Our starting point is Elati at Trikala Prefecture. The last gas station is located near Elati so it’s good to leave Elati fully fueled. There are many kilometers below and you will need water and snacks for the trip. After 8 km you‘ll see the ski center of Pertouli and 4 km later you‘ll meet Pertouli village.
In your way, you will find villages Neraidochori and Pyrra with many choices for your accommodation and for traditional food. Between these villages is located the church of Agia Paraskevi, which does worth a stop to admire the view.
As we move forward, before Desi village we can leave our car and walk up to the church of Agios Nicolaos and then to the highest waterfalls of South Pindos with heights of 30 and 100 meters. The small waterfall of 30 meters height is near the church.
Agios Nicolaos village is 2 kilometers after Desi. Before the village, take a break at the church of Agios Nicolaos, which you will see at your right hand. You can’t miss it since it’s located under a huge rock!
As the trip continuous, on the opposite hillsides we see Drosochori or otherwise Tyfloseli, as it was called in the past years, a small village with few residents. 9 kilometers afterwards we find ourselves at Alexiou Bridge, a natural crossing road. If we decide to go left we will go to villages Gardiki and Athamania, if we go right we head to Tzourtzia and other villages of Aspropotamos. Gardiki village in winter is uninhabited, but during the summer the number of visitors in the village, especially in mid-August, is multiplied and becomes the village with the most residents.
We follow the road right and towards us we see the village of Agia Paraskevi or otherwise Tziourtzia, as it was called in the past. If we head to the village, we pass the iron bridge and the recreational area that many travelers choose to stop, even for swimming in the river, during the summer months and in a few minutes we reach the village. Alexiou’s and Agia Paraskevi’s bridges are starting points of rafting routes in Aspropotamos.
We continue, however our initial route and find the intersections for Milia and Polythea villages before the 3 Rivers position. A few minutes after the 3 River position lies another intersection. If we choose the road on the right we head towards Kalliroi (5klm), Krania (8klm) and Doliana (11klm) with the known Monastery of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross with the 13 domes. And, finally, Meteora are located 49 kilometers from the village of Doliana.
If we choose the road on the left will head to Katafyto in 6 km, Anthousa in 12 km and in 16 km Haliki village, as the road signs suggest. All those villages are quiet with great taverns and restaurants but without accommodation options. A very beautiful road is from Anthousa to Kalarites which is the highest road in Greece. The road passes from an altitude of 1900meters abnd it is called Baros Pass. If you decide to drive to this road be careful, we suggest you to ask the locals about the condition of the road at the villages of Chaliki or Anthousa. The road is closed in winter because of the snow but you will also see snow in spring or summer months. A beautilful hiking route is from Chaliki to the Drakolimni (=Dragon Lake) Verlinga on Mt Lakmos (aka Peristeri). This Dragon Lake is at a altitude of 2,050 meters and covers an area of 10,000 square meters. It is formed from the ten serpentine waterways that are the sources of the Acheloos River. Naturally, the dragon in this lake was snake-like. He was a sinister creature that remained unseen, springing out from beneath his rock from time to time to ambush and devour a local.
Whichever direction you choose to go the whole route is in a verdant environment with fir trees and many altitude differences, beautiful landscapes with a large part of the route being beside the running waters of Aspropotamos River. The distances are long, so make sure to have the necessary food and clothing with you since all the way down we meet recreation areas we can park our car in a shade and rest. They are very helpful and you will need them sometime during your trip.