The Vlachostrata was the path which connected Thessaly and Epirus. About one kilometer of the trail have rescued till now of unique beauty. We chose to leave our car to the square of Neraidochori and continue walking down the street towards the river. Anyway our route starts at the cement bridge that you will find a few minutes walk after Neraidohori.
We start walking for a few meters on river stones as the path leads us. We walk over the stones to pass the creek, in the winter of course the water is much more and you may have to pass through another part of the area. Then we see a mill in the background which is renovated in recent years. There are wooden benches for one stop if you wish to stay at the area of the watermill.
We walk the path right of the mill and continue having a beautiful route next to us on the right is the river! Walk for 5-7 minutes, maybe a little less depending on walking and we reach at the bridge of Chatzipetrou. It is a stone arch bridge constructed in 1750 of about 30 meters long and 8 meters high. Details on the bridge we analyze at the related article here.
The area of the bridge is also one of the places that many visitors prefer to make one stop, with small children throwing stones into the river! Especially in August you will find guests of all ages at the bridge. From the bridge and then, starts «Vlachostrata» a narrow path with stones in the ground. It was a passage for people and animals who wanted to travel from Thessaly to Epirus and vice versa.
The entire trail of Vlachostrata has many beauties and the path becomes very narrow and you pass through the tress. At about halfway and you will find several trees that have fallen, but we crossed over and continued on our way. The stones that keep the trail are many years and in many places, they make you wonder how it was being used and withstand up till today!
A lot of points of interest deserves a stop to be photographed, the mountain opposite and the views in front of you and behind you! Across the way at very short intervals there are wooden and stone benches for short stops for rest, however, we preferred the stone bench! Finally at the end of Vlachostrata we entered at a wider path inside the forest leaving for now the walk at the edge of the cliff.
For about 20 to 30 minutes the trail moves us to a more open places, observing large firs, streams filled with water in winter and the peaks towards us. In an open point we found a wooden table, we stopped and we cut 2-3 peppermints. If you’re lucky you will also find fresh oregano!
Finally, the path ends to a dirt road, continue for a few meters where at the right of the wooden label you have to follow the wooden stairs to the path surrounded by fern!
Walk about 1-2 minutes and we are at the tap Ftelia! Although the tap Ftelia (or tap Suleiman as known from old locals) is close to the road it does not appear because the vegetation is dense.
Feel the cool fresh air, let the beauty of the landscape at that point. The duration of our trail was at about 1 hour and 15 minutes with an elevation difference of about 90 meters.