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Zagori north or east? Help!

northeast
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Zagori north or east? Help!

I am cross posting this because I'm not sure where it belongs. It will be my first time in the area so please excuse my ignorance.

I am planning a family vacation for 7 people including four early to late twenty year olds, a 15 month old baby, and my husband and myself,50.

We are going during the august holiday 14th-17th and I'm booking now because we are such a large group. I had originally planned 2 nights at Papevangelou in Megala Papingo because the area seems fascinating and two nights in Kranea near Valia Kalda and pindus NP because there is Vlach family who I've never met there and it was my grandparent's home town.

We were going to stop at Dodoni and Metsovo before going to Kranea. I hear there is a big feast and Vlach dancing in Kranea on the 16th.

Anyhow, the travel agent in Greece that has been helping me encountered a problem in that the guesthouse wants to book for more than two nights during the holiday.

So right now we are looking at being in Dilofo at Archontko Dilofo for three nights and she's trying to find a place in Kranea that will take us for one night.

Is three nights in Dilofo too long? We like to walk,picnic and swim and enjoy a slow pace. From what I can see there is celebrating there as well though not a vlach community. We are renting a van so we could get around and from reading here I get the feeling that the area is not to be missed.

Or would we be better off spending 4 nights near Valia Kalda since there may be relatives there, a possible feast and more nearby attractions? Is that area just as wonderful? Would we be silly /sad to miss Zagoria even if it means spending only one night in my grandparent's home town? Help!

Afterwards we are headed through Kambalaka and the monestaries on to the Pelion (2 days), Alonissos (1 week) and Athens (3 nights)

Woo HOO! Thanks in advance for your fine advice!

Sydney
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1. Re: Zagori north or east? Help!

Hi,

Just a few points, in no particular order.

1.) I'm confused. The Kranea I found on the map is way south of Ioannina and nowhere near Valia Kalda.

2.) Two days is not nearly enough for Pelion!

3.) Bear in mind that the roads in both Zagoria and the southern Pindos are narrow, winding mountain roads, so getting around may take more time than you'd initially think from looking at some maps.

3.) There are a ton of quaint places to stay in the villages of Zagoria. Conduct your own search and do not count solely on the travel agent. Alot of places that rent rooms do not even appear on the web and although even during August you'll be able to find something in one of the villages on arrival, I understand you not wanting to risk it during the feast celebration and with such a large group. Point is, don't panic. Chances are you'll find something in the area.

4.) Are you mostly interested in taking in the natural sites of the area or in visiting places of familial importance? Zagoria area is much prettier than the southern Pindos where, from what you write, your family is from.

5.) Zagoria is a hiker's delight but you can derive alot of enjoyment just driving around the roads of the region, taking in the vistas, looking at the pretty villages, eating the great food, and doing some shorter hikes. Bear in mind that to see the most of the area you'll have to be on the roads alot, no matter where you stay.

6.) Make sure you pick up the Road Editions and/or Anavasi maps of the regions you'll be travelling through (esp. the Pindos and Pelion regions). They're not perfect but they're the best available.

7.) We've been in the Zagoria area 4-5 times during the last 15 years or so and each time there are more roads, more paved roads (as opposed to gravel), more non-hiker tourism, more commercialisation and more places to stay. There are benefits to progress but we prefer the more 'primitive' and authentic village atmosphere. So go and see Zagoria before they ruin it even more!

8.) This was all general advise but there's not much more people can help you with until you do a bit more research and decide what type of holiday to want and which region you'd want to spend more time in. If you decide to spend more time in Zagoria I could give you my impression of the various villages there.....though as I said above, regardless of where you stay, to see the area, you'll have to be on the road (and on some short trails) alot! For up to date info on specifics of the Zagoria region have a look at this site:

http://www.pindostrek.net/

The operator of the site is very helpful regarding hiking and road condition, etc. info.

Not sure if this rant helped in any way. Best of luck.

CP

northeast
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2. Re: Zagori north or east? Help!

Thank you so much for your reply. It makes me feel more certain that being in Dilofo for three nights will be fine and that we will find a place to stay. I'm also so glad to hear your opinion on Zagori vs. the Southern Pindos. Now I'm beginning to think it's a blessing in disguise that the guesthouses we've been considering have a required 3 night stay in Zagori. I've really enjoyed spending some time looking at everything online and we are so thrilled about our upcoming though distant trip.Thank you for the new link. I hadn't seen that one.

There are a couple of Kraneas. The one I'm talking about is after Metsovo near to Milia. It's really there. The travel agent was confused too. My family is apparently from an obscure spot. It's good to hear your opinion as far as which is prettier. I think a short visit to my grandparent's birthplace will be fine as the connecting with family there is not a sure thing except for an 87 year old distant relation whom I've never met and who speaks no English ( nor do any of us speak Greek).

I tend to be a bit of a nervous nellie about leaving accommodations up in the air anyhow and I know I should just get over it. Having a fifteen month old in our party is my excuse this time though.

I just ordered one of those maps. Your points in 5 make me so excited to be touring about! We like both walking and driving. It seems like we might be able to walk to a nearby village from what I've read if we stay in Dilofo. Is that so?

I'm glad to know the Pelion is beautiful and we may want to go back another trip. This time we have rented a cottage on the Sporades island of Alonissos and the rental starts on a certain day of the week so the Pelion seemed like a good place to stay near the port of Volos to break up the traveling. I hear there's a great folk museum and the beaches are lovely. What would you advise that we do with our limited time? I believe we'll be staying in Agios Georgios at this place, Arhondiko Vogiatzopoulou.

Thank you so much for your helpful and thorough advice!

I really appreciate it.

Campagnano di Roma...
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3. Re: Zagori north or east? Help!

The best source of TA information on Zagori is Tsipouro. You might try to send him a personal message.

4. Re: Zagori north or east? Help!

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