Valia Calda: The Warm Valley
The Pindos National Park, or Valia Calda is one of the most important and impressive areas of the mainland of Greece.
The Pindos National Park includes the valley of Valia Calda, in the Vlach dialect means a warm valley, bear’s river, and the mountains Lygos and Mavrovouni, to the tops of the Egg mountain. The National Forest of Pindos has a total area of 60,000 acres and is characterized by ecological and research interest. The value of the Valia Calda area and the need to protect it has been recognized not only by its declaration as a National Park since 1966 but also on a pan-European scale by its inclusion in the network of highly protected areas of the European Union.
The scenery is impressive with large, smooth landscapes for a relaxing walk, but also steep rocky slopes with rushing streams for adventure lovers. The view is enchanting by the peaks of Flegga (2,159 m), Ears (2,082 m) and Egg (2,170) covered with old-bumped rosemary (fragrant pine species). At the alpine heights of Mount Mavrovouni in Flegga, at an altitude of 1960 m and 1940 m, two impressive small lakes are formed. These lakes that are the symbol of the area are associated with many legends.
Dense forests, rushing torrents and steep cliffs fascinate the visitor and invite him to explore. A hundred of visitors from all over Greece and abroad, too, visit the valley of Valia Calda to admire its unique and unforgettable landscapes.
Artificial Lake of Aoos
Aoos is a river of Epirus with a total length of 260 km. 70 km are in Greek territory and the remaining 190 in Albanian. Aoos stems from the Pindos and initially leaked a gorge between the mountains Tymfi and Smolikas. Southwest of Konitsa enters Albania and flows into the Adriatic Sea. At the sources of Aoos, situated at an altitude of 1,340 meters, has built an artificial lake (in 1987) for water and electricity of the nearby area. Due to the beauty of the landscape around the lake, tourism is developed rapidly.
At an altitude of 1960m. and 1940m. two stunning ponds up to subalpine highlands mountain in Montenegro Flegga. These lakes are forming the symbol of the region, associated with many legends. Have water throughout the year and in different waters live amphibians like newts (Triturus alpestris) and toads (Bombina variegate, Rana graeca).
There are (3) trails leading to lakes Flegga
The first starts from Arkoudomera at its intersection with the stream “Memories”, the second of the stream “Salatoura” and the third of the col “Salatoura Milia” and follows the ridge of Montenegro. Ride time 3-4 hours. Also on the side of Metsovo is labeled P6 path that follows the forest road up the mountain refuge of Metsovo municipality and then following the ridge of Montenegro into the lakes or on top of Fleggas. Ride time from the shelter 1,5 to 2 hours. Also there is another path that starts from the location “White stones ‘and ends in’ Ears Fleggas” (ride time about 1 hour) and then to Lagos Fleggas.
Finally from the village across the Vovousa “Arkoudorema” uphill path that leads there is so plain to Valia Caldas (ride time from 4.5 to 5 hours) and the Lakes Fleggas (ride time of about 7 hours).
River of Metsovo
The Metsovo River originates in the area of Katara and Aneliou. A tributary of Arachthos, which is joined at the height of Balntoumas. As it runs, meets the lake of the Aoos at the height of Hrysovitsa, the operation of a hydroelectric power station.
The scenery that you will see is particularly impressive as it is surrounded by high mountains and dense forests that are a refuge for many species of the region’s fauna. On the road leading from the Votonosi Anthochori, near the new bridge, admire the stone bridge that Dad is there and gives his own mark on the landscape. It is a two-arched bridge with a pseudo-arc, which is no longer very obvious. On the banks of the river you will feel incredible serenity, relax and breathe fresh air. Lovers of nature and not only will surely be impressed!