagkelari” originating back in the 16th century in the years of Turkish occupation.

Katarraktis: Local fairs on St. George day in Sgara; on St. Constantine day, May 21; on Prophet Elias day, July 20; on St. Paraskevi day, July 26 and on St. Catherine day, November 25.

Kalarrytes: Meeting of the Vlach speaking communities of five villages of the region every year in July (it lasts 2 days and the communities and the cultural clubs take part with dance groups, traditional events and references to history and the folkways of the villages); Carnival; local fairs on Easter Friday to honour Zoodochos Pigi (Fountain of Life); at the Monastery of Kipina; on St. Paraskevi day July 26 in a small church 6 km from the village and Dormition of Virgin Mary on August 15.

Syrrako: A large local fair on August 15 when the people with decent from Syrrako gather from all over the world.

Tzoumerka Photos