In our previous article we already described the beautiful surroundings of the Montanema Handmade Village. The resort lies in the Agrafa Mountains, part of the Pindos mountain range of Central Greece.
The area is very suitable for families that enjoy hiking. On the first day of our stay, the resort organized a hike for us with their professional local guide, Mr. Konstantinos. The tour started right there, in the gardens of the resort and from there on we walked straight into the forest. Konstantinos told us everything about the area, more specifically, about the great variety of herbs. Apparently this part of Greece is very popular among herbalist. We had the opportunity to stop often and admire special plants and flowers. The hike led us downhill into the gorge of Anthohori and followed a waterfall with the same name. The first half hour of the tour took us over an easy path in the shade of the pine trees. Nearer the waterfall it became steeper and more challenging. The views were breathtaking, we could see as far as the villages in the valley below us. At some point we were so close to the waterfall that we could jump in it. In the summer, swimming in the waterfall is possible although the water remains very cold throughout the year. We consider the hike safe and easy for unexperienced but healthy adults. For children that enjoy walking it would be possible from about 6 years old. At some points, a helping hand from a parent would be necessary. Good shoes are required! Babies could be carried in a baby back carrier. The whole path down to the waterfalls isn’t suitable for strollers but the first part of the forest is. Konstantinos also offers mushroom collecting hikes but our visit was unfortunately not during the mushroom season.
Waterfalls the lazy way
Besides this beautiful hike starting from the top, there is another way to visit the waterfalls. One could drive to the village of Anthohori and start a hike at the end of the gorge. Walking back into the gorge from that end is easier; the path is smooth and less steep and one would still get to see the best part of the waterfall.
Exploring Agriculture and Tradition
Another interesting and very different excursion was arranged by the hotel on the second day of our stay under the mysterious name ‘surprise tour’. We did not really know what to expect until we reached a small farm with sheep, chickens and turkey’s near the town of Karditsa. This was going to be a ‘collect your ingredients and make your own fresh traditional food’-tour. The farmer showed us how to milk the sheep and we also collected eggs.
With the milk and eggs we left the farm and continued our tour to the traditional flour mill of Pyrotzello. We met with the owner of the mill; his family business goes back 5 generations! His explanations on the traditional process of grinding all kinds of flour were fascinating and educative. The Pyrotzello Company uses one unique flour grinding machine of which there are only 400 worldwide. Equipped with the milk, eggs and the flour, we finally ended at the Kargouna factory in Karditsa. There we had a small break and after that, the lovely owners showed us how ‘hilopetes’ are made, traditional egg-based Greek pasta.
Babies and young children will love the smells and sounds of the farm animals in this excursion and for older children; the educational value of the 2 traditional factories was good. A nice excursion for all the family!
Lake Plastira, also called Tavropos reservoir, is an artificial lake fed by the Tavropos River. It can be found at a 4,5 km distance and an approximate 30 min drive from the Montanema Handmade village.
There are many activities around the lake:
Some of our fellow TBG travelers tried horseback riding at the lake. Kids love horseback riding and it is a great family activity to do at Saloon Stables. Marissa Tejada from MyTravelMyGreece has written a wonderful article about her personal experience on her Thessaly horse. Marissa, you rock!
Prices for horse riding:
10 Euro/15 minute ride
15 Euro/30 minute ride
Saloon also rents out peddle boats and archery is another option.
Saloon Stables: Tel: 244 109 2855, 694 593 1270. Directions: On the 220 km mark of the Karditsas-Kerasias road. It is located between the Morfovouni and Krioveri villages in the northern area of Lake Plastiras. Opening times vary per season. Call in advance for exact details.
Trekking Hellas West Thessaly is another company that organizes activities at the lake :
The trip includes a visit to the islands and fjords of the lake and children can play among the trees of the bank that is submerged in water.
Age Minimum: 5
Browse through forest roads, meadows or at the specially designed biking path along the banks of the lake. A comfortable and very beautiful route through the green area. (The bikes that are used are 21 speeds hard-tailed/ front suspension)
There are single and double or quad family bikes. Enjoy the calm lake and the unique view with these easy to ride boats.
Age Minimum: 5
Guides will offer you a course in this Olympic sport first. Then, it’s just; aim at the center and test your skills!
Age Minimum: 5