It is no exaggeration to say that Zagori is a … federation of mountain villages! There are 46 villages, each of which has a unique and special history, but which together form a united, harmonious image in their traditions and their stone-built architecture, which is the hallmark of the region.
The villages of Zagori form an area of 1000 square kilometres and are scattered across the slopes of the Pindus mountain range. The Voidomatis, Aoos and Varda rivers flow through these towering mountains, which rise to an altitude of over 2000m.
Zagori is the site of two national parks! – the Vikos-Aoos Geopark and the Northern Pindus National Park.
Zagori is also famed for its stone bridges. In bygone ages these bridges linked the villages and formed an integral part of the region’s daily life and economy. Today about 60 bridges survive, in good condition, while we have evidence of a further 100 (!) that have been lost.
Zagori is made of stone, wood and nature! What other characteristic does it have? Its cuisine, of course!
Zagori’s cuisine impresses the visitor with its variety. At its heart are the local pies, famed throughout the world. But pies are not the only thing.
There are fresh mushrooms, trachanas (a kind of pasta soup), as well as local meat, milk and cheese. Zagori’s cuisine has a huge amount to offer!
Asprangeli is the headquarters of the Municipality of Zagori. It is one of the most historic villages in the whole of Epirus. Until 1926 it was called Dovra (from Slavic dobr-bra-bro, meaning “the good”). After 1926 the village took its name from the Asprangeli (White Angels) Monastery nearby.
At the end of the 19th century Asprangeli was one of the richest, if not the richest village in Zagori.
In July 1943, during World War Two, the village was burned down by the Nazi Germans in reprisal for the locals’ acts of resistance. In this way the village became a kind of national martyr.
Less than 200 metres from “Angels’ Shelter” stands the Monument to the Woman of Zagori, a tribute to all the region’s women who bravely and selflessly helped the Greek army following the invasion by the Italians under Mussolini in 1940.