See,feel and taste in 1 day!

It may sound difficult but it is not .. You can get in touch with the beauty, sights and flavors of Pogoni in a single day. Only requirement is that you are in Epirus county!

DSC_0008The most important thing is that the road network of Pogoni is very good and it is not necessary to have a 4X4 car . All you need is a car full of gasoline (gas stations are not many on the way), water and snack, camera and off you go!

If you are getting to Pogoni  directing from Konitsa towards Ioannina then you have to turn right to the sign “Molyvdoskepasti”(33 km).If you are on the opposite way thus from Ioannina directing to Konitsa then you of course have to turn left(58 km). Along on the sign you will see also the sign for village “Vasiliko”(Βασιλικό). Molyvdoskepasti is 19km from this specific point you are at and is an excellent opportunity to visit 2 of the oldest monasteries and churches of the area.

Visit:

  • the monastery of Assumption of Holy Virgin (Κοιμήσεως Θεοτόκου, Koimiseos Theotokou) dated on the end of the 13th or early 14th century
  • the church of Holy Apostles (Agioi Apostoloi) dated on the 16th or early 17th century

After your visit to Molyvdoskepasti turn back to the previous point (sign) and this time turn towards Vasiliko Village. Now you are entering Pogoni Prefecture and the magic starts here! You will drive for 8,7 km and for 12-14 minutes and you reach Vasiliko DSC_0041one of the most beautiful villages in Pogoni.

Tip: if you want to rest take your time and order a greek coffee under the sycamore tree on

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the square you meet on your way through the village.

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Next destination is Kefalovryso village (4,2 km and 10 minutes time) and here you get in

touch with the previous seat of Upper Pogoni municipality.

Tip: On the square of the village you can visit the small folklore collection.

When you meet the sign” Palaiopyrgos, Merope, Pogoniani” then turn right towards these villages and in 7 km and 15 minutes time you are in Kato Merope village.

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Tip: In Kato Merope you can visit:

  • the folklore collection and
  • if you drive a 4×4 car you must visit The Monastery of John the Baptist. This is a sample of one-room church and was built in 1614. It has a preserved part of its remarkable wall paintings and carved wooden temple. Do not forget to visit it as it is located in a superb forest of old oaks (30 minutes approximately.)

Keep on driving for another 4,5 km and 10 minutes and you reach the village Palaiopyrgos.

Tip: Again if you drive a 4×4 car descend to «Greci”(stone bridge of 1830) following the sign you will find on your left  in the village.GKRETSI3I recommend “Greci” for the breathtaking view and for the bridge itself which is one of the oldest in Epirus.(30 minutes approximately.)

Just after Palaiopyrgos in 2 minutes time you are in

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Merope village.

In further 5 minutes and 2 km distance you pass the Kakolakkos village.

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Your next destination is Pogoniani.

On the road be careful not to be mistaken and follow the sign to Dolo (2,5 km) but instead drive straight to Pogoniani Village (6,6 km and 12 minutes from Kakolakkos).

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Tip: If you have to choose between the folklore collections on your way visit the Pogoniani Folklore collection as it is the richest one.In addition as you drive exiting the village on your right you see the Monument of “Pogonisian Mother”

 

 

 

Total distance from Vasiliko to Pogoniani: 33km

Estimated Driving Time : 2 hours-3 hours(including Molyvdoskepasto)

Now it is high time to decide if you want to seize the day  or return because if you want to return then you follow the signs towards Delvinaki Village and before turning left to enter the village you see the sign to Ioannina and you follow it. In this way you exit to the main road that on your right leads to Albania on your left to Kalpaki and Ioannina

Tip: When you pass Kalpaki do not miss to visit the the Second World War Museum (you will hear about the 1st and 2nd world war in Pogoni)DSC_0113with army soldiers as guides which is on your left on the road to Ioannina.

  • BUT:

If you want to go on getting in real touch with Pogonisian villages,sights and flavors then you will do so by turning left towards Delvinaki

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and visit:

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  •  The Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary.It was built in 1620 and was expanded in 1812.

The frescoes of 1646 inside the temple were only recently discovered while the wooden temple is a sample of 1850 art mastery.

As you exit the village on your left take a further turn left again and this time the road that passes through the woods leads you to Vissani, an exquisite village.

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Here take your time and rest at the local cafeteria under the plane trees.There on the square of the village order the delicious traditional “meze” (local dishes),drink tsipouro and don’t forget to taste the local spoon sweets!

 

 

 

In Vissani visit :

  • The Church of St. Nicholas in Pogoniani. DSC_0098Built in 1873 and features 15 domes on the upper level of the square and                         
  • The Abel Abbey in Vissani.DSC_0146

Probably built in 1770 by a man named Abel and painted in 1779. It is a single-cell basilica sample dedicated to Virgin Mary. The gilded temples and frescoes are a pole of attraction for every visitor(the Abel Abbey is located in a spectacular scenery you surely can’t miss!).

Your route ends here and you follow the signs to Ioannina again as you exit to the main road turning left.

As you leave with the sweet memory of what your eyes witnessed remember that you only got in touch with one part of Pogoni and i hope you are back once more so to see another part of Pogoni. This time a different one that has to a lot offer as well . After all one thing is certain about Pogoni: Here your heart will be captured!

P.s: Before leaving Pogoni don’t forget to take with you : Local honey,herbs(wild oregano),mountain green tea and tsipouro!

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