One of the most beautiful areas of Greece ideal for excursions throughout the year, is Plastira Lake just 25 km from Karditsa. Rolling mountains that descend to the lake shores, rivers, crystal-clear lake in the center. The idea of implementing belongs to Nikolaos Plastiras in 1925, the construction of the dam was completed in 1959, creating one of the largest artificial lakes in the country. The area is available for any kind of tourism, the irresistible scenery, local food, the excellent hotel facilities and many activities contribute to have unforgettable and peaceful holidays.
Villages at the west side of the lake
Kryoneri – coming from Karditsa and basically entering Lake Plastira from the northern part to the west side as we see it on the map we are approaching the village of Kryoneri. Kryoneri is built at 850 meters altitude and has permanent residents and offers a beautiful view of the landscape of Lake Plastira. In Kryoneri you will find hotels and accommodation for your stay.
Kerasia – Kerasia village will be found after Kryoneri and before Anthochori in the northern part of Lake Plastira.
Koutsodimos – small settlement before you meet Kalyvia Pezoulas. In Koutsodimos you will also find one of the gas stations in the area.
Kalivia Pezoulas – Kalyvia Pezoulas are also one of the most developed villages you will find in Lake Plastira since here you will find many hotels and rooms, taverns, pharmacy and cafes to enjoy a drink. It is a village that is at a low altitude compared to the others. From Kalyvia Pezoulas you can also go to Pezoulas beach and walk by the lake and visit the open-air stone theater you will find there.
Pezoula – uphill from Kalyvia Pezoulas and at a higher altitude you will find Pezoula built next to the Great River. Pezoula is a verdant and quiet village. In Pezoula you will also find a picturesque watermill. Close to Pezoula is the village Phylakti .
Phylakti – a beautiful, small and picturesque village that you will find at high altitude with a view of the Agrafa peaks.
Neraida – Neraida (=Fairy) is also one of the mountain villages located on Lake Plastira. It is built at 1,120 meters altitude.
Neochori – one of the famous villages you will find in Lake Plastira. Neohori is also built on a slope overlooking the lake. It gathers many facilities since in Neohori you will find a wealth of hotels for your stay as well as taverns. If you find yourself in Neohori, it is also worth seeing the church of Agios Nikolaos, where you can see frescoes of the 17th century.
Belokomitis – the village of Belokomitis is located at an altitude of 920 meters and a short distance from Lake Plastira dam. It is a small village with beautiful and stone houses and small alleys. According to tradition, the village of Belokomitis owes its name to the word Belokos, which means a glossy place and the word nose. After crossing the village then you have the choice to go to Zygogianneika and the observatory and to the Holy Monastery of Panagia Pelekiti. The Holy Monastery of Panagia Pelekiti is one of the most important ecclesiastical sights you will find in Lake Plastira. The location of the monastery is magnificent and definitely worth a walk. What’s also fascinating is the location of the observatory at an altitude of 1,500 meters.
Villages at the east side of the lake
Kastania – a beautiful village at an altitude of 800 meters, with the infrastructure of Kastania where the Agrafa flora and fauna museum is located. Kastania is built in a beautiful place with fir trees, the ideal destination is the winter-summer Kastania. It is worth seeing if you find yourself in Kastania to visit the monastery of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the small footwear museum.
Lampero is like Kalyvia Pezoula just around the eastern side of the lake. Thus, Lampero is a village located at 740 meters altitude with stunning views of Lake Plastira and the peaks of Agrafa, especially in winter, if you see snowy ones, you will make many shots. Also nearby is the beach of Lamberou where you will find a beautiful café next to the lake.
Agios Athanasios – beautiful settlement with rooms and taverns. If you find yourself in Agios Athanasios at Lake Plastiras, do not miss to visit the Holy Monastery of Petra, dating from 1.550 m.
Moschato – a village known for its wine of course. The OPAP Moschato wine is well-known for its quality and taste. Its name naturally owes it to the variety of vineyards in the village. Just before the village you can admire the stone bridge that is there.
Mesenikolas – another village on Lake Plastira known for its wine. Mesenikolas is a village built in 700 meters surrounded by chestnut and oak forests. Mesenikolas is known for the variety of wine that only comes out of it and of course we refer to the wine Mavro Mesenikola, a special red variety.
Morfovouni – It is one of the first villages when we approach Lake Plastira from its northern part. There we find the analogous sign that tells us to Morfovouni. Morfovouni is the village of Nikolaos Plastiras and offers beautiful views to the plain of Karditsa. If you are in Morfovouni, it is worth visiting the museum that is in honor of Nikolaos Plastiras, the Holy Trinity Monastery and the church in the square of the village which is typical for its red color.
Sightseeing at Lake Plastira
Lake Plastira is a real gem for Thessaly and all over Greece. During your stay in the area of the lake you can visit both the natural attractions and the artificial ones, admire the peaceful view, walk along scenic alleys and visit museums that will guide you through the region’s tradition. Below we mention some of the sights we encounter in the area of Lake Plastira.
Museum of Nicolaos Plastira.
The museum is located in the village of Morfovouni is open all year round and, as its name suggests, is dedicated to Nikolaos Plastiras. Within the museum the visitor will find pictures of Plastiras’ life, personal documents and objects.
Plastira’s Lake Dam
Lake Plastira is artificial and was created in 1959 with the completion of the dam, which was inspired by Nikolaos Plastiras. The dam is 220 meters long and retains the waters of the River Tavropos. Visitors to the dam can enjoy the view of the lake but also buy local products from the shops on the right side of the dam.
