Natural wonders and never-ending eco-sports beckon all adrenaline-junkies in Trikala
If you’re a hiker, mountain climber, skier, horseback rider, kayaker or rock-climber you’ll fall in love with Trikala. Soaring mountains, roaring rivers and unique geological formations in the region have made Trikala a beacon for all eco-sports fanatics. Not only is there a plethora of choices that will leave you jostling your itinerary to fit everything in, but there are sports for all seasons, making Trikala a premiere vacation spot year-round.
If there’s one aspect of Trikala which will take your breath away, it’s the region’s majestic and pristine natural landscape. Meteora is one such site. Nowhere in the world will you be able to rock-climb up a UNESCO World Heritage site. And nowhere will you be rewarded for your effort with such stunning views of centuries’ old monasteries, lush forests, and a congregation of sandstone boulders. In fact, this spiritual monument doubles as a natural arena for avid rock-climbers. The complex of 1000 sandstone boulders that soar to 400m is one of the premiere rock-climbing destinations worldwide. And you’re in illustrious company when you scale these rock pillars, because the very first rock-climbers were 11th Century monks who built monastic cells in crevices in the sheer stone face. Meteora offers 700 routes for rock-climbers of all skill levels. If you’re more earthbound, or hate heights, don’t worry. Meteora is a perfect spot for hiking or mountain-climbing, so don’t hesitate to enjoy the lush plane forests and routes around the monasteries.
Another stunning area that couples beautiful pristine natural surroundings and the opportunity for many types of sports is Koziakas Mountain. Part of the Natura 2000 network, this mountain soars to 1901 meters, is a source of immense pride, and you won’t need much time to understand why. Its significance can be traced back to Ancient Greece, as it was known as Asklipios’ pharmacy because of the endless variety of natural medicinal plants that thrive along the slopes of the mountain. Asklipios himself gathered medicinal herbs to administer to his patients from Koziakas Mountain, so if you’re an amateur botanist, keep looking for an array of plants. As you hike or mountain-climb you’ll be able to revel in the pristine peace offered by lush fir, elm, oak and beech forests, while the gushing sound of the area’s two rivers, Portaikos and Kefalopotamos, will lure you to their riverbanks. When you need to rest, stop by one of the many springs that dot the mountain’s eastern slope.
Because sports lovers can’t help but see this beautiful natural arena and all its adrenalin-spiking possibilities, you’ll be glad to know that Koziakas mountain is a rock-climbing heaven. An interesting spot for this sport is Kontina waterfall. You’ll find it near Agia Paraskevi village and its five routes offer an interesting journey along the gushing water. Another stunning rock-climbing location is situated near Elati village. It’s called Kokkino Vraho, is a limestone rock and offers 7 routes for rock-climbers of all skill levels. It’s a wonderful place to learn. If you love to kayak or canoe, head to the Tria Potamia area. There’s a kayaking center there that will help you plan a route along the Aheloos and Aspropotamos rivers. As it’s part of the Natura network, you’ll love the lush fir forests, stone bridges and churches and monasteries that are based in the area. Mountain-bikers will enjoy the many forest trails and rugged terrain around Pertouliotika and Livadia. It’s a wonderful way of exploring this pristine area. If you’re a hiker or mountain-climber, you’ll find Koziakas Mountain a real treasure. The E4 European Trail goes through the mountain, while many unmarked trails in the area lead to all the neighboring mountains as well, so use this opportunity to combine your love of nature with this wonderful sport. Some interesting routes include Pirra to Avgo, Pertouliotika Livadia to Astrapi, which takes you to the peak of Koziakas mountain, Pertouli to Neraida, Haliki to Peristeri, Neraidohori to Marosa, and Klino to Trissia. Horseback riders, you’ll be happy to know that the summer season offers riders wonderful trails. Gallop through the lush trees, stop by the river and springs, and visit some of the mountain villages and monasteries.
You’ll find a veritable treasure along the slopes of Koziakas mountain if you’re a skier. Pertouli ski resort is one of the most beautiful in the country as you’ll ski down slopes hugged by Greece’s biggest and most beautiful and pristine fir forest. There are 3 slopes and 3 cross-country ski routes that will satisfy skiers of all levels. If you’re a snowboarder, hit the slope on the south, as it’s a favorite of avid snowboarders. Don’t miss this ski resort, as you’ll feel like you’re skiing and snowboarding amidst oceans of huge fir trees.