On the main road you will see an old church. It is the church of Taxiarches (pic 1) that was built back in 1611(!), an era when many people from the surrounded deserted dorps came to live here because of the favourable location of the village. It has some wall painting from the middle 18th century made by Anastasios Kapesovitis. The taxiarches are the Archangels Michael and Gabriel for the orthodox church. The greek orthodoxy uses this word (taxiarchos) because the word means brigadier and the archangels suppose to lead the heavenly host as they are on top of the angels hierarchy. The greek word “archangelos” has the same meaning anyway which is the top angel.
Opposite the church is a small chapel called Iero Proskinima (sacred pilgrimage) of saints Rafail, Nikolaos and Irini (pic 2)
Up on the village, on the main square there is another church, the church of Ayios Athanasios (pic 3), a simple church but we couldn’t get inside to check the interior so we just took some pictures from outside. It was built in 1702.
The church of Ayios Nikolaos at the entrance of the village has some wall paintings from the 18th century.
On the road down we noticed a small monument (pic 4)dedicated to the unknown soldier with a greek sign that says:
“here you cant set apart by name the deads, at glory they blend into one all of them”.
The area of Ioannina suffered a lot during the world war II (and other wars too) so you can see many monuments like this here and there.
Kato Pedina has many houses made by stone (some of them are from the 18th century) like every house in the villages of Zagori. The grey stone perfectly fits in the environment (and the morphology) of the area. Usually the houses in Zagori have simple clear lines with 2 floors with big rooms and as I said the stone is the main material because the whole area is full of it. The roof with its capping stones follows the style (and color) of the wall stones (pic 1).
We walked a bit at the stone paved streets (pic 2) to admire the buildings but we also checked some trees like the big platan tree (pic 3, usually there is one platan in the main square of almost every village and the people take advantage of its shade) or the damson tree (pic 4) where we tasted some damson and I almost faded because it was too sour. On the plain in front of the village there are 6 stone wells.
There is only one small café at the village but it can be ideal for a small stop and drink a greek/turkish coffee or other refreshments. We didn’t try any food here though although I think they must serve some nice appetizers with local tsipuro like in every village.
The village is located about 30km away from Ioannina (which is 485 km away from Athens). We drove towards Kalpaki on the main highway (every local will know to tell you about this) and turned right when we saw a sign about Central Zagori and then a sign about all the villages of the area like Kato Pedina, Ano Pedina, Elafotopos, Aristi etc
The main road is normal (pic 1) but maybe a 4x4 car will easy your drive up on the stone paved streets of the village (pic 2). Some sign like pic 3 made us smile while we were driving up the village although I know that the square is the most important part for the locals because its the place where they gather, where the local festivals take place etc
At the entrance of the village we noticed a big sign advertising trecking tours. Here is based Compass Adventures company that organize some nice trecking tours, mountain bike and ski tours. The trecking tours vary from easy paths around Zagori villages to more difficult ones (I would like to do the 8 hour long one to the alpine lake Drakolimni). We didn’t use them but you can find more info at their site.