Mountains of Corinthia
Looking for an escape to nature? We’ve got the perfect destination for you: why not visit the mountain range of Corinthia! Only two hours away from Athens, this lovely resort makes for a quick and easy winter getaway. It’s got everything you need for a comfortable, relaxing holiday with the kids.
As you cross the coastal region of Corinthia and head up into the mountains, you’ll find that the landscape is dotted with wild cypresses, pines, and firs. Lakes, rivers, and plateaus make up the scenery in this mountain range of Ziria. Corinthia itself is a confederation of little villages made up of stone houses and old manors. There are lots of surprises here! The high peaks of Ziria split Corinthia into Feneos and Trikala. You’re heading into the fairy-tale land of Trikala!
Trikala is just 25 kilometers from Xylokastro and is considered one of the more tourist-friendly spots in the region. In fact, Trikala is the largest village on the east side of the Ziria mountain range. It’s divided into three main settlements: Upper Trikala is 900 meters above sea level, Middle Trikala is 1000 meters up, and Lower Trikala is 1100 meters up. These settlements were built in the 10th century by valley dwellers who were chased into the mountains by marauding raiders.
Most of the guest houses, taverns, and coffee shops are in Middle Trikala. You’ll find our own top pick here, too – the magical Colours Chalet. For a bracing drink in the fresh mountain air, head to “Lithino” or “Enastro,” both of which offer a spectacular view. And you must absolutely visit the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, built around 1700 by the bishop Gregorios Notaras.
Lower Trikala has one of the prettiest town squares in the country. Your kids can play to their hearts’ content while you relax. When the fresh air works up your appetite, stop for a bite at the ”Petrino” grill, right on the square – with a view that extends all the way to the bay. The upper level is spacious with lots of room for kids. You’ll find anything you’re craving here, from old standbys like roast lamb or kontosouvli to more … adventurous traditional dishes like kokoretsi. The store’s specialty is the hasapiko exohiko, which is rooster cooked in a stoneware jar with pasta, and bourbouli, or lamb braised in a special sauce. The kids can order tasty ribs, tomato fritters, or cheese pie. After dinner, make a quick stop for a drink at the “Alfavitario.”
After you leave Lower Trikala, it’s worth visiting the awe-inspiring church of Aghios Demetrios, which was built in 1697 and has some of the most beautiful hagiography (religious frescoes) in the country.
Most of the churches built between the 16th and 18th century are in Upper Trikala. The church of Aghios Nikolaos and the house where Aghios Gerasimos was born certainly steal the show. On the road leading out of Upper Trikala, you’ll find the historic monastery of Aghios Vlasios, built around 1400 on the very spot where a miraculous icon was found – that icon is now housed in the little monastery. For lunch, we highly recommend the taverna of ‘Stou Dekleri’.
Snow lovers can’t miss the Ziria ski resort in the northeastern corner of the plateau – about 10 kilometers from Trikala. In the winter, there’s a beginner’s slope with a resident trainer, a more advanced slope with a ski lift, and sled games for younger visitors. You can also rent snowmobiles and cross-country ski equipment. At the end of the day, enjoy a hot cup of cocoa while you gaze out at the view of Ziria and the canyon of Flambouritsa.
Families should know
- If you’re traveling to Corinthia in the winter, book well in advance – rooms fill up fast on the weekends
- The guest houses and hotels in the area are new and high-tech (with a few exceptions), but this drives the prices up quite a bit
- The best time to visit the mountains of Corinthia is in the fall and the winter. But if you happen to go in the summer, you’re sure to enjoy the cool air, good food, and invigorating hikes
Best season to visit