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The region extends over an area of 1,053 square kilometers in total and consists of 47 traditional villages. The altitude varies between 500 and 2,500 meters, which is the altitude of Gamila, the highest peak of Mount Tymfi.
Deep valleys, gorges, steep mountain slopes, streams, rivers, mountain lakes, forests and meadows alternate in a landscape of wild and unspoiled beauty which the people of Zagori have respected and protected throughout the years. Today, the National Park of Vikos-Aoös’ protects these areas from human intervention.
Five species of flora that are unique in the world grow in the Park. There’s a remarkable collection of different kinds of plants in the K.Lazaridis Museum of Natural History in Koukouli. The plants exhibited represent 96 of the total 149 plant families that exist in the world.
The rich fauna of Zagori includes 10 species of amphibians (including the extremely rare alpine triton – Triturus alpestris – in Dracolimni), 21 species of reptiles, 130 species of birds (some of them endangered) and 24 species of mammals.
Due to the rugged terrain, the harsh winters, and the many rivers and streams, the need arose for a system that could keep all the villages and settlements in contact with each other. Thus, a communication and transportation network was created, consisting of cobbled footpaths, terraced paths (skáles in Greek) and stone bridges. Most of the cobbled paths, at least 36, are preserved in good condition and are accessible, as in 1996 they were all marked with the letter Z and numbered consecutively.
There are approximately 60 stone bridges in Zagori, all built between the 18th and the 19th centuries, a period during which the region prospered. Most of the bridges were built thanks to donations from the rich inhabitants of Zagori, which is why some of them bear the names of these benefactors (Misios Bridge, Plakidas Bridge, Kontodimos Bridge, etc.). Many of these bridges are preserved in excellent condition and are worth visiting. The biggest one is the three-arched bridge of Plakidas, also known as “Kalogeriko”, near the village of Koukouli
Koukoúli is situated at the southern end of the Vikos Gorge, at an altitude of 900m. Due to its small width-to-depth ratio, the Vikos Gorge is the deepest in the world*. It is 1,650m deep, measures 980m at its widest point and is 20 kilometers long. Its rare flora and fauna species are protected by the Vikos-Aoös National Park System. Koukoúli is identified as a ''traditonal settlement'' by the Archaeological Society, which means that there are strict rules governing its architecture and cars are not permitted inside. There is a small museum of botany, one café and two tavernas in the village. Koukoúli is strategically located in the middle of the Zagorian area, allowing easy access to all the main trekking paths and places of interest.
*Guinness Book of World Records
A contemporary stone house of 130sqm, it was built according to the traditional Zagorian architectural style and completed in 2002. The dominant architectural features are stone and wood. The interior of the house is tastefully designed and features all modern conveniences. Our guests should be aware of the fact that the house was not built as a guest house but as a private home.
The house comprises:
one living room with a fireplace
one master bedroom (sleeps 2)
one double bedroom (sleeps 2)
one bedroom with two double beds and a fireplace (sleeps 4)
one fully-equipped kitchen
The house consists of two levels. As it is built on a slope, both levels have access to the surrounding garden. On the upper level there is a sun-filled living room with a fireplace, wooden floor and comfortable sofas. The large plate glass window offers a beautiful, uninterrupted view of the mountains and the Vikos River below. Directly off the living room are a well-equipped kitchen and a bathroom. On the upper level there is also a comfortable master bedroom which opens onto its own covered terrace.
Wooden steps lead from the living room down to the lower level and a traditional stone-built bedroom with two double beds and a fireplace. Adjoining this bedroom is a third, wooden-paneled bedroom with one double bed. There is also a kitchenette and a bathroom. (Please note that in order to access the stairs, the kitchenette or the WC from the wood-paneled bedroom, one must pass through the stone-built bedroom.).
The house is surrounded by a garden with many stone terraces and shady areas for relaxing and dining.
A stone pathway through the trees below the house leads to a peaceful spot with a wooden bench which is perfect for reading and bird watching.
The house may accommodate 6-8 persons.
The house is equipped with :
Drip coffee maker
Toasted sandwich maker
Six mountain bikes
Travel Guides / Maps
One rule >>> Respect the house and the environement !
This is the ideal place to be for trekking lovers and mountain bikers. If you love the nature you are going to adore this place, I am here to guide you in the secret paths of the mountains around, you must live this experience.