Mikro Papingo is located at an altitude of 980 meters under the huge stone blocks of mount Tymfi. Pic 1 was taken on way there from Megalo Papingo, it looks like an eagle’s nest up there! We drove there and parked the car near the church of Taxiarches which is the main church of the village with the paved square and the nice panoramic view. Mikro...more
According to some old books the Church of Taxiarches was probably part of an old monastery that was there since 1801. The church was probably built at that time although above the south entrance the year 1808 can be seen but probably that was the date of renovation.It’s a type of a eastern orthodox basilica church with small octagonal dome and...more
Upon entering to Mikro Papingo we saw this religious structure which is not a chapel but what we called proskinitirio, a place for pilgrimage.It is dedicated to Agia Paraskevi (Saint Parasevi of Rome) an early Christian martyr that was born in Rome in 2nd century. She was born on Friday (Paraskevi in greek) and her parents (of greek origin) that...more
Just over Papingo you can see the Towers (Pirgoi in greek) of Papingo, they are huge (350-400 meters) vertical rock formations with the highest of them up to 1788 meters (highest peak of mount Tymfi is at 2436 meters).It’s a magical background covered with snow in winter but I loved it early in the morning when fog was there, I remembered the epic...more
I was afraid that I would like Papingo as other Zagori villages because it is more popular but since we arrived at Megalo Papingo we loved it. As I said it is the best known village of Zagori which means there are plenty of guesthouses/hotels and numerous traditional tavernas/restaurants with local dishes. The good thing is that all these...more
Agios Vlassios church is the main church of Megalo Papingo right at the entrance.The church was built in 1852 on the spot of an older church that was there since 912! From that old church they have kept a small piece of the old temple that is kept in the altar. The church is dedicated to Saint Vlasios. He lived in early 4th century and offered...more
Kalinios school (it faces Agios Vlasios church) was built in 1897 by Michael Polichroniou and renovated by Michael Anagnostopoulos (1837-1906).It is the old school of Papingo that houses in our days the WWF Information Center where you get information on flora and fauna of the region.In front of the school there is a bust of Michael...more
A weird but popular spot near Megalo Papingo are kolimpithres a natural swimming pool! They are also called Ovires by the locals.They are large cavities that look like small lakes, they are formed due to erotion by the water of the Rogovos stream. It was nice to see them filled with water, they look like pools. During the summer months many people...more
The only churches we visited properly were Agios Vlasios church at Megalo Papingo and church of Taxiarches in Mikro Papingo. But there are some more churches (unfortunately their gates were closed):Agios Georgios church. It was built in 1774, renovated in 1880 and houses some rare paintings. It has a 10 meters high bell tower that was built in...more
One evening it was raining cats and dogs (or as we say in Greece it was raining chairs!). So, we just hopped into the café next to us. There were plenty of tables but not many customers. We checked t the menu and noticed they have many desserts. The first one we took was portokalopita (orange pie ) a cold refreshing pie that is popular during the...more
We had great lunch here. It’s not a very big place and can easily get packed but we were lucky to find a table near the fireplace in the evening (earlier in the day it was impossible).We ordered Kontosouvli (9e, it’s typical all over greece, large pieces of pork cut from the bone, served with potatoes we liked it a lot), season salad(5e, maily...more
We arrived at Mikro Papingo early in the morning, it was still a bit cold and we were desperate for something warm. This café which is part of a hotel has a large room with many tables, you stand next to the fireplace or near the windows and enjoy the breathtaking view.Unfortunately as in most places in Papingo the prices are on the touristic...more
walkObviously you can easily walk inside the village or even between the 2 districts (2km from Megalo to Mikro Papingo). Those who are in good fitness can try the numerous long paths on the mountains. The shelter is located at 1950 meters (2 hours hike from Mikro Papingo), from there you can follow paths to Drakolimni (dragonlake) which is a well 6...more
Papingo is located 59km north of Ioannica city, 123km from Igoumenitsa, 319km from Thessaloniki, 495km from AthensBy carFrom Ioannina drive along highway Ioannina-Kozani and after Kalpaki (34km from Ioannina) turn right toward Aristi-Papingo. Now the road becomes narrow and windy. Although the scenery is great (with amazing mountain peaks but also...more
Papingo is more touristic that the other Zagori villages so it was no surprise to see even the tacky souvenirs you see everywhere (fridge magnets etc)
But if you want something local you better buy dairy products, chestnuts, apples, walnuts, honey, spoon desserts made out of local fruits, mushrooms, jams, pickles and local meats. And pies of course although we eat them before we even go back to Ioannina city :)
The oldest inhabitants of this area known as the vlachs. Vlachs were the romaniced people from the Balkans. It is said that their main activities are pastoral: mostly trading, shepherding and craftmanship.
