Introducing The Zagorohoria
The Zagorohoria's 46 traditional stone-and-slate villages, tucked into the Pindos range, offer atmospheric accommodation, crisp alpine air, sublime views and myriad local legends. Once connected only by mountain paths and stone bridges, they're now connected by paved roads, some of which enjoy spectacular twists and turns.
Although time and emigration have depopulated many villages, boutique and environmental tourism have allowed savvy locals to prosper by converting arhontika (mansions) and smaller traditional homes into inviting guesthouses. Hikers also come for the immediate proximity to the Vikos Gorge and other mountain routes.
After Constantinople was conquered (first by the Crusaders in 1204, later by the Turks in 1453), noble Byzantine families fled here, safeguarding Greek culture and traditions. The Ottomans also gave the Zagorohorians privileges and autonomy in exchange for guarding the mountain passes. The locals thus became quite wealthy and also worldly, creating a cultured diaspora in centres of learning and commerce in Early Modern Europe.