Mount Koziakas is included in the National List of the European NATURA 2000 (NATURA 2000), is part of the southern Pindos and has an altitude of 1.901 meters and is one of the most popular winter destinations. The fir Koziakas covered with the white veil of snow early making each visitor gets lost in the landscape. Reference point for many is the ski resort of Pertouli having 5 tracks for all ages, taverns, small and large accommodation options and various activities such as hiking, climbing, canyoning, rafting from Bridge Alexiou and mountain biking have made the area much sought after for those who love life close to nature. But even the most isolated villages in the depths of Aspropotamos can be a quieter destination.
Rivers and springs, forests and meadows, stone bridges and important temples. Luxury accommodations, thoughtful taverns, nature activities.
Skiers and visitors drink hot chocolate or play board games in front of the fireplace in the idyllic hostels of Pertouli and Elati. The cafes in Pili next to Portaikos river is crowded and cars never stop going back and forth in Neraidochori.
Pili, Elati, Pertouli, Neraidochori: the tourist map is widening. Traditional guesthouses, restaurants experimenting creating gourmet based on hunting, local house wine dishes served in crystal colones glasses tulip-shaped pool, Jacuzzi and spa offering superior service – a few years may be offered and organized safari in Koziakas (away from us)! Tourism not only arrived but settled for good in the southwestern part of the prefecture of Trikala, the Koziakas region, so that the Elati is now called “small Arachova!”
Hiking and climbing in Pili and Elati village.
Climbing to the refuge of Koziakas starting from the Ski center in Pertouli.
Waterfalls in Desi village, it’s the highest in Pindos with 100 meters height.
Activities such as ski, horse-riding and more in Pertouli Ski center and rafting in Aspropotamos river.
Explore the nature of Koziakas from its hiking trails.
Delicious food in all villages.
Pyli is at the entrance to the villages of Koziakas. As you getting closer to Pyli you will see the two mountains Koziakas and Itamos and the river Portaikos that seperates them. Residents of villages go to Pyli to find various services, post office and banks. Opposite of Pyli is the settlement of Porta-Panagia, worth seeing its Vyzantine church (1283), as well as a few minutes from Pyli you will find the stone bridge of Pyli which is a stop for many visitors before they ascend to the villages of Koziakas. Also, you will find one cafeteria next to the river and sellers with local products at the area of the bridge.
Palaiokarya – Stournareika
We begin our reference from Palaiokarya, a beatiful ravine with an arch bridge with a waterfall behind the bridge. Palaiokaritis river flows unders the bridge which then flows into Portaikos river. The scenery throughout the ravine is wild and impossing and the road as you move towards Palaiokaryas offers you nice shots. Watch more pictures of the Palaiokarias’s stone bridge.
Always crowded Elati is the most famous from the villages of Koziakas. Visitors from all over Greece visit Elati for a unique stay in summer and winter too. Beautifully decorated stone build cafes are located at the center road of Elati that offers you coffee, hot chocolate, tea and drinks and cocktails at night. Most of them are in Elati but you will find few of them in Pertouli and Neraidochori. Activities in Elati include staring surrounding areas of slopes Koziaka, walking through the streets of the village and mountain biking to the villages Vrontero and Vlaha. Also, you will find many cafeterias, taverns and traditional guesthouses for your stay. For the more adventurous a relatively passable trail lead to the cave ”Arkoudotrypa” at 1600 meters altitude with stalactites inside it on the boundaries of the Pialeia. A few minutes from the center there is the «Red Rock» a limestone for climbing with 60 meters height with six different routes. In the village you can find the Church of the Assumption (1822), Holy Trinity (1898) and the Holy Anargyroys. Worth trying the local pies, delicious baked and the river trout in Anavrysoula situated before Elati village. Sights: Church of the Assumption (1822), Holy Trinity (1898) and the Holy Anargyroi. Mpei’s cave and Arkoudotripa cave.
Before Pertouli we see the Ski Resort of Pertouli and the famous Pertouliotika meadows where every year takes place the old way of life of Sarakatsanaioi. Activities at the area include hiking and horseback riding to the shelter Chatzipetros and of course ski and snowboard at the ski resort. At the entrance of Pertouli you will see the church of Virgin Mary and 2-3 cafeterias and taverns on the left. After a few meters you will see the wooden little house of womens’ cooperative selling local products. Cafes at the main road of the village offers various views to the lush green fir of Koziakas. Generally, you will find accommondation for your stay, taverns and cafes either at the main road or inside the village.
