Karpenisi: On The Slope
When it comes to winter sports, one doesn’t always think about a land of sunshine, beaches and summer freedom. No, these dreary winter months are usually reserved for other lands, up north where the sun don’t shine. Well, folks, say hello to climate change. And by that I mean come over to Greece and get your dose of snowy awesomeness for a fraction of the price. Greece has about a dozen ski centers scattered all around the country. With such an impressive mountain spine going down its length the real mystery is why word of mouth hasn’t reached Conde Nast yet or whatever. More for us, am I right? So, heres a nugget of solid gold information for you discerning travelers. Karpenisi is your next skiing holiday. The town of Karpenissi itself is but your jumping board in order to get to Velouchi Ski center. It’s convenient and has amenities to boot. However if you want to really go all out we wholeheartedly suggest you take up accommodation in one of the lovely quaint villages that surround the mountainous area of Evrytania with Megalo Horio, Korishades and Voutyro our pick of the bunch.
Karpenisi is magical when the temperatures start to drop. The mist and foggy roads flanked by impressive fir trees are something out of a fairy tale. The ski center isn’t the only thing that can keep one occupied. The whole area is hiker’s delight. There’s gorges, ravines, rapids and what is referred to as ‘Platanodasos’, or plane tree forest. The list of activities includes rafting on the Trikaliotis river and walking along the marked trails that lead to unexpected places. Take the Prousos Monastery for instance. Built on the face of a cliff, this was the cave where the icon of the Virgin Mary was found in the year of our Lord 829. The hike to get there is substantial, but the mural paintings are more than worth the effort.
The showstopper though is the ski center, and at 2,314 metres altitude and 11 slopes it’s easy to see why this spot is so revered. The secret’s out with the locals. But international tourists are far and between and so one should easily find their spot. As one would expect the ski center comes with a chalet for those more inclined to recline. A hearty fireplace and a revolving carousel of strong rakomelo and traditional snacks makes it the most wonderful time of the year, indeed.