Perhaps, the reason why Karpenissi still retains its untouched beauty to this day is due to the tiresome [because of the continuous road turns] approach to the Tymfristou mountain range. Actually, the landscape does remain unchanged, without having been influenced by major tourist development, while the minor interventions by the new hotels and the renovations of traditional mansions blend harmoniously with the environment, creating images of unimaginable beauty.
Karpenissi, capital of Evritania County, is located at an altitude of 960 m above sea level, at the foot of Tymfristou mountain range, [otherwise known as Velouchi]. The alpine landscapes of Karpenissi, and the untamed beauty of the surrounding area, in combination with the rich history of Evritania, make excursions to the surrounding villages a necessity.
Imprinted in the Velouchi Mountains are significant historical events such as the interception of the Gauls by the Evritanes in 279 B.C. at the site of Kokkalia Krikellou, the “karaoulia” [ambushes], the Karaiskaki Castles at Proussou, the resistance movement of Aris Velouchioti against the occupied powers [Italy and Germany] as well as during the civil war.
Countless regions constitute a motive to indulge in familiar and unfamiliar aspects of history, to see sights and monuments, to explore landscapes and to discover the whereabouts of the Oracle of Odysseus [the king of Ithaca] which remains unknown to this day. Odysseus, according to referrals in Aristotle’s texts “The State of Ithaca,” was worshipped in Evritania, as were the Gods of Mount Olympus. It is presumed that the position of the Oracle, which is dedicated to him, is situated in the Apoklistras cave, in the village Kastania.
Passing through the Tymfristou tunnel, which leads you away from the difficult ascent to the enchanting landscape of Karpenissi, the first sentiment which overcomes the visitor, is that of being back in time.
Karpenissi spreads out into the valley to your left, and ascends up to the foot of the mountain. The smell of the burning wood from the fireplaces is evident everywhere, whilst the smoke from the chimneys of houses blends with the mist, and in a charming manner, embraces Karpenissi. The town can become your base for exploring the vicinity while it is only located 11 kms from the ski center.
The development of alternative types of tourism gives the visitor the ability to engross oneself with nature and activities such as hiking on trails at Helidona and Kaliakouda, gorge crossing and river hiking, such as at the monument of worldwide nature heritage, “Panta Vrehei,” kayak river descents, at Ahelou, Tavropo and Trikerioti, as well as jeep safaris at Agrafa.
The alternative choices are plenty, as are the emotions.
Areas not to be missed…
Of the most beautiful and picturesque localities within Evritania, are the Megalo [Big] and Mikro [small] Horia [villages]. At these villages you will take delight in the untamed nature of Evritania, which in complete harmony intertwines with the settlements, built literally in the greenery.
The Megalo Horio is situated at the foot of Kaliakouda Mountain, 17 kms from Karpenissi. The traditional houses in the village, in combination with the picturesque stone paved roads, create images of unrivalled beauty.
Definitely worth a visit is the Folk Museum of the village. The Mikro Horio essentially comprises of two villages, the New Mikro Horio and the Paleo [old] Mikro Horio. The New Mikro Horio is situated in a wooded forest of fir-trees, as is the Paleo Mikro Horio, with an exceptional view of the Potamia Valley, and the Karpenissioti River. Sited at the village square are springs of running water which pass through the stone paved road from the gutters. The sound of running water will surely mesmerize you.
Korishades is yet another impressive village encircled by fir-trees, with new and older traditional houses, all of them honoring the traditional character of the region, create incredibly beautiful images.
The village Feidakia, 25 kms from Karpenissi, compensates the visitor with its unsurpassed view of Kremaston Lake.
Follow Karpenissioti River and take delight with the amazing spot at Dipotama of Proussou with Krikelioti. Continue in this direction until you reach Proussou Monastery, built on top of a steep cliff.
Karpenissi provides an excellent infrastructure for your stay, covering the needs of even the most discerning visitor.
Both within the town of Karpenissi or in one of the villages, there are hotels, guest-houses and apartments which cover all needs and purses.
Choose the Hotel Spa Montana which is located on a beautiful mountainside with a view to Karpenissi town. It provides the entire comforts one can ask for, fully corresponding to the expectations and needs of the guests. Tel: 22370 80400.
Located on the Voutirou river bank, are the Nivemia Resort Studios, a complex of superb, individual, traditional rooms in a lush green environment. Tel: 22370 24614.
Prefer to explore the traditional flavors of the small eating houses in the various villages in the area, avoiding the mostly touristy spots, such as for example, Gavros.
At the Paleo Mikro Horio, at the village square, you will find the tavern, “Kyra Marias,” which apart from tasty food, offers an excellent view of the Karpenissioti River which crosses the Potamia Valley. Prices are fantastic.
How to Get There
|From Athens by car:||Take the National road Athens-Lamia. Get off the national road at the exit for Lamia and continue following the road signs towards Karpenissi The distance from Athens is approximately 4 hours. After Makrakomi [1 hour before Karpenissi], the road becomes relatively difficult, however, when you encounter Karpenissi, its enchanting landscape will surely compensate you.|
|From Athens by long-distance bus (KTEL):||Daily routes from Liosion Bus Station. (Time Schedules: 7:00, 14:45, 18:00). Distance: 5 hours – For more information: 210.8315991 .|
|From other areas:||Furthermore, you can reach Karpenissi from Agrinio, as well as from Nafpaktos.|