Neraidochori – Pyrra – Desi
Between the mountains Marosa and Neraida is village Neraidochori at an altitude 1.137 meters with many lodges and delicious food also. At the main road of the village you will find two taverns, the rest of them are at the village square, as well as traditional guesthouses and hotels you will find as you go down to the square of the village. Neraidochori is full of visitors during the summer and winter months as well as accommondation and restaurants. Lanscape at winter is different, when the snow covers the whole village and creates a spectacular scene. Worth seeing in Neraidochori the stone bridge of Chatzipetros, walk at the stone path Vlahostrata. The stone bridge is the starting point of a very beautiful route named Vlachostrata, the old national road that many people used for moving their animals during the past years, also try hiking at the peak Neraida through the church of Profitis Elias. Between Neraidohori and Pyrrha village is the church of Agia Paraskevi built in 1792 and following the path leads to the observatory Tziouka where you see the village Pyrrha directly above. The villages that follow are Desi with its waterfalls, 30 and 100 meters high the highest in Mount Pindos, the Athamania and Gardiki.
Where to eat
There are many restaurants and traditional taverns at all villages of Mount Koziakas. You will find plenty of them in Elati, Pertouli and Neraidochori.
You can buy local products in Elati such as honey, marmalades, sun-dried tomatoes, syrupy sweets, and medicinal herbs.
Rock Climbing in PIli and in Elati
Climbing fields in the village of Pili are located near the big stone bridge. One kilometer after the village you will see a bridge, park your car there after the bridge and follow the dirt road. The crag consists of 70 routes and it is one of the best climbing crags in Greece for rock climbing. Also in Elati you will see the “Red Rock” crag located just above the village with 6 walks walking. Click here and see all available hotels in Elati.
Hiking trails to Mt Koziakas, Lupata peak, Avgo peak etc.
Hiking routes in Mt Koziakas from the ski resort but also other destinations such as the famous Vlachostata that passes by the stone bridge of Hadjipetro in Neraidochori. We walked Vlachostrata, read more our article hiking in Vlachostrata. A well-known route is the one that leads to Koziaka’s shelter at 1,750 meters above sea level at Bacola peak after about 3 hours of climbing. The Koziakas shelter can accommodate up to 35 people in beds. Further information can be found at 6977662569/6976080613/6944551865. Also from the settlement Psarro (6km after Stournarayika) start routes to many peaks. Also read the rest of the routes all over Koziakas, but also the Avgo, Lupatha, Neraida and all the surrounding peaks.
Skiing at Pertouli Ski Center
Of course the Pertouli ski center is one of the main activities for a lot of fun and snow play. It is the most easily accessible ski resort in Greece. Find out more at our article Ski Resort of Pertouli. Pertouli Ski center is near the villages of Pertouli and Elati.
Horse riding in Pertouli Meadows
A few meters from the ski resort there is the possibility to ride a beautiful path through the forest.
An alternative path of 23 kilometers, which at the end offers an infinite view of Pertouli, Neraidohori and Elati, is the fire station at the top of Lupata. To reach this point, follow Elati the road to Vlaha, the Kormos fountain and Lupata’s neck. When you find a watering can continue alongside it and after 5 km the road ends at the fire station at an altitude of 1800 meters. A few summer nights you will see the lights of the forestry to make the route.
You can watch a beautiful video from Spiral Media ( www.spiralmedia.gr ) about activities in Elati and Pertouli.
Events at Koziakas’s villages
Every last Sunday of June the meeting of Sarakatsanaioi is taking place at meadows of Pertouli. The event of Sarakatsanaioi lasts 3 days with traditional music, events and local products.
Honey Festival at the church of Agia Kiriaki near Pertouli.
6-7th July – celebration of Agia Kiriaki nera village Pertouli.
27th July – celebration of Agia Paraskevi, the church is located as we follow the road from Neraidochori to village Pirra. Every July many visitors choose to visit this day the monastery.
5-6th August –
14-15th August – celebration of Theotokos, at Groumaria site inside the village Neraidochori there’s live traditional music and souvlaki for you to taste. It’s one of the biggest events of the area and of all the surrounding villages of Mount Koziakas.