Zagoroxoria, Greece

Here's more from the Easter trip I wrote about last week. From Metsovo we climbed further & higher into the Pindus mountains, close to the borders of Albania. The region of Zagori, northwestern Greece, contains 45 villages that are collectively known as Zagoroxoria. The charm of these remote and therefore largely untouched stone villages is already beyond imaginable, but is further intensified by the natural beauty of the Vikos gorge. The reserve is vast, dramatic, cut by crystalline waters, dotted with small chapels and monasteries, and like its villages, refreshingly unspoilt by the trappings of tourism. 

Climbing above the Vikos gorge. Down below our flower carpeted picnic spot

Climbing above the Vikos gorge. Down below our flower carpeted picnic spot

Vikos gorge. My husband couldn't resist the freezing turquoise waters, and jumped right in

Vikos gorge. My husband couldn't resist the freezing turquoise waters, and jumped right in

Papingo, Zagoroxoria

Papingo, Zagoroxoria

An exhibition of portraits by Leonidas Papazolglou, taken over a century ago, was a lucky find in the village of Monodendri. His photographs, 2,500 in all, document the people of Kastoria and its vicinity at the time of the Macedonian struggle. I love the way this couple hold themselves, and each other. Plus their dress of course.

Portrait by Leonidas Papazoglou

Portrait by Leonidas Papazoglou

Door ornament, Zagoraxoria

Door ornament, Zagoraxoria

Icon & incense holder outside a church above the Vikos gorge 

Icon & incense holder outside a church above the Vikos gorge 

The traditional pathways of Zagoraxoria, 'Monopatia'. After which the hotel at Ano Pedina is named.

The traditional pathways of Zagoraxoria, 'Monopatia'. After which the hotel at Ano Pedina is named.

We stayed at Monopatia Resort- a cluster of buildings owned by one family and now restored by a descendant into one large, lovely hotel. 'Monopatia' refers to the stone footpaths (literally, 'single path') that are typical of the villages. The food that they serve here is truly extraordinary, (the owner previously ran a celebrated restaurant in Athens), with much of it foraged from the surrounding areas.   

Mushrooms & 'greens' foraged from around the Vikos gorge

Mushrooms & 'greens' foraged from around the Vikos gorge

Our room at Monopatia Resort

Our room at Monopatia Resort

Breakfast by the fire

Breakfast by the fire

Beautiful hand-painted tray hung on the wall, Monopatia Resort

Beautiful hand-painted tray hung on the wall, Monopatia Resort

Wonderful, evocative painting on wood, Monopatia Resort

Wonderful, evocative painting on wood, Monopatia Resort

Ano Pedina

Ano Pedina

Flowers planted in feta pots, Ano Pedina

Flowers planted in feta pots, Ano Pedina

The woods surrounding the Vikos gorge

The woods surrounding the Vikos gorge

Abundance everywhere

Abundance everywhere

Love these sunny colours

Love these sunny colours

Papingo, the highest and last village

Papingo, the highest and last village