Drakolimni, Ioannina, Greece – The alpine lakes of the Dragons..
The stunning beauty of the natural environment of the area of Zagorohoria is in harmony with the local architecture, with houses made of local stone in perfect combination with the alpine landscape, an excellent example of coexistence of man and nature.
The hiking trails have leadership in the activities the area offers. The trails traverse parts of unique natural beauty and ideal for hiking accessible to all. One of the most famous tracks starts from Monodendri and ends at Vikos, crossing the Vikos Gorge, one of the largest and deepest gorges in the world.
However the trail that is loved by most of the hikers is that of Drakolimni which means the Lake of the Dragon. According to many legends, the Dragons were the residents of the lake and were fighting to keep their home against all inventors. The dragons today are smaller, but still impressive. The uniqueness of the region’s creation has been wrapped in myths and legends to justify name, beauty and fame.
The route starts from Mikro Papiggo and takes about three hours to the refuge of Astraka situated at an altitude of 1.950m which is the usual stop over point for the hikers. The trail continues from there for about 1 ½ hours, leading to the fabulous Drakolimni, an alpine lake at an altitude of 2.050m. The view has wild and mysterious beauty with treeless hillsides around and imposing ridge of Gamila.
How to get to Papiggo
The cluster of the Zagoria villages is 445 km away from Athens and 370 km from Thessaloniki. You can go by car or by air. From the city of Ioannina follow the road to Konitsa and then follow the road signs.
Useful Phone Numbers
Ioannina Airport: +30 26510 27058
Tourist Police in Ioannina: +30 26510 65938
Police in Ioannina: +30 26510 26290
Hospital in Ioannina: +30 26510 80111, 26510 99111
Bus services in Ioannina: +30 26510 26286