IN THE HEART OF GREECE
A city surrounded by the fjords of lake Plastira, the majestic Meteora and the adjacent traditional villages of Pertouli and Elati, hidden in the beautiful natural surroundings of the mountain.
Located in central Thessaly, the newest town in the region, most famous for its urban planning, Karditsa owes its name to "karidia", the walnut tree. This is a beautiful town, an ideal starting point for a wide range of daily trips and "the place to be" for an intense nightlife. Don't miss out on the "must do" in town, which is renting a bicycle and biking around: Karditsa, after all, offers the first and best bike lane network in Greece!
CITY WALKING OR BIKING
Karditsa has a lot of great places to see and riding a bicycle is the most popularway to do so, since the town is one ofthe most bike-friendly in Greece.
The must-sees of the city: the Municipal Market Building of Karditsa, a European architectural heritage monument, in early 1920's French style, same as Domotel Arni, which was built in that same period; Valvi Street, a road that retains the old city aroma; the fountain in the central square and the Pausilipopark with its big open-air chessboard,peacocks strolling around, children's playgrounds and the equestrian statue of Nikolaos Plastiras.
Visit the Archaeological Museum to get familiar with thehistory of the region from the Neolithic to the Classical and Hellenistic periods,before you set off for the mountains!
Amid the tree-filled slopes and imposing mountain peaks of Agrafa, 25km to the west of Karditsa, Lake Plastira, a stunning artificial lake, and its surroundings create a landscape of incomparable natural beauty.
The lake took its name after Nikolaos Plastiras, one of the most famous local heroes, the "Black Rider" that restored national pride after the Asia Minor Catastrophe back in 1922, who also served as Greece's Prime Minister in the early 50s. This lake is surrounded by pine, fir, oak, chestnut and walnut trees, grasslands, and springs feeding the lake with crystal-clear water.
The magnificent rocky peaks of Meteora, just 55km away from Domotel Arni, standas guardians over Thessaly's fertile plains.
On the top of these marvelous yet rugged geological mysteries, approximately 30 monasteries were built during the 12th century, where post-Byzantine works of art were kept.
Nowadays, one can visit only six of these monasteries, which are preservedand listed as part of the World's Heritage by UNESCO. Until the 1920s, all supplies were brought up to the monasteries in basketson ropes and the monks had to climbup these rocks to reach them.
Today, one can access the monasteries by following the footpaths and walking up their hundreds of stone-paved steps.
The outstanding land of Lake Plastirais perhaps an all-encompassing destination for Europe’s naturalists, offering a wide range of activities such as mountain biking and climbing, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, horsebackriding, paragliding, winter skiing and nature watching, while being easily accessible even for daily excursions.
Follow the paths of Belokomyti forest (a Natura2000 preserved area) uphill to the Observatoryand even higher to the mountain shelter at 1455m, which is actually the base for climbing up the surrounding peaks:
- Petsalouda (1792m)
- Borlero(2016m) and
- PentePyrgi (1916m), a nicepoint with a great view of the lake.
The rich flavors and aromas of the forest, combined with the local production of the region (beans, traditional pasta, dairy products and meat), can offer unique culinary experiences.
Accompany the local wine and liqueurs (e.g.walnut liqueur), as well as the strong spirit called tsipouro with the area’s culinary specialties that include olive oil, feta and Plastos pies with leeks, as wellas Batzina pies, made with pumpkin, feta cheese, corn flour and butter.
Local pasta, excellent honey, sweet preserve sand other goodies can be a pleasant surprise to your palate. Organize a gastronomictour of the region that will be unforgettable.