It is located between the villages of Neochori and Kalyvia Pezoulas with numerous elements for the flora of the area and the lake. In the Botanical Garden there is a coffee shop and guests can buy herbs and herbs in the area.
It is located at an altitude of 1350 meters at western side of the dam. The observatory offers a panoramic view of the lake on the one side while on the other side we are gazing at the lush mountains and the peaks of Agrafa. To get to the observatory there is a sign about 1.5 km before we reach the dam that directs us right as we go to the dam. There is a road that leads to the observatory but from one point onwards it is quite narrow and opens again below the observatory. There is a kiosk on the observatory that you can sit down and enjoy the view as long as you like.
Cave of Gakis
Gaki’s cave is accessible only on foot and after some hiking. The cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites, and remains untapped today and in a piece of unexplored. The visit to the cave of Gakis must take place after consultation with the competent body and with the escort of a special guide. More information can be found in the Spiliological and Mountaineering Community of Karditsa.
Kaimakia Cave is the largest cave in the prefecture of Karditsa. It is close to the Mega Rema mountain hut. The visit to Kaimakia’s cave should take place in consultation with the competent body and with the assistance of a special guide. More information can be found in the Spiliological and Mountaineering Community of Karditsa.
Anthochori – Kamara of Anthochori – Watermill – Cataract
Anthochori is a picturesque village with about 500 inhabitants that definitely deserves to visit. At the exit of the village towards Lake Plastira we find the old watermill that has been preserved – renovated and now offered as a recreation area. At this point you can follow the path that will lead you to the waterfall of Anthochorion, which is located in very dense vegetation. The walk you need to cover on foot to get to the waterfall is about 40 minutes. The arched bridge “arch” of the village is an example of the architecture of the time and also a cultural monument of Anthochorion. It is also worth visiting the Anthochorion Museum, which contains several ecclesiastical relics and the church of St. George built in 1623.
Educational Forest Belokomitis
Take a tour of the marked trails of the forest and experience the forest of 5,688 spans. In the forest you will find 6 marked 15 km long trails. In the forest there herbaceous vegetation beyond the arboreal vegetation will see other species such as Wild Cherry, ash, mountain elm. It is also characteristic of the forest fauna with 67 species such as the goldfish, the mistletoe, the spiny, etc.
Other attractions in the lake area are:
Shoe Museum in the village of Kerasia. (Located next to the workshop of the Dance Shoes Craft Workshop of H. Cogia)
Center of Flora and Fauna in Kastania at the building where the primary school of the village was housed.
Stephaniada Lake: The lake was formed in 1963 after a landslide and elliptical shape. It is about 3 km after the Monastery of Spilia and occupies an area of 175 acres.
Karaiskaki Cave: Situated just outside the village of Mavrommati. It is said that Georgios Karaiskakis was born in this cave.
Mountain shelter of Agrafa and Elatakos mountain shelter.
Also you can visit the monasteries of Panagia Pelekiti, Panagias Petras, Panagias Koronis etc.
Worth a try
- Handmade homemade pasta
- Tsipouro without anise
- Fresh trout from the Lake and also cuisine of Plastira Lake.
Activities at Lake Plastira
From Kalyvia Pezoulas, if we head towards the beach, we will find the open-air theater and we have the possibility for activities such as archery, cycling, hydro-cycling and canoeing. The organized beaches on the lake are two, the Pezoulas beach on the west side of the lake and the Lampero beach on the eastern side.
The cycling routes are in the nature of the lake, offering beautiful paths following the signs we find. For those who choose to hike there are many walking paths in the Belokomiti forest, you will also find signs on the road near the village of Belokomitis. Still you can follow the uphill road and look at the view from above to the observatory, but also visit the Kerendan Gorge, the cave of Gaki and Kaimakia’s cave.
In Karamanoli areathere is the Agrafa Ski center where you can try ski or snowboard but you have to bring your own equipment and you don’t have the chance to rent. The Mountain Shelter of Afrafa is located next to the ski center and is well-equipped and organized and can accommodate 30 people.
Also near the Kalivia Pezoulas you can try horse riding. For hiking lovers there are five numbered routes inside the educational forest of Belocomiti. Find out more about hiking in Plastira’s Lake.
Wine Festival Mesenicola
This event will not be missed in the village of Messenikola, in the village with a rich tradition of red wine, an event that has been held for about 50 years. If it is on the lake on the 15th of August it is worth a visit to the village of Mesenikolas to taste the local wines with local appetizers.
Organized each year during August 1-15, including theater performances, concerts, cycling, fishing, etc.
The Lake Festival lasts two months in the two fountains and Smokovos lakes, during which time there are events such as concerts and lectures by prominent musicians, theatrical performances and concerts in Kerasia.
Swimming pool of Plastiras Lake
The crossing of the lake, a distance of 4 km, involving Greek and foreign athletes, is the starting point for Pezoulas Beach and a finish on Lampero Beach. More at http://diaplous-limniplastira.blogspot.gr. On the previous day of the race, the small race of 500 meters for children under 16 years of age is organized.
Feast of Pie in the village of Kanalia
It is organized in the central square of the village on the day of the Holy Spirit where the women of the village cook pies for the guests.
Feast of Kastanos of the Hellenic tower
It is organized in the two squares of the village in October offering visitors chestnuts, goat with groats, wine etc