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Agrafa, out of the box

I always liked the unpopular destinations, the routes that you will not find in tourist guides and the unknown that will confront after the next turn or behind the next mountaintop. That’s why I love the journey and the destination equally; that’s why I choose different paths to the same destination.

In such a path I will guide you today. For your own safety, take this trip in summer time, after the spring rains and use a not too wide off-road vehicle.

From the city of Karditsa, follow the signs to Neochori, Plastira Lake and from there to Belokomiti (I will wite about Neohori, my birth place, in the near future). On your way to the lake’s dam, look for a sign towards Karvasaras. You will see it right after a bridge over a creek called «Kartsiotiko» Take the right turn and enter the forest’s kingdom.

Stay by the river that flows on your right hand until you reach two small settlements, Karvasara and Mega Rema. Dare to cross the narrow bridge and the dirt road to Choliano – a secret hamlet lost in the woods. Stop anywhere you feel like stopping, enter the river, walk on the slopes and take pictures under the plane trees. Play, live, enjoy.

In the winter time, no one lives here, no that I know of. During summer, you’ll probably find a place where they serve coffee and they could cook for you some eggs or potatoes, even better, eggs with potatoes and hand made, hot bread (if you are lucky enough).

If you feel like you got enough nature for one day, you can stop by the river in on your way back in the Evritos trout farm and have your meal  served in a wooden platform over the river.

If you want to go on exploring the area, take the dirt road shortly before Mega Rema, that climbs up the mountain to Karamanoli.  Through a dense fir forest you will get almost at the top. Make a stop at the alpine meadows and enjoy the magnificent views of Agrafa and Plastira’s Lake. If you spot sheeps or goats around, beware of the shepherd dogs.

Keep on driving until you reach the Agrafa mountain shelter and ski center and then, about four hundred meters lower, the lake’s level.

If you started early, you will still have at least two hours of daylight. Choose one of the many tavernas in the area, relax, eat with appetite and take your time over a glass of wine or tsipouro, to re-think the images and experiences gathered in one day.

info and trivia:

Don’t choose to visit Plastira lake during popular holidays, it gets to crowdy and you may not find a place to sleep. It’ s a destination for all seasons, so just pick up a day and get there. Try local dishes like pittas and ask for trahana, especially in winter time.

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fresh trout, choriatiki and a cold beer by the river Kartsiotiko
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Taking pictures upstream the Kartsiotiko

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My father at Karamanoli

 

Post Author
Pantelis Mitsiou

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