Like the rest of the population, since the 1950s, Vlachs have been emigrating from their villages to the cities and especially the capital, Athens. Many Vlachs return to the villages during the summer.
Luggage and bags: I highly recommed you bring all your food supplies if you plan to be in the area for a long period. Especially out of season as the are no local shops. The closest grocery is in Kalpaki, 30 minutes drive in the zig zag roads.
9km before you reach Megalo Papingo you will pass from Voidomatis river. The arched concrete bridge over the river was built in 1923 with donations from immigrants from Papingo and connects Aristi with Papingo.Voidomatis river springs near the village of Vikos (4km from Aristi) and ends down near Konitsa. Its length is 15 kilometers and has...more
WalkingLong walks through and around the villages are best thing here, the nature is so beautiful, Vikos gorge, Voidomatis river, stone bridges, numerous paths, there’s something for everyone although most of the times we get a bit lazy and after a while we return back to the village to taste the local specialities :) HikingThe most popular...more
The area of Ioannina offers its visitors a wide variety of activities through the year. From skying, water rafting, mountain bikes.Walking is in far one of the most popular sports practice by people of all ages. The area offers a variety of options of different lenghts and intensities.more
As in every Zagori village you see the traditional architecture of the area in Papingo too. At late 16th century inhabitants of smaller settlements around gathered in Papingo and in both villages (Megalo and Mikro Papingo) you can see the same layout as in every Zagori village which is a central square (that has a huge plane tree) that is dominated by the public functions (the church, the school, the café and the central fountain for water). Then around them are the houses, close one to another for defensive reasons, high walls and solid wooden gates. Finally there’s a maze of cobble stone paths that start from the central square and connects the pastures, fields, other workplaces and neighboring settlements.
Most of the buildings are in strict geometrical form with basic clean volumes all made by stone (usually remains uncoated) and always a roof by schistolith.
Talking about such roofs we saw a man working on a roof during our visit (pic 4)
By the way depending on the local natural assets you can see lot of wood (frames, ceilings, floors)
There are four different periods in local architecture:
1600-1700. Small rectangular buildings with ground floor, low interiors, doors and small arched windows. The staircase is external and the focal point lies in the middle of the building.
1700-1750. The buildings are higher, with larger windows and interior balcony. The first floor has four bedrooms, kitchen, living room (mantzato) and room for visitors (ontas).
1750-1850. The buildings are more taller and more comfortable, with wooden rooms where there is the closet, and even decorations on the ceilings and frescoes in ontas.
1850-1880. Large two or three-storey houses with large reception rooms, spacious living rooms and auxiliary rooms, cellars and pantries (mbimtses).
The old houses of Papingo were built in the last 2 periods by craftsmen that came from villages in Konitsa or Tzoumerka. The painters were from Chioniades in Konitsa.
In Papingo you can also see some stone bridges that are typical in the area (about 100 in Zagori area), the first one is between Megalo and Mikro Papingo (at Lakkos spot). It was built in 1854 by Anastasios Lolis and has one arch connecting the districts with the old path. The other bridge is located at Mpoulougounsa near Megalo Papingo and its very small.